August 7, 2009

Welcome Suckers, James Buchanan

Welcome Suckers
by James David Buchanan
Five Star Publishers, Waterville, Maine, December 2003
ISBN: 1-59414-052-9

Author and friend, Leah Alden Jaswal sent me the Soapy Smith fictional novel, Welcome Suckers, 2003. I had no prior knowledge of this book so it was a great pleasure to receive.

Spoiler warning

The story is a fictional third person account of Soapy's time in Creede, Colorado, with a condensed combination of a few of his adventures that occurred in Skagway, Alaska like the infamous telegraph office. Author James D. Buchanan used Collier and Westrate's The Reign of Soapy Smith, Robertson and Harris' Soapy Smith: King of the Frontier Con Men and O'Connor's High Jinks on the Klondike as sources, yet still managed to spell Soapy's name wrong, spelling it Randolph Jefferson Smith.

The adventure revolves around a power struggle between Soapy and Robert Ford, the killer of outlaw Jesse James. Ford is the camp boss until he is challenged by new comer, Randolph Jefferson and his Soap Gang. Ford is backed by a ruthless and not so bright gang of gunmen.

The introduction of a love interest for Soapy would tickle my publishers sense of humor and all who read my upcoming biography as she is none other than famed Denver brothel madam, Mattie Silks.

There are a few hair raising gun battles and narrow escapes before the stories climaxing gun battle in which Soapy shoots and kills Ford. All in all the novel is a fun read with some great quotes I plan to use here on the blog in time. The price is rather stiff at $25.95 but I am very happy to have it in my Soapy Smith memorabilia collection.

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