Book Review: Henry Goes Arizona

The first question you have to ask yourself as you’re starting to read “Henry Goes Arizona” is, “Am I reading a comedy with a Western bent, or a Western, with a bit of comedy thrown in?” Either way, it’s fun to read about a lifetime vaudevillian, who rather than taking his last bow and retiring gracefully, has been thrown off the stage and into what he considers a less desirable position of owning a cattle ranch.

Discovering early that not all is at it seems, or should be, in Tonto City—and with the J Bar C Ranch—Henry Harrison Conroy is forced to do some quick improv (including learning how to mount and dismount a horse) to keep his ranch, and even his life.

“Henry Goes Arizona” is a novella, a very quick and easy read, and the first in a series of four originally published in Argosy magazine that are now available together in the “The Sherlock of Sageland” collection.

There are enough gun battles, bar scenes, town drunks, beautiful women and greedy townspeople to intrigue those of us who love traditional Westerns, but throwing in Henry as the classic “fish out of water” and the terrific sense of humor that comes through in W.C. Tuttle’s writing, this makes for a good read. I’m looking forward to reading the complete series which includes “With the Help of Henry,” “The Sherlock of Sageland” and “The Diplomacy of Henry.”

Three horseshoes.

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