It’s a Wild West tail tale with a twist – baseball and cricket have not been invented, nary a human to be found, dogs instead of horses and cats rule.
ELVIS THE GUNSLINGER by Romey Connell
According to the book blurb if you were to cross John Wayne and James Bond you would get Elvis the Gunslinger. To all appearances he is a gentlecat rancher but the truth is he is a government agent – the best of the best. After a night spent putting out a mysterious fire in his dog barn and chasing down the feline culprit Elvis’ partner Frank shows up announcing they are leaving on the train ASAP to take on a case. The son and daughter-in-law of millionaire cat Morris Pusserschmott IV have been kidnapped and Fatscat, the meanest, smelliest outlaw in the west is the prime suspect. Elvis and Fatscat have history so who better to get to his hideout compound and see that justice is done.
Elvis is a hard drinking, hard loving lawman but that never gets in the way of his clever clue solving skills. And like any good G-man he always gets his man!
This fun read got off to a bit of a slow start for me. I found myself rolling my eyes at the beginning – you really need to suspend reality for this book – but soon enough I was caught up in the elaborate kidnapping scheme, the witty repartee between Frank and Elvis, the twists and turns of the case and the very creative characters Mr. Connell has written about.
I enjoyed the case, the chase and the resolution of the story but one of the dangers when anthropomorphizing cats is walking the fine line between making them too true to their feline nature or giving them too many human qualities. In this case Mr. Connell leaned a little to the latter. I was expecting more of a “cat tale”. This would have been a good read if the characters were human and, granted, replacing them with cats made it imaginative and often humorous but it would have been more fun (for me) with a few more cat-like moments and behaviours.
Overall, once I got used to the cat characters, this was a fun read. Definitely intended for a late teen to adult audience. 3.5 stars for this one and if pushed would lean towards rounding up to 4 because it was creative and the story picked up in the last half of the book.
* I won this book in a contest by the Purrington Post, so would like to thank them for sending me this book at no charge with no expectation of a review *
The oldest of four children, Romey Connell grew up in a suburban waterfront community in the Baltimore/Annapolis area, and moved with his family to their nearby horse farm at the age of 14.
He graduated from the Auburn University School of Business in 1985 and the Cornell Law School in 1988, whereupon he moved to Atlanta, Georgia.
Romey has been married to his lovely wife, Gretchen (an extremely talented artist and photographer), for fifteen years and they are blessed with two wonderful children, Jerry (13) and Jamie (11). In 2010, after EyeWonder was sold, Romey left the working world for a while, so that he could spend as much time as possible with his family. They live in the Lake Claire neighborhood on the east side of Atlanta. Though spending time with family is foremost these days, Romey’s interests include travel, sports, the outdoors, beer and food, not necessarily in that order. He firmly believes that you should be wary of persons who do not get along well with children or animals. Romey is a fan of nearly all genres of music, although he is partial to those in which the artists actually play instruments, and he considers dancing all night to be the greatest form of recreation.