Black Powder, White Smoke

Loren D. Estleman

Forge Books

Two men, black and white.

In New Orleans, the black man, Honey Boutrille, saves a prostitute’s life by killing her attacker.

In San Francisco, the white man, Twice Emmerson, kills a Chinaman because he likes killing.

These two men go on the lam, and their adventures, nip and tuck through scrape after scrape, are the zest of Loren Estleman’s wildest tale of the West. The protagonists are different as black and white—Honey rough but honorable, Emmerson chaotic and violent. They attract not only the dogs of the law but the avid interest of those who would exploit them. A journalist tracks Honey, eager to turn his life story into a cautionary parable that will chill white readers. A showman seeks Emmerson, cynically eager to sign him to a contract for the stage and create a competitor to Buffalo Bill.

Honey and Emmerson rage through an authentic West drawn with a fierce and gleeful truthfulness, leaving trails of bodies, pursued ever more relentlessly, and moving always toward a central and inescapable meeting place, Denver, Colorado.

The meeting has the scope, inevitability, and shattering power of Greek tragedy.

At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.


Read an Excerpt

They're still talking about this one down on Gallatin Street. Honey Boutrille was sitting in at the piano for his regular man, who was down with the drip, hitting all the wrong keys because he couldn't read a note and had no ear (although he was convinced he did), when a customer from the West End mutilated one of Honey's whores in the back room of the House of Rest for Weary Boatmen. This much was agreed upon by witnesses. What followed is still in dispute as to some details.
The House of Rest was known by the New Orleans police as the Port of Missing Men. After a


Praise for Black Powder, White Smoke

“Estleman brings high style to his writing, the sentences are things of beauty in and of themselves. He has brought poetry, historical truth, and great wisdom to the genre.”—Tulsa World

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Loren D. Estleman

  • Loren D. Estleman was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a BA degree in English Literature and Journalism in 1974. In 2002, the university awarded him an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters for his contribution to American literature.

    He is the author of more than fifty novels in the categories of mystery, historical western, and mainstream, and has received four Western Writers of American Golden Spur Awards, three Western Heritage Awards, and three Shamus Awards. He has been nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award, Britain's Silver Dagger, the National Book Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. In 2003, the mammoth Encyclopedia of Detective Fiction named him the most critically acclaimed writer of U.S. detective
  • Loren D. Estleman Deborah Morgan


Available Formats and Book Details

Black Powder, White Smoke

Loren D. Estleman

  • e-Book



Forge Books