A Hook Runyon Mystery

 

The Hook Runyon series takes place in the late 1940s in Oklahoma, Texas, California, and Arizona, and features one-armed rail road bull Hook Runyon and his mutt, Mixer. Hook has been crippled in a car accident and thus has not gone to war alongside many man of his generation. Instead, he has been hired by the railroad to catch pickpockets, deal with strikers and keep an eye out for hobos illegally riding the rails. Sheldon Russell has created an unlikely and unwilling hero who lives in an old caboose, collects rare books and has a fondness for moonshine. Hook is appealing in his outsider status, in his tough-guy stance with an intellectual and emotional backbone. Russell’s mysteries are tightly plotted, filled with quirky and layered characters, and abundant in searing descriptions of the American West as well as railroad lore. 

 

BOOKS IN THIS
SERIES

The Hanging of Samuel Ash
The Hanging of Samuel Ash
Array ( [product_id] => 5738 [isbn13] => 9781250031990 [title] => The Hanging of Samuel Ash [seo] => thehangingofsamuelash [subtitle] => [summary] => Railroad bull Hook Runyon and his dog, Mixer, are chasing persistent pickpockets on the Santa Fe line, when Hook is called to investigate a malfunctioning wigwag signal in the... [image] => http://images.macmillan.com/folio-assets/macmillan_us_frontbookcovers_109W/9781250031990.jpg [hide] => [isbn10] => 1250031990 [title_without_prefix] => Hanging of Samuel Ash [description] =>

Railroad bull Hook Runyon and his dog, Mixer, are chasing persistent pickpockets on the Santa Fe line, when Hook is called to investigate a malfunctioning wigwag signal in the middle of nowhere. A young man has been strung up there, hung from the signal, and left strangled to death. Hook finds no identification on the body, other than a bronze hero's medal around the corpse's neck, with the name Samuel Ash engraved on it. Refusing to bury what seems to be a World War II hero in a pauper's grave, Hook vows to find the dead boy's family, as well as his killer.

With the casket in tow, and slowed down by an over-educated sidekick, Junior Monroe, and a stream of new tasks from the head of division, Hook finally finds his way to Carmen, Oklahoma. But no one there has ever heard of anyone named Samuel Ash. There are secrets in Carmen, most of them associated with the local orphanage and its disliked director, and Hook is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery of the hanging of Samuel Ash.

Vivid characterizations, searing descriptions, and a twisty plot make Sheldon Russell's The Hanging of Samuel Ash a gripping read.


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A Hook Runyon Mystery (Volume 4)

Sheldon Russell

St. Martin's Press

Railroad bull Hook Runyon and his dog, Mixer, are chasing persistent pickpockets on the Santa Fe line, when Hook is called to investigate a malfunctioning wigwag signal in the...

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Dead Man's Tunnel
Dead Man's Tunnel
Array ( [product_id] => 3143 [isbn13] => 9781250010582 [title] => Dead Man's Tunnel [seo] => deadmanstunnel [subtitle] => [summary] => Dead Man's Tunnel is the third installment in Sheldon Russell's 1940s series featuring yard dog Hook Runyon.Near the end of WWII, Hook Runyon, railroad bull, and... [image] => http://images.macmillan.com/folio-assets/macmillan_us_frontbookcovers_109W/9781250010582.jpg [hide] => [isbn10] => 1250010586 [title_without_prefix] => Dead Man's Tunnel [description] =>
Dead Man's Tunnel is the third installment in Sheldon Russell's 1940s series featuring yard dog Hook Runyon.

Near the end of WWII, Hook Runyon, railroad bull, and his dog, Mixer, are sent to the West Salvage Yard in the high desert of Arizona. Not far away is the Johnson Canyon Tunnel. Though remote and ordinary as tunnels go, it is the gateway to the steepest railroad grade in North America and a potential bottleneck for the delivery of war supplies. So vital is this tunnel to the war effort that a twenty-four hour military guard has been assigned for the duration. Hook's orders are to catch copper thieves and to stay out of sight and out of trouble. But things go awry when Hook receives a call that one of the guards has been killed mid-tunnel by an oncoming train. Lieutenant Allison Capron from the Army Transportation Department is called in to help with the investigation. At first, suicide by train is suspected, but the evidence soon suggests homicide resulting from a love triangle. Unable to fit his own findings into either of these theories, Hook suspects something more sinister.


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A Hook Runyon Mystery (Volume 3)

Sheldon Russell

St. Martin's Press

Dead Man's Tunnel is the third installment in Sheldon Russell's 1940s series featuring yard dog Hook Runyon.Near the end of WWII, Hook Runyon, railroad bull, and...

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The Insane Train
The Insane Train
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After a devastating fire at an insane asylum in California, Hook Runyon has been put in charge of security for a train that is to transport the survivors, alongside the head of the asylum, Dr. Baldwin, the attending doctor, taciturn Dr. Helms, and a self-sacrificing nurse named Andrea, to a new location in Oklahoma. Hook hires a motley crew of WW II veterans to help, and they set out for the new destination. But things go awry on the Insane Train, as several inmates and attendants are found dead, and Dr. Baldwin seems increasingly disoriented and incapable of running operations. With Andrea's help, Hook begins investigating the suspicious deaths, and uncovers a trail of revenge that has been a long time in the planning...by a person as mentally disturbed as her charges.

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A Hook Runyon Mystery (Volume 2)

Sheldon Russell

St. Martin's Press

After a devastating fire at an insane asylum in California, Hook Runyon has been put in charge of security for a train that is to transport the survivors, alongside the head of the asylum,...

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The Yard Dog
The Yard Dog
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The Yard Dog takes place near the close of World War II, when a large number of Nazi POWs were incarcerated in camps scattered across the prairies of the United States. 

At Waynoka Divisional Point, near POW Camp Alva, the disillusioned Hook Runyon is assigned by the railroad to run off hobos and arrest pickpockets. Left behind in the war because of the loss of his arm in a car accident, Hook lives in a caboose, collects rare books, and drinks busthead liquor. When a coal picker by the name of Spark Dugan is found run over by a reefer car, Hook and his sidekick, Runt, the local moonshiner, suspect foul play and are drawn into a scheme far greater than either could have imagined. This conspiracy reaches the highest echelons of the camp and beyond and will push Hook and Runt to their physical and mental limits.

Hook is a complex character, equal parts rough and vulnerable, an unlikely and unwilling hero. He is more than matched by Dr. Reina Kaplan, a Jewish big-city transplant to Camp Alva who is battling her own demons and has been put in charge of educating the Nazi inmates in the basics of democracy before their eventual return to Germany.

Vivid descriptions of period detail, stark landscapes, and unique characters make this first book in the Hook Runyon series a fascinating mystery full of tension and deep insight.


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A Hook Runyon Mystery (Volume 1)

Sheldon Russell

St. Martin's Press

The Yard Dog takes place near the close of World War II, when a large number of Nazi POWs were incarcerated in camps scattered across the prairies of the United States. At...

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