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Have Gun, Will Play (A Mick and Casey Mystery) [Kindle Edition]

Camille LaGuire
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Two gunslingers, one little girl, a big bag of toys... and murder.

Mick and Casey McKee aren't exactly your average gunslingers. He's young and inexperienced, and has much too sunny a disposition for a gunman. She's younger, meaner, less experienced, but a much better shot.

When they get a job protecting the daughter of a stagecoach king--and her grand collection of toys--it seems like an opportunity to go someplace new. But after the wrong kidnapping, a murder, another wrong kidnapping, a couple of jewel heists and a few knocks to the head, Mick and Casey are left holding the bag of toys. Mick, however, is not as dumb as he seems, and as for Casey...nobody steals her gun and gets away with it.

HAVE GUN, WILL PLAY is a western whodunnit for fans of both puzzle mysteries and light adventure. (approx. 65,000 words)

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 313 KB
  • Print Length: 222 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1456351524
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Camille LaGuire (23 Jun. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003TU20I8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #431,497 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing 24 Feb. 2014
By Beeshon
Format:Kindle Edition
Well. That was three or four hours of my life utterly wasted. When you look back on the books you've read over the year, there is undoubtedly one, if not two, perhaps even three, that stand out because they're outstanding and one (or more) because they are...not so outstanding. This one was the lemon for my year so far.

It's a western. Two young (very young) gunslingers, Mick and Casey, are hired to keep a rather precocious little girl, Laurie, and her aunt safe, as her Daddy is an unpopular bigwig in town. Needless to say, the job doesn't go too well and there's a lot of shooting, dead guys, deceit, betrayal and sore heads. Moreover, there's something very unusual about a certain box of toys that belongs to Laurie, that seems to cause quite a lot of interest.

The whole thing is confusing and a mess. The characters are like cardboard cut-outs: the story is so `told' (not one bit of `show'), I got no emotion from any of them and couldn't therefore afford them any in return. The story was poorly written: it lacked maturity (or experience), there were a number of typos and missing words, and the author seems to have no grasp on how to use the correct tenses.

This was unputdownable for all the wrong reasons: I couldn't wait to finish it and get on to a good book. The only commendation I can give is that the author sat down and had a jolly good try.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in order to review it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A fun and witty western a la crime... 22 Aug. 2011
By Cheryl M-M TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
This book has the ingredients of a western, but somewhere along the way the writer decided to spice it up and throw in a little crime and a pinch of wit. It was fun and absolutely not what I was expecting. Like a quick breath of fresh air. The two main characters are gunslingers, well actually more like juvenile delinquent gunslingers. The have been hired to protect and travel with the young daughter and sister in law of the local bigwig. Needless to say it not only doesn't pan out well for them, it turns out the females on the trip aren't the only important item on the trip with them. I loved the Casey character, who is a mix between a murderous Annie Oakley and all American cheerleader, with a cheeky attitude and sharpshooting skills. It was witty and fast paced and a really enjoyable read. I received a free copy of this book for my review.Have Gun, Will Play (A Mick and Casey Mystery)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great little western with a twist 26 Jun. 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this; I'd forgotten how much fun westerns can be.

I can't go into too much detail for fear of plot spoilers, but Mick is the kind of guy you want to see more of: accident-prone, subject to severe moments of foot-in-mouth syndrome, but a decent guy with a giant heart.

Casey is both brittle and strong, and I love the idea of a female gunslinger.

Together they have to solve a crime within a crime; so we have a nice little detective story without the modern day forensics. Much as I love those, it's just as much fun to figure out the whydunnit (the whodunnit is pretty obvious) with fingerprints, DNA and other technology.

I'd love to see more of this couple; I've blazed through Scattershot Gulch and the short story collection already.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  21 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent western mystery 24 Aug. 2010
By JOA - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Rating: 5 out of 5

I pride myself on being someone who will read - and enjoy - anything that comes my way. So when "Have Gun, Will Play" came up on my TBR list, I was struck by the awareness that, outside the Lone Ranger adventures my mother would read to me as a wee lad, I have never read a western. Ever. Not that I've been actively avoiding them - "Blood Meridian" has intrigued me, given my adoration of Cormac McCarthy - they just haven't come my way, and I haven't searched them out. Consider westerns my "lost genre".

So into my realm of personal unawareness comes this quaint and fun little book by Camille LaGuire. "Have Gun, Will Play" is the story of Mick and Casey, a pair of young gunslingers traipsing through the old west after having severed ties with a famous lawman. They come upon the small ramshackle mining town of Newton and are immediately thrust into a gunfight with invading outlaws. In the aftermath of this conflict, they meet up with a banker named Montel Addley, whose brother is a paranoid land owner who basically runs the town and its surrounding area. Mick and Casey are hired to usher the more important Addley's daughter, Laurie, and her aunt Clara, to a safe haven, far away from the range war that is being waged.

Along the way there are numerous betrayals, schemes, a couple kidnappings, and a mysterious bag of toys. The story is told through Mick's eyes, and we are held in mystery as to what's going on because Mick, in his own adorable and earnest way, is a bit clueless. The tale twists and turns and captures the reader's imagination by never lingering too long on any single plot point. This is done pretty expertly, and with Mick being such an endearing character, we don't mind looking at the world through his point of view. In fact, there are many instances of comedy that come about simply through his tendency towards self abasement.

The background information of both Mick and Casey is a slow development. When we meet them at the beginning, they are simply thrown into our laps. Their history is presented to us in a slow trickle throughout the novel, so much so that even in the last paragraph we are given tidbits that let us greater understand their character. This was skillfully executed, and flaunts the author's impressive mastery of character development.

It is within these characters that some of the more interesting aspects of the novel are uncovered. Along with the mystery and intrigue of the plot, this same mystery and intrigue surrounds them, as well...especially Casey. She is portrayed as a precocious yet troubled young (VERY young - it's in question whether she is even 17 years old, which to us modern-day Americans is a bit disturbing) girl who married Mick the day they met. She is grumpy and damaged, a scowling mess of a young woman, who, despite the hardships of her past, is not yet jaded enough to turn her back on the world or the people who inhabit it. In many ways, despite her rough exterior, she is still an innocent. She struggles with the mores of right and wrong. She wants compassion and love yet often rejects it. She'll act the mature lady one moment and the young girl she is the next - which completely fits with a girl her age. She constantly questions the motives of others, and even her own, and it isn't until she meets a like soul in the character of Laurie that she starts to lower her walls and come out of her shell.

The whole of the novel kept this reviewer captivated throughout, and it is a really fun read. The structure is sound, the characters are sufficiently likeable (and contemptible), and there is enough action to keep me feeling eager to turn the page. It really is very good, and despite my earlier stated lack of knowledge of the genre, I found myself not thinking at all about the setting. It felt as if these dilapidated towns, dusty settings, and men and women on horseback were the most natural things in the world. That, in itself, is an accomplishment.

Every part of me wanted to give this book a four-star rating. Initially, that's what I'd placed in the header. However, after going back and reviewing what I'd written, I realized that I can't justify knocking off a star. There is really nothing wrong with the book. It's highly entertaining and a nice little mystery. Add to that the fact it kept me intrigued and entertained, and I realized that the urge came about simply because I feel I've given too many books that ultimate honor...and it's time I understood there is no shame in that. I've been lucky, and I've chosen well when picking books to review.

This book is just another one of those good choices. It gets a hearty recommendation from me.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable western/mystery 1 July 2010
By The Blade - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Take a western, add a little mystery, a little action, a couple of red herrings, a plot line that moves along nicely, 2 protagonists that are a bit different than your typical western, a kidnapping, a whole lot of fun and you have a recipe for a very good novel.

I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. LaGuire's book. Her writing style sets the time and the place, it fits the book and it moves. It is at once descriptive and yet not overly so. The main characters are well rounded and believable. The formatting and editing is good, but could be better with an active TOC. Still, that isn't a terrible loss. It is a relatively quick read partially because it is a fairly short novel, but also because it is easy to get caught up in the action.

I simply enjoyed the book.

She has more Mick and Casey western mysteries on the way and I'm anxiously waiting for them.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2 Stars from Red Adept Reviews 12 Dec. 2010
By Lynn McNamee - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Plot/Storyline: 5 Stars

I am not a fan of Westerns. The only ones I have read are Lonesome Dove , by Larry McMurtry and a couple by Louis L'Amore of which I don't recall the names. I did enjoy all of those, though, so I was willing to try this one when the author submitted it. I'm very glad I did.

The plot was an intricate mystery that I found to be coherent and well-planned. Toward the end, like the main characters, just when I thought I had something figured out, the story would take a different turn. These turns were woven into the storyline smoothly.

The book opens with two young gunslingers, who are not much more than kids, entering a new town and looking for work. I was immediately drawn in by some action when seemingly random violence exploded down main street. Later, there was an interesting mystery that included a kidnapping and a murder, to hold my attention. There were equal measures of action and investigation to make this a fun novel to read.

My favorite scene was the description of the puppet show. The main characters had not seen one before, so their reactions and observations were hilarious.

The ending was very satisfying. It pulled all the loose threads neatly together.

Character Development: 4 Stars

Mick and Casey, the two main characters, while interesting, were not fully developed. At times, I had the feeling that this was the second in a series or something, and that I had missed the first book. There just was not enough information about them to give me a feeling of empathy for their characters. There were small hints given to show some events from their past, but these were few and far between. More background on these two would definitely have given them more depth.

The side characters were interesting and developed within the story as much as needed. The little girl in the story was very realistically portrayed.

Writing Style: 4 3/4 Stars

The sentence structuring was very good, for the most part. There were a few instances of sentence fragments that I thought were more for flavor than an editing issue. However, they weren't pervasive enough to maintain that feel throughout the novel. The descriptions were very well done, leaving me with a feel of actually being in the "old West." The action scenes, where many writers stumble, were carefully drawn to avoid any confusion. The dialogue was great for the period; the vocabulary might have been a little modern for the time, but I think that helped rather than hindered the story.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating Characters 29 Nov. 2010
By L.C. Evans - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved this entertaining and well-written book. This is not a typical western where a lone hero rides into town and saves a rancher's daughter from someone who's trying to steal water rights. Have Gun, Will Play features a pair of unlikely guns for hire. There's a mystery plot involving stolen jewels and the kidnapping of a little girl. Mick and Casey, the gunslingers, are a young married couple. The story is told from Mick's point of view. Though Mick is young and naive, he's actually a lot shrewder that he likes to let on. The criminals underestimate him and this eventually leads to their downfall. Mick makes mistakes along the way, but he doesn't give up. Even after he figures out that they are not going to be paid for their services, he reminds himself and Casey that they are working for the little girl and they will not let her down. Casey--as seen through Mick's eyes--is tough, a great shot, and not someone you cross. Mick is sweet and prides himself on being honest. He does what has to be done.

The plot had enough twists and turns to keep me guessing, and the fast pace kept me turning pages. Vivid details brought the setting to life. I especially like that their horses had names and personalities. My only complaint about the book is that there wasn't enough background about Mick and Casey. For example, Mick said they met and married on the same day, but that fact was never explained, nor do we find out why they are gunslingers. I came away with the impression that this book was the second of a series.

This mystery western is a very good read. Recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun story with great characters 27 Oct. 2010
By Scamp - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book and particularly liked the writing style because it is quite witty, and it is just descriptive enough to take the reader right smack into the old wild, wild west. The character telling the tale feels authentic as he describes the people and events in the book. The two main characters, a newlywed pair of gunslingers, are a hoot.

My only criticism is that I wish it had been longer!

I really recommend this as a light, fun read. The author has posted on the Kindle forum that she plans a sequel. I look forward to revisiting these quirky characters in another madcap western romp!

ETA: I have edited my review to change the rating from 4 stars to 5 stars. My reasons: Editing and formatting are very good. The characters are great, the story is fun, and it is well written. The problem for me in my initial rating was really that LaGuire makes it look easy. I had an epiphany today: This is what really good storytellers do. They make it look effortless, feel effortless. They make you forget it's a book. I also think I gave it 4 stars because it's a light read and not a literary masterpiece. But hey, it's not supposed to be. So here's my do-over. :)
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