A Western suspense story that takes the reader into the world of lawmen, outlaws, secret government agents, mysterious treasure, raw and wild towns, riverboat showdown, and a trail of growing friendship and romance for four hard-bitten men. This is not my first encounter with this book, but it is my first time getting the audio version. Mason Lloyd was a new to me narrator. He did a remarkable job with four main characters and a handful of minor characters, three perspectives. I thought he matched well for this style of story. He transitioned between thoughtful and descriptive times and equally well when big action scenes were taking place.

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By Abigail Roux. By the close of in the American West, the line between heroes and villains is narrow. Total chaos is staved off only by the few who take the law at its word and risk their lives to uphold it. This title is a revised and edited second edition, with minor new additions, of According to Hoyle, originally published elsewhere. This is a work of fiction.

Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

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Reviewers may quote brief passages in a review. To request permission and all other inquiries, contact Riptide Publishing at the mailing address above, at Riptidepublishing. We thank you kindly for purchasing this title. Your nonrefundable purchase legally allows you to replicate this file for your own personal reading only, on your own personal computer or device.

Unlike paperback books, sharing ebooks is the same as stealing them. Piracy has sent more than one beloved series the way of the dodo. We appreciate your honesty and support. This title is a revised and edited second edition, with minor new additions, of According to Hoyle , originally published elsewhere. Edmond Hoyle — was an English barrister and writer who authored several books on the rules and play of card games. His rule books soon became the authority on all things cards, and the phrase according to Hoyle entered the language due to the perceived absolute rightness of the rules Hoyle set forth.

The phrase soon took on a more general meaning, referring to any situation in which someone wished to refer to the rules of a higher authority. It is a similar statement to say we are doing something by the book, wherein this statement the book is often perceived to be the Bible. From the late eighteenth century to the turn of the twentieth century, the phrases by the book and according to Hoyle were both in common usage. They meant the same thing, only the former venerated the Bible as the highest authority, while the latter deferred to the whims of a deck of cards.

Three men gathered around a linen-covered table in the expansive dining room of the Windsor Hotel in Denver. The great clock on the mantel read well past midnight and candles were all that lit the room, throwing their faces into deep, flickering shadow. Just two months prior to their meeting, Agent John C. He missed that civilized place, and he looked on overgrown mining and cow towns like Denver with disdain he could not and did not try to conceal.

There were a few buildings in Denver that had electricity, but the Windsor Hotel was not yet numbered among them, no matter how elegantly appointed it was otherwise.

He was here on orders, and everything being asked of him hinged on this meeting. It would be worth the trip to this trumped-up little silver town to make certain this mission was done properly. One thing Baird found he did like about the western towns was that people knew how to mind their own affairs. They were in no danger of being disturbed. This is a fancy place, the newcomer said in a husky voice. The Texan nodded to the grand lobby and the doorman who still stood watching him in distaste.

The man opposite Baird gave that a quiet snort. He was handsome and dressed as quite the dandy, in clear contrast to the large Texan.

Wiry and of average height, he carried himself with an insolent ease that Baird found both annoying and striking. Baird would have sooner dealt with the dog than the shootist. His accent was that of an Englishman, and Baird had instantly decided he neither liked nor trusted the man.

This was government business. An Englishman had no right to be involved. Before coming to his current position, Baird had been a Pinkerton agent, and a good one. He knew how to follow orders. Baird gave the Texan a critical eye. Fine, Baird said. He leaned back in his chair, posture loose and face relaxed, though one hand was on the concealed gun under the table.

Gentlemen, Baird said with a sigh. Both men quieted and turned to him expectantly. Baird inclined his chin and gave them a smile. He looked first at the Englishman and then at the Texan. You are the men known respectively as Dusty Rose and Bat Stringer, correct?

Neither man flinched, though Baird had just spoken the names of two notorious gunmen. He kept one hand on the table as a show of respect. Baird asked as he slowly moved the gun in his own lap until it was pointing at the man. It was a misconception that it was easier to kill out West, that no one blinked an eye at murder.

The crime was still considered heinous, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The Texan grunted at them both, as if to show he was still unimpressed. Baird turned an eye on him. He was one with something to prove, and that made him even more dangerous.

Kale, however, was rumored to be the brains of the operation. But he was still in the wind, possibly dead. Which was why Bat Stringer was here now instead of him. He was said to be a smart man, if not exactly a mastermind, and a fast draw. Dusty Rose sighed softly and glanced away. The Englishman also had a reputation for escaping from the hands of the law.

He was famous for his skill at card games, but he was better known as a gunman than a gambler. Clever and charming, he rarely drew the gun he was said to be so adept at handling. Stringer sat watching him much like a housecat would stalk a canary in a cage, his dark eyes intelligent and patient. Rose, however, was still looking off to the side, shaking his head as if disgusted with himself simply for being there. Baird waited until it was apparent that neither man would respond before he continued.

At this very moment, there are soldiers working nearby, searching for an Indian artifact. Rose sat forward. With some sort of inherent value to it, be it regarding history or mankind. Baird rubbed his eyes. He cleared his throat pointedly and both men once again turned back to him. This artifact, if found, could be very important. It was unnerving. Rose asked, poorly trying to conceal his interest under a hint of nonchalance. That was how Baird wanted him: scared and backed into a corner.

The Army is a redundant, stupid beast, Baird said after a moment. This item cannot be trusted in their hands. It must be taken from them and safeguarded properly. Rose laughed out loud. Upon seeing that, Rose cleared his throat and schooled his features into a more serious expression. You want us to steal this artifact from the Army for you, Stringer said. So your hands stay clean. You want the two of us to attack a battalion of soldiers in the middle of Nebraska, steal an Indian artifact from them in the middle of Indian Territory, and ride off into the sunset without anyone the wiser?

He leaned forward and put a finger on the table. Are you insane, or are you just as stupid as you look? His cheeks flushed. He gritted his teeth. The plan is more complex than that. He did not appear amused by Rose or impressed with what Baird was saying.

On that note, why are my services even required here? Rose asked. I am no thief, nor am I a soldier of any description. I believe you have specific information from them about this artifact, whether you are aware of it or not.

Is that so? That is so. Your particular services would be required after the initial acquirement of the artifact.


According to Hoyle

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According to Hoyle by Abigail Roux, narrated by Mason Lloyd #AudioReview

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