It has been a good year for the Black Horse Western with many of the writers appearing in the various best seller charts. What with Jack Martin's debut novel hogging the No 1 spot for weeks on end like The Beatles did some years back. Lance Howard had one week with seven slots out of ten. And two other debut novels by Terry James and Thomas McNulty took the No 1 spot as well.
More importantly it is good to see that more and more people are reading Black Horse Westerns.
2009 saw the return of Terry Murphy after a long absence and 2010 will see long awaited new novels from Chuck Tyrell and Derek Rutherford.
A couple of BHW writers, while still riding for the brand, have branched out to publish their new novels. Notably, Chap O'Keefe with his paperback editions under the BHE label and Neil Hunter who has self published the latest Jason Brand novel 'Devil's Gold'.
My own personal favourites of the year were Terry James 'Long Shadows'. I have to admit to a bit of a bias here as Terry James deals, in part, with memory loss (something that I know about). Other western writers like Louis L'Amour have touched on the subject as in 'A Man Called Noon' but Terry James took the idea further.
Another that engrossed me was Ross Morton's 'The $300 Man'. Not only was his hero Corbin Molina disbled by the loss of his hand but Ross Morton through his character made the reader realise that Molina was en-abled. Top class writing.
David Whitehead is one of those writers who you would think was born in the saddle and a Colt .45 strapped to his waist and not London's East End. This year he collaborated with Alfred Wallon to produce 'All Guns Blazing' under the name of Doug Thorne.
It is good to see that some of David Whitehead's earlier books are to be reprinted.
Finally, Rory Black, an alias for writer Michael D.George,keeps his Iron Eyes series alive. The character is not your usual brand of hero - he is scarred and flawed - but the delivery is of the kind that says - well, to me - can't wait for the next one.
Reviews of books and authors mentioned here can be found at Western Fiction Review (http://westernfictionreview.blogspot.com) along with many other Black Horse Westerns released during 2009.
Well, that's my look at Black Horse Westerns for 2009.