Hi! I’m Abigail Roux, the author of ACCORDING TO HOYLE. Thanks for having me. And don’t forget the giveaway! Check out the details at the bottom of the post to see what you can win!
By the close of 1882 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. But in the West, the rules aren’t always played according to Hoyle.
US Marshals Eli Flynn and William Henry Washington—longtime friends and colleagues—are escorting two prisoners to New Orleans for trial when they discover there’s more than outlawry to the infamous shootist Dusty Rose and the enigmatic man known as Cage. As the two prisoners form an unlikely partnership, the marshals can’t help but look closer at their own.
When forces beyond the marshals’ control converge on the paddle wheeler they’ve hired to take them downriver, they must choose between two dangers: playing by the rules at any cost, or trusting the very men they are meant to bring to justice.
According to Hoyle Excerpt:
“Mr. Baird, I trust your end of this issue has been taken care of?” the old man rasped.
“I’m afraid there were some complications,” Baird reported. “Stringer is well on his way, but Rose refused to work with us. He then escaped before we could dispatch him.”
“Yes, sir. Escaped.”
“Pure luck, I assure you, sir. An earthquake, in fact.”
“An act of God,” the old man said in his disconcerting voice. He raised his spotted hand to scratch at his eyebrow.
The gold and jewels of the rings on his fingers reflected the light in odd patterns.
Baird fought not to be distracted by it. The silence fell heavy in the room. Dust motes floated by his head in the shaft of light let in by the frosted window. Baird waited for the old man to continue.
“Very well. Can his knowledge harm us? Harm our plan?”
“Certainly, if ever he were to find all the pieces.” Baird knew better than to hedge his answers. The truth and only the truth was the thing to give to his employer.
“He couldn’t possibly, sir.”
“You believe a man who would be so lucky as to stumble upon an earthquake when one is needed could not possibly have the good fortune to piece together this puzzle you have so artfully taken apart?”
Baird pressed his lips tightly together to hide his frustration. “Point well made, sir. What would you have me do?”
“It’s already in the works, sir.” Baird had hired two men to track Rose down and dispatch him. The last telegram he’d received had put them somewhere in Nebraska. Baird was confident Rose would find no earthquakes there.
“And Stringer ?” the old man asked without acknowledging Baird’s forethought.
“He is quite capable. I have given him the bare bones of our orders and he assures me it will be done.”
The old man’s thin white hair flew in wisps around his head and his eyebrows seemed to weigh down the skin of his forehead, giving the impression he was constantly scowling. When he offered his snaggletooth grin, he appeared quite ghastly.
Baird smiled politely. He knew how this game was played. He’d begun his lengthy career as a Pinkerton agent during the War Between the States. He and others like him had acted as spies for the Union army, repeatedly going behind enemy lines to do the bidding of those with higher rank.
Baird had risen quickly. After the war, when the Secret Service department had been formed to help handle the workload of the US Marshals, Baird had been one of the first ones to be recruited. On the surface, the Secret Ser vice were involved with suppressing the counterfeiting of paper money, which had become popular since the currency of the failed Confederacy so many people had hoarded lost its value. But their reach extended much further than that; though they still performed the duties that had been their beginning , now they were also tasked with protecting government officials at certain times, and more importantly, they still acted as spies for the government, on both native and foreign soil.
Baird did not like farming out jobs to untrustworthy and unpredictable outlaws. If they failed, it would be on his head.
“And the information you intended to harvest from Rose. Where do you intend to get it now ?” the old man asked.
Baird had no good answer for that. Men who’d spent time peacefully with the tribes were few and far between. “I’m still seeking an answer to that, sir.”
“Very well. Inform me at once when you hear of any news.”
“Yes, sir,” Baird answered as he stood and tipped his head. “A good day to you, General.”
“John,” the general called after him as he turned to take his leave. “You may see fit to make certain your loose ends are tied. If Rose shows his face in New York, you had better not shows yours.”
Baird’s polite smile faltered only slightly. “Yes, General,” he said obediently, cursing under his breath as the heavy door shut behind him.
About Abigail Roux
Abigail Roux was born and raised in North Carolina. A past volleyball star who specializes in sarcasm and painful historical accuracy, she currently spends her time coaching high school volleyball and investigating the mysteries of single motherhood. Any spare time is spent living and dying with every Atlanta Braves and Carolina Panthers game of the year.
Abigail has a daughter, Little Roux, who is the light of her life, a boxer, four rescued cats who play an ongoing live-action variation of Call of Duty throughout the house, a certifiable extended family down the road, and a cast of thousands in her head.
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