William DeAndrea, Written in Fire
A Walker Mystery (1995)
Out of print, but available from used book sellers.
The first (of 2) Louis "Lobo" Blacke mysteries. Quinn Booker, from a distinguished New York family, who has made a living as a journalist and writer of "westerns" in the late 19th century, has scored a best seller with his biography of legendary lawman "Lobo" Blacke (now paralyzed from the waist down, having been shot in the back), receives a telegram offering him a job on Blacke's newspaper. Blacke, of course, has an ulterior, but laudable, motive. Booker arrives in Montana and is immediately faced with a challenge (as one might say) to his manhood by a quartet of drunks, of whom he bests 2. Fairly soon, 2 murders--an internationally famous photographer and an associate of Blacke's--occur (which would have been 3, except Booker was lucky). The portrait of Montana in the late 19th century is vivid and seems accurate, and Blacke (and Booker) make a nice team, unraveling the mystery. My only complaint is that there's only one more book about them (The Fatal Elixir). (Blacke and Booker are fairly obviously based on Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin.)
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