To mark the official release on November 23 of my collected short Western/frontier tales, Half a Pig and Other Frontier Stories, here’s a dandy review, in full, from Booklist:
Half a Pig and Other Frontier Stories by Matthew P. Mayo
November 23, 2022. 304 pages, Five Star, $25.95 (ISBN: 9781432898090)
“Mayo’s collection of previously published short stories runs the gamut: historical fiction, horror, Native American tribute, speculative fiction, and steampunk. All have a distinct western flair. Readers may know Mayo from his Roamer series (most recently Winter Wolves, 2021); Mayo sneaks in five Roamer and Maple Jack stories, complete with a stare-down between a grizzly bear and a mountain lion.
Those who prefer a traditional western may feel drawn to “Half a Pig,” which follows an old cowhand trying to right an egregious wrong. Horror fiends will feel a sense of foreboding from “Pay the Ferryman” and “The Witch Hole”—both stories beg their respective protagonists to literally watch where they’re going.
The most emotive story may be the one with the most pared-down language. In “Bloodline,” a brutal psychopath terrorizes his half-Native American grandson. Caught in a cat-and-mouse scenario, the grandson prays that the narcissistic beast failed to notice the boy memorizing his weaknesses throughout the years.
A wide variety of stories sure to please a wide variety of readers.”
—Sarah Steers, Booklist