Saturday, 13 December 2014

Ruff Justice: Windwolf by Warren T. Longtree, 1983

When the wolves howled, the wind answered…

© Thayn Trikannad
Sometimes it’s interesting how you learn about the real identity of a pseudonymous writer.

I bought a western titled Windwolf, No.9 in the Ruff Justice series, by Warren T. Longtree. The author was unfamiliar to me. However, Longtree sounded more like a pen name than a real name.

After surfing the internet for a while, I came across a review of a book called Ute Revenge by Paul Ledd at Black Mask. The review was written by veteran author James Reasoner, no stranger to this blog, and reproduced from his blog, Rough Edges, where it originally appeared in June 2013. There I learnt that Paul Ledd was actually Paul Joseph Lederer, another prolific author of a series of westerns including Ruff Justice.

Later, I read a review of Ruff Justice No.2 Night of the Apache by Steve M. over at his blog Western Fiction Review and learnt some more about this rather elusive author.


If it weren't for the internet, I’d have taken most western and other paperbacks at face value and read them as such, and the real identities of writers would have remained unknown to me.

The Ruff Justice series reminded me of another western series of violence and passion, of crime and justice, of fear and respect, that I’m familiar with—Edge, a half-breed and a Civil War veteran, written by George G. Gilman (Terry Harknett in real life), arguably the most popular western pseudonym.

One of the differences I see between the two series is that Ruff Justice is probably more adult than Edge.

Writer David Whitehead has written a fine article about George G. Gilman and his Edge character at his website Ben Bridges, which incidentally is David’s pseudonym.

I’m looking forward to reading my first Ruff Justice novel where “Ruff follows an icy-cold trail and a hot-blooded Indian beauty to track a savage killer.”

My copy of Windwolf, displayed on the shelf above, is a first edition paperback by Signet, New American Library, and printed in May 1983. This title was the 28th and the last in the Ruff Justice series.

Have you read this western series with the nice play of words?

8 comments:

  1. I'm always fascinated by authors and the pseudonyms they sometimes adopt during the course of their writing careers. I'm OCD and a bit of a completist when it comes to favourite authors, so it can also annoy me as well.

    Back to your original question - nope, not tried this one.

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    1. Col, there are many pseudonymous writers in western fiction and many of them turn out to be famous authors. I discover a few every year. Some of them have several pen names and sometimes it can be confusing.

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  2. I like that cover for Windwolf. And I look forward to your review of your first Ruff Justice novel.

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    1. Tracy, I thought the cover was good too. The highlight is the illustration of the white wolf. I'll probably review this book early next year.

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  3. Well done on the detective work Prashant! And I really must try reading some westerns in the new year ...

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    1. Sergio, I'm doing a fair amount of it on the internet as I come across a lot of unknown authors. I haven't read much westerns this year and hope to make up in 2015.

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  4. So complicated! Certain kinds of writing and authors seem to be in a different world - writing so much and using so many different names. Very different from other fiction....

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    1. Moira, I agree, it can get complicated at times. Every second book I'm reading these days is written by a pseudonymous author. For whatever reason, pseudonymous writing seemed to have been popular in the mid-20th century and thereafter.

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