Blood and Silver by Vali Benson #BookReview #Tellwell #4.5*

What is a twelve year old girl to do when she finds herself in the silver boom town of Tombstone, Arizona, in 1880, and her only home is a brothel and her only parent is a drug-addicted mother?

If she is Carissa Beaumont, she outsmarts the evil madam and figures a way out.

After tricking the madam, Miss Lucille, into summoning a doctor for her mother, Lisette, she discovers that Miss Lucille has been drugging her. She and the kind doctor make a plan to try to save Lisette by dosing her down on the drug.

Doctor Henderson tells Carissa that the only source for the drug is a Chinese immigrant named China Mary, who lives in Hoptown, at the other end of Tombstone. Carissa has no choice but to go to the powerful woman for help. Many say that China Mary is the one who really controls Tombstone.

China Mary admires Carissa’s brave spirit, and uses her influence to get her a job at the new Grand Hotel, which will free Carissa from her many duties at Miss Lucille’s. She will work along with Mary’s twelve year old niece, Mai-Lin. The two girls become fast friends.

Then, disaster strikes, and the two girls must work together to stay alive.

With a host of colorful characters and meticulous attention to period detail, Blood and Silver is a story of the best and worst of human nature, the passion for survival and the beauty of true friendship.

An Excellent Read!

It’s been a while since I read any book set in the Wild West – but this is an excellent read!

Through no fault of her own, Carissa finds herself looking after her mother who has become a drug addict whilst they both live in a house of ill repute – having nowhere else to go. It’s only a matter of time until the madam decides to put twelve-year-old Carissa to work, but the young girl is more astute than she lets on. Determined to get her mother out of the old lady’s grasp, Carissa finds help from an unexpected source . . .

Vali Benson can certainly tell a good story! I have been engrossed in this one from beginning to end. It’s a cracking story, and a little bit different to any others I’ve read set during the same period. With a fine cast of characters from different walks of life, all fully developed and each interesting in their own way, the author writes an easily flowing and congenial tale mixing in some ups and downs along the way. I really enjoyed this one but just wished it was a bit longer. Recommended book and author and I hope to see more from Vali Benson in future, and am very happy to give this one 4.5*.

My thanks to the author for requesting a review and providing my copy of her novel; this is – as always – my honest, original and unbiased review.

Tags: women’s fiction

Author Bio

Vali grew up in the Midwest. She now lives in Tucson with her husband, two sons and grandchildren.

After graduating from the University of Illinois, Vali started and sold two successful businesses before she decided to pursue her real passion of writing. She published several articles in a variety of periodicals, including History Magazine before she decided to try her hand at fiction.

In April of 2020, Vali published her first novel, “Blood and Silver”. That same month, she was also made a member of the Western Writers of America.

Social Media


Twitter: @BensonVali

Facebook: @RealValiBenson


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