*Backstroking All Night In The Starpool

*The Sheriffs' Murder Cases

*The Foxes and The Hounds: Volume I, Big Medicine River Days

*The Sheriff of Frozen's Murder Cases

*The Sheriff of Hell's Murder Case

*The Foxes and The Hounds: Volume II, Bluegrass Days

*Maytown Magic & Mayhem

*Radiance So Bright

*Beaver Creek: The Beauty and the Burden



Backstroking All Night in the Starpool...

The Foxes and the Hounds book imageBackstroking All Night in the Starpool, Beautifully written, heartfelt poetry from a Kentucky girl who's lived in Montana most of her adult life. Nancy Rose's poetry is refreshing, unfiltered, and transcendent -- like sipping Kentucky bourbon sitting on the porch of a Montana lake home.

- Montana Man



The Sheriffs’ Murder Cases

The Sheriffs' Murder Cases book imageThe Sheriffs’ Murder Cases, by Jack Justin Turner, is the first novel in his soon-to-be-completed Cumberland Mountain Trilogy. This story of a reluctant sheriff in early twentieth century Southeastern Kentucky is related in the first person by Jake Herald, a decorated hero of World War I, who assumes the role of sheriff - temporarily, he mistakenly thinks - to avenge a friend’s murder.
Three days turn into months, and Jake Herald is called upon to solve a series of murders. Despite a mangled arm, and with his trusted German Luger close at hand, the Sheriff must muster all the cunning and courage that saw him through The Great War to survive the sometimes savage place he calls home.
Turner’s powerful and insightful explanation of character and locale is perhaps unparalleled in modern Appalachian fiction: an accurate portrayal of the Cumberland Mountains and the people therein. Turner obviously knows and loves the setting and its inhabitants and puts the lie to the work of a litany of literary carpetbaggers.
In The Sheriffs’ Murder Cases, Justin Turner’s voice rings so true that one might think the author is actually channeling the spirits of his early twentieth century characters. Seldom does a book transport a reader so surely to another place and time.

- New Authors Book Reviews


The Foxes and the Hounds: Big Medicine River Days

The Foxes and The Hounds: volume I, Big Medicine River DaysThe Foxes and the Hounds, Jack Justin Turner’s masterpiece, is arguably the most powerful and gripping historical novel one is ever likely to read. Begin with “Big Medicine River Days,” the first volume in the trilogy, and you will experience life in the “real” Kentucky Mountains during a time of wild steamboat rides, family honor, mountain feuds, flatland prostitution, greedy and prejudiced “Outsiders,” and the lust for untold riches buried in the hills, riches that become both the beauty and the burden of the hill country. But this superbly crafted novel is above all - as the author himself proclaims - “an enduring love story.”
Dr. Turner, a native of Maytown, Kentucky, has woven a story of two young men, very competitive friends, and the paths they take. Both travel to the Outside to college, where they learn to thrive despite stereotypical images the Outsiders have and hold against them. Adrian Gault and Lawton Herald briefly go their separate ways after college, as Adrian teaches school and Lawton becomes a lawyer.
Adrian and Lawton each falls in love with a beautiful and resourceful woman, and soon the two men are back together, attempting to acquire mineral rights in their beloved mountains. They team with Copper John Castle, a hotel owner, and Rooster Clabe Osborne, a colorful and feared feudist, in an attempt to beat the Northern robber barons to the rights to mine and transport coal.
This reviewer once attended a seminar on Appalachian writing where the late Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist John Ed Pearce stated that enough had been written about the mountains of Southeastern Kentucky, and it was time to concentrate on other areas. Not only was he mistaken, but it’s a darn shame that Mr. Pearce did not live long enough to read The Foxes and the Hounds, Dr. Turner’s epic and accurate rendering of life in the Kentucky Mountains and the area’s indelible influence on the state and the nation.

- New Authors Book Reviews


The Sheriff of Frozen’s Murder Cases

The Sheriff of Frozen's Murder CasesJack Justin Turner’s The Sheriff of Frozen’s Murder Cases unleashes Sheriff Jake Herald during the Post-World War I era of East Kentucky history when the railroads were rendering riverboats obsolete and company owned coal camps were serving as magnets for outsiders, including miners of many ethnic origins.
Herald, the protagonist whose war-injured hand renders him unable to return to medical school after the war, pursues ruthless killers and other criminals who perpetrate crimes in and beyond his jurisdiction of Chinoe County. Despite the exploitation of the mountaineers by the coal companies that wield their broad form deeds like cudgels - while employing gun thugs who masquerade as lawmen in the coal camps - Herald manages to survive the onslaught that changes East Kentucky from an exemplary, agrarian society championed by Thomas Jefferson to a “dog-eat-dog” industrialized society that has perpetuated pockets of poverty in the region for nearly a century.
The tension between the miners who favor the union and the owners of the coal companies and their minions who are content to exploit the miners who are receiving company script for their labor rather than U. S. currency reaches the brink of violence shortly after the Battle of Blair Mountain in neighboring West Virginia. Herald defuses dangerous situations with the skill of a chess master calculating his series of moves.
The series of murder cases that Herald solves by enlisting the aid of family members and by deputizing friends and war buddies leads him down many paths that build suspense and create the dramatic tension that propels the novel to its climax, and a resolution that promises a love interest readers are sure to look forward to in the final novel of the Cumberland Mountain Trilogy.
In the vein of Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer and his hardnosed tactics, Herald uses the cast on his hand as a weapon. Also, like Hammer in Kiss Me, Deadly, Herald is rescued from certain death by a character inferior to himself.
Turner’s 44 footnotes are an interesting read, and they add to the insightful details that combine to form a mosaic of life in East Kentucky during a volatile period of its history. As in The Sheriffs’ Murder Cases, the first of his trilogy, the reader is taken on an informative journey into the coalfields, one that reveals the value system of agrarianism in contrast to the politics and greed of newcomers who come to extract the coal.
Like the cool mountain waters that flowed prior to the arrival of the coal companies, Turner’s words propel the reader downstream with Herald as guide, one who negotiates the whitewater rapids till the reader climbs safely ashore already looking forward to another ride with Herald in his final pursuit of justice, the ride that will come in Turner’s eagerly-awaited last volume of the Cumberland Mountain Trilogy.

- M. Ray Allen, Appalachian Legacy Magazine


The Sheriffs' Trilogy is complete!

Click here to go to our order page for this trilogy and the others on this site.

Novels Coming Soon...

*The Foxes and The Hounds: volume III, Colorado Days