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A BOOK REVIEW

Beyond the Roadhouse, by Patricia Barlow-Irick

 


The locale and characters for Beyond The Roadhouse by Patricia Barlow-Irick, will be familiar to San Juan County residents. Readers will enjoy this book for the characters that meet, eat and exchange gossip at the fictional Roadhouse Café, which is situated somewhere along Highway 64, between Bloomfield and Gobernador.

The Roadhouse Café becomes the focal point for tackling the mystery of a murder that occurred after a BLM wild horse roundup. Who better to work out a mystery than the café’s waitress, the UPS deliveryman who knows every nook and cranny of his territory, and the archaeologist who works at a nearby Forest Service office? Meet waitress Aletta (the real heroine of the story), the UPS driver Carl, and analytical Pam—such true to life characters you feel you might have met them somewhere yourself.

Suspicion falls first on wild horse advocates, but there’s more to this tale than pointing the finger at a villain. As the story plays out, it touches on wild horse troubles, archeology and Native American spiritualism.

Waitress Aletta is a budding author, who finds the café’s customers perfect subjects for her study of human nature. The story opens with Aletta’s first blog, “The Menu,” that will make a New Mexican’s mouth water, while setting the locale and tone of the book. “The New Mexican food menu is being developed. …The owner is a taco man himself. He has made a lifetime study of the taco, trying them in every town and every café he can. He says if we can hold a candle to the Cuban Café, in Cuba, NM, we will be doing good.”

Author Patricia Barlow and her husband John Irick both appear in the book. In their real lives, they operate Mustang Camp where they keep wild horses removed from federal lands. Mustang Camp is locally known as the old Largo Schoolhouse on Largo Canyon road. It once functioned as Largo School serving families that lived in the oil and gas camps during the early boom years in the San Juan Basin. The Barlows, along with volunteers and interns, gentle the mustangs with the aim of increasing successful wild horse adoptions and promoting modern training methods.

Beyond the Roadhouse is available on most popular websites. The website, http://www.NavajoCity.com, has a direct link to Amazon. The book can also be found on Barnes and Noble website, as well as offered in large and small print editions on Createspace.com.

 

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