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The Devil Gun

(The ninth book in the Civil War series)
A novel by

It was Dusty Fog against two Union army fanatics, a fiendish 'Devil Gun,' and the entire strength of the warlike Indian nations. On the result hung the lives of every man, woman and child in Texas.
The Ager Coffee-Mill Gun was the first successful automatic-fire weapon, the most deadly innovation to warfare since the discovery of gunpowder.
One of these guns was in the hands of a pair of fanatica1 Union supporters and the use to which they intended to put it turned Lieutenant Jackson Marsden, West Point honor cadet, into a deserter from his regiment and a traitor to the Union cause. It also caused Captain Dusty Fog of the Texas Light Cavalry to be sent from his command with orders to capture the gun at all costs.
Two young men, one in Confederate grey, the other wearing Union blue, rode three hundred miles with danger and death lurking every inch of the way. At last Dusty Fog stood with his two Army Colts pitted against the fanatics and their Devil Gun ... with the lives of every man, woman and child in Texas forfeit if he should fail!


John Thomas Edson was born at Worksop, Nottinghamshire, on February 17 1928, the son of a miner who was killed in an accident when John was nine. He left Shirebrook Selective Central School at 14 to work in a stone quarry and joined the Army four years later.

As a sergeant in the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, Edson served in Kenya during the Emergency, on one occasion killing five Mau Mau on patrol. He started writing in Hong Kong, and when he won a large cash prize in a tombola he invested in a typewriter.

On coming out of the Army after 12 years with a wife and children to support, Edson learned his craft while running a fish-and-chip shop and working on the production line at a local pet food factory. His efforts paid off when Trail Boss (1961) won second prize in a competition with a promise of publication and an outright payment of 50.

The publishers offered 25 more for each subsequent book, and with the addition of earnings from serial-writing for the comic Victor, Edson was able to settle down to professional authorship. When the comic's owners decided that nobody read cowboy stories any more, he was forced to get a job as a postman (the job had the by-product of enabling him to lose six stone in weight from his original 18).

Edson's prospects improved when Corgi Books took over his publisher, encouraged him to produce seven books a year and promised him royalties for the first time. In 1974 he made his first visit to the United States, to which he was to return regularly in search of reference books. He declared that he had no desire to live in the Wild West, adding: "I've never even been on a horse. I've seen those things, and they look highly dangerous at both ends and bloody uncomfortable in the middle. My only contact was to shoot them for dog meat."

His heroes were often based on his favourite film stars, so that Dusty Fog resembled Audie Murphy, and the Ysabel Kid was an amalgam of Elvis Presley in Flaming Star and Jack Buetel in The Outlaw.

Before becoming a recluse in his last years, JT's favourite boast was that Melton Mowbray was famous for three things: "The pie, Stilton cheese and myself but not necessarily in that order."

Genre: Western

Used availability for J T Edson's The Devil Gun

Hardback Editions

November 1971 : UK Hardback

Title: Devil Gun
Author(s): J T Edson
ISBN: 0-7091-1676-4 / 978-0-7091-1676-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: Robert Hale Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

January 1987 : USA Mass Market Paperback

Title: The Devil Gun (Dusty Fog Civil War)
Author(s): J T Edson
ISBN: 0-425-09478-2 / 978-0-425-09478-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Berkley
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

June 1968 : UK Paperback

Title: The Devil Gun
Author(s): J T Edson
ISBN: 0-552-07992-8 / 978-0-552-07992-1 (UK edition)
Publisher: Corgi Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

July 2017 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition

Title: The Devil Gun (A Dusty Fog's Civil War Western Book 8)
Author(s): J T Edson
Publisher: Piccadilly Publishing
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA