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David Corbett David Corbett David Corbett David Corbett David Corbett David Corbett

Now Available from Black Opal Books

The Long-Lost Love Letters of Doc Holliday

The Long-Lost Love Letters of Doc Holliday

The most notorious love letters in American history—supposedly destroyed a century ago—mysteriously reappear, and become the coveted prize in a fierce battle for possession that brings back to life the lawless world evoked in the letters themselves.

Lisa Balamaro is an ambitious arts lawyer with a secret crush on her most intriguing client: former rodeo rider and reformed art forger, Tuck Mercer. In his newfound role as expert in Old West artifacts, Tuck gains possession of the supposedly destroyed correspondence between Doc Holliday and his cousin and childhood sweetheart, Mattie—who would become Sister Mary Melanie of the Sisters of Mercy.

Given the unlikelihood the letters can ever be fully authenticated, Tuck retains Lisa on behalf of the letters' own, Rayella Vargas, to sell them on the black market. But the buyer Tuck finds, a duplicitous judge from the Tombstone area, has other, far more menacing ideas.

As Lisa works feverishly to make things right, Rayella secretly enlists her ex-marine boyfriend in a daring scheme of her own.

When the judge learns he's been blindsided, he rallies a cadre of armed men for a deadly standoff reminiscent of the moment in history that made Doc famous: The Gunfight at the OK Corral.

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The Story Behind the Story
David had been spreading the word on a number of blogs about the various challenges of The Long-Lost Letters of Doc Holliday, and how he came up with the idea for it. You can find a list of those blog postings here.


"David Corbett’s latest, The Long-Lost Love Letters of Doc Holliday, is just terrific. The correspondence between Doc and his cousin sings with truth and passion, and the greater story of the letters’ provenance provides thrills enough for several novels. Highly recommended."
   —John Lescroart, New York Times best-selling author of Poison and Fatal

"David Corbett swaggers in to the new American western with the fresh and inventive The Long-Lost Love Letters of Doc Holliday. The novel melds action thriller, courtroom drama, and Elmore Leonard-style crime novel to explore the territory where legend, lore, and fact collide. Corbett frames all of it by weaving in the correspondences between Doc Holliday and his cousin Mattie, creating an elegant counterpoint between old west and new."

"Corbett’s character-driven legal thriller is full of suspense and hard-charging gun-slinging action from the Old West to a modern-day shoot-out. The courtroom scenes are a master class in legal procedural fiction with quick-fired exchanges between all parties as the arts lawyer, Lisa Balamaro, seeks to have the stolen letters protected by the courts. Outside the courtroom, other characters find ways beyond the law to settle their disputes with deadly consequences, and an action-packed finale full of strategic combat complexity makes the shootouts of the Old West seem like a simpler time. But the results of violent revenge are timeless, and Corbett has served it up cold with calculated precision."
   —US Review of Books

"This is a book I could not put down. The historical details are authentic, the background word pictures of the Arizona foothills and desert are true and the modern story leaves you at times breathless... And the letters are a very clear profile of the life of Doc Holliday through his eyes, and those of the only woman he will ever love. The woman who will always love him. This is not the same Doc Holliday of films and dime novels. You may find that you understand him a lot better than you did before."
   —Bonnye Reed Frye, NetGalley

"The novel alternates between the contemporary story and gorgeously-written letters as they trace the separation of the star-crossed lovers. For those who enjoy the beautiful use of language, there is much to be enjoyed. The author also masterfully renders an out-of-control courtroom drama weaving in the attorney’s thought processes as she runs through procedures and arguments in a way that is understandable to the lay person, credible to an experienced attorney, and creates an exciting tension-filled scene. After court, the drama continues to escalate all the way to the end. It’s one of those stories that I know will stay with me."
   —Keenan Powell, Mysteristas

"[A]n astounding multifaceted thriller brimming with intrigue and suspense [and ending with] a contemporary shoot-'em-up [unlike any] portrayed since the final scene of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid."

"Amazing book! I could not put this book down from the first page to the last. Strongly Recommended."
   —Tara Jill, Independent reviewer

"I loved this book."
   —Marie Angel, Independent Reviewer

"This is a great novel... The plot is stimulating, and there is a lot of action and suspense."
   —Randee Green