Welcome to our Book Review page.
Below are reviews for many of Steve’s books.
To order, just click on any of the book covers!!
Blasting through the Sierras...
By Richard Sutton
Tunnel 6 is another of Steve Bartholomew's extremely entertaining presentations of some of the more obscure chapters of California history. I've become a real fan, over the years and this book was almost read in a single period. His characters are well-revealed, and the pacing keeps the pages turning. The story focuses upon the railroad camps in the Sierras during the race to create a Transcontinental railway. A female telegrapher, a journalist, a surveyor and a corporate/confederate spy maneuver around each other in a delicate dance. Secrets passed may be truth or lies. Tunnel 6 is as full of compelling facts and historic color as his previous books. If you are a reader of historic American fiction, then by all means, add Tunnel 6 to your reading list.
A highly recommended read!
By L Elkind
An interesting, fast paced read, that is hard to put down once started. A simple plot, with plenty of complexities, and a great deal of humor keep the reader entertained throughout. While humorous and light-hearted, there is a serious picture painted of the era, as the author painlessly threads historical glimpses of the times throughout the book. The mood is not always light-hearted and humorous, as several of the protagonists show their dark side and offer the reader an opportunity to play detective as well as analyst. My timing in reading this was excellent, finishing the book just prior to this season's first episode of "Hell on Wheels."
Book Review: Have you wondered how people might get involved with Spiritism and how it works? Spirit Catcher is an entertaining story that explains some of the workings of early Spiritism in this country. Set in the late 1800s in San Francisco, it tells the story of Liam, a photographer who unintentionally gets involved in Spiritism, which leads to more excitement than he had planned on. The details of early photography, the mining industry, the influence of the Chinese workers, and people's fascination of Spiritism made the story interesting. Elizabeth Block, Eugene Oregon.
I enjoyed this book very much. The author superbly evokes 1880 San Francisco through the eyes of a young reporter, as he tells an intriguing tale about an inventor who may or may not be the real thing. The antics of a couple of real-life political characters and the inventor's beautiful niece add spice to the story. "The Inventor" is a welcome addition to Bartholomew's previous books set in the old American West.
By Kindle Customer
Pretty predictable plot but interesting none the less. Character development was good and the plot followed a linear time line. The time and place of the story is one of my favorites and ripe with colorful characters of the period.
Black Bart Reborn
When Black Bart left prison he figured he’d had enough of crime and Wells Fargo. After all, he’d got time off for good behavior, and only had to do time for robbing one stage coach out of the twenty-eight he had held up. Bart thought he would try his hand at mining once again, and maybe settle down later by running a pharmacy. He also had plans for the woman he loved, Magdalena Ramos. Those were his plans. What he didn’t figure on was the man who had put him in San Quentin to begin with, Detective James Hume. Nor did he plan on meeting his old nemesis, Jason Sutliffe who had started Bart on his life of crime.
A month after leaving prison, Bart was determined to vanish from the Earth and from history. The official records say he did. This book is a tale of where he might have gone, and what he might have done. It is not history. It is a story.
The Terrorist Plot at Gopherville
The Terrorist Plot at Gopherville was the author’s first novel. It’s a political satire involving a geezer who eats roadkill, talks to imaginary friends, and doesn’t much like the Government. At the time of its first publication, the author had hoped the book would lose its relevance with a change in administration. To his disappointment, he finds it may never go out of style.
5.0 out of 5 stars Bartholomew’s at it again! A Knockout punch!
By Richard Sutton
Gopherville had never seen anything like it, but then, the way Bartholomew handles this political satire, I suppose nowhere else has either. This is a rollicking, laugh-filled expose of the nature of Homeland Security and particularly biting commentary in the light of recent news. I use the term security as lightly as does author Bartholomew. He’s never let me down and with this re-release, I was glued to the page start to finish.
If you have a sneaking suspicion that not all is as it seems when it comes to either those one-stop towns that dot the landscape between the shores; when it comes to official news releases on any subject; the guys in the black suits; or on those shabby, “between the cracks” folks, this is your book. If you have trouble remembering which color alert code is in effect today, this novella won’t help. It will give you quite a few good laughs, but it won’t help make you feel more secure. It would make an absolutely phenomenal film, and I hope it gets optioned immediately, while it’s still fresh! Thanks again, Steve!
4.0 out of 5 stars Satirical Novel Brings Home Political Points
By Janet Riehl
We call Steve Bartholomew “Bart” in these parts. Bart’s book is a satire, and a good one. First, there’s an entertaining, page-turning story to keep us involved. He’s playful, funny, and even a little naughty here and there…all the while making serious points about The Patriot Act, Homeland Security, and The War on Terrorism.
You’ll love his anti-hero alter-ego, Bradshaw:
“Now, anyone meeting Bradshaw for the first time might have leaped to a number of mistaken conclusions. One of them might have been that he was anti-technology…Another wrong impression might have been that Bradsaw was poor…Another mistaken impression a stranger might have was that Bradshaw was ignorant and uneducated. That idea would be extremely wrong. Yet another possible impression might be that Bradshaw was crazy as a looon. In this, our theoretical stranger might possibly be correct” (Pp. 13-16)
And, you’ll love the ending, taken, as it happens, from one of my favorite childhood stories. Sorry, can’t tell you. I’m sworn to secrecy. You wouldn’t want me to be in violation of the Patriot Act, now, would you?
Janet Grace Riehl, author Sightlines: A Poet’s Diary
5.0 out of 5 stars The Terrorist Plot at Gopherville
By Joann T. Andresen
This is a delightful read–I found myself thinking about the characters and eager to get back to the book. It moves quickly, the characters resemble folks probably all of us know, and the situations are ones that I feel parallel current events.
It is not controversial, somewhat validating (I’ve often wondered about things like that..) –Enjoy! JoAnn A.
In the winter of 1888, Dana Reynolds has no reason to believe in anything, until he runs afoul of Wovoka. Dana doesn’t believe in Truth. Telling the truth was what lost him his job back at the Chronicle in San Francisco. Well, that and drinking a little too much. In Nevada he’s learning that Indian agents can be as crooked as politicians. Just asking a few too many questions around here earned him a beating and a cracked rib. Now he was supposed to report on that so-called Paiute prophet, Wovoka, the Woodcutter. The only nice thing about Greenfield, Nevada was Charlene, the telegraph operator. Seems like even she’s gullible enough to fall for the Woodcutter’s line. He’s obviously another fake, as much a fake as Dana himself. Or is he?
“…the author has created an engaging, interesting and well-told story. Rod Miller, Roundup Magazine. * * * The story is spell-binding and captivating. Bartholomew develops some very intriguing characters. The reader begins to understand the ways the characters think and feel. The reader will feel transported right into the story and cheering on Dana as he tries to make things better for the Paiute Indians. Irene S.Roth
An intriguing tale that pulls you into it.
By -Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
“The Woodcutter” has characters that weave around one other throughout the story as a whole, while simultaneously creating tensions among them because of conflicting values that belong to various personalities in the story. It’s interesting to learn more about each one as the story progresses. Everybody has ‘good’ and ‘bad’ sides, for sure the main character who records what is unfolding, and sometimes those blend in ways you might not be expecting. Wovoka the Woodcutter was a real person, in the book he is an altogether mysterious individual, and the plot has surprising turns of events that make you wonder where Wovoka is while they are played out. It’s a good book to pick up and read at any time of the day. It’s enjoyable.
5.0 out of 5 stars “The Woodcutter” is a fascinating study of the attempts of the US Government to take care of the Native American population.
By Author & Book Promotions
Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers’ Favorite
Set in the late 1880′s, “The Woodcutter” by Steve Bartholomew is a fascinating study of the attempts of the US Government to take care of the Native American population. In this story, journalist Dana Reynolds has lost his job in San Francisco and has obtained a job in Virginia City. He hopes to avoid the controversy which cost him his last job but almost as soon as he arrive at his new post, he is assigned a controversial story in Greenfield, Nevada. Dana is to meet a man named Wovoka who is a medicine man but much more. He is also known as the Woodcutter because he is a strong and powerful man. Almost immediately, Dana develops a hunch that the Indian agent in charge of giving US goods to the Indians is taking a more-than-generous cut of both goods and money prior to sending it on to the tribe. The Native Americans also suspect this. They begin to do circle dances, just prior to a solar eclipse and this frightens the agent so much that he attempts to undermine Native American rituals and practices in order to make the Indians “citizens.”
Bartholomew develops intriguing characters without advertising. We begin to understand the ways in which the characters think and feel so that we feel we are right there in the story, wanting to cheer on Dana as he attempts to make things right for the Paiute Indians. This is a book which just may catch you by surprise and capture your interest to the very end.
4.0 out of 5 stars A Rousing, Western Tale of Separate Realities c. 1900
By Richard Sutton VINE VOICE
Author Steve Bartholomew’s latest, doesn’t disappoint. It’s an absorbing, transporting story. The Woodcutter weaves an alarming tale between the hopeful feelings of a Nation poised at the turn of the last century and widespread corruption which threatens to overshadow the promise of new technology and growth. The tenuous peace between all the diverse, rowdy elements in the post-boom Nevada mining towns is about to collapse.
A lightning rod thrust into the midst of all of this takes the form of Paiute prophet and healer known to history as Wovoka. Wovoka, (Paiute: the woodcutter), has brought his vision of the re-emergence of the Native Nations through devotion to a form of active prayer, now referred to as the Ghost Dance. Its followers believe that rapid, drastic change is coming. While warring financial and industrial barons reap the rewards of their back-room deals, a newly vetted San Francisco broadsheet reporter finds himself between the press of feuding agendas and the thin veneer of reality, which wrinkles and shifts every day. He has a hard time finding his footing while remaining true to his purpose.
Wovoka’s growing fame and fervent followers attract the attention of not only leaders of Plains Indian Nations, but also corrupt officials who see a way to turn his misunderstood message into a source of greater profits. Throughout the tale, the characters all have to adjust themselves to the prevailing conditions, as each day brings new tension, threats and revelations. The book held me throughout, right up into a satisfying, somewhat mystical conclusion. For anyone who enjoys a perfectly fleshed-out journey into our collective past, The Woodcutter will be time well spent.
Gold, A Tale of the California Gold Rush
1850: Dana is hungry and cold in New York City. He needs to leave town, fast, before his past catches up with him. He gets his chance when he lands a berth as stoker in a sidewheel steamer bound for the gold fields of California. He doesn’t actually know what a stoker is, but he’s soon to find out. So begins an epic journey that will change his life, sustain him through death and rebirth, and force him to carry gold to California.
Review: Have you wondered how people might get involved with Spiritism and how it works? Spirit Catcher is an entertaining story that explains some of the workings of early Spiritism in this country. Set in the late 1800s in San Francisco, it tells the story of Liam, a photographer who unintentionally gets involved in Spiritism, which leads to more excitement than he had planned on. The details of early photography, the mining industry, the influence of the Chinese workers, and people's fascination of Spiritism made the story interesting. Elizabeth Block, Eugene Oregon.
Value in all the world: his beloved lute, Ariella. Sadly, it has been stolen by minions of a terrible ogre. Without fear, Rymer sets off to find Ariella. On the way he learns he must get past the Black Duke in his Castle Starke. Luckily, Rymer has one ally in the person of Swine Girl. If only she didn’t smell so bad. . .
An almost-true tale of the Time of Heroes, with an enchanted lute, an ogre, a dragon, a lost princess, a giant, gnomes, an evil duke, and a great many pigs.
5.0 out of 5 stars Never enough fairy tales
By Wendy Bertsch
The author has created a great new fairy tale here. And like most, there are no fairies in this one either. But plenty of magic, knights, princesses, a couple of heroes, a prince and a dragon. Oh…and a wizard.
The Imaginary Emperor
Joshua Norton is bankrupt and desperate in antebellum San Francisco at a time when the whole nation seems to have gone mad. He discovers that madness is a viable option, and so becomes Joshua Norton I, dei gratia Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico; a position many people of the city happily accept.
He soon discovers, however, that even with the power of monarchy he cannot cure the unhappiness of the country or of himself. How can he help Marina, who wishes only to sing, or Sophia, who desires only wealth? Worse, how can he help himself – and what should he do with his secret treasure?
Journey to Rhyolite
Nathaniel had his reasons for making the journey to Rhyolite. With a population of ten thousand and growing fast, Rhyolite was the greatest boom town in the west. And he hoped to find what had been taken from him-taken by the snallygaster. Some believed it was simply an old legend from the back hills of Maryland, this four legged flying snake that could snatch away whatever you most valued when your back was turned. Nathanial knew better. It had taken away Annabelle, the love of his life. At least, that was the way he felt. Now he was here in Rhyolite, to make his fortune, to find Annabelle-and to find the man he had murdered back in Baltimore.
By Nathan Allan
great book, a must have for readers of all kinds :) Very imaginative and creative. Steve brings the scenes to life.
If you like a good Western novel … this is it!
By Justa Reader
This book even has a bit of the supernatural added to the story, along with plenty of suspense. I read it all in one sitting, and I recommend it.
A great trip to the past!
By Ms. Sue A. Lehman
This book is a must-read for those who are interested in odd history. Since this town only flourished for a few years and is now a real ghost-town, it makes this story seem even more poignant. The tale of the tattoo artist and the girl is a funny and exciting one that leaves one chuckling about it long after it’s over. After reading this, I did my own research on the town of Rhyolite, in anticipation of visiting it soon. Can’t wait to see all the places mentioned in the book. Thanks for this little gem!
This yarn weaves a wild thread
By William Christwitz
Steve Bartholomew has many messages behind his Black Bart madness, and yet they don't get in your face as messages. Rather, he knows how to pull the rip cord just in time to keep you from thinking too hard. Sure, the Feds and the greedheads are out to get us, but at least it's exciting and part of our lessons in courage.
I like the perilous warps of conspiracy dancing in and out of cosmic multidimensional worlds, woofing with adventure, down home humor and familiar settings. If you want to escape, this brand of reality will feed your soul with more than escape, and leave you satisfied, while ready for a sequel. Yeah, I'm a fan.
Benjamin Wilson has always been a bit different. All his life he’s experienced mysterious things that color his world and set him apart. Not only does he see ghosts—he also has the uncanny ability to sense impending danger. From an early age, Ben learned to hide his psychic gifts by keeping people at a distance. His reclusive lifestyle is shattered when a sinister group of men, bent on exploiting his ability, threatens all Ben holds dear. To shield his family and save his own life, Ben goes on the run. Along the way, he discovers a paradox: his only path to safety leads to a most dangerous place.
By William Christwitz Format: Paperback
Steve Bartholomew has many messages behind his Black Bart madness, and yet they don’t get in your face as messages. Rather, he knows how to pull the rip cord just in time to keep you from thinking too hard. Sure, the Feds and the greedheads are out to get us, but at least it’s exciting and part of our lessons in courage.
I like the perilous warps of conspiracy dancing in and out of cosmic multidimensional worlds, woofing with adventure, down home humor and familiar settings. If you want to escape, this brand of reality will feed your soul with more than escape, and leave you satisfied, while ready for a sequel. Yeah, I’m a fan.