Book Review and Giveaway: Call of the Wilde by Preston Lewis | Lone Star Book Blog Tours

An H. H. Lomax Western, Book 8
Historical Fiction / Comic Western / Humor
Publisher: Wolfpack Publishing
Date of Publication: March 17, 2023
Number of Pages: 352 pages
Scroll down for Giveaway!

Wild west hijinks continue in the eighth installment of the hysterical and historical adventures of an unlikely hero. 

H.H. Lomax once again finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time when, wrongfully accused of robbing a bank, he’s arrested and jailed in a town vying for a stop on the approaching Texas & Pacific Railroad.
When local officials can’t afford to pay for a trial, a harebrained scheme is concocted to get rid of Lomax without spending a red cent. But Lomax avoids the hairy situation, pulling off an escape with the aid of an unlikely accomplice and exacting a bit of revenge in the process.
His wandering spirit—and neck—intact, Lomax lands among the Mormons in Salt Lake City, where he encounters a long-lost relative in need of assistance and makes the acquaintance of none other than Irish poet and aesthete Oscar Wilde. And from there, it’s all downhill, folks!
Jumping from one bad situation to another in non-stop hilarious action, H.H. Lomax’s adventures will tickle your funny bone with genuine humor while satisfying your craving for western action adventure.

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Call of the Wilde is the first of Preston Lewis’ books that I’ve read, but it won’t be the last!

Here we find H. H. Lomax in a variety of precarious situations. First, he’s arrested as a bank robber in Buffalo Gap, Texas. The fine, upstanding lawmen there aim to see H. H. hang for cleaning out their bank (and worse, possibly depriving them of being included on the Texas & Pacific railroad line). Never mind that he didn’t do it. These lawmen aren’t about to let the truth get in the way of a good hanging. Of Texas, Lomax says, “The only thing I had going for me was that if I died in Texas, Saint Peter’d let me pass the Pearly Gates since I’d already been to hell.”

Through the assistance of one Mandy Mae Minter, daughter of the Buffalo Gap sheriff, Lomax makes his getaway (with an ironic twist, which I won’t share – go read the book to find out. It made me snort-laugh when I read it). He reunites with his sister Melissa, who’s the star of a traveling theater troupe, when he head to Mormon territory thinking he might find himself a wife or five and settle down. For a brief moment, it looks like Lomax may have found his calling as an actor. But when the troupe’s performance gets bumped due to an upcoming performance by the one and only Oscar Wilde, Lomax sets out intent to make Wilde’s promoters pay for the money they’ve cost his family. He has no idea he’ll be playing the role of his life. (I didn’t say he’d like it; I said it would be the role of his life.)

Lomax finds himself pressed into service as Oscar Wilde’s bodyguard after the promoters agree to pay him what he’s asking. They’ll pay, sure, but they want to recoup their funds (because the promoters are all about money, don’tcha know). And where do they end up going but Leadville, Colorado. The one place Lomax does NOT want to go, because he’s wanted there for a murder he has no memory of committing.

Shenanigans ensue.

Y’all, this book had me laughing out loud. It’s Terry Pratchett funny, only set in our very own Wild West rather than a fantasy world. It kind of called to mind Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam, “the somewhat true story of a man, his wife, and her alligator,” in that maybe some of it is true, maybe some of it isn’t. Let the reader decide.

Preston Lewis writes characters mild and wild and absolutely engaging. Lomax is a rough-hewn, no-nonsense kind of guy, although he can sure talk a line of bull when it’s to save his own skin. The lawmen in Buffalo Gap were all about as dumb as stumps, and Mandy Mae, the sheriff’s daughter, was an absolute treasure. I hope we see more of her in future Lomax stories, and I hope she never listens when the world tries to tell her she’s just a girl!

And let me say, Oscar Wilde is about as much the opposite of Lomax as anyone could possibly be. Lewis’ descriptions of Lomax impersonating Wilde had me howling. I don’t know much about Wilde myself, but if he was anywhere near how Lewis depicted him, I expect Lomax’s speeches as the ersatz Wilde (inferior as far as Wilde himself was concerned, anyway) were far more enjoyable!

Lewis has some fantastic turns of phrase here. Let me share a handful of my favorites:

“Tindle looked at me like I’d put gunpowder in his mother’s snuff.”

“…as he was odder than a three-headed duck and ten times as looney as your average politician making a stump speech.”

“I returned to the parlor as Wilde emerged from his quarters, his outfit looking like a rainbow had collided with a freight train.”

And I nearly choked on this one, when Lomax was acting as Wilde’s stand-in:

“Then you are Bunthorne, the fool of Patience?” shouted another skeptical man.

I proudly raised my chin and nodded. “I ameth but I prefereth to calleth myself Butt-thorn as I ameth a pain in the ass-thete.”

I love the story. I love the characters. I love the research Lewis has clearly put into his work. Not only does he give us a rip-snortin’ good story, he puts it in a realistic setting. Now, I don’t know about Mormon women being as ugly as Wilde claimed they were, but Lewis gives apt descriptions of small-town political machinations and the rough and tumble life of a thriving mining town.

If you want a rootin’, tootin’ good story that’s a lot of fun to read, with characters you can cheer for and throw (figurative) rotten tomatoes at, I highly recommend H. H. Lomax. Start at the beginning to get the full effect of Lomax’s saga. Read ’em and weep, because you’ll laugh so hard, you’ve got tears rolling down your face.

Keep scrolling to enter the giveaway!

Preston Lewis is the award-winning author of 46 novels and nonfiction works on the West. He is a past president of Western Writers of America.
First Prize:
Signed copies of Call of the Wilde & Outlaw West of the Pecos
Second Prize:
Signed copy of Call of the Wilde
(US only; ends midnight, CDT, 5/12/23)

or visit the blogs directly:


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One Response to Book Review and Giveaway: Call of the Wilde by Preston Lewis | Lone Star Book Blog Tours

  1. Hall Ways says:

    This review is awesome, and now I’m even more excited to read this book & laugh some more at the adventures of HH Lomax. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

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