Margaret “Peggy” Thomas was happy living on a farm just outside of Bleak Knob, Missouri with her husband James, who was the local sheriff. But her life was shattered the day the bank was robbed and James, while ensuring Peggy’s safety, was gunned down. This sends Peggy into a downward spiral of remorse and regret, until, three years later, she receives a telegram from Arizona stating that one of the men that killed James has been captured, is going to trial, and she is welcome to attend if she wishes. Arizona is a long way from Missouri, and Peggy would be a woman traveling alone, but this is something she needs to do. She must attend this trial as it is the last thing she can do for James.In The Survival of Margaret Thomas, Del Howison tells a story that is instantly familiar, with all of the recognizable trappings of a classic Western tale, but simultaneously seeming like a welcome discovery of something new and exciting. The Survival of Margaret Thomas is also proof that there are still compelling Western stories to be told by writers that can navigate the conventions of a genre, create interesting characters and tell a gripping, page-turning story.