Guest Review: Doc by Mary Doria Russell

Kansas U.S. of Books — Review by Elisha at Rainy Day Reviews 

Entertainment Weekly says – “Set in the saloons of Dodge City in 1878 before the shoot-out at the O.K. Corral, this murder mystery paints Doc Holiday as a tragic hero and gambler, bringing one of the state’s most legendary events and personages to life.”

Synopsis from GoodReads:

Born to the life of a Southern gentleman, Dr. John Henry Holliday arrives on the Texas frontier hoping that the dry air and sunshine of the West will restore him to health. Soon, with few job prospects, Doc Holliday is gambling professionally with his partner, Mária Katarina Harony, a high-strung, classically educated Hungarian whore. In search of high-stakes poker, the couple hits the saloons of Dodge City. And that is where the unlikely friendship of Doc Holliday and a fearless lawman named Wyatt Earp begins– before the gunfight at the O.K. Corral links their names forever in American frontier mythology when neither man wanted fame or deserved notoriety


I have to say, I had heard of this book, was told about this book, but never read the book. Until now. The synopsis was intriguing yet kept an air of mystery. I was even more intrigued and excited to read this book after finding out it was based off of a true story. I love a good non-fiction read, and this did not disappoint. Set in western Texas during the frontier, Doc Holliday makes his name known through gambling with his co-conspirators. Then, there’s a twist among all the other twists in the story…a murder. Or was it a murder?

I loved the thick plot, the western touch, the “old days” feel, the relationships…especially with Doc’s “special” on again-off again friend. I found this story very interesting and it did captivate my attention. I was worried it wouldn’t because I am not a fan of a lot of westerns, I am a but picky in that area. But all in all, it was really good and I would definitely recommend this story.


  • Anna (Diary of an Eccentric)

    The western aspect is a turn off for me, I must admit. Seems like has some interesting aspects though.

  • Suko

    Happy Monday to all! I enjoyed Elisha’s guest review of this book. It sounds like she enjoyed it.

  • bermudaonion(Kathy)

    I don’t know if I’ve ever read a western. This sounds really good.

  • Mystica

    I’m not sure it will do for me but I enjoyed your review.