Editorial Reviews

5 Star Review From Indie Reader

IR Approved Sticker 2

A ranching mogul/senator returns from D.C to his Nevada homestead unaware that a series of sinister situations are in the works to take over Carson City and ultimately destroy his ranch empire.

Barron Maynwaring owns much of Carson City. Together with his wife and adult children, the Maynwarings are recognized as a prominent and well-respected family. Yet the Maynwarings are in for a big surprise with a flurry of strange activity—cattle rustling, murder, and worse yet, the lynching of their long-time friend and helper Jeremy Foster. Barron and his sons witness the wrongful death of Jeremy. But before Barron has a chance to expose the truth, the range mogul (who is also a U.S. Senator) and his family are hit with slander when the town newspaper headliner connects the Maynwarings to the lynching. The circumstances only get worse, especially when the Maynwarings learn that Carson City is being taken over business by business.

Cartwright has created a one-of-a-kind tale of power and politics in his latest western. Set during the time of the Reconstruction, Cartwright immediately draws his audience into a realm that is somewhat reminiscent of the beloved TV western Bonanza (1959-1973), which represented a respected ranch family defending their territory while dealing with social issues. Cartwright’s third person narrative includes a highly defined cast of heroes, villains, and a flurry of minor characters, many of which function as foils. While surrounding his cast with the flavor of the Old West (i.e., saloons, cattle ranching, card gambling), Cartwright punctuates a bit of history into his plot, such as the Comstock Lode near Virginia City. Key to Cartwright’s writing style is his incorporation of engaging dialogue within alternating character scenes. Yet closing on a cliffhanger, Cartwright dangles a hint that the Maynwarings’ story will continue.

THE MAYNWARINGS:  A GAME OF CHANCE is an appealing western read with a edgy political twist.


Reviewed By Lit Amri for Readers’ Favorite

Barron Maynwaring, a patriarch and rancher who traded part of his duties for those as a United States Senator, returns to Greenbrier, the Maynwaring family home and ranch. His homecoming is smeared by political scandal, cattle rustling, the murder of their neighbor, and the lynching of their long-time friend. When a mysterious stranger, Giddeon Van Thorn, starts buying properties and well established businesses in any way he can, worries are aroused as to what his plans really are for Carson City.

Set during the Reconstruction Era, The Maynwarings: A Game of Chance by Digger Cartwright follows the story of a close-knit family that is threatened by the arrival of a newcomer whose sole mission appears to be ruining what the family holds dear. Characterization is excellent and I particularly gravitated towards Barron’s daughter, Mary Catherine, the courageous Carson City solicitor. She refuses to bow down to pressure when she starts to investigate the death of Jeremy Foster, a longtime friend and neighbor of the family, who was accused of cattle thieving and murder.

With its intriguing premise, The Maynwarings: A Game of Chance is an intelligent page-turner, well-written and engaging. It’s brilliantly paced and doesn’t drag on. I love the vivid setting of the story, as it reminds me of the old western films that I’ve watched before. And, like all dramas, it doesn’t quite lead readers where they are expecting to go. It’s about family bonds, suspense, and shadowy politics. This is my second read of Cartwright’s work and it’s good.


Reviewed By Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers’ Favorite

The Maynwarings by Digger Cartwright tells the epic tale of the Maynwarings. Living in Greenbriar, the Maynwarings fight to keep what is theirs, to keep their way of life intact and to protect their future. The patriarch of the family, Barron Maynwaring, is also a US Senator. When he returns from Nevada to the family home, he finds himself the center of attention in a way he didn’t want. Add to that a bit of rustling, murder, lynching and the cattle ranch coming under threat and things are not going very well. All of a sudden, a stranger appears on the scene and starts buying up property, which gets people talking about the future of Carson City. The Maynwarings must fight, not just for their own survival, but for that of the area and, as the body count rises, the game takes a sinister turn.

The Maynwarings by Digger Cartwright is a first class novel, one that has a bit of everything in it. Murder, mystery, intrigue, politics, suspense, drama, all rolled into one express train of a novel. I couldn’t fault the plot or the characters, both were very well crafted and the characters fitted the story perfectly. The story line flowed perfectly and there wasn’t a minute where you felt that things were slowing down. This is a highly entertaining book, full of drama and a page-turner of the highest degree. Add in a few twists and turns, especially the shocker at the end, and this has to be one of the best books I have read for a long time. I find myself hoping that there will be a sequel to this one and I look forward to reading it if there is.


Reviewed By Samantha Dewitt (Rivera) for Readers’ Favorite

Barron Maynwaring thought that leaving Washington meant the end of the political struggles, at least until he was called upon to return. But it turns out that things in his beloved Greenbrier are becoming more political than he could have hoped. Being gone only a short time seems to have been long enough for some strange happenings to start taking place and for someone to get a little more interested than normal in their town. It’s going to take some investigation for Barron and his family to get others to open up about what’s really going on. Even those they once thought of as friends seem to have some secrets they’d rather keep hidden in the dark. But are those secrets the reason for the rash of killings? Could it really be their friends and neighbors that are behind it all? Or are their suspicions correct and the strangers who’ve just come to town are more dangerous than they seemed?

The Maynwarings by Digger Cartwright was definitely an interesting book to me because the characters really drew you in. You feel like you understand Barron from the moment he steps off that stagecoach. Other characters like Jed, Van Thorn and even Mary take a little longer to get to know, but you really like them once you do. If you like adventure and intrigue then you’re going to like this book. There is, after all, plenty of adventure going on in the town of Carson City and no one is above suspicion. Not only that but there’s no end in sight, even if the townspeople are able to put off the fight.


Reviewed By Trudi LoPreto for Readers’ Favorite

The Maynwarings by Digger Cartwright is everything a western novel should be and so much more. The Maynwarings are an influential family living in Carson City, Nevada, shortly after the Civil War during the time of reconstruction. Barron is the head of the family as well as the State Senator, dividing his time between Washington, D.C. and his Greenbrier spread, the largest cattle ranch in the area. Carson City is a typical western town until they suddenly begin having all sorts of trouble. There is a hanging, cattle rustling, unexplained killings, sick cattle and mass confusion. There is also a newcomer in town, Gideon Van Thorn. The Maynwarings are slowly able to connect the dots and blame all of the trouble on Thorn and his unruly group of men.

The Maynwarings is 428 pages long and the action is continuous on all of the pages, in each paragraph and in every sentence. Digger Cartwright has written a western story that not only tells the story of the old wild west cowboys and ranchers of early Nevada days, but there is also politics, family, drama, suspense and mystery to keep you reading well into the middle of the night. I found myself looking at the Maynwaring family as old friends. I hurt for their pains, cheered for their joys, and booed the bad guys. The Maynwarings would be such a great movie; I even have a cast of Hollywood stars picked out for them. This is a must-read book; I know you will not be able to put it down until you reach the unexpected ending.