Entertainer Elizabeth Anne Graystone had boarded a stage leaving Prescott, Arizona, when the sound of gunfire erupted around her.  She peered out of the coach in time to see the gunman leaving town on horseback.  He notices Elizabeth and tips his hat.   In that moment, there was no question they’d meet again.  The other passengers riding with Elizabeth to Phoenix are unique, and each person reveals their reason for being in the Southwest as the trip progresses.  They don’t travel far before the stage is held up, the bandits kill many of the passengers, and take off with the talented Miss Graystone.  

One of the stage robbers happens to be the man she saw in Prescott.  He has plans to take Elizabeth to Mexico, but she’s not easy prey.  She’d learned a thing or two about taking care of herself singing in saloons across the lawless frontier.  The bad guys hold her for ransom, believing her family will pay handsomely for her release.  But they didn’t count on the trouble that followed when they kidnapped the popular songstress.  Not only are her relatives in pursuit of the criminals, but Elizabeth isn’t going to play along with her captors without a fight.  

The Songbird’s Sting is an adventurous tale with a tough female protagonist at the heart of the story.  There are plenty of plot twists that determine the fate of Elizabeth and of the villains.  L. J. Martin paints his backgrounds very well and the attention to detail brings out a sharp and smart story.