The Secret Legend of Captain Coytus and Jesse James, By: Alex Mueck, By: Alex Mueck

When a Harvard history professor gets a thesis titled Jesse James and the Secret Legend of Captain Coytus from a mediocre student named Ulysses Hercules Baxter, he suspects it is a hoax. He has never before encountered such insane nonsense. Baxter’s assertion that the work is his own, however, leaves Professor Gladstone dissatisfied after he requests a meeting with the student.

Professor Gladstone, who teaches history at Harvard, aspires to become the next designated department chair. One of his students, Ulysses Hercules Baxter, a low-achieving senior, aspires to excel in his Jesse James-based novel-based thesis. Gladstone is certain that Baxter’s senior year’s work is completely fabricated based on the professor’s brief glimpse at Baxter’s quasi-mythologically themed paper, after which Mueck’s novel is entitled.

Gladstone plans to deny Baxter a passing mark because he believes the professors are playing a practical joke on him and he does not want to fall for it. However, when Baxter demonstrates that his sources are credible, Gladstone feels pressured to increase his rating. Baxter is determined to demonstrate that he has solved three mysteries: 1) the disappearance of satirist Ambrose Bierce; 2) the loss of gold from Mexico’s French emperor Fernando Maximilian; and 3) the hidden truth about Jesse Woodson James.

Mueck has written a hilarious novel whose plot, set in Missouri near the end of the Civil War, is a combination of satirical Mel Brooks humor and dark Quentin Tarantino comedy. Mueck has researched various historical and conspiracy-minded works about the famed Jesse James. Characters created by Mueck range from serious to whimsical. Captain Coytus, who is on a mission to avenge his father’s (Major Johnson’s) death by tracking down those responsible, notably Jesse James, is the most notable character in the novel.

His moniker symbolizes that his leadership skills are at their best among women. Aside from the sexual innuendos and hormonal outbursts, Coytus is an educational wizard and a master of the English language, with an apparent power to manipulate minds that affects the path of American history.

As Coytus seeks for James and finds true love along the way, Mueck deftly interweaves Coytus’ witty puns with the gruesome historical truths of the American Civil War by keeping each chapter brief and dynamic. Jesse James & The Secret Legend of Captain Coytus is destined to become a classic, one about which readers will converse for generations.

Jesse James & The Secret Legend of Captain Coyotus is the title of this work.

Authorship credit goes to Alex Mueck

The publisher is iUniverse

ISBN: 1491710489

Pages: 462, Paperback/Kindle

Genre: Humor

Jennifer Sorkin