Desert Reckoning: A Town Sheriff, a Mojave Hermit, and the Biggest Manhunt in Modern California History (Nation Books) by Deanne Stillman tells of a duel in the desert.
Prairie Fever: British Aristocrats in the American West 1830 - 1890 (Norton) by British historian Peter Pagnamenta tells of a surprising culture clash.
Assignment to Hell: The War Against Nazi Germany with Correspondents Walter Cronkite, Andy Rooney, A. J. Liebling, Homer Bigart, and Hal Boyle (NAL Caliber) by Timothy M. Gay tells how the correspondents remade journalism for the big war.
People Who Eat Darkness: The True Story of a Young Woman Who Vanished from the Streets of Tokyo - And the Evil That Swallowed Her Up (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) by Richard Lloyd Parry describes a bizarre crime in a different society.
Doug MacDougall in Why Geology Matters: Decoding the Past, Anticipating the Future (University of California Press) explains why the dusty old science is actually vitally instructive.
Mickey Cohen: The Life and Crimes of L.A.'s Notorious Mobster (ECW Press) by Tere Tereba gives us an exciting, horrifying life story.
Freedom's Cap: The United States Capitol and the Coming of the Civil War (Hill and Wang) by Guy Gugliotta tells how bitter conflicts produced a monument to our way of government.
In The Real Great Escape: Roger Bushell and the Most Daring POW Breakout of the Second World War (Bantam Press), historian Guy Walters corrects movie history.
In Among the Creationists: Dispatches from the Anti-Evolution Front Line (Oxford University Press), Jason Rosenhouse explores the world of Biblical literalists.
In A Visitor's Guide to the Ancient Olympics (Yale University Press), historian Neil Faulkner has an amusing way to explain Ancient Greek history.