A deputy discovers Meriwether Lewis’s journal in this modern-day mystery by an author who “writes about the rural West better than anyone” (Rocky Mountain News). When he’s asked to serve as a consultant for a documentary about the bicentennial of Lewis and Clark’s expedition up the Missouri River, Gabriel Du Pré’s impulse is to flee. Eastern Montana isn’t accustomed to getting much attention, and its residents prefer it that way. But the director of the film is dating Du Pré’s daughter Maria, so this hard-bitten fiddler’s hands are tied. The Métis Indian lawman agrees to act as a guide and help the filmmakers navigate the river, which is as deadly now as it was in 1805. The Missouri has claimed nine lives in the past three years—a suspiciously high death toll the FBI wants Du Pré to investigate. While trolling the riverbanks, Du Pré stumbles upon a national treasure: Meriwether Lewis’s lost journals, which the American government will do anything to get back. Meanwhile, when members of the film crew start dying, Du Pré begins to wonder if the locals hate outsiders so much they might be willing to kill to keep them out. “Bowen’s exuberant storytelling mines the rich cultural history of the West . . . [and features] delightfully extravagant characters” (Publishers Weekly).Cruzatte and Maria is the 8th book in The Montana Mysteries Featuring Gabriel Du Pré series, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
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About the Author
Peter Bowen (b. 1945) is best known for his mystery novels set in the modern American West. When he was ten, Bowen’s family moved to Bozeman, Montana, where a paper route introduced him to the grizzled old cowboys who frequented a bar called The Oaks. Listening to their stories, some of which stretched back to the 1870s, Bowen found inspiration for his later fiction. Following time at the University of Michigan and the University of Montana, he published his first novel, Yellowstone Kelly, in 1987. After two more novels featuring the real-life western hero, Bowen published Coyote Wind (1994), which introduced Gabriel Du Pré, a mixed-race lawman living in fictional Toussaint, Montana. He has written fifteen novels in the series, in which Du Pré gets tangled up in everything from cold-blooded murder to the hunt for rare fossils. Bowen continues to live and write in Livingston, Montana.