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Monday, August 8, 2016

THE EAGLE CATCHER (Wind River Reservation Mystery #1) by Margaret Coel

Originally published in 1995.

Set on the Wind River Arapaho reservation in Central Wyoming, this murder mystery features a likable cast of characters and great descriptions of cultural aspects of the Arapaho. Comparisons will inevitably be made to Tony Hillerman's series set amongst the Navajo and this book fares quite well in the comparison.

The mystery involves the murder of Harvey Castle, the tribal chairman in the middle of the Ethete powwow. The custom is that everyone camps out in tipis for the event and Harvey Castle is found stabbed to death in his tipi - murdered in his sleep.

The local police and the FBI quickly find a suspect but Father John O'Malley of the reservation's Jesuit mission doesn't buy it. He starts his own investigation and soon ruffles a lot of feathers as he starts to figure out who really killed Harvey Castle...

I really like the John O'Malley character. He was a once proud priest who was humbled by alcoholism and sent out in the middle of nowhere to get his life together. He has made a real connection with his parishioners and O'Malley's past grand failure makes him a very approachable character (and a much better priest).

The mystery was not particularly hard to solve (I nailed it early on) but it was an enjoyable read nonetheless.

I rate this book 4 stars out of 5.

This book can be found on Amazon.com here: The Eagle Catcher.

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