Murder at Medicine Lodge: A Tay-Bodal Mystery

Mardi Oakley Medawar, Author St. Martin's Press $23.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-312-19925-8
While attending a peace conference with federal government officials at Medicine Lodge, Okla., the Kiowa representative, White Bear, is accused of murdering a U.S. Army bugler. Though 19th-century Kiowa healer Tay-bodal and his tribesmen quickly prove White Bear's innocence, the ""Blue Jackets"" need a scapegoat, and they choose a likable young black soldier known as Little Jonas. Enraged at the injustice, Chief Lone Wolf orders Tay-bodal to find evidence clearing Little Jonas--or else the Kiowa will boycott the peace conference. Tay-bodal's persistent questioning uncovers blackmail and a connection between the bugler's murder and the recently ended Civil War. Medawar (Witch of the Palo Duro, etc.) works hard to describe the events and Indian-soldier tensions through the eyes of a gentle brave, but the strained narration and the surfeit of characters--some too thinly sketched--make this story slow going. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
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