Badlands ) to feature the Metis-Ind"/>

THE TUMBLER: A Montana Mystery Featuring Gabriel Du Pré

Peter Bowen, Author . St. Martin's Minotaur $22.95 (213p) ISBN 978-0-312-27733-8

Distinctive characters and the rich Montana setting lift Bowen's Gabriel Du Pré adventure, the 11th (after 2003's Badlands ) to feature the Metis-Indian tracker. Billionaire Markham Millbank wants to buy the journals of explorer Meriwether Lewis, allegedly found by Du Pré while looking into the disappearance of some Missouri River boaters in 2001's Cruzatte and Maria . Du Pré refuses either to acknowledge or produce the priceless material, and scornfully tosses to the ground envelopes filled with money he receives from Millbank. An increasingly ominous cloud hangs over the Toussaint Saloon, where Du Pré hangs out and sometimes plays the fiddle. When a fellow musician and a friend's niece are attacked, Du Pré must admit the seriousness of the situation. Nosing around between fiddling, drinking "ditchwater" highballs and receiving counsel from his wise longtime love, Madelaine Placquemines, Du Pré is soon at the heart of a murder case that's not what it seems. The author's prose—including unusual punctuation and speech rhythms—may take some getting used to for the uninitiated. Yet the lure of Du Pré and his cronies is not in Bowen's sometimes elliptical language but in the texture of the storytelling, soaked in folklore, mysticism and wry humor in the face of human folly. (Apr. 7)

FYI: Bowen is also the author of Kelly and the Three-toed Horse (2001) and three other titles in his Yellowstone Kelly series.

Reviewed on: 03/08/2004
Release date: 04/01/2004
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