cover image Dead Man’s Fancy: A Sean Stranahan Mystery

Dead Man’s Fancy: A Sean Stranahan Mystery

Keith McCafferty. Viking, $26.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-670-01469-9

The politics of wolves drives McCafferty’s beautifully written third mystery featuring Montana fly fisherman and sometime PI Sean Stranahan (after 2013’s The Gray Ghosts Murders). Are wolves marauders the ranchers can exterminate? Are they part of the natural landscape, entitled to their share of the countryside? Or perhaps they are mystical creatures worthy of worship. Sean gets entangled in the wolf issue when Sheriff Martha Ettinger deputizes him to help look into the death of ranch hand Grady Cole, who somehow “got himself impaled on the antlers of an elk.” An attractive river guide and wolf activist known as the Fly Fishing Venus is also missing, and the hunt for her—dead or alive—gradually consumes law enforcement. The complex, multilayered story smoothly switches from one character to another. Even readers who think fish comes in a cone with french fries will feel like casting a line in a Montana river. Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Literary Agency. (Jan.)