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Margaret Coel is the New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of The Thunder Keeper, The Spirit Woman, The Lost Bird, The Story Teller, The Dream Stalker, The Ghost Walker, The Eagle Catcher, and several works of nonfiction. She has also authored many articles on the people and places of the American West. Her work has won national and regional awards. Her first John O'Malley mystery, The Eagle Catcher, was a national bestseller, garnering excellent reviews from the Denver Post, Tony Hillerman, Jean Hager, Loren D. Estleman, Stephen White, Earlene Fowler, Ann Ripley and other top writers in the field. A native of Colorado, she resides in Boulder.
Murder is only one element in this debut mystery, which also takes on interracial romance, the exploitation of Indian lands and the political ambitions of a former county commissioner who's also a gubernatorial candidate. Father John O'Malley has been banished from Boston to the dirt-poor mission at Wyoming's Wind River Reservation to recover from his alcoholism. When the tribal chairman is killed, an obnoxious FBI agent arrests the chairman's nephew. In an effort to help, Father John joins forces with Vicky Holden, a feisty, 40-something Arapaho attorney for whom he stoically suffers an unpriestly attraction. Into this modestly suspenseful tale, Coel (Chief Lefthand) weaves often insightful commentary about Arapaho culture, bigotry and the widespread alcoholism among Western tribes. Likable, well-drawn characters and a lively pace mark this novel‘which appears poised for a sequel‘for Hillerman fans. (May)
Coel explores the dual nature of the modern Native American experience, progress vs. tradition, in this murder mystery narrated proficiently by Stephanie Brush. Arapahoe tribal chair Harvey Castle is found murdered just before an important powwow. Father John O'Malley, a recovering alcoholic exiled to the Wyoming reservation, teams up with tribal attorney Vicky Holden. In their search for the murderer and the truth, they uncover the unsavory side of tribal oil and land deals. Rich characters and a twisting, turning plot make this performance a lively story and well worth purchasing. Recommended for most collections.ÄDenise A. Garofalo, Mid-Hudson Lib. System, Poughkeepsie, NY
"Shouldn't be missed...Coel is a master."--Tony Hillerman "Tony Hillerman calls Margaret Coel 'a master' of her craft. It is no wonder. [She] brings Native Americans to the fictional frontier in a way that honors the genre." --The Denver Post "An intense and fascinating story of avarice, tragic old wrongs, and ultimate justice...[it] takes our breath away."--Earlene Fowler "Coel masterfully interweaves modern mysteries with the richness of Native American history and creates multilayered relationships in the larger tapestry of community life."--Ventura (CA) County Star "Now widely considered the most accomplished heir to Tony Hillerman's legacy." --Scripps Howard News Service "A great storyteller."--The Daily Oklahoman "Coel weaves often insightful commentary about Arapaho culture, bigotry and the widespread alcoholism among Western tribes. Likeable, well-drawn characters and a lively pace mark this novel."--Publishers Weekly "Told with conviction and love."--Kirkus Reviews "Will inspire comparisons to the work of Tony Hillerman, but its insights into the Arapaho way of life in our century are unique to this form."--Loren D. Estleman "Welcome Margaret Coel to the ranks of esteemed western mystery writers...The Eagle Catcher is not only an alluring fresh mystery told with the authoritative voice of a historian, it is also a thoughtful testimony to the clash of cultures that endures in the West."--Stephen White "A first-rate mystery...featuring two admirable sleuths."--Jean Hager