Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Du Pré Solves a Hundred Year Old Crime

One morning Du Pre finds Lieutenant Patchen parked outside his girlfriend Madeleine's house. Patchen is looking for Chappie, Madeliene's son. He and Chappie, were wounded in Iraq, and Patchen has come to convince Chappie, to accept the Navy Cross. With Du Pre's help, Chappie is located, but he's suffering from a night of serious drinking. Du Pre takes both men to the sweat lodge where voices are heard calling out 'Bitter Creek.'

Du Pre learns that Bitter Creek is a ballad describing a massacre of Metis, people of mixed heritage often French and Cree. Du Pre, a Metis himself, discovers a frail old woman who claims to be the only survivor of the massacre, and they begin the hunt to locate Bitter Creek.

The book is filled with colorful characters from Du Pre, a renowned fiddler, to Booger Tom, foreman on the ranch owned by Bart and his wife Pidgeon. The mystery is not so much what happened as why someone today wants to keep the facts secret.

This is not the first book in the series, so there is background you don't get in this novel. However, I didn't find it hard to follow the plot. The author gives background on the characters, but doesn't include a lot of backstory. This keeps the story moving quickly.

I very much enjoyed the book. The characters' comments on daily life, war and religion are marvelous. It's worth reading the book just to get to know these people. The is not a story with a great deal of violence or police procedures. I recommend it primarily for the view of history and the descriptions of Montana.

I reviewed this book for Amazon Vine.