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Montana Fiction Books

On Sarpy Creek
Ira S. Nelson

A novel of love, adultery, murder, race, family, and forgiveness in a tight-knit Montana community after World War I. This is a masterpiece in its exploration of human emotions and motivations.

Horses They Rode
Sid Gustafson

A dramatic novel of love, family, and changing cultures along Montana's rugged Rocky Mountain Front. The novel lyrically weaves the protagonist's journey through women, children, horses, and Indian spirituality, culminating in a thrilling cross-country horse race. Gustafson's beautifully crafted writing limns the intense and complex interactions between men and women, fathers and daughters, Native Americans and whites, and animals and nature. His storytelling is full of rhythm and surprise.

Montana 1948
Larry Watson
List Price:   $12.95 •
Your Price: $10.36

The events of that small-town summer forever alter David Hayden's view of his family: his self-effacing father, a sheriff who never wears his badge; his clear sighted mother; his uncle, a charming war hero and respected doctor; and the Hayden's lively, statuesque Sioux housekeeper, Marie Little Soldier, whose revelations are at the heart of the story. It is a tale of love and courage, of power abused, and of the terrible choice between family loyalty and justice.

Larry Watson
List Price: $10.00 •
Your Price: $8.00

Larry Watson's bestselling novel Montana 1948 was acclaimed as "a work of art" (Susan Petro, San Francisco Chronicle), a prize-winning evocation of a time, a place, and a family. Now Watson returns to Montana 1948's vast landscape with a stunning prequel that illuminates the Hayden clan's early years and the circumstances that led to the events of Montana 1948.

In Montana, the Hayden name is law. For the Hayden boys, Wesley and Frank, their legacy carries an aura of privilege and power that doesn't stop at the Montana border, even when an ill-fated hunting trip makes them temporary outlaws. But what it means to bear the name is something each generation must discover for itself. From Julian, the hard-bitten and blustery patriarch, to Gail, Sheriff Wesley Hayden's spirited wife and moral compass, Larry Watson gives breath and blood to a remarkable family's struggles and rewards, and opens an evocative window on the very heart of the American West.

Echoes of Vengeance
by Roland Cheek
5 1/2 x 8 1/2 paperback, 256 pages

A military outpost situated in an isolated region of the Department of the Upper Missouri. An embittered commandant who believes unkind fate kept him from fame and glory during the recent War of Secession. A band of starving Blackfeet stood riddled with small-pox to withdraw to their reservation. A young mixed-breed army interpreter whose aging parents are with the Blackfeet tries to prevent a massacre-in-the-making; he's beaten and dragged to the guardhouse for the attempt.

Thus the stage is set and principal characters in place for the opening pages of Echoes of Vengeance. It's a tangled tale of daring and adventure as the youth flees Echoes from his revenge. From Mississippi dock to Modesto prize ring, from Cherokee Strip to Colorado end-of-track, Jethro Spring treads the line between death and survival, merit and rascality, growth and degeneration

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Bloody Merchants' War
by Roland Cheek
5 1/2 x 8 1/2 paperback, 287 pages

Second book in the Validiction for Revenge series, featuring the adventures of wanted fugitive, Jethro Spring, mixed race progeny of a mountain man father and a Blackfeet mother.

In the late summer of 1877, Lincoln County, New Mexico wasn't the most peaceable place on earth for a drifter wishing to avoid trouble. With the country's poor farmers and ranchers gripped in bondage by an iron triangle of crooked merch- ants, an oppressive military, and a corrupt Territorial government, the young fugitive eventually chooses sides. But not before learning neither is blameless; that his poor friends are also trampled by their own allies who, in reality, seek to overthrow the corrupt "Santa Fe Ring," so they may replace it with their own dynasty.

Rode hard, discarded early, Jethro Spring rides the whirlwind by surviving while others perish.

Montana Sky
Nora Roberts
List Price $

Jack Mercy's three daughters are strangers to each other. Now they must learn to live as a family-in order to gain an inheritance worth 20 million dollars...

Cruzatte & Maria
Peter Bowen
List Price: $22.95

In his eighth outing, Metis-Indian fiddler, tracker, and amateur sleuth Gabriel Du Pre is called upon by his daughter Maria and her fiance to act as historical advisor for a documentary film about the Lewis & Clark expedition. Du Pre is the descendant of Pierre Cruzatte, one of the scouts who accompanied Lewis and Clark during their expedition, and has the relevant know-how to authentically recreate props.

When Du Pre arrives at the shooting site, located in a remote region of Montana along the Missouri River, he finds himself in a volatile situation: major trouble is brewing between the local community and the tourists and the film makers of the documentary who are descending upon the historical site with increased frequency. The hostility takes its toll on the film production: the star quits and someone has set fire to the props. Then two bodies, that of a photojournalist and his companion who were retracing Lewis & Clark's route, are fished out of the Missouri -- shot to death. A disgruntled local? Or someone with even more insidious intentions? Meanwhile, Du Pre stumbles upon a secret cache left behind by the original Lewis & Clark expedition, containing Merriweather Clarks' journals. Suddenly, the backwater locale is swarming with media, and tensions rise to a boiling point.

Peter Bowen combines a thorough knowledge of our national history with local atmosphere and a slew of offbeat characters to create an infatuating read.

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Ash Child
Peter Bowen
List Price: $23.95 •
Your Price: $16.77

It's dry season in Montana, and fires blazing west of Touissant have spread to the Wolf Mountains. Métis-Indian fiddler, tracker, and reluctant sleuth Gabriel Du Pré suspects the fires have been intentionally set and are linked to the recent murder of Old Maddy Collins, an eccentric woman found in her living room, her head beaten in with a cast-iron hatchet. Du Pré's suspicions are heightened when two teenagers snooping around Maddy's house turn up dead in the mountains, buried beneath ash and riddled with bullet wounds.

With its sly wit and comic touches, combined with colorful characters and lyrical prose evocative of Montana, Peter Bowen's Ash Child makes for an exceptionally rich and deeply satisfying novel.

Peter Bowen
List Price: $23.95 •
Your Price: $16.77

A secretive millennial cult from California purchases a ranch on the outskirts of the Montana badlands---the eerily silent, dry, and windy dead zone---and the Toussaint townsfolk are none too pleased.

The cult members keep to themselves, but the suspicious circumstances under which they’ve arrived have Gabriel Du Pré questioning their motives and seeking answers. He soon learns from a friend in the FBI that seven of the cult’s recently defected members were killed---each shot to death---but no arrests have been made. Then another shooting occurs at the perimeter of the ranch, and Du Pré finds himself blindly searching for a killer, an explanation for the murders, and the identity of the cult’s elusive leader.

With Badlands, his tenth novel in this acclaimed series, Peter Bowen has written his most timely and chilling novel to date: a story of faceless terror told in lyrical prose and steeped in the Métis tradition of storytelling.

Long Son
Peter Bowen
List Price: $13.95 •
Your Price: $11.16

In Toussaint, Montana, old family secrets, forgotten for more than one hundred years, come to light after a young woman and her land-owning parents die under suspicious circumstances. When Larry Messmer, the brother and son of the victims, auctions off his parents' ranch, Gabriel Du Pre discovers a string of unexplained deaths buried deep in the family's past. Steeped in the rich traditions of Metis storytelling, Long Son is the sixth in this highly acclaimed series.

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The Tumbler
Peter Bowen
List Price: $22.95 •
Your Price: $16.07

Gabriel Du Pré, the old Métis fiddler at the center of Peter Bowen's atmospheric, engrossing series set in the dirty, dusty Montana that's rarely featured in travel brochures, has a knack for finding trouble. Or rather, trouble has a knack for finding him. There's a rumor going around that Du Pré and his old sorceror friend Benetsee have come across a parcel containing the lost journals of Lewis and Clark, and outsiders, drawn by the spirit of the legendary explorers, are beginning to invade Toussaint.

Du Pré won't say whether he's got the journals or not, preferring his usual routine of cigarettes, a whiskey ditch or two and a few fiddling gigs up and down Montana's highways to getting involved in this controversy. Benetsee isn't talking, either, but when a journalist goes a little too far in trying to get the story of the lost journals, and the two men's friends and family are put squarely in the face of danger, Du Pré doesn't have much choice but to wade in and set things right.

The Gabriel Du Pré mysteries have become required reading for fans of the vanishing West, and Peter Bowen's storytelling talent continues to thrive in The Tumbler, a dazzling entry in what has become a classic series.

Thunder Horse
Peter Bowen
List Price: $13.95 •
Your Price: $11.16

Toussaint, Montana isn't easily rattled, but an earthquake uncovers an ancient burial ground and the well-preserved bones of a primitive people. When an archeologist is found with a bullet in his back and a dinosaur tooth in his pocket, sometime sleuth Gabriel Du Pré steps in with the wisdom and vision of his Métis ancestors to uncover the answers. But while Indians, archeologists, and entrepreneurs battle for valuable land and the precious remains of a dinosaur, a predator more dangerous than the great T. Rex walks the Montana plains, hungry to strike again...

Wolf, No Wolf & Notches
Peter Bowen
List Price: $15.95 •
Your Price: $11.17

Peter Bowen’s unique Montana mysteries featuring cattle-brand inspector and occasional sleuth Gabriel Du Pré have always received the critics’ highest praise. Now these two highly acclaimed mysteries in the series, Wolf, No Wolf and Notches, are brought together in one volume.

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Coyote Wind & Specimen Song
Peter Bowen
List Price: $14.95 •
Your Price: $10.47

Featuring Montanan cattle-brand inspector and occasional sleuth Gabriel Du Pré, Peter Bowen's spare and lyrical mysteries have always received the critics' highest praise. Now, the first two mysteries in the series, Coyote Wind and Specimen Song, are brought together in one volume.

The Stick Game
Peter Bowen
List Price: $23.95

With their exceptional characterizations, evocative setting, and smartly plotted mysteries, Peter Bowen's Montana novels have always fascinated readers and critics alike. In The Stick Game, Bowen's lyrical, spare writing carries us once again to a part of the country few of us know much about.

The latest installment in this unique series finds amateur sleuth and cattle rancher Gabriel Du Pre uncovering the dirty secrets of an industrial gold mine and searching for a troubled teenage boy. At a trading fair in rural Montana, Du Pre and his longtime love Madelain run into Jeanne now worries about the disappearance of her sixteen-year-old son, Danny. Meanwhile, Du Pre befriends a musician from Fort Belknap Reservation who introduces him to disturbing parallels between the huge incidence of birth defects in the Indian population there and the activities of the persephone gold mine located near the reservation. With some reluctance, Du Pre agrees to look into both problems.

But then Danny's body is found in a well, and Du Pre discovers a link between the boy's life and what goes on at Fort Belknap. Working with a doctor who's long been concerned about Persephone's practices, Du Pre dangerously confronts the indifference and recklessness of the industrial mine.

Perfectly capturing the cadences of Metis life, Peter Bowen beautifully depicts the people and landscape of remote Montana.

The Big Sky
A. B. Guthrie
List Price: $14.00 •
Your Price: $11.20

Originally published more than fifty years ago, The Big Sky is the first of A. B. Guthrie, Jr.'s, epic adventure novels of America's vast frontier. The Big Sky introduces Boone Caudill, Jim Deakins, and Dick Summers, three of the most memorable characters in Western American literature. Traveling the Missouri River from St. Louis to the Rockies, these frontiersmen live as trappers, traders, guides, and explorers. The story centers on Caudill, a young Kentuckian driven by a raging hunger for life and a longing for the blue sky and brown earth of big, wild places. Caught up in the freedom and savagery of the wilderness, Caudill becomes an untamed mountain man, whom only the beautiful daughter of a Blackfoot chief dares to love. With The Big Sky, Guthrie gives us an unforgettable portrait of a spacious land and a unique way of life.

The Way West
A. B. Guthrie
List Price: $14.00 •
Your Price: $11.20

An enormously entertaining classic, The Way West brings to life the adventure of the western passage and the pioneer spirit. The sequel to The Big Sky, this celebrated novel charts a frontiersman's return to the untamed West in 1846. Dick Summers, as pilot of a wagon train, guides a group of settlers on the difficult journey from Missouri to Oregon. In sensitive but unsentimental prose, Guthrie illuminates the harsh trials and resounding triumphs of pioneer life. With The Way West, he pays homage to the grandeur of the western wilderness, its stark and beautiful scenery, and its extraordinary people.

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