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Death Along the Spirit Road (Manny Tanno) Paperback – March 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: Manny Tanno (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 310 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (March 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425240029
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425240021
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #264,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Wendelboe's debut, the absorbing first in a new Native American series, introduces FBI special agent Manny Tanno, a former Oglala Sioux tribal cop. When someone buries a war club in the head of Jason Red Cloud, an ambitious developer who put together a coalition of interests to build a resort overlooking the Wounded Knee site on South Dakota's Pine Ridge Reservation, Tanno reluctantly leaves his FBI academy teaching job to investigate. Tanno must face the enmity of acting chief Leon "Lumpy" Looks Twice as well as the tribe's distrust of FBI agents rooted in the American Indian Movement fiascos of the 1970s. To complicate matters further, Tanno's brother, Reuben, is a prime suspect. The residual animosities that divided the tribe during AIM's heyday, the awful heritage of the Wounded Knee Massacre, and the plight of the residents of the "poorest county in the nation" form a somber backdrop. (Mar.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

C.M. Wendelboe is a police detective in Wyoming. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Exciting and fast paced.
2happydragons
I also felt Wendleboe's characters and situations were well crafted and very realistic, with a touch of humor too.
Black Belt Granny
It reminds me of Michael McGarrity or Craig Johnson but I like the style and language more.
Melanie Shurtz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Rob, 30 years in service on March 19, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Curt Wendelboe perfectly captures the Pin Ridge Reservation I remember from two visits--1959 and 1991. Nothing appeared to have changed between those visits, but I remember the AIM occupation and the ambush of the two FBI agents. Wendelboe paints such a vivid picture of the rez that even those who haven't been there will be transported to what seems like an alien world. But the cast is anything but alien. We can identify with dogged agent Manny Tanno, his young eager protege, Willie With Horn, and a slew of modern Lakota, from lawmen and jailbirds to sirens and sophisticated, educated women.

The plot is appropriately complex and we're never sure which crimes are linked to which and I was constantly ruling out suspects and revising my ideas. The ending was particularly appropriate to a first novel in a series. But the author doesn't write like a first-timer. In the best tradition of Tony Hillerman and Margaret Coel, Wendelboe has selected a reservation with ancient tradtions and modern aspirations and made us all feel at home there. I look forward to the next adventure.

Murder for Greenhorns
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on March 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
A killer buries a war club into the head of developer Jason Red Cloud, who had the financial backing to build a resort on the Pine Ridge Reservation near the site of Wounded Knee, South Dakota. FBI Academy instructor Manny Tanno is assigned to investigate though he prefers not to do field work anymore.

A former Oglala Sioux tribal cop, the special agent finds he is unwelcome by the older tribe who never forgot the FBI infiltration in the 1970s American Indian Movement; even some of the younger ones who learned of AIM refuse to cooperate with Tanno. He also has problems with the acting chief Leon "Lumpy" Looks Twice who prefers the "outsider" go back to teaching and from the dead victim whose spirit apparently haunts Tanno's dreams demanding justice. However, the biggest problem confronting Tanno is a conflict of interest when his brother Reuben becomes a viable suspect.

This Native American police procedural is a strong whodunit because of the powerful backdrop in which Tanno investigates. Readers will observe the poverty on Pine Ridge and the division still haunting the present from the AIM era though over three decades have passed. With the Wounded Knee National Historic Landmark serving as an anchor between the late nineteenth century past and the present, readers will appreciate Tanno's efforts to solve the homicide with no local cooperation; in fact many prefer he joins Red Cloud in the spirit world.

Harriet Klausner
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Brittany on March 30, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thought this was a great book. The action started quickly and kept going until the end of the book. The book was a fast read with such an active plot that kept the reader guessing. The character Manny Tanno was comical and easy to relate to, like he was someone you knew. Great book, can't wait to read the next one!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. McFarland on September 2, 2013
Format: Paperback
I'm a big fan of Tony Hillerman and James D. Doss and I enjoy stories about Native American detectives operating in the Southwest. I was excited to try this book out, but was very disappointed. You have a middle-aged, balding, out of shape FBI agent who is suddenly surrounded by several gorgeous women all seeming extremely interested in him. The agent has a conflict of interest in the case, and goes about sharing information about the investigation with family members who may be involved and material witnesses. The hero is seriously assaulted 3 times in as many days, wakes up in the hospital, and goes right back at it. This apparently does not concern his boss or the gorgeous women who still cling to him, or cause him to rest a bit. Continuing to share confidential info with the gorgeous women who are material witnesses seems unprofessional, not to mention unlikely. I got 3/4 way through the book and couldn't finish it, it was so bad. I won't be buying any more books by this author.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By D. H. Williams on May 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
I like that Wendelboe's Manny Tanno is a man of many parts. He has been a soldier, a cop in Chicago and an instructor at the FBI academy. Two years from retirement and comfortable in his Washington, D.C. environment with condo and gourmet restaurants, he is getting ready for his next round of classes when he gets sent to the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota to solve a murder.
For Manny, history has a way of folding back on itself. His returning to the reservation where he grew up forces him to confront his own history in the form of a former romantic rival (now the local Sheriff), a brother once convicted of murder, (now studying spiritual ways), and more than one woman who sees him as a potential threat or opportunity. Another layer of history include memories of the American Indian Movement at its best and worst and even further back, haunting and bloody - the massacre at Wounded Knee. Manny's investigation pulls on all these threads as he searches for murderer and motive.
He partners up with a young tribal policeman and has to use all his experience - spiritual, technical and forensic to unravel the mystery while not getting led astray by his own personal and spiritual feelings about his old home, friends and enemies. Many of them have their own reasons for not wanting him to succeed, including his boss who might be happy if Manny never returned to Quantico.
There are a lot of characters that contribute to the plot but they are well drawn so as to be distinctive. I particularly liked the variety in his women characters. They all have contradictions, which makes them intriguing, and raises this first effort above the crowd.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

C. M. Wendelboe entered the law enforcement profession when he was discharged from the Marines as the Vietnam war was winding down.
In the 1970s he worked in South Dakota towns bordering three Indian reservations. He spent the initial one-third of his career working the streets as well as assisting federal and tribal law enforcement agencies embroiled in conflicts with American Indian Movement activists in other towns and on other reservations, including Pine Ridge.
He moved to Gillette, Wyoming, and found his niche, where he remained a sheriff's deputy for over twenty-five years. In addition, he was a longtime firearms instructor with his agency, as well as an instructor at the local college and within the community.
He had served successful stints as police chief, tactical team member, and other supervisory roles for several agencies during his thirty-eight year career in law enforcement--yet he always has felt most proud of "working the street." He was a patrol supervisor when he retired to pursue his vocation as a writer.
Wendelboe now revisits the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations for research and recreation. He lives within a morning's drive of Devils Tower, Bear Butte, the Black Hills, and the Badlands--"tourist sites" that are sacred places to the Lakota people. The distance of geography and expanse of time has accorded him an appreciation of their culture and spirituality. His developing awareness of their diverse perspectives on historical and contemporary issues is reflected in the themes of his Spirit Road Mysteries.

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