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The Old Gray Wolf (Charlie Moon Mysteries) Hardcover – October 30, 2012


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Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Product Details

  • Series: Charlie Moon Mysteries (Book 17)
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; 1st Printing edition (October 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312613717
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312613716
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #542,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Fleeing purse snatcher LeRoy Hooten suffers an unlikely demise in Granite City, Colorado, after being hit first by a can of black-eyed peas thrown by Police Chief Scott Parris, then by an uppercut from Deputy Charlie Moon. When a less-than-accurate account of Hooten’s death goes viral, his mother—a wealthy, wheelchair-bound Illinois widow with Mob connections—hires an assassin to make the lawmen suffer as she has. Meanwhile, Louella Simpson, granddaughter of a legendary Texas Ranger, starts tracking the assassin in a quest to turn her bounty-hunter exploits into a true-crime book. Moon’s crotchety Aunt Daisy Perika, a Ute shaman, continues to bedevil her nephew with accounts from the spirit world “just for the fun of it” as the various players descend on Granite City, where mistaken identities complicate things, and some good people die. This seventeenth Charlie Moon mystery features Doss’ trademark folksy prose style, replete with asides to the reader that can be off-putting. But it’s easy to fall under his sway and thoroughly enjoy this entry in a series that skillfully blends crime and Native American spirituality with a light touch. --Michele Leber

Review

PRAISE FOR JAMES D. DOSS

and his Charlie Moon mysteries

COFFIN MAN

“Charlie Moon looks into several puzzles that confound…in Doss’s amusing 16thadventure featuring the Ute Indian part-time deputy and full-time rancher. Series fans will enjoy spending time with old friends.”—Publishers Weekly

A DEAD MAN’S TALE

“Top-flight work from Doss…a droll fandango.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Funny, even slapstick in places…memorable characters add zest.”—Booklist

THE WIDOW’S REVENGE

“Insanely good.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“It’s Moon who stands tallest  in The Widow’s Revenge…a nonstop read [in] this solid series.”

Booklist

“Successfully evokes the mysticism of traditional Native American storytelling.”—Publishers Weekly

--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

More About the Author

JAMES D. DOSS is the author of twelve Charlie Moon mysteries, two of which were named one of the best books of the year by Publishers Weekly. Originally from Kentucky, he divides his time between Los Alamos and Taos, New Mexico.

Customer Reviews

I was surprised by the plot at the end and enjoyed the story very much..
Ruth E
There was simply too much meandering throughout the narrative, much of it predictable and coy.
el compa jlo
My wife and I both love James D. Doss's books and the Charlie Moon series.
Courtney Miller

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By P.Leeke on November 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The dust jacket shows an abandoned campfire in the desert with misty, dusty mountains in the distance. This picture has nothing to do with the plot. It's a farewell message from James D. Doss who died shortly after he finished the book. We have been sitting around the fire with him for years now, enjoying his clever tales of Aunt Daisy, Sarah, Charlie and Scott. Now he has left to go to the canyon of the spirits. I savored every word of this book, not only because it's his last. His writing has gotten better year by year and his last is his best. You don't dare miss a word, because every word has a meaning in the plot. All the threads come together in the end. You won't be disappointed.The Old Gray Wolf (Charlie Moon Mysteries)
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth on November 20, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've read all of the Charlie Moon/Scott Parris/Daisy Perika novels from the early Shaman (did this or that) to the present one. This was the most different one of all of them--especially as I got to the end. Secondary characters that would normally have survived in one life or another die, including some favorites from previous books. It was upsetting. I got to the end and looked at Mr. Doss's bio again and learned he died shortly after completing this book which makes me think the book must have been indicative of an altered state of mind for him. The characters give up some things they cherish and lose people they love. I kinda wish Mr. Doss had just taken it easy and not written this one or else had given the series a more satisfactory end earlier in his life and socked it away for later, like Agatha Christie did. But I got a lot of pleasure and enjoyment esp. from the antics of Daisy and later on, Sarah Frank and her cat, and am grateful to the author for writing the series. RIP Mr. Doss.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A. Vaughn on November 17, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed Charlie and Scott wild west adventures throughout the years. Always a good read for any time in your daily hectic schedule.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By RJS on February 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For James Doss fans this is a rather emotional read because you start with the knowledge that Jim died last year shortly after completing this novel. You also realize that Charlie Moon and his friends, Scott Paris, Sarah Frank, and Aunt Daisy now live in that nether world where Joe Leaphorn, Jim Chee, Jesse Stone, Sherlock Holmes, and Dr. Watson reside, ghosts like Daisy Pereka's frequent visitors, available for consultation but never to resolve the little personality quirks that made each of them so real. However, you do end the book with some sense that at least one thread of the long story of Charlie Moon will be tied up, but I’ll leave that for the reader to discover.

The story itself is in keeping with the rest of the series; humorous, deadly, and with enough twists to keep you turning the page way beyond your normal bedtime. It’s also true that as your read you can't help but think that Doss had a premonition of his own death, or at least that is how I reacted when reading his comments on death and what follows it. These passages strike a chord that is at once melancholy and immediate.

For readers who aren’t familiar with Doss’s little world centered on the southwestern corner of Colorado, this is the seventeenth volume of a series that takes Charlie from the time he was a young deputy in the Southern Ute Police Department to his inheritance of one of Colorado’s great cattle ranches. At the same time you are introduced to a band of characters who like Charlie are fleshed out and made real as the series develops and Doss hones his writing skills. If you have read Tony Hillerman, another of my favorite authors, you won’t find the strong focus on culture and the tensions that exist between reservation life and the outside world.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Christian J. Ingebretsen on November 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well, let's see. To start with, an incredibly old woman has an ongoing love/hate relationship with a mythical dwarf who lives in a badger hole. A woman creates an unending energy source and then swallows it. A young lady gets scared to death by an old French woman wearing a half ping-pong ball over one eye. A mediocre con-artist (named Horace Flye) attempts to fake a mammoth kill site at an archeological dig, only to discover that it actually was a mammoth kill site. A truck driver and a nuclear scientist take a hot air balloon ride through the Rockies. A six foot tall Indian eats copious amounts of greasy food while never gaining a pound. Same Indian is haunted by the ghost of an ancient witch doctor, until his best buddy shoots the ghost (which he can't see) with his .38. A guy who feels the physical pain of his brother's death attempts to blow up the U.S. Senate. A hermit-woman fights a grizzly bear and wins. Cannibals attempt to bomb one of the largest ranches in Colorado. You get the idea...

They called his books mysteries, but really, what James Doss did, was tell tall tales - in my mind, it's an untapped genre. He was the author of a series that was impossible to take seriously. He strung bold-faced lies together with elegant phrases, brash assertions, fascinating landscapes, endearing characters, and laugh out loud humor.

When I learned of his death, I hoped that Doss had managed to complete the series - that Charlie Moon, Scott Paris, Aunt Daisy and the others weren't left in a state of eternal limbo. Despite several rough events toward the end, Doss closed the series nicely.

I've spent over a decade following the stories of Charlie Moon. I will miss him. Many thanks for the great stories Mr. Doss. Rest well!
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