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Montana Hardcover – October 25, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Permanent Press (October 25, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579623360
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579623364
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #444,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Returning from assignment in Afghanistan, foreign correspondent Lola Wicks is looking forward to a restful reentry at a friend’s Montana cabin. Instead, she’s greeted by her former colleague’s corpse. Lola learns that Mary Alice had been writing for the local paper, digging into the past of Native American gubernatorial candidate Johnny Running Wolf. Lola doesn’t trust that the local sheriff has the skills to find Mary Alice’s killer, so she extends her stay and uses her investigative expertise to reconstruct Mary Alice’s last days. She learns that there’s a lot more than meets the eye going on in Magpie, Montana. Beyond the unemployment and the anti-meth billboards, there’s big money to be made in the mountains—enough to kill for. The sparsely populated Big Sky setting will be one of the major sources of appeal for readers of this gripping debut mystery. --Karen Keefe

Review

''Outstanding . . . Quirky and cantankerous, Lola is grudgingly willing to learn from experience. Believable action complements razor-sharp observations of people and scenery.'' --Publishers Weekly, starred review

''Crammed with atmosphere and intriguing characters . . . Florio dips into her own background to make the protagonist competent and believable . . . The author does a great job of writing a book that's both evocative of the Montana countryside and a satisfying, hair-raising ride. A promising debut.'' --Kirkus Reviews

''In Gwen Florio's entertaining debut, war correspondent Lola Wicks finds the greatest threat to her safety is not dodging bullets in Afghanistan but discovering who killed her friend and fellow correspondent in Magpie, Montana. Florio knows her territory. She gives us wind on the high plains and the soft and velvety nose of a horse hungry for sugar. There's fire in the hills, trouble in the governor's race, and a county awash in drugs. Magpie's the old West with daunting new problems, and the scrappy Lola Wicks takes them on.'' --Leonard Rosen, author of All Cry Chaos

''Lola is a layered and complex character -- smart, resourceful, and driven, a woman coming to a deeper understanding of how war and ambition have both damaged her and made her stronge . . . With a deft hand and rich, evocative descriptions of the Montana landscape, Florio weaves an intricate mystery with subtlety and finesse.'' --Jaden Terrell, author of Racing the Devil

''Drawing on her experiences covering everything from the killing fields of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia to home-grown American evil, Gwen Florio concocts a riveting tale of murder, hard times in a hard place, and the value of human bonds.'' --Howard Owen, author of Oregon Hill

''In her first novel, Gwen Florio demonstrates she's a good storyteller, but it's the irreverent, often cantankerous, indomitable protagonist Lola Wicks who will keep the reader turning pages to reach the exciting conclusion.'' --Connie Dial, author of Dead Wrong

More About the Author

Veteran journalist Gwen Florio has covered stories ranging from the shootings at Columbine High School, the trials of Oklahoma City bombers Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, the glitz of the Miss America pageant and the more practical Miss Navajo contest, whose contestants slaughter a sheep. She's reported from Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia, as well as Lost Springs, Wyoming (population three). The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Denver Post and the Missoulian nominated her work for the Pulitzer Prize and her short fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She lives in Missoula, Montana.

Customer Reviews

It is a great mystery and beautifully written.
Sharon A. Villagomez
In both books the characters are well-developed and interesting, the scenes vividly described, and the plots are well crafted.
Henry J. Holcomb
I am eager to read her next book whenever that comes along.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By MTnative on January 9, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I liked the articles Gwen Florio wrote when she was a reporter for the Missoulian so I was curious about her book when I heard she had written one. I have spent some time along the Rocky Mountain Front so I have a town picked out for the book's setting and can easily picture the reservation and other locales featured in the book. I think the author did her homework as she captures the essence of eastern Montana and the local citizens quite well. This was a pretty decent mystery and the author has left the door open for more books utilizing the same characters. Is this the best mystery I have ever read? Probably not. But it is better than a lot of them and I expect the next one to be even better.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Henry J. Holcomb on May 5, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought "Montana" because the author, Gwen Florio, and I both worked at The Philadelphia Inquirer. She did good work back then and I was curious about her first novel. She hooked me! Soon as I finished it I bought her second novel, "Dakota," and now I’m hoping she’ll write a third soon. In both books the characters are well-developed and interesting, the scenes vividly described, and the plots are well crafted. The books are entertaining while teaching about contemporary issues and the culture of the characters and the region where they lived.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Edwin J. O'Farrell on April 5, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is basically a good book...a bit predictable, but the story is strong and there is a payoff, albeit a payoff that is a bit contrived.
The writer's style is a sort of James Lee Burke light. Lots of adverbs and asides that don't move the story and are only moderately successful in creating mood or place. It takes a bit of getting used to. But the writing does produce a readable book and is better than much of the dreck that passes for writing these days in the mystery genre. Borrow it if you can, but it is worth the price to purchase.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sharon A. Villagomez on April 13, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
MONTANA is a stunning read. I didn't want to put it down and I didn't want it to end.

It is a great mystery and beautifully written. The characters are realistic. The setting is so well described without an extra word. Reading MONTANA, I realized I didn't have my imaginary red pencil out and I wasn't aware of that when ran across the subjunctive used in a sentence. Poor grammar is distracting for me.

Can't wait to read DAKOTA.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Theresa Alan on April 3, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This novel contains beautiful description and a well-paced mystery that will keep you riveted. This is an exceptionally accomplished novel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Post on March 28, 2014
Format: Audio CD
I love finding a new author whose work I appreciate. MONTANA is excellent - great characters, captivating plot, perfect ending.
The narrator of the audio version, Caroline Shaffer, did an excellent job which means I became unaware of her reading and heard only the story - which I consider the mark of a great narrator. Thanks to Gwen Florio for a great book. I'm tapping my foot waiting for DAKOTA. I liked meeting the leading character, Lola Wicks, and am looking forward to reading what she'll do next.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Janet on October 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This was a well-written suspense filled read. Gwen Florio's background has helped her make her characters multi-faceted and multi-dimensional. Though flawed, they are all human and their actions, while not predictable are at least understandable. This was well-plotted with twists and turns galore, and the pacing was fast. The conclusion made sense. I think this might be an introduction to a series, and I liked the heroine enough to look for more....
*I received my copy from NetGalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By muddyboy1 on October 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This book begins with a young lady journalist who has been working in the Middle East deciding to get away from the jobs stresses by visiting a close female friend who is working for a newspaper in Montana. Instead of rest and relaxation she finds that her friend has been murdered and this causes her investigative juices to start to flow. The plot leads her into the world of drugs, state politics and money laundering. The book is well written and passes my primary test for a mystery in that I was surprised by the ending. Ms. Florio is a nice new author with a lot of potential.
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