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Killing Custer (A Wind River Mystery Book 17) by [Coel, Margaret]
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Killing Custer (A Wind River Mystery Book 17) Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 135 customer reviews

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Length: 321 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bestseller Coel's 17th Wind River mystery featuring Fr. John O'Malley and lawyer Vicky Holden (after 2012's Buffalo Bill's Dead) starts off with a bang—a gunshot—that kills General Custer impersonator Edward Garrett while he's riding his horse in a Lander, Wyo., parade. Since angry Arapahos from the Wind River Reservation surrounded Garrett at the time of the shooting, the police immediately regard two Indians as the top suspects. The disappearance of a local attorney, last seen arguing with Garrett, adds to the town's unrest. The case is further complicated when Garrett's widow claims nearly $500,000 is missing, and hires Vicky to find it. Meanwhile, Father John takes steps to protect his flock as another murder rocks the roiling community. In lesser hands, this tale of long-buried hatred, greed, and cowardice might falter, but Coel's mastery at blending the past and present, as well as the blurry lines between fact and fiction, make this a satisfying historical read. Agent: Rick Henshaw, Richard Henshaw Group. (Sept.)

From Booklist

Recalling age-old atrocities, Native Americans find their emotions inflamed by the appearance of George Armstrong Custer reenactor Edward Garrett, who leads the general’s 7th Cavalry Regiment in a parade to launch the rodeo season. As Arapaho men perform an intricate and confusing “dare ride” around the cavalry, Garrett is shot and killed, with Indians widely considered at blame. But, as Father John O’Malley learns, it isn’t just Indians who hated Custer. Then glad-handing attorney Skip Burrow disappears, leaving his office ransacked with traces of blood and his secretary and lover, Angela Running Bear, distraught. When Arapaho attorney Vicky Holden learns that Garrett and Burrow had recently met, she’s certain the cases are connected; with O’Malley, she starts following the money. This seventeenth Wind River mystery, particularly rich in historical detail, dramatizes various tensions in the community, including that between Native Americans who stay on the rez and those who leave it. And despite the fact that Adam Lone Eagle is Vicky’s live-in boyfriend, something more than friendship between her and Father John continues to simmer. A strong entry in this fine series. --Michele Leber

Product Details

  • File Size: 1151 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; Reissue edition (September 3, 2013)
  • Publication Date: September 3, 2013
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BC21SWE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,174 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Along with Buffalo Bill's Dead Now, this is one of the two best of the Father John books to date. Coel has always done a remarkable job of tying history into her plots; and the manner in which she incorporates Custer and the tragedy suffered by the Plains Indians into this opus lends a depth that brings contemporary events into historical context, while spinning a complex mystery with riveting twists and turns. Involving a group of Little Bighorn re-enactors, who sometimes forget they are acting, past and present become tangled in a web of love, deception, greed, and murder. Lines between the real and unreal become so blurred that it is unclear at times whether characters are themselves or the characters they portray. Custer and the 7th Cavalry do not receive a warm reception by the descendants whose ancestors fought them. Old enmities and modern prejudices clash, trapping innocent victims along with hardened criminals, taking the reader on a breathless journey from beginning to end. It was a page turner that I could not put down until I got to the end.
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Format: Hardcover
The book begins with the murder of General George Custer, but this is not a historical mystery. The murder victim is actually a reenactor, and the 7th Calvary is riding in a parade near the Wind River Reservation. A big part of the books charm is the similarity of the present day murder, with what actually happened to Custer. The book is populated with wonderfully drawn characters and a setting that's so real I feel like I've been there. I particularly enjoyed reading and learning about the Arapaho Indian Tribe that inhabit the reservation.

I learned after reading KILLING CUSTER that is was number 17 in the Wind River Mystery series, but it read like a stand alone mystery to this first time reader. I'm pleased to report that I've now got 16 new books on my to be read list.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Coel knows the Wind River Rez, the Arapaho ways and also, adds in the history of Buffalo Bill in this novel. The history is documented and Coel writes an interesting and credible story. The vivid descriptions and story crafting keeps the reader involved until the end. Killing Custer is an enjoyable book that gave this reader some historical insight and yet, placed me in the here and now.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Margaret Coel's KILLING CUSTER showcases how this writer is growing. Her earlier books were full of the delight of a new writer finding herself while taking her readers into a world they would normally have no entry to. The books after that were still good, still interesting, but tending to fall into a rut. The Arapaho adults, except for the Church's faithful- who tended to be elderly- were all drunks, or abused women living with a drunken husband or boy friend. The young men were angry, picking fights with each other and anyone else who was handy, trying to solve their problems with their fists or other violence. Vicki and Father O'Malley didn't look at one another, but they sighed... There were a few local cops, and a corrupt or just plain rotten white person or so around. But, that was about all. But that's not true in this book.

This book contains characters who are more believable, more three dimensional. The town of Lander itself has a bit more character, and provides more than an address for Vicki's office, or a menacing vehicle to follow her home. The whites' attitudes are still all stereotypical, but even those are showing more variation. As always, Ms. Coel's knowledge of history gives her story a solid foundation. It will be very interesting to see what comes in her next Wind River novel.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the second book to deal with characters that readers have grown to care about. In fact, it's about modern people playing historical characters and I had to keep reminding myself that it is fiction. First you have to unwind the tangled web of re-enactors and present day people and then remember that all of them are imaginary. It is especially relevant to today because of the greed embodied in one of the main characters. It could have been written by Bernie Madoff. I recommend it highly, especially to those who are familiar with Margaret Coel. If you are new to her work, start at the beginning. There is a whole library out there to read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While I enjoyed the book and always the characters and tensions, this was not among my favorites in the Wind River series. Maybe I am a bit jaded or the author is running out of steam with the series, but I found myself wishing the Good Father and the good lawyer would just hook up and change the whole focus of the ongoing relationship.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
When Custer and the Seventh Cavalry come to town in the form of a reenactment group, a group of young Arapahos decide to teach them a lesson by riding around the group like in the old time. A killer takes advantage of the situation and shoots the Custer impersonator. Father John O’Malley and Lawyer Vicky Holden are drawn into the investigation that follows. It turns out that the fake Custer (who thinks he’s a reincarnation of the original) has a few enemies of his own and they aren’t all American Indians.

Vicky finds herself representing the fake Custer’s deluded and greedy wife when she should be representing her own people. (I thought Vicky was a little off her game in this one.)

I found the story entertaining and a fast read.
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