In the desolate hills of the Fascelli family ranch, a skeleton has been discovered. The sheriff needs Du Pre's long experience in Montana to identify the bones. What Du Pre finds leads him on a search through the history of a troubled family, a search that brings him closer to a secret from his own past. Along the way, Du Pre meets a range of interesting folk, some to his liking, some decidedly not.
"Is a Pig's Prick, Pork"
A lost and frightened horse plods down the National Mall, startling the crowd. When Gabriel Du Pré spots the confused animal, the connection is immediate, for neither of these creatures belongs in the sweltering heat of a DC summer. Du Pré, a Métis Indian from the wilds of Montana, calms the horse and leads it to the nearest policeman. Du Pré is in Washington to play his people’s music for a Smithsonian festival, but after leading the horse to safety, he encounters a murder instead.
"The difference between reading & performing"
Du Pre remembers when you could send animal skins to Sears Roebuck and get merchandise in return. Now the wolves are gone from the mountains, and outsiders want them back. The trouble is, a tussle over wildlife is getting people killed.First, two activists die by a sniper's rifle. Then four more lives are snuffed out as a brutal winter storm barrels down on a carnival of Feds, reporters, and protestors. Du Pre knows one of his own people must be behind the bloodletting, and that in this rugged land, you don't quit hunting until you're dead.
Montana native Gabriel Du Pre has been hired as a consultant by a group of filmmakers shooting a documentary on the Lewis and Clark expedition. Du Pre is a descendent of a Metis fiddler and voyageur named Cruzatte who accompanied Lewis and Clark on their journey. And Du Pre's daughter, Maria, has been cast in the role of Sacajawea. But trouble is afoot. First a fire damages the film props, and then two bodies are fished out of the river. Someone doesn't want them there.
Something is rotten in the Fort Belknap Reservation. Life has always been tough on this barren stretch just south of the Canadian border, but now the children are dying. While playing his fiddle in a reservation bar, part-time deputy Gabriel Du Pré meets an accordionist who suspects that the children’s health defects and low test scores are connected to the nearby Persephone mine.
"This story is even more relevant now"
Lieutenant John Patchen has come to Montana to persuade Chappie Plaquemines, his former gunnery sergeant in Iraq and the son of Gabriel Du Pré's girlfriend, to accept the Navy Cross. First, however, Du Pré and Patchen must find the wounded marine, who was last seen drinking heavily in the Toussaint Saloon. They locate him soon enough, disheveled and stinking of stale booze, but a sobering visit to a medicine man's sweat lodge reveals a much greater mystery.
"Outstanding. Sad it may be the last in the series."
For four generations, the Messmers have raised cattle in the rough country of eastern Montana. When the current owners die in a motor home accident, they leave the ranch to their son - an ominous development for everyone in the area, both human and bovine. Larry Messmer left Toussaint in the 1980s, when he got in trouble for bludgeoning a horse to death, and Gabriel Du Pré hoped he would never come back. Larry announces his return by having his ranch hands kill every weak cow on the property.
Gabriel Du Pré’s aunt Pauline has burned through more than her share of husbands, so it’s no surprise when she shows up in Toussaint complaining that the latest one, Badger, has run off. Du Pré, the fiddler and sometimes deputy, agrees to go looking for her man and finds him shot, execution-style, in the wilds of the Montana countryside. A chat with his contacts at the FBI reveals that Badger, a small-time drug smuggler, had been working for them since his last arrest. Pauline’s husband was bait, but the big fish got away.
"First class series, characters and setting"
Gabriel Du Pré, the old Montana 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.
"hated this reading"
When Gabriel Du Pré's precocious granddaughter, Pallas, returns from her studies in Washington, D.C., the entire clan in Toussaint, Montana, is happy to see her. Except Du Pré, that is, because the crotchety old fiddlin' cowboy knows that where Pallas goes, trouble is likely to follow. A van full of praying, protesting fundamentalist Christians has arrived in Toussaint at just about the same time. A young soldier follows, just back from Iraq, missing a leg, an eye, and his grip on reality. Du Pré suspects that he's going to have his hands full for the foreseeable future.
The gruesome corpse of a young woman is found beside a long Montana highway called the Hi-Line. Her jaw and teeth are missing, and she is impossible to identify. Full of anger and without a clue, Du Pre begins to hunt the countryside for her murderer. As more dismembered corpses - all young women - are discovered, the small ranching community goes into shock.
Crystal meth, brushfires, and a murderer on the loose threaten Du Pré’s tranquil Montana town. Drought has come to Toussaint, Montana, and appendicitis has stricken the Mtis Indian tracker and investigator Gabriel Du Pré. His appendix is bad enough, but what really hurts is being trapped in the hospital when he learns that Maddy Collins has been killed. As far as Du Pré knows, no one in town had cause to dislike the harmless old coot, much less bash her head in with a cast-iron hatchet. When the doctors release him, he goes looking for answers.
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 Pre steps in with the wisdom and vision of his Metis ancestors to uncover the answers.
"Excellent on every front."
The cult members keep to themselves, but the suspicious circumstances under which they arrived have Gabriel Du Pre 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 Pre finds himself blindly searching for a killer, an explanation for the murders, and the identity of the cult's elusive leader.
"One of my longtime favorites"