The dialog in these stories is as good as it gets. There is humor that has you laughing out loud, there is touching fondness that pulls at your heart..Show More » and there is mystery. This is the first book in the series and we are introduced to the genesis of some of the important people in the following stories, it is here someone should start with the author and the series. I live in the west in a small town and the people and the hardships faced are real and beautifully described. I have read some of the reviews that are a little upset with the dings in the story directed against the urban influence in the rural west, in particular California. If you are an urban Californian and to thin skinned to be the butt of some jokes then you should go back to, well, whatever urban Californians do. If you are interested in great literature written in beautiful and unique style this will be a series of books you will love no matter where you are from.
The Gabriel Du Pre' mystery series by Peter Bowen are my favorite books. They are written with a lot of dialect, and have a lot of mystique in them. ..Show More » Now we finally have some more of them in audio, but we no longer have the gifted Christopher Lane reading them. Lane voiced Gabriel Du Pre' with Coyote French gutturals and western twang, creating a truly life-like character in all dimensions.
Mr. Meskimen reads the book adequately, but he does not have the acting ability or the vocal range to bring the characters alive.
Du Pre' is a Montana brand inspector that drives too fast, drinks too much, dances when he can, and fiddles to the happy crowds in Toussaint's lone bar, as well as at other gatherings. He lives in sin with the lovely Madeline, and they both have kids and grandkids. In the case of Du Pre', it's a passle of grandkids, as one of his two daughters decided to make up for her mother's early death by giving her papa a big family to love. The other daughter is a genius, off doing big things.
I tell you these things because you might not learn all of them in this book, and it is important that you know that Du Pre' takes no crap from anybody. Him, he's got good friends, and sometimes he figures things out, just because something doesn't look right. Meanwhile he is proud grandpapa and premier folk fiddler.
Him, he agrees to go to that Washington, D. C., and play his fiddle at a Smithsonian folk music festival, The crowds bother him some, but he enjoys the other musicians, and then the runaway horse comes, and he goes to get it. Takes the horse back, him, and finds a dead person.
I cannot reproduce Peter Bowen's well-written dialect, but I have talked to people, talk like this, and I know this kind of people. Good people. Good author.
You need to start with the first book in the series so that you know more about Du Pre' and the people who live in Montana ranch country. There are several other books in audio form as well, but you'll be hooked by the skills of Christopher Lane in "Coyote Wind," book one of the series. Then listen to this one. Big difference, this. Listen to the others that are already available, and wait anxiously for the rest of them, because even an average reader is better than no reader at all. (and yes, I did buy the kindle version of all of the books that did not come out in audio form until just this year).
Open your mind and dress warm, Montana pretty cold place most the time, but worth the trip. Take your dancin' boots and don't bump into them other people enjoying themselves.
I started finding the story difficult to follow because of time. I couldn't tell if days or months had past from segment or chapter. Dates are not men..Show More »tioned as a frame of reference. But the story unfolds and time didn't matter so much
This is a great story, it is written extreamly well, it is narrated in an outstanding manner and the dialog is so entertaining that there are no momen..Show More »ts where you want the action to move any faster than the pace it was written at. I loved the eccentric characters, the back story on archeology. I would highly recommend this book, it is one of the best finds I have run across in a long time.
Jim Meskimen is steadily improving his narration skills as he works through the series. He is still not as versatile in character voicing as Christop..Show More »her Lane, but he's trying. The pronounciation issues that were noticeable in "Specimen Song" are much better now, and Toussaint is now Too-sont, as it should be. He does have trouble with Belknap, which is more like Bell-nap, not Belk-nap. Benetsee has developed a good voice now.
I think of the Gabriel Du Pre' series as one long book. I listen to them over and over, not out of an interest in solving the mystery, but just as a visit in Montana with some people I like ver' much, and wish there were more books.
"The Stick Game" refers to an Indian gambling game, and one of Madeleine's cousins is very good at it. She's battling alcoholism, and her kids have their own problems. One is a deaf mute, but runs the household while her mother is off on her alcoholic tears. There are two brothers, one who is mostly okay, but one is having trouble...and he's missing.
Du Pre' searches for the lost boy as a courtesy, but he pretty much knows what he'll find out there in the sweetgrass country. A chat with the lad's friends takes him to a favorite hideout of the kids, and a rank odor leads him the rest of the way, where a rotting corpse dangles from a rope in an old well. The despairing boy had left a suicide note.
The spring in the hiding place is poison, no wildlife in it, plants all dead, and these kids have ben drinking from it. The survivors tell Du Pre' that Danny was slow but not too bad until a few years ago, when he suddenly couldn't concentrate. It was getting worse and worse, until Danny couldn't take it any more.
What's in that water? It's almost certainly a polluted source from a big gold mine in the area, but supposedly everything that mine does is clean and legal. Paperwork's right.
While Du Pre' asks questions, he and his friends make music at the bars. Them Turtle Mountain boys, Bassman and Talley, play them some good music, goes nice with his fiddle. Talley has suffered since he was born with spina bifida or something similar, leaving him with an open wound in his lower spine. When Bart learns of the man's condition, he promptly sends Talley to the Mayo Clinic for help. Got to help a good musician any way you can.
You need to read/listen to these books in order, as they grow on the previous events. You can read them as stand-alones, but you're going to miss about thirty percent of what's going on because you don't know the backstory.
I love these books, and am sorry that this is the last one in audio format. Mr. Lane does a great job reading this Gabriel Du Pre mystery. Alas, the..Show More »re is a sequel to Cruzatte and Maria
But it hasn't been recorded, (is anyone listening, (no pun intended)). I expect I'll to read it.
Well read and well written, this is a book I have listened to multiple times. As a fan of this series I am familiar with the speech patterns of DuPre..Show More », the main character, and now, thanks to Christopher Lane, I have a voice to match.
I don't care much about the mystery aspect; I just like spending time with the characters in this book - a brand inspector who drives an old retired patrol car at high speed, plays fiddle with a small band, and investigates incidents as he finds them, his fascinating wife, and the horde of grandkids, most of whom are overshadowed by a precocious grade-schooler, Pallas, that has already selected a hapless FBI man as her future husband. These books really are better when you read the entire series in order so that you come to know the characters. Diving into the late part of the series doesn't work as well; you have no understanding about the development of the people and their lives.
DuPre is a Metis, descended from French voyageurs. He has a strong accent and unusual speech patterns which I have no trouble understanding, though I tend to start thinking in Metis French after listening to this book.
Medicine man/shaman Benetsee comes and goes as he pleases, using magic as needed, and using DuPre as a tool and foil. He knows a lot of what goes on and steers DuPre in the right direction as needed.
The basic story is about a cult purchasing a Montana cattle ranch and turning it to their uses. They bring in bison and many mobile homes to house their members. Time reveals that things are not as they seem.
The best part is a bison stampede near the end that occurs when a television helicopter spooks the herd while DuPre is checking on their wellbeing. They get it all on camera while he rides for his life.
I wish more of the books from this series were on audio, and I also wish that the author would get cracking and update the series. I'm anxious to see Pallas marry her FBI man.