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Thursday 5 November 2015

‘Night of the White Buffalo’ by Margaret Coel

Published by Berkley Prime Crime,
September 2015.
ISBN: 978-0-425-26466-9 (PB)

The creator moves in mysterious ways in this Vicki Holden/Father John O’Malley novel, which begins with an unknown person confessing to a murder in the Confessional booth and soon thereafter Vicki finding a rancher shot in the head in his truck on the side of a road.  Further mysteries crop up in the form of missing ranch hands from the murdered man’s buffalo breeding ranch.  A more astonishing event at the ranch is the birth of a rare white buffalo, considered a sacred creature by the Arapaho and other Native Americans as a message from the creator.

Intertwined with all this activity, of course, is Vicki’s law practice in which she is currently defending a client involved in an assault case who she suspects may be in some way responsible for rifle shots on several pickups intended to scare non-native cowboys away so jobs would become available for Arapahos. 

The Wind River series is replete with sensitivity toward the Arapaho people and their way of life.  This is especially obvious with the legend of the white buffalo.  Vicki is a sympathetic character made more poignant with her somewhat ambiguous relationship with her lover, a high-powered lawyer more accustomed to dealing with oil and gas corporations on behalf of Native American tribes than Vicki’s low-end clients needing wills, defense for minor crimes and the like.  The novels in the series are always interesting and easy to read, and are recommended.
Reviewer: Theodore Feit

Margaret Coel is the New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of the acclaimed novels featuring Father John O’Malley and Vicky Holden, as well as the Catherine McLeod Mysteries and several works of nonfiction. Originally a historian by trade, she is considered an expert on the Arapaho Indians. A native of Colorado, she resides in Boulder.

Ted and Gloria Feit live in Long Beach, NY, a few miles outside New York City.  For 26 years, Gloria was the manager of a medium-sized litigation firm in lower Manhattan. Her husband, Ted, is an attorney and former stock analyst, publicist and writer/editor for, over the years, several daily, weekly and monthly publications.  Having always been avid mystery readers, and since they're now retired, they're able to indulge that passion.  Their reviews appear online as well as in three print publications in the UK and US.  On a more personal note: both having been widowed, Gloria and Ted have five children and nine grandchildren between them.

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