Cruzatte and Maria

Cruzatte and Maria

by Peter Bowen
A deputy discovers Meriwether Lewis’s journal in this modern-day mystery by an author who “writes about the rural West better than anyone” (Rocky Mountain News).

When he’s asked to serve as a consultant for a documentary about the bicentennial of Lewis and Clark’s expedition up the Missouri River, Gabriel Du Pré’s impulse is to flee. Eastern Montana isn’t accustomed to getting much attention, and its residents prefer it that way. But the director of the film is dating Du Pré’s daughter Maria, so this hard-bitten fiddler’s hands are tied.

The Métis Indian lawman agrees to act as a guide and help the filmmakers navigate the river, which is as deadly now as it was in 1805. The Missouri has claimed nine lives in the past three years—a suspiciously high death toll the FBI wants Du Pré to investigate. While trolling the riverbanks, Du Pré stumbles upon a national treasure: Meriwether Lewis’s lost journals, which the American government will do anything to get back. Meanwhile, when members of the film crew start dying, Du Pré begins to wonder if the locals hate outsiders so much they might be willing to kill to keep them out.

“Bowen’s exuberant storytelling mines the rich cultural history of the West . . . [and features] delightfully extravagant characters” (Publishers Weekly).

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