Dead Man's Fancy
Dead Man's Fancy
A Sean Stranahan Mystery
Viking, Hardcover, 9780670014699, 316pp.
Publication Date: January 2, 2014
Wolves howl as a riderless horse returns at sunset to the Culpepper Dude Ranch in the Madison Valley. The missing woman, Nanika Martinelli, is better known as the Fly Fishing Venus, a red-haired river guide who lures clients the way dry flies draw trout.
As Sheriff Martha Ettinger follows hoof tracks in the snow, she finds one of the men who has fallen under the temptress's spell impaled on the antler tine of a giant bull elk, a kill that's been claimed by a wolf pack. An accident? If not, is the killer human or animal? With painter, fly fisherman, and sometimes private detective Sean Stranahan's help, Ettinger will follow clues that point to an animal rights group called the Clan of the Three-Clawed Wolf and to their svengali master, whose eyes blaze with pagan fire.
In their most dangerous adventure yet, Stranahan and Ettinger find themselves in the crossfire of wolf lovers, wolf haters, and a sister bent on revenge, and on the trail of an alpha male gone terribly wrong.
“McCafferty’s beautifully written third mystery….The complex, multilayered story smoothly switches from one character to another.”—Publishers Weekly (Starred)
“McCafferty knows his country and his characters, who have a comfortable, lived-in feel and yet shine as individuals….[his] understated prose deserves to be savored.”—Kirkus
“[Dead Man’s Fancy] delivers a carefully plotted western procedural….Good reading for fans of [C. J.] Box, Craig Johnson, Nevada Barr, and Paul Doiron, although McCafferty has his own distinctive voice.”—Booklist
“McCafferty’s third series entry lassos up a range of topics—wolf reintroduction, wilderness living and survival, animal rights—that are uncovered through his protagonists’ meticulous sleuthing.”—Library Journal
Praise for The Gray Ghost Murders
“This is a truly wonderful read. In an old and crowded field, Keith has created characters fresh, quirky and yet utterly believable, then stirred them into a mystery that unfolds with grace and humor against a setting of stunning beauty and danger. Stranahan, the fisherman sleuth, breaks free of the old cliche's and delights with his humanity, vulnerability and love of cats. Yes, cats. Keith has written a book that speaks to women and men regardless of color or background. The only downside of this book is that we must wait a year for the next one.”—Nevada Barr, New York Times bestselling author of the Anna Pigeon Mysteries
“Even amid the serene trout streams of Montana, Sean Stranahan can’t seem to stay out of trouble—and there’s a heap of it in this bracing second adventure for the fly fisher/painter/PI… Field & Stream editor McCafferty skillfully weaves Big Sky color, humor, and even romance (in the form of Sean’s stunning new girlfriend, Martinique, who’s bankrolling veterinary school by working as a bikini barista) into the suspenseful plot as it gallops toward a white-knuckle. . . climax. The book’s biggest lure, however, remains Sean and his rugged band of Montana individualists.”—Publishers Weekly
“Think big-city CSI teams have it tough? Their examinations of crime scenes are hardly ever interrupted by a grizzly bear like the one that sends Deputy Harold Little Feather to the hospital…Irresistible.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Firmly set in the Montana wilderness and populated by well-drawn characters.
This series will appeal to fans of Nevada Barr and C. J. Box as well as to fly-fishing devotees.”—Booklist
Praise for The Royal Wulff Murders by Keith McCafferty
“Sportsmen will find the one-of-a-kind novel captivating, intelligent, and at times uproarious.”—Field & Stream
"Keith McCafferty has pulled off a small miracle with The Royal Wulff Murders — a compelling Montana-based novel that will please both mystery readers and discerning fly-fishers. A terrific debut that rings with authenticity and style."—C. J. Box, New York Times bestselling author of Back of Beyond and Force of Nature
“An impressive debut… the people here are all solid creations, sometimes prickly but always engaging, characters readers will be more than happy to see again.”—The Houston Chronicle
“Keith McCafferty hits a bull's eye with Sean's story in his debut novel, The Royal Wulff Murders… like bacon and brownies--Stranahan's odd mix of painter, P.I. and fly fisher works. It helps that McCafferty, an editor at Field & Stream, really knows his trout, and life in Bozeman has obviously acquainted him with the ways of Montana. He writes with both a love of nature…common in the outdoorsman. Add the backwoodsy feminism of Sheriff Martha Ettinger, and the mystery is a good fit for enthusiasts of Nevada Barr who have read through all the Anna Pigeon novels. Packed with wilderness action and starring a band of stalwart individualists, The Royal Wulff Murders will have readers begging McCafferty for more.”—Tom Lavoie, ShelfAwareness.com for Readers
“[A] thoroughly entertaining debut…McCafferty blends plenty of fly-fishing lore with a host of intriguing characters…Only the sharp-eyed observation of the medical examiner suggests the body was a murder victim rather than an accidental drowning. The eventual identification of the victim helps link Stranahan’s task to that of the sheriff. The vivid Montana setting is a plus.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A fish story with a homicidal hook… An entertaining debut.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Blue Ribbon is what they call a trout stream of extremely high quality and that’s what I call Keith McCafferty’s The Royal Wulff Murders—the debut of a frighteningly knowledgeable and wonderfully entertaining series.”—Craig Johnson, New York Times bestselling author of The Cold Dish and Hell is Empty
"What a fine and thoroughly satisfying debut novel! There’s so much to enjoy here—a fresh sense of place, a cast of compelling characters, and a plot line with as many twists and turns as a Montana trout stream. Even if you know nothing about fly fishing, you’re going to love this book. Mark my words: From this day forward, you’ll be buying everything Keith McCafferty writes."—William Kent Krueger, author of Northwest Angle and Iron Lake
“The Royal Wulff Murders hit all my buttons: mystery, flyfishing, Montana, the Madison River, beautiful women, and whole pickup loads of authentic Montana characters, many of them wonderfully quirky. Keith McCafferty is one terrific writer.”—Patrick F. McManus, author of The Bear In the Attic and The Huckleberry Murders