cover image Killing Custer

Killing Custer

Margaret Coel. Berkley, $26.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-425-26463-8

Bestseller Coel’s 17th Wind River mystery featuring Fr. John O’Malley and lawyer Vicky Holden (after 2012’s Buffalo Bill’s Dead) starts off with a bang—a gunshot—that kills General Custer impersonator Edward Garrett while he’s riding his horse in a Lander, Wyo., parade. Since angry Arapahos from the Wind River Reservation surrounded Garrett at the time of the shooting, the police immediately regard two Indians as the top suspects. The disappearance of a local attorney, last seen arguing with Garrett, adds to the town’s unrest. The case is further complicated when Garrett’s widow claims nearly $500,000 is missing, and hires Vicky to find it. Meanwhile, Father John takes steps to protect his flock as another murder rocks the roiling community. In lesser hands, this tale of long-buried hatred, greed, and cowardice might falter, but Coel’s mastery at blending the past and present, as well as the blurry lines between fact and fiction, make this a satisfying historical read. Agent: Rick Henshaw, Richard Henshaw Group. (Sept.)