St. Martin's, April 2004, 22.95, 224 pp.
Retired Brand inspector Gabriel Dupre hoped to live out the rest of his life in peace and tranquility but his ability to sniff out wrongdoers always seem to land him in the middle of a homicide investigation. This time Dupre is being sued by the U.S. government who wants him to turn over the lost journals of Louis and Clark that he dug out of the ground. When he goes to court Benetsee, an Indian mystic, persuades the judge to issue a six month continuance because the documents are needed in another case.
Dupre receives phone calls asking him to sell the documents for a handsome sum of money. Letters with thousands of dollars are left in his car and Benetsee's cabin as an incentive to get them to talk to the agents of the buyer. Reporters flock to the town of Toussaint sensing a juicy story but things start turning violent when someone beats up DuPre's friend Bassman. One of the reporters who got too close to the source of the trouble is killed and one of the private security agents guarding Julie, who was almost kidnapped, simply disappears. DuPre is determined to find out who the perpetrator is or die trying.
Montana breeds rugged individualists and nobody is more ornery and determined than the protagonist of THE TUMBLER. He has a lust for living life to the fullest that many people twenty years younger than him would envy and he needs no Viagra to enjoy his loving with Madeline who returns his attentions in full measure. The who-done-it is fascinating and author Peter Bowen deserves an award for creating a vivid sense of place that readers can easily imagine.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner