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The Gabriel Du Pre' mystery series by Peter Bowen are my favorite books. They are written with a lot of dialect, and have a lot of mystique in them. Now we finally have some more of them in audio, but we no longer have the gifted Christopher Lane reading them. Lane voiced Gabriel Du Pre' with Coyote French gutturals and western twang, creating a truly life-like character in all dimensions.
Mr. Meskimen reads the book adequately, but he does not have the acting ability or the vocal range to bring the characters alive.
Du Pre' is a Montana brand inspector that drives too fast, drinks too much, dances when he can, and fiddles to the happy crowds in Toussaint's lone bar, as well as at other gatherings. He lives in sin with the lovely Madeline, and they both have kids and grandkids. In the case of Du Pre', it's a passle of grandkids, as one of his two daughters decided to make up for her mother's early death by giving her papa a big family to love. The other daughter is a genius, off doing big things.
I tell you these things because you might not learn all of them in this book, and it is important that you know that Du Pre' takes no crap from anybody. Him, he's got good friends, and sometimes he figures things out, just because something doesn't look right. Meanwhile he is proud grandpapa and premier folk fiddler.
Him, he agrees to go to that Washington, D. C., and play his fiddle at a Smithsonian folk music festival, The crowds bother him some, but he enjoys the other musicians, and then the runaway horse comes, and he goes to get it. Takes the horse back, him, and finds a dead person.
I cannot reproduce Peter Bowen's well-written dialect, but I have talked to people, talk like this, and I know this kind of people. Good people. Good author.
You need to start with the first book in the series so that you know more about Du Pre' and the people who live in Montana ranch country. There are several other books in audio form as well, but you'll be hooked by the skills of Christopher Lane in "Coyote Wind," book one of the series. Then listen to this one. Big difference, this. Listen to the others that are already available, and wait anxiously for the rest of them, because even an average reader is better than no reader at all. (and yes, I did buy the kindle version of all of the books that did not come out in audio form until just this year).
Open your mind and dress warm, Montana pretty cold place most the time, but worth the trip. Take your dancin' boots and don't bump into them other people enjoying themselves.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
This is another great Gabriel Du Pré mystery. It is a continuation of the first volume, with the same characters: Benettsee the seer/shaman, Booger Tom, Madeleine the girlfriend, and his daughters who adore him.
This book starts out in Washington, DC, where Gabriel Du Pré has come to perform his fiddling music which emerges from his Indian/French heritage. He is anxious to return to Montana where he feels at home on the land, in his comfortable routines, but he has not even left yet when the first murder occurs. The rest of the story weaves in interesting Indian lore, showing the marvelously simple connections to what he feels makes his life worth living.
BUT WARNING to reader: read previous book first, unless you don't mind that the author has included one line of explanation about Du Pré's past that is a complete spoiler for the first mystery. I know that authors often do this, by way of letting a new reader know what has occurred in the past. But if you happen to read one out of order, it can be very discouraging to realize that you probably won't feel like reading the one you missed.
Both books are good, extremely interesting with the lore of the west, the French/Indian heritage and the wonderful characters that people these stories. the narration is very good in both.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful