1. Bitter Creek

    Book 14 in The Montana Mysteries Featuring Gabriel Du Pré

    Peter Bowen

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    In the latest installment of Peter Bowen’s acclaimed mystery series, Gabriel Du Pré investigates a century-old crime

    Lieutenant John Patchen has come to Montana to persuade Chappie Plaquemines, his former gunnery sergeant in Iraq and the son of Gabriel Du Pré’s girlfriend, to accept the Navy Cross. First, however, Du Pré and Patchen must find the wounded marine, who was last seen drinking heavily in the Toussaint Saloon. They locate him soon enough, disheveled and stinking of stale booze, but a sobering visit to a medicine man’s sweat lodge reveals a much greater mystery: the unsolved case of a band of Métis who were last seen fleeing from General Black Jack Pershing’s troops in 1910 before disappearing.

    Strange voices within the sweat lodge speak of a place called Bitter Creek, where the Métis encountered their fate. To find it, Du Pré tracks down the only living survivor of the massacre, a feisty old woman whose memories may not be as trustworthy as they seem. But when Amalie leads Du Pré to Pardoe, an out-of-the-way crossroads north of Helena, he senses that they are about to uncover long-buried secrets. Discouraged by the US military, their lives threatened by locals whose ancestors may have played a role in the murders, Chappie, Patchen, and Du Pré bravely pursue the truth so that the victims of a terrible injustice might finally rest in peace.
  2. Pub Date
    Open Road Integrated Media

Editorial Reviews

  • “[Bitter Creek] is the fourteenth Du Pré novel and the first in eight years, and it marks the return of a wonderfully eclectic and enjoyable series, of interest to western crime readers, especially those favoring Montana authors C. J. Box, Craig Johnson, and Keith McCafferty as well as fans of the Hillermans and other Southwest-set mysteries.” —Booklist

  • “Peter Bowen’s Bitter Creek is likely the top of the Du Pré series, of which I’ve read all fourteen. It is a lively and absolutely fascinating look into Western history.” —Jim Harrison, author of Legends of the Fall

  • “Peter Bowen writes mysteries that are truly mysterious—informed by Western legend, steeped in Indian superstition. . . . Riding with Du Pré is some kind of enchantment.” —The New York Times Book Review

  • “Du Pré joins a select group including Sherlock Holmes, Nero Wolfe, and Dave Robicheaux, characters that readers feel they’ve known all their lives. . . . Thought-provoking and always entertaining, this latest chapter in Bowen’s ongoing Du Pré saga shows the author at the top of his form.” —William Hjortsberg, author of Falling Angel and Mañana

  • “Bowen plays his language the way Du Pré plays violin: plaintive, humorous, wild, the sounds of the sentences as meaningful as the story.” —The Washington Post Book World

  • Bitter Creek is Peter Bowen’s unforgettable series hero Gabriel Du Pré at his fiddling, ditch-swilling, cruiser-tromping best.” —David McCumber, author of The Cowboy Way and Playing Off the Rail

  • “Peter Bowen is an American original. His mysteries are quirky and satisfying, while his diamond-cut prose slices clean to the bone.” —Maryanne Vollers, author of Ghosts of Mississippi and Lone Wolf

  • “In Bitter Creek, Peter Bowen’s new Gabriel Du Pré mystery, a long-hidden treachery is unearthed and, by the skin of some teeth, put to rest. Hooray for Bowen’s irascible and humane detective! Hooray for storytelling that is astringent, syncopated, comic, and utterly its own.” —Deirdre McNamer, author of Red Rover

  • “In Gabriel Du Pré, Peter Bowen has given the Métis a worthy hero in contemporary literature. Now, with Bitter Creek, we have a borderlands lagniappe of fourteen tales that collectively make their stand along the Montana Medicine Line (and in American letters) like a bison herd turned into a storm—fixed on the landscape of our imagination.” —Nicholas Vrooman, PhD, Métis historian and author of “The Whole Country was . . . ‘One Robe’ ”: The Little Shell Tribe’s America

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About the author

Peter Bowen

Peter Bowen (b. 1945) is best known for mystery novels set in the modern American West. He published his first novel, Yellowstone Kelly, in 1987. After two more novels featuring this real-life Western hero, Bowen published Coyote Wind (1994), which introduced Gabriel Du Pré, a mixed-race lawman living in fictional Toussaint, Montana. To date, he has written thirteen Du Pré mysteries. Bowen lives and writes in Livingston, Montana.