Murders at Moon Dance

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Overview


At a difficult and sad time in his family life, A. B. Guthrie, Jr., turned for surcease to reading western and whodunit novels. In his autobiography, The Blue Hen's Chick (also a Bison Book), he touches on that moment when he realized he could write as well as or better than the published plot-spinners. "What about a mystery and cow-country myth in combination?" he mused, "So far as I could recall, the two had never been blended. All right. I'd blend them."

The result was ...

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Overview


At a difficult and sad time in his family life, A. B. Guthrie, Jr., turned for surcease to reading western and whodunit novels. In his autobiography, The Blue Hen's Chick (also a Bison Book), he touches on that moment when he realized he could write as well as or better than the published plot-spinners. "What about a mystery and cow-country myth in combination?" he mused, "So far as I could recall, the two had never been blended. All right. I'd blend them."

The result was his first novel, Murders at Moon Dance, appearing in 1943. It was an audacious debut with bold characterizations and a sharply etched, atmospheric setting The dusty town of Moon Dance, smacked down between barren mountains and a badland named the Freezeout, would also be a back-drop for The Big It and Other Stories (1960). In Guthrie's hand, raw vitality replaces the woodenness of much writing in the genre, and unexpected grace notes in the verbal rhythms suggest the author of The Big Sky (1947) and the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Way West (1949).

At a difficult and sad time in his family life, future Pulitzer Prize-winner Guthrie turned to reading western and whodunit novels. It was then that he realized that he could write as well as current plot-spinners. He decided to combine the two genres, and the result was his first novel, Murders at Moon Dance, which appeared in 1943.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Guthrie pioneered the cross-genre mystery with this 1943 whodunit set among cowboys. (June) Also in June, Nebraska will republish Guthrie's autobiography, The Blue Hen's Chick ($11.95 * |ISBN 0-8032-7038-0; cloth $35 *-2149-5 ).
William Kittredge
"Everyone who enjoys good writing about the American West should know Murders at Moondance. Guthrie was a master, and his mastery shows in this beginning."—William Kittredge
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803270398
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/1993
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 279
  • Sales rank: 1,364,314
  • Product dimensions: 0.62 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 5.25 (d)

Meet the Author


Introducing Murders at Moon Dance is the celebrated Montana writer William Kittredge, the author of such books as We Are Not in This Together (1984), Owning It All (1990), and Hole in the Sly (1992).
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