The Gray Ghost Murders (Sean Stranahan Series #2)

The Gray Ghost Murders (Sean Stranahan Series #2)

3.8 6
by Keith McCafferty
     
 

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Montana’s favorite fly fisherman detective is back on the case in this compelling follow-up to The Royal Wulff Murders

When the graves of two men are discovered on Sphinx Mountain, Sheriff Martha Ettinger suspects murder.  But with the only evidence a hole in a skull that might or might not have been caused by a bullet, she once

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Overview

Montana’s favorite fly fisherman detective is back on the case in this compelling follow-up to The Royal Wulff Murders

When the graves of two men are discovered on Sphinx Mountain, Sheriff Martha Ettinger suspects murder.  But with the only evidence a hole in a skull that might or might not have been caused by a bullet, she once more finds herself turning to private investigator Sean Stranahan for help. Stranahan already has a case, having been hired by a group of eccentric fly fishermen called The Madison River Liars and Fly Tiers Club to find a valuable fly that they suspect has been stolen. Could the disappearance of a vintage Gray Ghost from a riverside cabin in the Madison Valley be connected to the gray ghosts who haunt Sphinx Mountain?  Stranahan will cross paths, and arms, with some of the most powerful people in the valley to find out, in a novel that is sure to capture new fans for one of the mystery genre’s rising stars.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Even amid the serene trout streams of Montana, Sean Stranahan can’t seem to stay out of trouble—and there’s a heap of it in this bracing second adventure for the fly fisher/painter/PI (after 2012’s The Royal Wulff Murders). When the skeletal remains of two people surface in as many days on Sphinx Mountain, shorthanded Sheriff Martha Ettinger asks for Sean’s help investigating. Another case Sean’s already pursuing, concerning a pair of extremely valuable stolen fishing flies, provides the perfect cover for snooping—and he soon uncovers disturbing suggestions that someone could be hunting human quarry. Field & Stream editor McCafferty skillfully weaves Big Sky color, humor, and even romance (in the form of Sean’s stunning new girlfriend, Martinique, who’s bankrolling veterinary school by working as a bikini barista) into the suspenseful plot as it gallops toward a white-knuckle—if confusing—climax. The book’s biggest lure, however, remains Sean and his rugged band of Montana individualists. Agent: Dominick Abel. (Feb.)
Kirkus Reviews
A second spate of high-country homicides for Hyalite County sheriff Martha Ettinger and Sean Stranahan, the former Boston PI who solves murders when he isn't painting or fishing. Think big-city CSI teams have it tough? Their examinations of crime scenes are hardly ever interrupted by a grizzly bear like the one that sends Deputy Harold Little Feather to the hospital. The episode puts a serious crimp in Martha's appetite for pawing around Sphinx Mountain, where dog handler Katie Sparrow's German shepherd Lothar had led her to the decomposed remains of two unknown men. So Katie and Sean climb back alone to the scene of the crime and find a whopping big steel-jacketed bullet. The discovery means nothing to Sean, whom the Madison River Liars and Fly Tiers Club has hired in an amusingly roundabout way to recover a pair of hand-tied fishing flies most fishing clubs couldn't afford. But when Montana congressman Weldon Crawford Jr., who sold the club its land, casually mentions his fondness for big guns in the course of a visit Sean's paid ostensibly to ask if he's had any break-ins lately, Sean can't help wondering if the two cases are connected. Despite the rising body count, there'll be time for some expert and revealing forensics, Sean's romance with a sweet barista, and a novel and lethal twist on Richard Connell's classic story "The Most Dangerous Game." The same regulars and the same great scenery as Martha and Sean's debut (The Royal Wulff Murders, 2012). Though the felonious details this time are muddled and often hard to swallow, the central concept behind the complicated pair of cases is irresistible.
From the Publisher
“This is a truly wonderful read.  In an old and crowded field, Keith has created characters fresh, quirky and yet utterly believable, then stirred them into a mystery that unfolds with grace and humor against a setting of stunning beauty and danger.  Stranahan, the fisherman sleuth, breaks free of the old cliche's and delights with his humanity, vulnerability and love of cats.  Yes, cats.  Keith has written a book that speaks to women and men regardless of color or background.  The only downside of this book is that we must wait a year for the next one.”—Nevada Barr, New York Times bestselling author of the Anna Pigeon Mysteries
 

“McCafferty skillfully weaves Big Sky color, humor, and even romance (in the form of Sean’s stunning new girlfriend, Martinique, who’s bankrolling veterinary school by working as a bikini barista) into the suspenseful plot as it gallops toward a white-knuckle…climax.”—Publishers Weekly

“Think big-city CSI teams have it tough? Their examinations of crime scenes are hardly ever interrupted by a grizzly bear like the one that sends Deputy Harold Little Feather to the hospital…Irresistible.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Populated by well-drawn characters…This series will appeal to fans of Nevada Barr and C.J. Box as well as to fly-fishing devotees.”—Booklist

“You’ll find yourself obsessed with the story.”—Oprah.com

 

Praise for The Royal Wulff Murders by Keith McCafferty

 
“Sportsmen will find the one-of-a-kind novel captivating, intelligent, and at times uproarious.”—Field & Stream

 
"Keith McCafferty has pulled off a small miracle with The Royal Wulff Murders — a compelling Montana-based novel that will please both mystery readers and discerning fly-fishers.  A terrific debut that rings with authenticity and style."—C. J. Box, New York Times bestselling author of Back of Beyond and Force of Nature

 
“An impressive debut… the people here are all solid creations, sometimes prickly but always engaging, characters readers will be more than happy to see again.”—The Houston Chronicle

 
“Keith McCafferty hits a bull's eye with Sean's story in his debut novel, The Royal Wulff Murders… like bacon and brownies—Stranahan's odd mix of painter, P.I. and fly fisher works. It helps that McCafferty, an editor at Field & Stream, really knows his trout, and life in Bozeman has obviously acquainted him with the ways of Montana. He writes with both a love of nature…common in the outdoorsman. Add the backwoodsy feminism of Sheriff Martha Ettinger, and the mystery is a good fit for enthusiasts of Nevada Barr who have read through all the Anna Pigeon novels. Packed with wilderness action and starring a band of stalwart individualists, The Royal Wulff Murders will have readers begging McCafferty for more.”—Tom Lavoie, ShelfAwareness.com for Readers

 
“[A] thoroughly entertaining debut…McCafferty blends plenty of fly-fishing lore with a host of intriguing characters…Only the sharp-eyed observation of the medical examiner suggests the body was a murder victim rather than an accidental drowning. The eventual identification of the victim helps link Stranahan’s task to that of the sheriff. The vivid Montana setting is a plus.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

 
“Blue Ribbon is what they call a trout stream of extremely high quality and that’s what I call Keith McCafferty’s The Royal Wulff Murders—the debut of a frighteningly knowledgeable and wonderfully entertaining series.”—Craig Johnson, New York Times bestselling author of The Cold Dish and Hell is Empty

 
“The descriptive scenery writing is good, and the places he writes about are a pleasure for the armchair traveler to visit…The main characters are all likable except, of course, the bad guys.”—San Diego Union-Tribune

"What a fine and thoroughly satisfying debut novel! There’s so much to enjoy here—a fresh sense of place, a cast of compelling characters, and a plot line with as many twists and turns as a Montana trout stream. Even if you know nothing about fly fishing, you’re going to love this book. Mark my words: From this day forward, you’ll be buying everything Keith McCafferty writes."—William Kent Krueger, author of Northwest Angle and Iron Lake

 
“What fun it is to visit my favorite fishing spots , not in a guide-boat  but in a wonderful murder mystery.”—Henry Winkler, author of I’ve Never Met an Idiot on the River

 
The Royal Wulff Murders hit all my buttons: mystery, flyfishing, Montana, the Madison River, beautiful women, and whole pickup loads of authentic Montana  characters, many of them wonderfully quirky.  Keith McCafferty is one terrific writer.”—Patrick F. McManus, author of The Bear In the Attic and The Huckleberry Murders

 
“Two chapters in and you know you are in for an interesting read…Each scene is set up with a fisherman’s patience, with the wind, water and wildlife of Montana becoming as important as the human characters we follow…The Royal Wulff Murders should be on any outdoorsman’s reading list.”—Suspense Magazine

 
"Keith McCafferty's The Royal Wulff Murders is the mystery fly anglers have been waiting for. Finally, an author who knows the crucial difference between 2X and 4X tippet! But it's not just the fishing details that make this novel so enjoyable: it's the rich characters, the robust sense of humor, a sadly topical plot, and a writing style that is as gin-clear as a Montana trout stream."—Paul Doiron, author of Trespasser and The Poacher’s Son

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780670025695
Publisher:
Viking Adult
Publication date:
02/21/2013
Series:
Sean Stranahan Series, #2
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.42(w) x 9.16(h) x 1.08(d)

Meet the Author

Keith McCafferty is the award-winning Survival and Outdoor Skills Editor of Field & Stream. He has written articles for Fly Fisherman Magazine, Mother Earth News, Gray’s Sporting Journal, and the Chicago Tribune. He lives with his wife in Bozeman, Montana. His first book was The Royal Wulff Murders.

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