The Story Teller (Wind River Reservation Series #4)

Overview

Father O'Malley and Arapaho attorney Vicky Holden return! When a sacred tribal artifact disappears from a museum, it's more than Arapaho history that is lost--it's an Arapaho student's life...
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Overview

Father O'Malley and Arapaho attorney Vicky Holden return! When a sacred tribal artifact disappears from a museum, it's more than Arapaho history that is lost--it's an Arapaho student's life...
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Arapaho attorney Vicky Holden and reservation priest John O'Malley return in their taut fourth adventure (after The Dream Stalker, 1997). This time, they pursue those who will kill to find the missing "ledger book," a record in pictograph of Arapaho presence at an Army massacre of Indians in Colorado. Shortly after the tribe hires Holden to learn why the book apparently disappeared from a Denver museum collection, police find the body of an Arapaho graduate student, Todd Harris. To homicide detectives, Todd's murder looks like a soured drug deal. But Holden, knowing that the student was researching the subject of the ledger book, is convinced that the murder is connected to the book's disappearance. Father John, in Denver to comfort Harris's family, joins Holden in her search for the book. When two friends of Harris are murdered and the house where Holden stays is ransacked, the lawyer and the priest know that their own lives are in danger. All the strengths of this fine series are present here: Coel's knowledge of and respect for western history, a solid mystery with a credible premise in Indian lore and the struggles of Holden and O'Malley with their powerful, but so far unconsummated, attraction to each other. (Oct.) FYI: Berkley Prime Crime will simultaneously publish The Dream Stalker in paper.
Library Journal
Arapaho attorney Vicky Holden (The Dream Stalker, LJ 9/1/97) and friend Father O'Malley attempt to recover a priceless Arapaho ledger stolen from a museum that claims never to have had it. Murder subsequently claims an Arapaho student interested in the ledger. Another splendid mix of mystery and Native American culture.
School Library Journal
YA-Native American lawyer Vicky Holden is asked to look into the whereabouts of an Arapaho warrior's valuable ledger book that was last seen at the Denver Museum of the West in 1920. When the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act was passed by Congress, it allowed tribes to recover sacred artifacts held in museums. The old ledger was not on the inventory list sent to the tribe by the museum and Vicky goes to Denver to find it. First, a young tribal ethnohistorian is murdered and then other students at the university are found dead. Vicky and Father John O'Malley, the Jesuit priest at the Arapaho Mission, hunt for the book even though several faculty members deny its existence. Their quest eventually leads them to an isolated ranch in the plains of eastern Colorado where an Indian massacre took place in 1866. The presence of the Arapaho warriors at the massacre is disputed by the Cheyenne. The elderly ranch resident gives them evidence of the Arapaho ledger book with its firsthand account of the event. Here they find the clues that lead them to the killer. This is an exciting story that introduces a part of American history about which little is known.-Penny Stevens, Centreville Regional Library, Fairfax, VA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The Story Teller ( Oct. 1; 256 pp.; 0-425-16538-8): The disappearance of an irreplaceable, historic, and deadly Arapaho ledger book from a museum whose staffers claim it was never in their collection: a fourth case for attorney Vicky Holden and her barely platonic friend Father John O'Malley (The Dream Stalker, 1997, etc.).
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425170250
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/28/1999
  • Series: Wind River Reservation Series, #4
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 169,781
  • Product dimensions: 4.14 (w) x 6.78 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Margaret Coel
Margaret Coel is the New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of The Thunder Keeper, The Spirit Woman, The Lost Bird, The Story Teller, The Dream Stalker, The Ghost Walker, The Eagle Catcher, and several works of nonfiction. She has also authored many articles on the people and places of the American West. Her work has won national and regional awards. Her first John O'Malley mystery, The Eagle Catcher, was a national bestseller, garnering excellent reviews from the Denver Post, Tony Hillerman, Jean Hager, Loren D. Estleman, Stephen White, Earlene Fowler, Ann Ripley and other top writers in the field. A native of Colorado, she resides in Boulder.
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Reading Group Guide

INTRODUCTION

The Dream Stalker

The Wind River Reservation has agreed to use their land for a nuclear waste storage site. And why wouldn't they, when they've already been promised so much—millions in revenue, new jobs, and a better way of life. But Vicky Holden knows better. Building this facility isn't about helping the Arapahos. It is about power and greed. And she is ready to do whatever she can to protect the land and her people. But someone involved wants to keep Vicky Holden quiet, and anyone else who stands in the way. After one man is murdered, and two attempts are made on Vicky's life, she knows she's involved in a crime much bigger than she ever imagined. Now Vicky must look to her only true ally, Father John O'Malley. Together they begin a frenzied search through false promises and misguided dreams to find the truth of this harrowing crime—and restore the true spirit and dream of the Arapaho people. . .

ABOUT MARGARET COEL

Margaret Coel is the author of four nonfiction books and many articles on the people and places of the American West. Her work has won national and regional awards. Her first John O'Malley mystery, The Eagle Catcher, was a national bestseller, garnering excellent reviews from the Denver Post, Tony Hillerman, Jean Hager, Loren D. Estleman, Stephen White, Earlene Fowler, Ann Ripley and other top writers in the field. A native of Colorado, she resides in Boulder.

Related Titles

The Lost Bird
0425170594

After the murder of an elderly priest—Father John O'Malley's assistant on the Wind River Reservation—Father John thinks the bullet was meant for him. Father Joseph had been driving John's old Toyota right before he was killed. Consumed with anger and guilt, Father John is determined to find the murderer. Along the way, he teams up with Arapaho lawyer Vicky Holden when they discover Father Joseph had ties to a case of Vicky's, once again putting their lives in danger.

A CONVERSATION WITH MARGARET COEL
What kind of books do you like to read?

Everything. I'm a thoroughly addicted reader and have been as long as I can remember. For me, starting a new book is always like setting out on a new adventure. I never know what I may encounter on the way, and I can't wait to find out. Currently, I belong to two book discussion groups. What does that tell you?

Why do you write mystery novels?

I believe in the old saying: write what you love to read. While I read different kinds of books, I love to curl up with a good mystery. The only thing more fun than reading a mystery, in my opinion, is writing one.

Why write about the Arapahos?

Because I find the Arapaho culture and history endlessly rich and fascination. It's my hope that, as readers come along for the mystery, they will also come to appreciate a very interesting people.

Where do you find the plots for your mystery novels?

The newspapers. My plots are based on actual events and real issues. The plot for The Dram Stalker comes from efforts of the Federal government to place interim nuclear storage facilities on Indian reservations. The facilities can mean millions of dollars to a reservation. That kind of money could lead to murder, I decided, and to a good murder mystery plot.

How do you go about writing your novels?

Once I get the idea for the plot, I let it percolate until the main events begin to take shape in my mind. I start thinking about how Father John and Vicky will react, what they will do. At that point, I start outlining the book. A broad outline, at first. Then I break it into chapters. By the time I start the actual writing, I have the novel pretty well in hand. Of course, the unexpected can always happen. Father John and Vicky can be very independent—they can decide to do something other than what I had planned. That's when writing is the most fun.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  • As an outsider, how does Father John adapt to the Arapaho culture? What particularly holds him and makes him want to stay at St. Francis?
     
  • In what ways does Father John believe the Arapaho culture to be similar to his own? In what ways does he think it different?
     
  • How does Father John's background and sensibilities help him solve the mystery?
     
  • What conflicts are presented to Father John by his vocation as a priest? How does he attempt to handle them?
     
  • Discuss the role of addictions in this novel. Many characters are addicts of one type or another. How do the various addictions influence the plot?
     
  • In what way is Vicky Holden an outsider? How do her background and experiences help solve the mystery?
     
  • Both Father John and Vicky are what the Arapahos call edge people. How are they affected by being edge people?
     
  • What are the flaws that have kept characters like Ned Cooley and Jasper Owens from being the persons they might have been, given their privileged backgrounds?
     
  • What is the significance of the title, The Eagle Catcher? How does the theme of the eagle catcher run through the novel? In what way is Father John an eagle catcher?
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