In August 1863, during Kit Carson's roundup of the Navajo, Santa Fe's Provost Marshal, Major Joseph Cummings, is found dead in an arroyo near what is now the Hubbell Trading Post in Ganado, Arizona. The murder, as well as the roughly million of today's dollars in cash and belongings in his saddlebags, is historically factual. Carson's explanation that he was shot by a lone Indian, which, even today, can be found in the U.S. Army Archives, is implausible. Who did kill Carson's "brave and lamented" Major? The answer is revealed in this tale of a group of con artists operating in 1861-1863 in the New Mexico and Arizona Territories. As a matter of historical fact, millions of today's dollars were embezzled from the Army, the Church, and the New Mexico Territory during this time. In this fictionalized version, the group includes the aide de camp of the Territories' Commanding General of the Union Army, a poker dealer with a checkered past in love with one of her co-conspirators, and the Provost Marshal of Santa Fe. It is an epic tale of murder and mystery, of staggering thefts, of love and deceit. Both a Western and a Civil War novel, this murder mystery occurs in and among Cochise's Chiricahua Apache Wars, the Navajo depredations and wars, Indian Agent Kit Carson's return to action from retirement, and the Civil War. The story follows the con artists, some historical, some fictional, during their poker games, scams, love affairs, and bank robberies, right into that arroyo deep in the heart of Navajo country. STEVEN W. KOHLHAGEN is a former economics professor (University of California at Berkeley) and Wall Street investment banker. He is the author of innumerable economics publications, and he and his wife, Gale, jointly published a murder mystery, "Tiger Found." He divides his time between the New Mexico-Colorado border high in the San Juan Mountains and Charleston, South Carolina.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Where They Bury You (Hardcover) based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
I bought this book on the strong recommendation of Bernard Cornwell . The dialogue is pedestrian ,the characters are one dimensional and the plot is convoluted and poorly explained. Disappointing!
I have always loved Westerns, and I used to love watching North and South when I was little, so this book was a really exciting read for me. The history of this era has always fascinated me. Kohlhagen's mix of fact and fiction made the story come alive, making me feel like I was right alongside these amazing historical figures who shaped the future on the United States. My knowledge of the Civil War is not vast, and war is always ugly, but my gosh, the thousands of lives lost within a two year span was just devastating. It seemed like everyone in that time was out to kill someone, and what made it worse was that a lot of the people involved knew each other personally at one time or another, yet they acted like strangers in the face of war. There were many amazing characters within the pages of this story, and they each had their own battle, or two, to fight, but I never once felt overwhelmed or lost with everything that was going on. I have to say that out of all the characters, Lily was my favorite. She was feisty and knew how to hustle just about everyone around her. She played a great game with those she was in cahoots with, but I also had to admire her loyalty to Damours. She didn't necessarily give a damn about being loyal in a physical sense, but her heart was in the right place, and she was always looking out for him, even when she could have easily kicked him to the curb. Cummings, for me, was the most loathsome character. He gave me a bad vibe off the bat and my dislike for him grew right to the end of the story. He was spineless, deceitful and a little creepy. This book is an action-packed, murder mystery adventure, and at times a little chaotic (and I mean that in a good way). Kohlhagen has masterfully captured history, adding his own twist on factual events, and readers will be totally enthralled.