Cover image for The shadow dancer
The shadow dancer
Coel, Margaret, 1937-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Berkley Prime Crime, 2002.
Physical Description:
291 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Central Library X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Collins Library X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Concord Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
Lancaster Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense

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Margaret Coel's mysteries, set on the Wind River Reservation, have been acclaimed by Tony Hillerman, who called her "a master." Now she presents her newest and most engrossing tale. James Sherwood, aka "Orlando," has resurrected the old Shadow Dance religion, having his followers dance for days at a time for the promise of an Indian paradise. For Orlando and his followers, nothing must delay the coming of the New World-not even the investigation of Ben Holden's death. Arapaho attorney Vicky Holden and her friend, Father John O'Malley, believe that Orlando has more to do with it than he lets on. But to get the proof they need, they will have to learn his dance.

Author Notes

Margaret Coel was born in Colorado in 1937. She attended Marquette University and was a historian before becoming a full-time writer. She is best known for her Wind River series featuring Jesuit priest Father John O'Malley and Arapaho attorney Vicky Holden. She won the Colorado Book Award for the novels Eye of the Wolf, The Spirit Woman, The Shadow Dancer, and Wife of Moon. The Spirit Woman also received the Willa Cather Award for best novel of the West. She is also the author of several non-fiction works including the award-winning Chief Left Hand. Her articles on the West have appeared in numerous publications including the New York Times and the Christian Science Monitor.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Skillfully combining the rich history of Native Americans with their life in the 21st century, bestseller Coel offers a fresh story that moves as fast as the moccasin telegraph, the reservation gossip line that spreads news faster than the Internet, in this eighth outing featuring Vicky Holden, Arapaho attorney, and Father John O'Malley, priest of the mission on Wyoming's Wind River Reservation. This represents a welcome return to form after last year's The Thunder Keeper, which suffered from an overly familiar plot. Father John is facing the possible closing of the mission and the sudden disappearance of one of his parishioners when Vicky's ex-husband is murdered and she becomes the chief suspect. Circumstances prompt Vicky to forgo Father John's assistance in her search for the killer, but as they go their separate ways, they each struggle to clarify their feelings for each other. In due course their paths cross at the ranch where James Sherwood, called Orlando by his followers, has resurrected the Shadow Dance religion of the 1890s. Can Sherwood deliver on his promise of an Indian paradise? Compared to and praised by Tony Hillerman, Coel not only presents a vivid and authentic picture of the Native American, past and present, but also captures the rugged and majestic atmosphere of Wyoming. Even minor characters are real and human. The poignant ending will catch even the most astute mystery aficionado by surprise. (Sept. 3) Forecast: Striking jacket art of a silhouetted bird above an isolated storm-threatened church will help lure casual browsers. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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