Cover image for Killing raven
Killing raven
Coel, Margaret, 1937-
Personal Author:
[Large print edition].
Publication Information:
Waterville, Me. : Thorndike Press, 2004.

Physical Description:
423 pages ; 23 cm
Format :


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The ninth contemporary mystery set on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming featuring amateur sleuths Father John O'Malley and Arapaho lawyer Vicky Holden from the "New York Times" bestselling author of "The Shadow Dancer."

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 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Bestseller Coel's ninth superbly crafted outing for Father John O'Malley and Arapaho attorney Vicky Holden (after 2002's Shadow Dancer) opens with the discovery of a dead body at Double Dives, a remote area where the less savory citizens drink and party on the Wind River Reservation. The murder brings Father John of St. Francis Mission into the picture and soon embroils him in much more, along with his almost-too-dear friend Vicky. She and Lakota lawyer Adam Lone Eagle represent the interests of Great Plains Casino, the rez's new venture and the tribe's highest hope for the future. A group of self-proclaimed "rangers" are harassing casino-goers and employees, and Vicky becomes the object of their campaign. Yet it's these men's words that prompt her to take a closer look at the number of casino workers linked to commission chairman Matt Kingdom. And this leads Vicky to a sickening revelation-if Matt Kingdom is dirty, how can Adam not also be involved? As Vicky digs for answers, she comes dangerously close to a criminal thicket that seems entwined with the casino. Coel keeps her readers sweating, guessing and turning the pages. Of all the writers of Native-American mysteries compared to Tony Hillerman, Coel is the one who most deserves the accolade. (Sept. 2) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Killing Raven is the ninth installment in the mystery series featuring Father John O'Malley and Arapahoe attorney Vicki Holden on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. The new reservation casino is dealing with a militant band of protesters, and Vicki, brought in as local counsel, also begins to suspect the casino of unfair hiring practices. Meanwhile, Father John must contend with the seamier side of organized gambling: addiction, intimidation, and loan-sharking. Stephanie Brush has been reading the Coel series since the first book; the combination is like visiting an old friend. Recommended.-Kristen L. Smith, Loras Coll. Lib., Dubuque, IA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

Adult/High School-When two Arapaho teenagers find a murdered white man partly buried in river sand, strains between the tribe and a group of vigilante militant extremists escalate into a tense atmosphere of fear and hatred. Blaming the new gambling casino as an evil brought into the area to further the miseries of the poverty-stricken tribe, the militants bring unproven charges against it and threaten staff. After taking a job with the casino, Arapaho lawyer Vicky Holden begins an investigation into its finances and calls on her friend Father John O'Malley for help. The two are working through their own difficult relationship but are able to cooperate to untangle clues. This ninth book in the series can be read on its own. Coel expertly portrays a modern tribe that is trying to deal with the constant erosion of its customs by encroaching society and fending off poverty. She carefully draws a picture of Native American casinos, balancing the good the tribe can do for itself through the income with examples of the bad effects gambling can have. In addition, Coel aptly captures the anguish Father John has as he confronts his love for Vicky and his loyalty and devotion to his calling while she tries to deal with her unrequited love for him, plus her own loneliness and life challenges. An intriguing and often action-filled story.-Pam Johnson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.