WITCH OF THE PALO DURO by Mardi Oakley Medawar


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 Tay-bodal isn't much to look at; nobody trusts him with weapons; and he's not even a good tracker. At the rate he's going, though, the Kiowa healer will soon be able to hang out his shingle as a detective. Married now to his sweetheart Crying Wind, he's roused from his mental hibernation in the winter encampment of 1867 by the disappearance of his best friend Skywalker, the slaying of two of his wife's relative The Cheyenne Robber's best horses, and the premature death of He Goes Into Battle First's scheming second wife. It's the work of a witch, insists competing healer Red Bird, an adversary of Tay-bodal's ever since Skywalker vetoed his bid to become an Owl Doctor--and the witch is none other than Crying Wind. But Tay-bodal finds that if you scratch an apparition, you're likely to find underneath a distinctly modern explanation: ``A lot of young people have been slipping around in this camp.'' The writing, which takes a refreshingly matter-of-fact approach to Kiowa mysticism, is a big step forward from Tay- bodal's debut (Death at Rainy Mountain, 1996)--though his creator's continued fondness for numberless subplots (is there anybody in camp who's not slipping around, and on so many unrelated errands?) rather blunts the unmasking of the cleverly hidden killer.

Pub Date: Nov. 12th, 1997
ISBN: 0-312-17065-3
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1997


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