In his sixth outing, Gabriel Du PrÇ of Toussaint, Montana—MÇtis Indian; grandfather of many; part-time county inspector; fiddler supreme (Thunder Poise, 1998, etc.)—is as puzzled as Sheriff Benny Klein, FBI man Harvey Wallace, and others when vicious Larry Messmer is brutally shot to death. Messmer had recently come back to the ranch inherited from his parents, who were killed in an auto accident years before. Rumor has it that big-time drug dealing and other unsavory things are happening at the ranch—an idea supported by the death of Messmer’s henchman Bongo Masters, found strangled at the sweat lodge of Du PrÇ’s friend Benetsee. Now the ranch is being run by mean dude Kelleher, and Du PrÇ, with reason to think he may be next, sends his Madelaine to stay with relatives while he holes up with his daughter, son-in-law, and numerous grandchildren. The history of the Messmers is slowly uncovered, going back generations to Albert’s tragic Indian Wife Genevette and the murder, never solved, of Larry’s sister. In the end, it’s new FBI man Ripper, with a history of his own connected to the Messmers, who sees to it that Kelleher gets his just deserts. Bowen’s efforts to romanticize Du PrÇ and the Montana setting are offset by the wandering chaos of his plotting and the casually obscene conversational style of all involved. Tiresome stuff everywhere but in the Toussaint Saloon when the music plays.