STEWBALL by Peter Bowen


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The FBI, the ATF and the fundamentalist Patrick Henry Patriots lock horns in cowboy country.

Auntie Pauline, who’s gone through four husbands, is keen on holding on to Badger, her fifth. When he disappears after cutting a deal with the feds—they’ll look the other way at his drug misadventures if he’ll do them a small favor—she guilts her nephew, fiddling cowboy Gabriel Du Pré, into chasing after him. The coyotes have been at Badger’s body before Du Pré catches up with him, and for Auntie Pauline’s sake he lets Blackfoot FBI agent Harvey Wallace talk him into taking over for Badger, going undercover with Booger Tom and flushing out the guys running brush races, who not only launder the betting take but use it to finance political causes to the right of Genghis Khan. To enter the brush races, the feds supply Stewpot the horse, Du Pré’s horse-crazy granddaughter Lourdes becomes the jockey, and the bets are bankrolled by Du Pré’s rich friend Bart. But the bad guys are suspicious, and it will take all the wiles of gorgeous on-leave agent Samantha Pigeon, saloonkeeper Susan Klein, Du Pré’s gal-pal Madelaine, and his other granddaughter, Precocious Pallas, to save the day.

The plot gets lost somewhere between Montana and South Dakota—routine for plot-impaired Bowen (Badlands, 2003, etc.)—but there’s real pleasure watching the sassy women outsmart all the men, all the time.

Pub Date: April 18th, 2005
ISBN: 0-312-27730-X
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2005


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