FICTION

Dead Man's Fancy: A Sean Stranahan Mystery

Viking. Jan. 2014. 336p. ISBN 9780670014699. $26.95. MYS
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Sean Stranahan, self-described Renaissance man, fly fisherman, and part-time investigator, helps Sheriff Martha Ettinger solve a murder and a missing person case that appear to be connected. The duo discover that appearances can be deceiving as they search for the missing Nanika Martinelli, a beautiful fishing guide with a mysterious past, and stumble upon the body of a man impaled on the antler tine of a dead elk. And what do these cases have to do with an animal rights group called the Clan of the Three-Clawed Wolf?
VERDICT Set in Montana's Madison River valley and Yellowstone National Park, McCafferty's third series entry (after The Royal Wulff Murders and The Gray Ghost Murders) lassos up a range of topics—wolf reintroduction, wilderness living and survival, animal rights—that are uncovered thorough his protagonists' meticulous sleuthing. Holding clues to the puzzle are numerous colorful, quirky characters who traverse long geographical distances. Plenty of fly-fishing details and outdoor adventure will satisfy readers who also enjoy the Western mysteries of C.J. Box and Craig Johnson.

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