Courtesy of a bear and her two cubs, a man’s body is found up one of the many trails on Sphinx Mountain in Montana. The body had been buried. Not far away, a second body is found, also buried. Both had been shot. The autopsies show that body men had been suffering from terminal diseases.
Sean Stranahan, a transplanted New Englander making sort of a living as a guide for fly fisherman, and doing some occasional detective work, is with local police when the bodies are found. And then he’s hired by a local fly fisherman’s club to find out what happened to two of the club’s prize antique flies, worth a fair amount of money to collectors. As he talks to other people who live nearby, he begins to stumble into information that’s important for the murder investigations.
The Gray Ghost Murders is author Keith McCafferty’s second installment in the Sean Stranahan mystery series (there are currently a total of five; this one was published in 2013). Each are set in Montana; and each reflect a fair amount of McCafferty’s extensive experience as the survival and outdoor skills editor of Field & Stream Magazine. And he lives in Montana.
It’s also a well-told mystery story, likely to appeal especially to people who enjoy fly fishing and the mountainous outdoors.
Stranahan develops a romantic interest with a local barista at a coffee kiosk, and the sheriff has a personal interest in Stranahan as well, when she’s not involved with one deputies. When he lived in Massachusetts, he worked as a detective for a law firm, so he knows how to nose out information and ask questions. And soon enough he’ll find himself a target.
The Gray Ghost Murders is well written and engrossing story, even for those of us who don’t fish. McCafferty tells a ripping good yarn.
Photograph by Fran Hogan via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.