Thursday, May 06, 2010

The Tumbler by Peter Bowen

Title: The Tumbler
Author: Peter Bowen
ISBN: 0312277334, St. Martin's Minotaur, 2004
Genre: Amateur Sleuth, #11 Gabriel Du Pré mystery
Rating: B+
Source: Bookcloseouts

First Line: "She was some pissed," said Bassman.

It is said the lost journals of Meriwether Lewis are somewhere to be found in Toussaint, Montana. It is also said that Gabriel Du Pré is the only person who knows where they are. Technically that's not true, but Du Pré's old friend Benetsee isn't exactly the type of person to do anything he doesn't want to do (which is precisely why Gabe gave him the journals). The federal government believes that he should hand over the journals free of charge, and while Du Pré's lawyer has the Feds tied up in knots, other less pleasant forces make it clear that they want the journals, too.

Du Pré throws back the cash-filled envelopes they leave on his car seat; he has no use for them. Unfortunately the stakes are raised when two friends are kidnapped with the journals sought as ransom. Will Du Pré be able to settle everything to his satisfaction with none of the good guys getting hurt?

I love this series, and I've always been clear about Du Pré being about the furthest away from a Politically Correct character that a reader can find. He drinks too much, he smokes too much, he drives too fast (often all three at the same time), he ekes out a living playing a fiddle in local roadhouses-- even his child-rearing techniques won't pass inspection with today's modern mothers.

What he doesn't lack is a moral center made of flawless diamond. Evidently all that cigarette smoke and alcohol not only fuels his fiddling but adds to this man's unshakable integrity. The beauty of Montana and the history of a small segment of its population are two reasons why I love this series so much, but there's another reason for my love. Du Pré's Montana is shown as a battleground where technology and greed smash headlong into the concept of personal integrity.

Long live responsibility and integrity.


  1. Sounds like a good series - I enjoy politically incorrect characters since they're so true to life.

  2. This book sounds like the kind of people I like to spend time with. Also, the state of Montana is a great draw. Great cover too.

  3. Kathy and Margot-- This is one of my favorite series, so I'd dearly love to have someone give it a try and enjoy it as much as I do.

  4. Sounds interesting, I'm going to add it to my wish list.

  5. Kris-- The entire series is a winner.


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