The Silent Spirit

The Silent Spirit

Book - 2009
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Penguin Putnam
Margaret Coel returns to Wind River with a brand new mystery featuring Vicky Holden and Father John O'Malley.

In 1923, Arapahos from the Wind River Reservation were recruited to appear as extras in the silent film The Covered Wagon. But Charlie Wallowingbull never returned home, leaving people to believe he abandoned his wife and unborn son.

Kiki Wallowingbull, Charlie's great-grandson, went to Hollywood determined to uncover the truth behind his great-grandfather's disappearance. But Kiki has been murdered-his frozen body discovered by Father John, and his supposed killer confessing to Vicky that it was self-defense. Together, they must find the connection between two deaths separated by nearly a century.



Baker & Taylor
Father John O'Malley and Vicky Holden investigate the murder of an Arapaho Indian from the Wind River Reservation, who was in Hollywood trying to uncover the mystery of his great-grandfather's disappearance while filming a 1923 Western.

Blackwell North Amer
In 1923, Arapahos and Shoshones from the Wind River Reservation were recruited to appear as extras in The Covered Wagon, a silent film noted for being Hollywood's first Western to cast real Indians in an effort at authenticity. Charlie Wallowingbull never returned home, leaving people to believe he abandoned his new wife and unborn son.
Kiki Wallowingbull, Charlie's great-grandson recently released from prison on a drug conviction, went to Hollywood determined to uncover the truth behind his great-grandfather's disappearance. His family raised him with the belief that only death would have prevented Charlie from coming back to them.
But then Kiki himself becomes the victim of murder - his frozen body discovered on the reservation by Father John, and his supposed killer confessing to Vicky that it was self-defense. Together, they must find the connection between two mysteries separated by nearly a century.

Publisher: New York : Berkley Prime Crime, 2009
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780425229767
0425229769
Characteristics: viii, 322 p. ; 24 cm

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DorisWaggoner
Sep 21, 2016

This series entry uses Tim McCoy, a real cowboy who knew the Arapahos, who became a star in the silent movies. He brought some Wind River Arapahos to Hollywood to be extras in Westerns at a time they desperately needed the money. Coel has one of them disappear, with major repercussions for his family generations later. Father John, just returned from sabbatical in Rome, picks up a young hitchhiker, a parishioner on his way to Hollywood to learn the truth about his great grandfather who didn't come home. The young man, just out of prison, where he got clean of drugs, seeks the truth, as a gift for the grandfather who raised him. When Fr. John finds his body a few days later, and his death is attributed to drugs, John seeks the truth. Meanwhile, Vicky has a phone call from a man who claims he killed someone in self defense; he weeps over the fear that he'll have to return to prison and lose his young son. The two cases converge and, as usual, the two work well to solve the cases. This entry adds to our historical knowledge of the Arapahos.

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