Book: Buffalo Jump Blues

Author Keith McCafferty has an impressive Montana pedigree, and Buffalo Jump Blues: a Sean Stranahan Mystery (Viking, $26) is the fifth installment in his murder-mystery series. While I’m not a big fan of murder mysteries, McCafferty’s well-researched handling of wildlife politics make for a thoughtful romp, the more so for its setting in the Madison Valley. Sean Stranahan is a Montana fly fisherman, and sometime detective, who’s hired to investigate a missing person, John Running Boy. At about the same time, the discovery of a herd of bison run off Palisades cliffs sparks a few questions. Are they “victims of blind panic caused by the pyrotechnics, or a ritualistic hunting practice…?” Are they connected? McCafferty’s dialogue is fresh and keeps you reading, through to the murderous end.