Buffalo Jump Blues: A Sean Stranahan Mystery by Keith McCafferty

Buffalo Jump Blues: A Sean Stranahan Mystery by Keith McCafferty
Published by:  Viking (Releasing June 28, 2016)
Genre:  Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
ISBN-13: 978-0525429593
My Rating:  3.5/5

In adhering to my Rating Policy I rate this book as a (3.5/5), but in all  honesty, I hate to give it such a low rating.  I feel the book is very well-written and the characters are developed, it just was not a book I loved.  I think Keith McCafferty is a very skilled and talented writer, the subject matter just did not resonate with me.  I think people who usually read this type of book will enjoy it immensely; it just wasn’t for me.

 “Buffalo Jump Blues” is the fifth installment in the Sean Stranahan Mystery Series written by Keith McCafferty releasing on June 28, 2016.  The story opens with the discovery of several wild buffalo who have fallen from a cliff.  At first this tragic fall seems only an accident, one caused by lighting storms.  Later, when the body of a young Native American man is found at the scene, it is thought the buffalo may have been coaxed to their death using an old Native American hunting technique called a “buffalo jump”.  Historically, Native Americans would dress in animal skins and lead buffalo over a cliff to their deaths.  They would then mercifully kill the buffalo who survived the fall, using all of the meat, bones, skin, etc. to feed and care for the tribe.  This was a well proven technique to hunt large numbers of buffalo at once.  In “Buffalo Jump Blues” the buffalo found at the bottom of the cliff were left to die, which is not in line with Native American traditions.  The mystery of the buffalo jump, along with the death of the young man, leads the local police on an investigation into the mysteries surrounding this tragedy.

Overall I enjoyed the story.  I found myself laughing at banter among the characters, as well as experiencing suspense during a few of the more stressful moments.  The writing was very thoughtful, descriptive, and flowed nicely.  My only critique for this book is a lot of references to fly-fishing, Native American history, and Montana were used in developing the story.  Even though these topics are interesting, I am not familiar with a lot of the references used, so at times I found the story boring.  On the plus side, not all was lost in vain because I did learn a lot about Native American history and Montana while reading this book.  (Thank you , Google.)  I think if you have general knowledge of these topics, then you will certainly find the book enjoyable.  With that said, I really enjoyed Mr. McCafferty’s writing style.  His way of telling a story is very engaging.  I would certainly consider another book on a different subject matter written by him in the future.

Please Note – I received an ARC of this book from Penguin’s “First to Read” program.  All the opinions and thoughts in this review are solely mine.

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