October 23, 2008

Cherokee and Comanche page-turners

Cherokee Mysteries

An oil boom in Indian country means trouble for two Oklahoma detectivesThe experience of writing The Osage Rose, for first-time novelist Tom Holm, must have been something like doing pencil sketches your entire life and then deciding to try a watercolor. Holm has been a professor of American Indian studies at the University of Arizona since 1980, and is also Muscogee Creek and Cherokee. After completing two non-fiction books, one about Native Americans and whites in the Progressive Era and another about Native American Vietnam vets, he has tried fiction for the first time in The Osage Rose, with impressive results. A tale that will appeal to both mystery buffs and history buffs, the story combines a carefully detailed account of real racial and political tensions with that of two rough-and-tumble detectives on a quest for truth and justice.Family-Friendly Thriller

Johnny D. Boggs' 'Killstraight' introduces a new Comanche heroKillstraight is a family-friendly novel that, despite its bountiful violence and rugged plot, never lapses into Sam Peckinpah territory. The book is adult enough to warrant adult attention, and yet its gore-free appeal makes it ideal for younger readers in their teens. No surprise, then, that Boggs' previous book, last year's Doubtful Canon, earned a 2008 Spur Award for Best Western Juvenile Fiction. The author is very serious about his research without drowning the reader in facts, and he understands--probably from, as his online bio notes, watching old Gunsmoke episodes--how to construct a simple yet compelling narrative. Pick up this novel; set aside a Sunday afternoon; and lose yourself in the debut adventure of Killstraight.Comment:  Tom Holm has commented on Indians in the military for Blue Corn Comics. See Holm Confirms Military/Mascot Link for details.

For more on books featuring Indians, see The Best Indian Books.

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