From the publisher: Spring snow still clings to the teeth of Montana’s Crazy Mountains when an unsuspecting member of the Madison River Liars and Fly Tiers Club discovers a Santa hat in the fireplace ashes in his rented cabin. Climbing to the roof to see what’s clogging the flue, he’s shocked to find the body of a teenage girl wedged in the chimney. I rodeo belt buckle identifies the
recently deceased victim as Cinderella “Cindy” Huntington, a rising rodeo star. Hyalite Country sheriff Martha Ettinger has been hunting for the girl since she went missing the previous November. Was Cindy murdered? Or was she running for her life - - and if so, from whom? Suspicion falls on a buckskin-clad mountain man who calls himself Bear Paw Bill. But Etta Huntington, Cindy’s high-strung mother, herself a famous horsewoman, thinks the evil might lie closer to home. She hires flyfishing guide and private detective Sean Stranahan to find the answers. Setting aside their after-hours relationship, Sean and Martha find themselves deep in an investigation that grows to involve a high-altitude sex club, a lost diary, cave pictographs, and the legends of the Crazy Mountains.
(I would like to make it clear, if the foregoing does not, that it’s not the eponymous kiss [the
derivation of which is charming, and more than a little heart-tugging] that’s crazy, that’s just the
name of the Montana mountain range.)
There are some charming touches, e.g., the Harbor Lights Restaurant in Key West whose
sign reads “Entertainment, Romance and Live Bait.” When Sean, 37 years old, has to climb down a rock face, “it really wasn’t so bad, as long as you didn’t place too high a value on your life.”
Of fishing, our protagonist’s favorite pastime: “Tarpon fishing had proved to be the most masochistic experience Sean had ever had holding a fly rod, not because tarpon were so difficult to catch, but because after the first few jumps it was just your muscles against theirs, and then after a half hour or so it was your heart against theirs and a sober question as to whose would give out first. Men paid $650 a day for the pleasure.” Even those readers who, as this one, know little or nothing about the “sport,” the writing is a pleasure.
As in all the prior entries in the series, of which this is the 4th (the 5th one, “Buffalo Jump Blues,” was just released this week), Mr. McCafferty’s novels are quite different from most out there set in the outdoors and the more remote parts of the US, and is full of the “action, intrigue and witty banter that have pleased readers and critics alike,” and like the others, it is recommended....Continua