Things go wrong in a parade in Lander, Wyoming when a troop of historical reenactors costumed like the 7th Cavalry, led by a man looking amazingly like George Armstrong Custer are encircled by a band of Arapaho on horseback from the Wind River reservation. When the commotion dies down, Custer does not get up. He’s been shot. The Arapaho on the dare ride become instant suspects. The Custer impersonator, Edward Garrett has left behind a daughter who lives in the area and a wife who seems to believe she is really Libby Custer. Mrs. Garrett/Custer wants to be sure she gets the $500,000 Garrett had from selling his ranch so she hires Vicky. The thing is, though, the money is missing. Garrett had withdrawn it from the bank. Meanwhile Father John is doing what he can to protect a couple of young Arapaho men who he knows did not kill Garrett from being caught and and all but convicted by a sheriff who thinks he need look no further. The case of a missing lawyer and a young Arapaho woman also play into the story.
I like mysteries set in the west. The late Tony Hillerman's Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee mysteries are my gold standard. I really enjoy Coel's Vicky Holden, an Arapaho, a lawyer, in the prime of life and Father John O'Malley, a Jesuit priest who has found a home among the people on the reservation.
It was interesting to read two mysteries within two weeks dealing with Custer reenactors. The other was Death on the Greasy Grass by C. M. Wendelboe.