4 star rating
Night of the White Buffalo
A Wind River Mystery, Book #18
By  Margaret Coel
ISBN# 9780425264652
Author’s website

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Kayt


With her gritty mysteries steeped in authentic Native American culture,New York Times bestselling author Margaret Coel is “widely considered the most accomplished heir to Tony Hillerman’s legacy,” (Scripps Howard News Service). In the latest Wind River novel, Arapaho attorney Vicky Holden and Father John O’Malley confront a ruthless killer in the wake of a miraculous event. 

A mysterious penitent confesses to murder, and then flees the confessional before Father John can identify him. Two months later, Vicky discovers rancher Dennis Carey shot dead in his truck along Blue Sky Highway. With the tragic news comes the exposure of an astonishing secret: the most sacred creature in Native American mythology, a white buffalo calf, was recently born on Carey’s ranch.

Making national headlines, the miraculous animal draws a flood of pilgrims to the reservation, frustrating an already difficult investigation. As visitors throw the reservation into turmoil, Vicky and Father John try to unravel the strange events surrounding both Carey’s murder and the recent disappearances of three cowboys from his ranch.

It could be coincidence, given the nomadic life of the cowboy trade, but when one of them fails to appear in court to testify on an assault charge, Vicky wonders if Arnie Walkfast and his Arapaho buddies are guilty of more than just assault. And at the back of Father John’s mind is the voice from the man in the confessional: I killed a man


Night of the White Buffalo is a thrilling mystery set in and around the Arapaho Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. Father John Aloysius O’Malley is still haunted by the mysterious cowboy who confessed to killing a man months earlier. He checked and never found anyone murdered. When a cowboy is shot and killed several months afterwards he does not immediately see a connection.

Vickie Holden, an Arapaho lawyer and her “friend” Adam Lone Eagle, a Lakota lawyer, come upon the scene of Dennis Carey shot dead in his truck. As the murder investigation unfolds, Father O’Malley and Vickie are drawn into an even bigger mystery and more murders. At the same time a blessing has been born in the form of a sacred white buffalo on the Carey ranch.

Ms Coel writes with what seems to be an inside knowledge of the Native American ways. I have not read any of her other books in this series. I do not think you need to in order to enjoy this one. The characters are thoughtfully developed. Their way of life is foreign to me, yet I can understand and imagine it through Ms Coel’s wonderful and descriptive writing style. This is an engaging thriller filled with Native American lore, ideals and beliefs, as well as the lifestyles of the nomadic cowboyers.

This book is enjoyable and intriguing. I would recommend it to readers of any thrillers, those interested in Native American life and anyone that enjoys a good mystery full of cowboys. The inclusion of the sacred white buffalo’s birth brought another layer to this mystery. The way the different groups of the community reacted is quite interesting. Even though this is not really my favorite type of mystery, I thoroughly enjoyed it and am sure most other will as well.

*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*