Belly up to a bar in West Yellowstone or Ennis and you might find yourself talking to a creatively profane fishing guide, a down-on-his-luck artist who can’t afford rent, the millionaire owner of a streamside log-cabin mansion who uses it only two weeks a year, or a pretty woman with a box of trout flies and a cryptic background.
That’s the kind of people you meet in Montana’s trout fishing country. And that’s why The Royal Wulff Murders ($27; us.penguingroup.com), field editor Keith McCafferty’s new novel, features such an eclectic bunch.
Why would McCafferty–a talented elk hunter, survival expert, and unabashed steelhead bum who has written nearly 500 articles for _Field & Stream_–enter the fiction business?
“I decided to write a book the night I slept on the ground on a mountain for a Field & Stream assignment,” says McCafferty, a 30-year Bozeman resident. “It was so cold in the middle of the night that rather than get up, I peed myself. [Editor’s note: Sorry, Keith!] That did it.”
The following is an exclusive online-only excerpt from McCafferty’s novel. It is the fourth of five parts. Look for Part Five next week. –Mike Toth
WARNING: The following excerpt contains adult language. Reader discretion is advised.
Martha Ettinger groped for the phone.
“Sheriff, it’s Doc Hanson. Sorry to call so early, but something’s been nagging me about the autopsy.”
“What is it, Bob? He drowned, right?” She glanced at the bed stand clock radio. 5 a.m.
“Yea, he drowned. But, well, there’s a couple a things . . . I could explain, but it’d be easier if you came down to the morgue.”
Reprinted by arrangement with Viking, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., from THE ROYAL WULFF MURDERS by Keith McCafferty, to be published on February 16, 2012.
Copyright (C) 2012 by Keith McCafferty