In a rare public appearance, Livingston author Peter Bowen will read from his new novel, Bitter Creek, on Thursday, May 7 at 7 p.m. The latest installment in Bowen’s Gabriel Du Pré series, Bitter Creek tackles a historical mystery, the unsolved disappearance of a band of Métis in 1910.
“Strange voices within the sweat lodge speak of a place called Bitter Creek, where the Métis encountered their fate. To find it Du Pré tracks down the only living survivor of the massacre, a feisty old woman whose memories may not be as trustworthy as they seem. But when Amalie leads Du Pré to Pardoe, an out-of-the-way crossroads north of Helena, he senses that they are about to uncover long-buried secrets. Discouraged by the U.S. military, their lives threatened by locals whose ancestors may have played a role in the murders, Chappie, Patchen, and Du Pré bravely pursue the truth so that the victims of a terrible injustice might finally rest in peace.”
Author of 14 Gabriel Du Pré books and four historical novels based on the life of Luther Sage “Yellowstone” Kelly, Bowen is a poet and a renowned folksinger, and has made a living as a cowboy and hunting and fishing guide. He preceded the heyday of the Montana Gang in Livingston by a decade and a half, having moved to Bozeman as a youngster with his parents in 1955. He writes in a blog that he soon enough found himself making the trek east: “I am old enough to remember what Livingston was back in the late Fifties and early Sixties–a fun place where a young feller escaped from the dull and orderly drills of poor Bozeman, over the hill, could find glasses of beer in the bars, jazz, and a room at the old Murray Hotel for a buck and a half a night.”
Booklist praises Bowen’s work saying, “His Montana mysteries flow with sublime musical dialogue.” The Midwest Book Review compares Bowen to Tony Hillerman: “Peter Bowen does for Montana what Tony Hillerman does for New Mexico. Anyone who has not read a Gabriel Du Pré mystery is missing out on something special.”
Bitter Creek is Bowen’s first new book in nearly ten years. The reading is free and open to the public. It will take place upstairs at Elk River Books, 120 N. Main St., and will be followed by a reception and book signing. For more information, call 333-2330.