Peter Bowen books in order
Peter Bowen was an American author of mystery and western novels.
He is best known for writing the Gabriel Du Pre Serie and Yellowstone Kelly Series.
Born at the end of the Second World War, he spent his early years in Colorado and Indiana.
At the age of ten, he moved to Bozeman, Montana after his father secured a job at Montana State College.
There, his paper route led him to silvery cowboys who regularly visited a bar called The Oaks. Eavesdropping on the stories by the elderly cowboys, some of which were true, greatly inspired Bowen’s fiction works which he wrote later in life.
He attended the University of Michigan and lived in Livingston, Montana, not far from Yellowstone Park.
Bowen worked as a novelist until his death in 2020.
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Western
Gabriel Du Pre
- Coyote Wind (1994)
- Specimen Song (1995)
- Wolf, No Wolf (1996)
- Notches (1997)
- Thunder Horse (1998)
- Long Son (1999)
- The Stick Game (2000)
- Cruzatte and Maria (2001)
- Ash Child (2002)
- Badlands (2003)
- The Tumbler (2004)
- Stewball (2005)
- Nails (2006)
- Bitter Creek (2015)
- Solus (2018)
- Gentleman and Scout (1987)
- Kelly Blue (1991)
- Imperial Kelly (1992)
- Kelly and the Three-Toed Horse (2001)
Detailed book overview
Gabriel Du Pre
Officially, Gabriel Du Pré is the cattle inspector for Toussaint, Montana, responsible for making sure no one tries to sell livestock branded by another ranch. Unofficially, he is responsible for much more than cows’ backsides. The barren country around Toussaint is too vast for the town’s small police force, and so, when needed, this hard-nosed Métis Indian lends a hand. When the sheriff offers gas money to investigate newly discovered plane wreckage in the desert, Du Pré quickly finds himself embroiled in a mystery stretching back a generation.
For three decades, the crashed plane sat in the sun as the bodies inside rotted away to their bones. Two skeletons are whole, but for one nothing remains but the hands, the skull, and the bullet that ended his life. The crime was hidden long ago, but in the Montana badlands, nothing stays buried forever...
With misgivings, cattle inspector and sometime deputy Gabriel Du Pré has left his hometown of Toussaint, Montana, for big-city Washington, DC, where the Métis Indian fiddler has agreed to play his people’s music for a Smithsonian festival. But like the frightened and confused horse galloping wildly down the National Mall, Du Pré is very much out of his element. He does know how to catch and calm a runaway horse, however.
If only catching a killer could be so simple. When a Cree woman from Canada who came to sing in the festival is found murdered, her death is just the first in a series of fatal attacks on Native Americans. Each killing is foretold by a shaman, and each time a primitive weapon is used. As the body count rises, Du Pré fears he might be the serial killer’s ultimate target.
Two men have been cutting fences at the ranches of Toussaint, Montana, loosing thousands of dollars’ worth of cattle to use as target practice for their .22 rifles. Are they thieves? Pranksters? Local cattle inspector and sometime deputy Gabriel Du Pré guesses they’re environmentalists, agitating for the reintroduction of native wolves to Montana’s high plains. Du Pré knows the perpetrators are trying to send a message to the ranchers of eastern Montana—he also has a hunch they’re already dead.
When the activists are indeed found shot to death, Du Pré must figure out who used them for target practice. The FBI descends, but their agents are as clueless in this territory as the hapless victims were. Clearly, one of Toussaint’s citizens committed this crime, killing to protect the traditional way of ranching life, a loyalty Du Pré shares. But if anyone’s going to arrest his people, it will be the cattle inspector himself...
The news is bad: five young women—so far—raped, tortured, and left in the Montana wilderness to be devoured by coyotes. It’s not long before Gabriel Du Pré, Métis Indian cattle inspector and occasional deputy, gets the call from Sheriff Benny Klein, summoning him to yet another grisly crime scene—this time in his own backyard. Not far from the victim, he finds two more murdered women, their bodies arranged over each other in a cross. A message from the killer? But what does it mean?
Working alongside a Blackfoot FBI agent and his feisty female partner, Du Pré, a father and grandfather with two daughters of his own, gives his all to the manhunt. But as more victims are found, and a young woman he cares about disappears, he will come to the grim realization that he must learn to think like this monster in order to catch him.
Usually it takes more than one beer to make the Toussaint Saloon shake. When the earthquake hits, part-time deputy Gabriel Du Pré and his friends are lamenting the fishing resort a Japanese firm has planned for their small town. The floor trembles, the lights go out, and glass rains from the walls. When they emerge from the bar, they see a new landscape. Roads are mangled, mountains have shifted, and the spring where the Japanese businessmen had planned to build their resort is no more. In its place is an uprooted Indian burial ground—and a massive headache for Du Pré.
As local Native American tribes fight over the ancient remains, a fossilized Tyrannosaurus Rex tooth is found in the hands of a murdered anthropologist. Du Pré had just wanted a beer. Instead he found a murder sixty-five million years in the making.
For generations, the Messmers have raised cattle in the rough country of eastern Montana. When the current owners die in a tragic accident, they leave the ranch to their son—an ominous development for everyone in the area. Larry Messmer left Toussaint years ago when he got in trouble for bludgeoning a horse to death. Gabriel Du Pré hoped he would never set eyes on him again. Larry announces his return by having his ranch hands kill every weak cow on the property. Unfortunately, the livestock will not be the last to die.
The FBI asks Du Pré, a cattle inspector and occasional lawman, to keep an eye on Larry. What he uncovers is a ranch stricken by criminal greed, lorded over by a pathological son who should never have come home. And when violence erupts again, Du Pré finds himself in the cross hairs.
Something is rotten in the Fort Belknap Reservation. Life has always been tough on this barren stretch just south of the Canadian border, but now the children are getting sick. While playing his fiddle in a reservation bar, part-time deputy Gabriel Du Pré meets an accordionist who suspects the children’s health defects and low test scores are connected to pollution from the nearby Persephone gold mine.
Meanwhile, Du Pré investigates the disappearance of one of the afflicted children. When the boy turns up dead, the accordionist’s theory gains credence. It wouldn’t be the first time the rich men of Montana found wealth at the expense of the reservation’s kids. But is there something more than greed and indifference at work? Something even more sinister? Du Pré will make it his business to find out.
When he’s asked to serve as a consultant for a documentary about the bicentennial of Lewis and Clark’s expedition up the Missouri River, Gabriel Du Pré’s impulse is to flee. Eastern Montana isn’t accustomed to getting much attention, and its residents prefer it that way. But the director of the film is dating Du Pré’s daughter Maria, so this hard-bitten fiddler’s hands are tied.
The Métis Indian lawman agrees to act as a guide and help the filmmakers navigate the river, which is as deadly now as it was in 1805. The Missouri has claimed nine lives in the past three years—a suspiciously high death toll the FBI wants Du Pré to investigate. While trolling the riverbanks, Du Pré stumbles upon a national treasure: Meriwether Lewis’s lost journals, which the American government will do anything to get back. Meanwhile, when members of the film crew start dying, Du Pré begins to wonder if the locals hate outsiders so much they might be willing to kill to keep them out.
In the midst of a drought in Toussaint, Montana, Métis Indian tracker and cattle investigator Gabriel Du Pré learns that Maddy Collins has been killed—and goes looking for answers.
Du Pré suspects a pair of boys who, despite their good upbringing, have fallen in with a gang of crystal meth dealers. Not long after the murder, they vanish. As the town is threatened by a forest fire, Du Pré puts his own life at risk to hunt for the two young men, not knowing whether they’re alive or dead. But if the inferno reaches Toussaint, no one will be safe.
The Eides have owned cattle in Montana since 1882, but a few days after they pull up stakes and sell their property, their homestead goes up in flames. When Métis Indian investigator Gabriel Du Pré arrives on the scene, nothing is left but the ashes. A serene young man appears, insisting the fires were set purposely and firmly asking Du Pré to leave. He is a representative from the Host of Yahweh, the millennial cult that has purchased the sprawling ranch on the edge of the Badlands, and arson is just the beginning of their suspicious behavior.
At first, the people of Toussaint try to ignore the secretive cult. But when Du Pré gets a tip from an FBI contact that seven Host of Yahweh defectors were recently shot to death, he takes another look at the glassy-eyed conclave. Behind their peaceful smiles, great evil lurks.
A rumor circulates around academic circles that the long-lost journals of Meriwether Lewis are in the possession of a hard-bitten Montana fiddler named Gabriel Du Pré. A few years ago, the Métis Indian led a documentary film crew down the Missouri River to commemorate the bicentennial of the famous Lewis and Clark expedition, but he won’t say whether or not he has the journals. Only Benetsee, Du Pré’s mysterious spiritual guide, has any idea where the journals are, and only a fool would try to make Benetsee talk when he doesn’t feel like it.
It’s quite possible, though, that billionaire Markham Millbank is a fool. His money cannot persuade Du Pré, and so he begins to consider other forms of pressure. When two of Du Pré’s friends are kidnapped, the fiddler faces a tough decision: Hand over the journal or risk innocent lives to keep it out of the wrong hands...
Gabriel Du Pré’s aunt Pauline has burned through more than her share of husbands, so it’s no surprise when she shows up in Toussaint complaining that the latest one, Badger, has run off. Du Pré, the Métis Indian fiddler, retired cattle inspector, and sometime deputy, agrees to go looking for her man. He finds him shot, execution-style, in the wilds of the Montana countryside. A chat with his contacts at the FBI reveals that Badger, a small-time drug smuggler, had been working for them since his last arrest. Pauline’s husband was bait, but the big fish got away.
The last lead was to a cabal of wealthy gamblers who pass their time racing horses in the barren Montana brush. To infiltrate their tight-knit syndicate, Du Pré goes undercover, lining up his own horse and jockey. He must tread lightly, because horses are not the only things these men shoot.
Gabriel Du Pré’s precocious granddaughter, Pallas, has returned from her Washington, DC, boarding school, and trouble seems to have come along for the ride. Du Pré’s girlfriend’s son, Chappie, is also back from serving in Iraq, minus one leg and one eye. As the family tries to help him adjust to civilian life, the town is invaded by a fire-and-brimstone fundamentalist sect, whose preacher is hell-bent on imposing his own beliefs on the easygoing people of Toussaint, where even the most pious prefer to keep God to themselves.
Du Pré is content to ignore the evangelists, until a mountain hike turns up the body of a little girl. Although he has no hard evidence, instinct tells him that the fundamentalists may be to blame. Du Pré hunts the countryside for the young girl’s killer, wishing as always that the outside world would leave his beloved Montana alone.
Lt. John Patchen has come to Montana to persuade Chappie Plaquemines, his former gunnery sergeant in Iraq, to accept the Navy Cross. First, however, Patchen must find the wounded marine, who was last seen drinking heavily in the Toussaint Saloon.
With the help of Gabriel Du Pré, who’s romantically involved with Chappie’s mother, he locates him soon enough, disheveled and stinking of stale booze. But a sobering visit to a medicine man’s sweat lodge reveals a much greater mystery: The unsolved case of a band of Métis Indians who were last seen fleeing from Gen. Black Jack Pershing’s troops in 1910, before disappearing.
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 they’re about to uncover long-buried secrets.
Discouraged by the US military with 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 the victims of a terrible injustice might finally rest in peace.
When a hunted military whistleblower and his family need someplace to hide and someone to trust, Toussaint, Montana, is the place, and Gabriel Du Pré the man. The Métis Indian former cattle inspector and sometimes deputy is happy to offer protection, even though he’s already got his hands full with an ailing granddaughter, a meddling medicine man, and a Kazakh eagle hunter prowling the hills above town.
As a guard at a Kabul prison, Hoyt Poe witnessed his fellow soldiers abusing the Afghan inmates. Poe’s testimony threatens to expose the military contractor that led the prison’s brutal interrogation program. Now, Temple Security’s billionaire founder, Lloyd Cutler, wants him dead. But how long can the fugitive and his family lay low before Cutler’s mercenaries come to Du Pré’s hometown looking for trouble?
Luther “Yellowstone” Kelly had one of the longest, strangest, and most breathtaking careers in the Old West. The intrepid scout’s talent for being in the right place at an exciting time would take him all over the world, from the Great Plains to Africa to the Philippines.
Throughout his adventures, Kelly maintained a stoic outlook, a fierce wit, and a talent for survival that got him out of more than a few dangerous scrapes. Yellowstone Kelly: Gentleman and Scout, the first novel in Peter Bowen’s fast-paced series, finds Kelly hunting wolves with the Nez Percé while trying actively to avoid contact with just about everyone else.
This plan quickly falls apart, and Kelly is hired by a group of Englishmen who need a guide for a buffalo hunt. Kelly soon finds himself swept further from home than he ever has been before, going from the Indian Wars to the Zulu Wars.
Before Luther “Yellowstone” Kelly was an unexpected hero of the Old West, he was a young greenhorn, cast out of the big city and onto the frontier.
This sequel to Yellowstone Kelly: Gentleman and Scout begins at the deathbed of Buffalo Bill Cody, where Yellowstone plays cards and reminisces with the legendary frontiersman in his last hours. Looking back on his own life, he recalls the sidesplitting tale of his dalliance with an Episcopal bishop’s daughter. This was the seed from which the legend of Yellowstone Kelly grew.
Yellowstone carves an exciting, hilarious, and unforgettable path through the Old West, meeting historical figures and legends along the way. In Minnesota, he becomes the apprentice to noted mountain man Jim Bridger. In Utah, he runs afoul of Brigham Young and the Mormons.
Through each adventure and misadventure, Kelly maintains his trademark wit and fortitude, always finding his way through even the stickiest mess.
Nowadays US Army Major Luther “Yellowstone” Kelly isn’t the young lively man he once was. He’s cantankerous, stubborn, and his nagging illnesses are exacerbated by the slightest provocation. Still, Kelly is called back into action by his most irritating boss yet: a young assistant secretary of the navy by the name of Theodore “Teethadore” Roosevelt.
The future president needs a crew of toughs to join his Rough Riders outfit, and he correctly reckons that Kelly has an inside track on some of the nastiest ones. Kelly enlists a rascally crew, including his friends Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and helps Roosevelt win the Spanish-American War. Next an impressive piece of jade leads him over the Pacific, before he’s summoned to observe the outbreak of the Boer War.
While sailing to southern Africa, he runs into Winston Churchill in Mozambique...and on Kelly stumbles into other areas of the history books. Whether he’s being chased by Boers or Igorote tribesmen, Kelly always maintains his trademark cynicism and resourcefulness, somehow finding a way to always land on his feet—even if Teethadore is determined to take credit for it.
Charles Darwin’s survey aboard the HMS Beagle forever changed natural history, causing a flurry of wild speculation and exploration in the wake of every major find. Yellowstone Kelly, fresh off his misadventures in Kelly Blue, is cooling his heels in a Wyoming saloon when he encounters a specimen hunter.
Pignuts, the saloon owner, had bartered whiskey for a strange, three-toed horse skeleton and now displays the fossil proudly in his bar. A cold-eyed stranger comes in, buys the bones for a handful of gold, and introduces himself as paleontologist Jonathan Cope.
Cope recruits Kelly to be his guide through the Wyoming wilds. The professor and his beautiful assistant, Alys, hope to find what the Sioux call Thunder Horses—enormous fossilized bones weathered out of the hills. This trip, like many other Kelly expeditions, won’t be an easy one.
Trailing the trio on their journey is Blue Fox, a Dartmouth-educated Cheyenne madman who notoriously loathes professors of all stripes. Along the way, Kelly crosses paths with some of the most illustrious figures of the era as he helps his group navigate the many predicaments of the Old West.