Where the Hardwood Draws: A Montana Mystery

Where the Hardwood Draws: A Montana Mystery

Orem, Tina
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Where the Hardwood Draws
By Kim Thielman-Ibes
Bedford, Indiana
JaNa Books, 2004
278 pages

This is Bozeman resident Kim Thielman-Ibes’s story of Joe Washington, who returns to Cutbank Creek, Montana after the death of a childhood friend. Washington’s return sparks a string of murderous events centered around one man’s attempt to conceal the truth about the death of Joe’s brother, Danny.

Small-town characters and a Western setting give the book a local feel, and the author works hard to tease the reader with information about Danny’s death. Like many mysteries, the protagonist not only discovers the truth about a crime, he discovers truth about his world, and Where the Hardwood Draws is no different, where Henry serves as a metaphor for Joe as a child and his chance come to terms with his past. Although Thielman-Ibes has a decent story idea, develops some of the characters well, and creates some engrossing scenes, poor editing seriously detracts from this book.
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