Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Laughing Whitefish” as Want to Read:
Laughing Whitefish
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Laughing Whitefish

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  62 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Willy Poe is a newcomer to Michigan's Upper Peninsula -- a shy, lonely young lawyer yearning to meet the girl who will call him William. On a lovely day in July in 1873, he meets her. Her name is Laughing Whitefish.

She presents him with as exciting, challenging and hopeless a case as ever set a precedent. At issue is an elemental question of raw justice: Can Laughing White

Mass Market Paperback, 312 pages
Published January 28th 1994 by St. Martin's Press (first published 1965)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Laughing Whitefish, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Laughing Whitefish

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 102)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Tim Lepczyk
Original Review

Last week, on vacation in Michigan, I heard an interview on Points North about the reprinting of Robert Traver's (John D. Voelker's) novel Laughing Whitefish. It sounded interesting on two levels. First, I love the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Second, the story of how a Native American woman sued a mining company over her father's unpaid claim sounded fascinating. Having read the novel, I can tell you it is fascinating.

Laughing Whitefish works in two ways. First, Robert Traver doe
Laughing Whitefish was printed in 1965, and takes place in the latter part of the 1800s, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. As with Traver's better-known novel, Anatomy of a Murder, it features a young lawyer, almost fresh out of law school, and an old codger who has drinking problems. The old guy, in this case, is Cassius Wendell, and he brings young Willy (William Poe, age 26) his first real case. And what a case it is.

Charlotte Kawbawgam, aka Laughing Whitefish, wants to sue the Jackson Mini
Fran Darling
I love Robert Traver's, (John Voelker in real life) style. He has a wit that reveals the real truth in the characters and their tails. Famous for the Academy Award winning movie based on his Anatomy of a Murder, Traver/Voelker developed his legal "fiction" drama to a fine point. Laughing Whitefish is historical fiction based on the real trials that went all the way to Michigan Supreme Court back in the late 1800's in Marquette, MI.
The young lawyer comes to Marquette, MI far north of his Ann Arb
Duane Patterson
Laughing Whitefish is an excellent legal and romance thriller about a legal case that went before the Michigan Supreme Court in the 1800's.
The story takes place in the upper peninsula of Michigan. A young,beautiful Native American women inherits a legal contract about
an iron ore deposit. The powerful mining company does not want to honor. The only lawyer willing to help her is a recent graduate of
the University of Michigan law school. The two join together to fight the mining company in court.
Vicki Wood
A great read for anyone interested in Marquette history. Set in the U.P. in the 1870s, this novel captures the authenticity of the people and the majesty of the geography of the region.
Carol B.
I think I would have enjoyed this book more if I had not read the foreword first. It should have had a "spoiler" alert. That said, the story was interesting, especially since I grew up in Michigan and camped in most of the state campsites in the Upper Peninsula. I knew the area. The story dragged here and there. I believe it could have been more tightly edited. But all in all, it was worth the read. I recommended it to my book club.
Written in 1965 about a legal case of a Chippewa in Michigan whose father was owed big $ by a mining company. Nice to know that the plight of American Indians was understood even then, not that it has done much good. I was recommended this by a elderly lawyer friend who calls this his favorite book. The legal ins and outs escaped me, but it is a good read, by the author of the more famous "Anatomy of a Murder."
Maryka Biaggio
This is a wonderful book, by the author of ANATOMY OF A MURDER, based on the true story of a trial that took place in Michigan over Indian rights in the late 1800s. The author does a fine job of distilling the actual convoluted legal machinations into a highly compelling and readable account. The descriptions of Marquette at the time are lovely!
Oct 14, 2013 Larry added it
This novel is a must read... great tale based on a real American trial. Set in the mid 1800's, it is an important read to learn of our early American culture. I could not put it down. It is not an easy read... it is written by a real-life attorney... but his writing is brilliant! Loved it!
Pretty good courtroom drama set in the neglected frontier, the upper midwest. Pretty good, especially if you care about the UP.
Mar 29, 2010 Barb rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Barb by: Joe and Bruce
A little drawn out. Otherwise entertaining enough novel, based on an actual court case. Parts are quite funny.
Chris Goodrich
It was an interesting book that I read. I barely could put it down because I wanted to know what happened next.
Even though I'm not into history that much, I thought it was a good read.
Setting is in the U.P. in the late 1800's. Enough said.
Toesnorth's mom
Dec 14, 2012 Toesnorth's mom added it
Shelves: mom-s
Sam marked it as to-read
Dec 04, 2014
Ross Hammersley
Ross Hammersley is currently reading it
Oct 02, 2014
Charlotte marked it as to-read
Sep 11, 2014
Kyle added it
Aug 08, 2014
Jennifer Hill
Jennifer Hill marked it as to-read
Jul 07, 2014
Jeff added it
Jul 25, 2014
Gabriella Greene
Gabriella Greene marked it as to-read
Mar 24, 2014
Stephanie marked it as to-read
Jan 21, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Robert Traver is the pseudonym of John Donaldson Voelker who served as the Prosecuting Attorney of Marquette County, Michigan and later as the 74th Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court. He wrote many books reflecting his two passions, the law and flyfishing, Troubleshooters, Danny and the Boys and Small Town D.A.
More about Robert Traver...
Anatomy of a Murder Trout Madness Trout Magic Danny and the Boys: Being Some Legends of Hungry Hollow Traver on Fishing

Share This Book