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The Girl With Braided Hair (Wind River Reservation #13)

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  697 Ratings  ·  80 Reviews
"In 1973, Liz Plenty Horses was accused of betraying the militant American Indian Movement, known as AIM, to the FBI after the death of one of their members. She went into hiding with her baby daughter, never to be seen again. Now, a skeleton with a bullet hole in the back of the skull has been discovered at the bottom of a ravine on the Wind River Reservation. The body wa ...more
Kindle Edition, 316 pages
Published (first published September 4th 2007)
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Karen you don't need to read another to complete the story but you will be missing back story if you don't read previous ones. It is stand alone, so it…moreyou don't need to read another to complete the story but you will be missing back story if you don't read previous ones. It is stand alone, so it depends on how much you care about the character development and that sort of thing(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Sherri F.
4 to 4.5 stars Very good! This is my first in this series or by this author, but I will definitely be reading more in this series! I picked it up b/c it fulfilled Wyoming for the State challenge (& used for 2 other challenges) and I like mystery/suspense and curious about the American Indian angle since it is a culture that I haven't read much about or personally have had much exposure to--living in an area of east coast that has more Asian Indians as well as many other cultures, just not Am ...more
Enjoyed this. It works well as a standalone, I haven't read any of the previous books in the series, but I likely will.
Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
I think this is a wonderful read. So often Margaret Coel manages to create a sense of loss and the struggle with that loss. She couples this with father John's constant battle with being a recovering alcoholic - and a priest in love with one of this parishioners; and the attorney, Vicky's struggle with the ghosts of her former life as an abused wife and of having gone "against" the normal flow of an Arapaho woman's expected life. We feel what must be that great sense of emptiness or of a hollow ...more
Jul 24, 2009 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I picked this book up after a teacher in my building recommended the series. She had met the author while traveling through Colorado and started reading them. The Wind River Reservation series involves mysteries involving a Native American lawyer and a Catholic priest. They are quick reads in which you pick up lots of tidbits about American Indian history. Much like the Tony Hillerman books, this series makes the reader want to visit the settings used and find out even more about the cultures of ...more
Mar 19, 2015 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I love this series ... the setting, the characters, the history, the descriptions. In college, I read quite a few books about European-Native encounters -- Wounded Knee, Custer's Last Stand ... that kind of story. Then I quit cold turkey. They were too painful to read, and I couldn't correct old wrongs. Coel allows the readers to revisit historical moments and even sense some of the pain without total immersion.
Mar 03, 2010 Peg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've enjoyed all the Margaret Coel's, but this one was particularly good. I learned a lot about the American Indian Movement (AIM) in the 70's and how ambivalent or torn members of the tribes were in relationship to that sometimes violent activist movement. Good characters, plot complex enough to be interesting but not too taxing for my belabored brain!
Jan 12, 2014 Janis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. It had a mix of legal problems, relationship issues, murder, intrigue and suspense. Held me throughout. I would recommend this author to anyone who loves a good story and likes Native American people and things.
Sep 12, 2016 Holly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another unwitting re-read, not familiar until the last chapter! Good for mystery fans and for fans of Native American history and fiction.
Aug 17, 2015 Kurt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful book. I love the characters and the descriptions of the geography. I love how Ms. Coel weaves actual history with a modern fictional mystery.
John Chadwick
May 04, 2014 John Chadwick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good installment in the series. A fun and quick read. Plausible plot, a bit of history of AIM.
Scott Rhee
Margaret Coel's long-running mystery series featuring her crime-solving duo Vicki Holden and Father John O'Malley would probably be just another mundane series if it weren't for two things: 1) Margaret Coel can write, and she can tell an entertaining and suspenseful mystery, and 2) The series takes place on an Arapahoe reservation, where the wide-open beautiful (and dangerous) western landscape plays as important a role as any of the characters that inhabit it. "The Girl With Braided Hair" is ac ...more
Laura Monroe
Jun 16, 2016 Laura Monroe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
I revisit the Wind River series by Margaret Coel periodically. The plots are usually pretty solid, and Coel does a good job of treating her characters with respect. The Girl with Braided Hair is a solid outing, but not one of her best in the series.

A skeleton of a young woman with a long braid is found on the reservation, and it turns out that the death happened in the early 1970s, when AIM was on the reservation. That was a difficult time, so no one wants to talk about what happened. Still, the
May 04, 2015 Mari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very engaging; brings some of the history of the AIM movement to life. Coel moved from the past to the present throughout the book but it wasn't in a way that felt jarring or off kilter with the pacing.

I enjoyed this more than the non-Wind River Reservation book (my introduction to Coel), I felt like the characters were a little easier to connect with in this one though I still do not feel like character development is the author's strongest ability, and it holds me back from giving 5 stars. I
Clare O'Beara
Aug 08, 2014 Clare O'Beara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: america-crime
Liz Plenty Horses got mixed up in the AIM movement in 1973 which ended tragically, at a time when Native peoples wanted to join the civil rights movement. She has a tiny baby, and flees to protect both of them when she is accused of being a police informant.

Over thirty years later, a skeleton is found in a canyon; a girl who died violently. We follow a Native lawyer, Vicky, who benefited from the education which was extended to her because Natives could no longer face plentiful discrimination fr
Jan 04, 2015 Jill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a series that actually improves after a little time away.

The basic premise is that a white Catholic priest and a female Arapaho attorney solve crimes together on the Arapaho reservation. There is an undercurrent of attraction between the characters. Sometimes it's well written and sometimes overshadows the stories and annoys me. I'm all for romance, but when it is stretched out over so many books without resolution, it strains credibility, in my humble opinion.

Almost every book delves i
Jan C
Jan 16, 2009 Jan C rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tony Hillerman fans
Shelves: mystery, politics, native
This is weird. When I started this book I didn't know it had anything to do with AIM in the 1970s and how they had a four-mile long caravan to Washington. But, at the same time, I was just reading the other day in Russell Means' biography (Where White Men Fear to Tread) about when he went to Washington with AIM and took over the BIA building.

Vicky Holden, Arapaho attorney, is hoping to give a skeleton (the title character) a proper burial. She was found thirty years after the fact with her hands
Linda Branich
Father John, a recovering alcoholic Mission priest on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming gets a call to bless the skeletal bones discovered on the Rez. Along with middle-aged and divorced Arapaho attorney, Vicky Holden, they try to find the identity of this person so she can have a proper burial.

The information slowly and painfully comes in--- a young female who had given birth, beaten and shot in the head 35 years previously, then a name and much, much more. What happened to the child? What
Apr 22, 2011 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery
This is the second time I've read this one as I work through the series from beginning to end, and I enjoyed it as much as the first. Coel's mysteries are always good, and I particularly appreciated it because it reminds me of the mystery surrounding Anna Mae Pictou Aquash's death (she was also an AIM member accused of being an informant who was found shot in the back of the head and whose murder went unsolved for more than 30 years--and still lacks definitive answers despite the indictments aga ...more
Nov 28, 2007 Evelyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
The discovery of skeletal remains still bearing a long dark braid of hair opens deep wounds among the Native Americans who live on Wyoming's Wind River reservation. Arapaho attorney Vicky Holden's efforts to identify the woman, apparently a murder victim, cause tension with her love interest and law partner, Adam Lone Eagle, driving her to enlist the aid of their friend Fr. John O'Malley. A rash of threats and the murder of a woman Vicky questioned confirm her suspicions that members of a 1970s ...more
Nov 01, 2010 Liz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, series-book
3.5 stars- sometimes it seemed like I had read this one before. Similar stories I guess. However, the ending was emotional for me. More than I was prepared for so I had to give it an extra half star. I learn a lot of native American history reading her books - much like Tony Hillermans. But I like the fact that the author is a woman and the stories seem more heartfelt than Hillermans.
Chapters about the murder victim and what led to the murder are interspersed with chapters about the investigatio
Mar 28, 2015 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#13 in the Wind River series. Fr John O'Malley, pastor of St Francis mission on the Arapaho Wind River Reservation, and Vicky Holden, lawyer are featured in this series.

Wind River series - Fr John O'Malley is called to the site of an Indian skeleton. He and Vicky attempt to identify the murdered woman. The skeleton is connected with the sometimes violent American Indian Movement of the 1970's. Someone doesn't want the old murder investigated and O'Malley and Vicky are endangered. Fr O'Malley is
Susan Beamon
Feb 01, 2017 Susan Beamon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just found this series and enjoyed the books in it I read. I like stories that include history and touches of a culture not my own. This book has both. It's set in the Arapaho section of the Wind River Reservation, although in this story members of other tribes appear. The story also covers two time periods, now and 1973 during the struggles of the American Indian Movement (AIM). There is a murder and a pair of talented amateurs help in solving it. I may have to seek out other books in the ser ...more
Tom Gorski
Jul 05, 2016 Tom Gorski rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Margaret Coel is the real deal! The late Tony Hillerman called her a "master" and he had that right and I'm glad I've added her to my reading list. These are mysteries set in the Arapaho reservation of Wind River in Wyoming and, like Hillerman's books you get interesting lead characters, a sense of the culture and spirituality of these Native Americans and a fine story to boot. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.
May 26, 2016 Beth rated it liked it
Better than I thought but predictable.

I figured it out half way thru which is better than most of the time. The book wasn't too bad. The plot was feasible and seemed well researched. This is the only one in the series I have read and it was for book club. The writing was ok. Because I haven't read the others I didn't have any background on Vicky and the priest but I found the hints at a live thing very predictable.
Jul 26, 2011 Ty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While, in general, I've loved each of the books in the series up to this point, I am tired of the constant threat that one of the two main characters will leave. Spoiler alert: Father John leaves at the end of the book to go on sabatical. I know she's trying to add suspense and to make the characters know how much they care about eachother, after so many books this theme is getting old. Otherwise, great story line. I was sadly uninformed about the AIM movement so I found it interesting.
Jul 15, 2014 Diana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A skeleton is found on the Wind River Reservation. It appears to have been there for some time. A young woman disappeared in the time frame the skeleton appears to be from. For some reason authorities are hesitant to investigate the crime.
Vicky and Father John end up trying to find out who the skeleton is and why and how she died.
Another good story in the Vicky and Father John series.
Jan 10, 2012 Lynda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We had a lively discussion of this book. I found the setting, the characters and the plot
made it an interesting choice for discussion. The story brought back to some of us
the 1970's and the American Indian Movement and how little we understand of our native culture.
The author brought this to us in a very interesting story.
Aug 14, 2013 Tia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this for my local bookclub.

This book was a bit of a struggle for me to get through. I had not read the previous books so that may have been part of the problem. However, I was inclined to skip over paragraphs just to get through the whole book.

I feel the book was very plot centered and lacked intriguing characters that I REALLY cared about.

Jul 28, 2016 Elaine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought the descriptions of sounds and scenes and people were a bit much at first but then I realized how important they were to the story and I was hooked. It was quite interesting to learn more about the American Indian Movement, too. This book does not contain sex scenes or cursing. The violence is descriptive but not graphic. It is suitable for young adults, maybe even pre-teens.
May 13, 2010 Betty410 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Maybe I'm getting tired of this series and the characters involved. But, also, the author seemingly needed to fill the pages and the repitition of discriptions of the same scenery was tiresome.
The basic idea of the search for the murderer of a skeleton from 30 years ago involving the Ameican Indian Movement and the FBI wanting to end the actions of the movement was interesting history.
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Margaret Coel is the New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of the acclaimed novels featuring Father John O'Malley and Vicky Holden, as well as several works of nonfiction. Originally a historian by trade, she is considered an expert on the Arapaho Indians.
More about Margaret Coel...

Other Books in the Series

Wind River Reservation (1 - 10 of 21 books)
  • The Eagle Catcher (Wind River Reservation, #1)
  • The Ghost Walker (Wind River Reservation, #2)
  • The Dream Stalker (Wind River Reservation, #3)
  • The Story Teller (Wind River Reservation, #4)
  • The Lost Bird (Wind River Reservation, #5)
  • The Spirit Woman (Wind River Reservation, #6)
  • The Thunder Keeper (Wind River Reservation, #7)
  • The Shadow Dancer (Wind River Reservation, #8)
  • Killing Raven (Wind River Reservation, #9)
  • Wife of Moon (Wind River Reservation, #10)

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