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The Spirit Woman (Wind River Reservation #6)

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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  794 ratings  ·  59 reviews
According to legend, Sacajawea--the Native American woman who helped guide the Lewis and Clark expedition through the American wilderness--is buried on the Wind River Reservation. Now, a college professor--and longtime friend of Arapaho attorney Vicky Holden--has disappeared while seeking the truth behind the legend. Vicky and Father John O'Malley soon discover that her mi ...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published August 1st 2001 by Berkley Books (first published 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,178)
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Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
I enjoyed this book. It is a book about violence towards women - domestic violence. It is a book about wanting to believe, refusing to accept the facts (even when they're staring you in the face) whether it's for the love of a man or a love for history. Also, it's about the need to belong somewhere, about wanting to hold the broken pieces together even as they crumble in your hands. Even for the men, it's about losing yourself in drink, desperation and turning to violence in order to subdue (or ...more
Timothy Stone
It seems like sometimes the most compelling mystery fiction is that in which the protagonist is not a law-enforcement official, but an amateur sleuth. Though I imagine that this interest goes back quite some time, I would also guess that we probably owe this to the fiction writers of the 19th and 20th centuries, including such literary heavyweights as Sir. Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, and G. K. Chesterton.

The formula is fairly standard. Take a character that conceivably has nothing at a
...more
June
Oct 26, 2008 June rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery, native american
Recommended to June by: Cheryl
This one got a little heavy for me with all the abuse. The back and forth of whether wife beaters can change was wierd and confusing. I did find the idea of the "will to believe" was interesting. The climactic scence of Vicky and Father John was a bit much for me too. However, I have ordered the next in the series.
Bobbie
I've read all the Wind River series up to now, and chose this one to review because of the issue of abused women. Coel's handling of this sensitive issue is accurate and should touch many who have not understood how abuse affects women. That she uses her talents as a historian to tell the story of Sacajawea from the Indian perspective is a very valuable thing for all of us to consider. Her characters are so real that I feel like I have come to know them and would recognize them on the street, es ...more
Jan C
Feb 07, 2009 Jan C rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tony Hillerman fans
This was the first book I read in the Vicky Holden-Father John series. It brings in shades of Sacajawea, the Shoshone woman who guided Lewis and Clark. She had apparently told an agent's wife the story of her adventure and several historians have disappeared on the Wind River Reservation looking for this story.

I only picked this up for the historical reference. That was the hook for me.

The two books I have read since don't really measure up to this book. Not this book was perfect.

The author rea
...more
Diana
Another good mystery involving Father John O'Malley and Arapaho attorney Vicki Holden. The setting is the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. This involves the mystery of what happened to Sacajaweea, what happened after she left the Lewis and Clark expedition, and where is she really buried.
Twenty years ago a young female historian was investigating the above mystery and she diappeared. Father O'Malley's dog, Walks on Three Legs, unearths a skeleton. Is this the lady that went missing so many ye
...more
Cat
Father John and Vicki Holden are on a dangerous path, getting more and more entangled in each other's emotional lives, and they both know it. They both react differently to the realization, however, thus continuing the tension.

They are, however, forced into the usual role of working to figure out what happened to Sacajawea's memoirs, which historians have long discounted. The "official" record says that they were destroyed in a fire, but a Denver history professor (and friend of Vicki's) has jus
...more
Betty
Jan 21, 2014 Betty rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery, history, Native American Indians
Margaret Coel's books on the Wind River Reservation are the best books I have read on this subject. The series is center
around Father John, a priest on the reservation and Vicky Holden an Arapahoe woman lawyer .
Father John has been order to leave the reservation and Vickey is trying to reconcile with her ex-husband. Father John finds a grave near the river and Vicky's friend is missing. The story touches on spousal abuse and the reactions of individuals involved.
Vicky's friend is searching Sacaj
...more
Toni Hayward
I found this book at a local thrift store. I loved it! Good story, great characters. Pleasantly surprised by this author's work, will have to read more of her works, especially this series! I liked Coel mirrored the abuse that Sacajawea endured at the hands of her husband, with the abuse key female characters endured from their partners. Sacajawea did great things while suffering the abuse as do the principal female characters in this story.
Lynne
Vicky and Father John work to solve the mystery the involves Sacajawea and her connection to the Wind River Reservation. Vicky's friend who is a college professor and disappears while seeking to learn more. Vicky and Father John realize that 20 years ago, another woman disappeared while researching Sacajawea. Fun mysteries.
Patty
Coel continues to write good mysteries surrounded by excellent characters and weaves in the history of the Shoshone and Arapahoe Indians.

In this book a friend of Vicki's from college comes to the reservation to research Sacajawea and the tales of the elders about her time among them. History says that Sacajawea died as a relatively young woman but Shoshone history claims she lived to be almost 100. She told tales to all who would listen of her time with the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

When the re
...more
Patricia
First time reading a Margaret Coel novel and I enjoyed it, interesting story and I enjoyed the characters.....interesting historical perspectives about the Shoshones Indians, and the different accounts of Sacajawea's life. I would read another one of her novels in the future...
Joe
I like it. The strong description (verbal portraiture) of the setting, very likable characters, local issues that are universally human in scope, and an entertaining story line and we have a very nice book.
Janice
Book number 6 of this series and the author included a lot of information about Sacajawea. I seem to find books more interesting when they include real people from the past in the stories.
Kathy
A fun read! I enjoyed Coel's characters & inclusion of Western history in her novel. This is a pleasureable, light mystery novel series which I look forward to reading more.
Bruce
Margaret Coel's book is part of a series with a Native American woman and a Catholic priest as the main characters. In reading it one senses that while the main characters are strong individuals the priest is the stronger of the two. Each has there own personality problem, he a recovering alcoholic, she is an abused spouse (ex-spouse) with the psychological issues it brings. At the end of this book she has a page explaining the plot in historical perspective a la Bernard Cornwell.
However, I mus
...more
William
Great series featuring a Jesuit priest and the Wind River Arapaho Indian reservation.
Lisa
I really thought Vicky and Father O'Malley were finally going to kiss, etc. But no.
Al
Great interplay of Sacajawea, Indian lore, mystery and interesting characters.
Elizabeth Tanner
Great historical fiction of the famous Sacajawea. Good mystery.
Sherrill Watson
Not quite as interesting as any of the Hillerman books, but quite good. Father John O'Malley (very Irish) and Vicky Holden, a big-city lawyer, fight crime on the Arapaho reservation. This is one of a series of books, the first I've read, so I don't know how the others measure up. I'm comparing them to Tony Hillerman's books. The Spirit Woman refers to Sacajawea, a supposed diary of someone who knew about her trip had written.
Lane
another good story from coel
Anne
This series is consistently good.
Nancy
This is another of the Wind River series that pairs Fr. John O'Malley with Arapaho lawyer, VIcky Holden, to solve a murder. This one involves the death of two scholars, twenty years apart, who are on the trail of written memoirs supposedly dictated to an Indian agent's wife by Sacajawea of Lewis and Clark fame. The thread running through the mystery and the female character's lives is that of domestic abuse. Not my favorite in the series, but still a thoughtful page-turner.
Katherine P
I really thought I was having a hard time getting into this book but somehow before I knew it I was sucked in and had read 2/3 of it in 1 sitting. As always Coel does a fantastic job with character development and atmosphere. I found the interweaving of domestic violence with the historical aspect of Sacajawea very well done and fascinating. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more of Coel in the future.
Jeanne Grunert
Excellent book! I love discovering mystery series that are this good, because there are many more books to read fro this author. I like Tony Hillerman's mysteries that are set among the Navaho people. and this is similar except we are among Arapaho and Shosone people. The main characters are likable and believable. Recommended.
Crystal C
This was by far my least favorite book in the series -- everything about this book was clunky, from the dialogue to the plot line, to the unbelievable twists and turns that the murder investigation took. Because I have loved the previous books so much, I will pick up the next one to see if it is any better.
Fredrick Danysh
After eight years with the Arapaho, Father O'Malley receives the long dreaded transfer orders away from the reservation. Meanwhile two historians researching a legend are murdered twenty years apart. Since Father O'Malley fouund the remains of the first, he becomes involved in the investigation.
joyce
Nov 04, 2012 joyce rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hillerman fans?
Recommended to joyce by: personal research
Shelves: mystery
If you like Tony Hillerman, you'll probably like Margaret Coel. Not as much about Native American beliefs, but more about Arapaho and Shoshone, in particular Sacajawea, history. Also delves into the cultural aspects of Native American society within the larger white American society.
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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 19 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 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)
  • Eye of the Wolf (Wind River Reservation, #11)
The Eagle Catcher (Wind River Reservation, #1) The Ghost Walker (Wind River Reservation, #2) The Lost Bird (Wind River Reservation, #5) Killing Raven (Wind River Reservation, #9) The Thunder Keeper (Wind River Reservation, #7)

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