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A Death in Eden

(Sean Stranahan #7)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  563 ratings  ·  67 reviews
"Keith McCafferty is a top-notch, first-rate, can't-miss novelist."
--C.J. Box, #1 New York Times bestselling author

When scarecrows appear in the cliffs above Montana's famous Smith River and a little girl reports being chased by one in the night, state investigator Harold Little Feather is brought in to find the culprit.  Are the menacing effigies related to a copper-mini
Kindle Edition, 317 pages
Published July 3rd 2018 by Viking
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Average rating 4.25  · 
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Aug 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, giveaways
A Death in Eden is the seventh installment in the Sean Stranahan series. As someone who has never read the earlier novels (or any of Keith McCafferty's writings for that matter), I found the story easy to follow. McCafferty does a great job of capturing the atmosphere and landscape of Montana, and the central mystery is tightly plotted. It's also clear from the strong chemistry and character dynamics that the main cast have a rich history between them. Overall, I thought A Death in Eden was an e ...more
Cyn Mcdonald
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Someone is building huge scarecrows along the Smith River, apparently protesting a proposed copper mine in the area. Someone else is poaching bears in Yellowstone Park and taking just the gall bladders. Harold Little Feather is undercover investigating the second case, but he's pulled off it to investigate the first -- and then he and his son disappear. Sean and Martha have to solve both cases before snowmelt upstream swells the river to dangerous levels.

As always a little too technical with the
Chris Conley
As usual, Montana is front and center in this latest Sean Stranahan story. Actually, this book is more Harold’s story but still very powerful.
Tommy Jacobs
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great nature imagery with a good mystery as well.
Michael Rowley
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As always, Keith McCafferty brings Montana alive in a way that makes me wish I’d been there, or was at least going for a visit!

This latest book feels like something of a departure at first. Sean is there, of course, and Martha, but this feels very much like Harold’s book. A significant part of the plot and story revolve around him and from his point of view, and at first I was, just off a moment, a little disappointed by that. That quickly turned to enjoyment, however, as it really felt like Ha
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have loved Keith McCafferty's books since I happened on the first in the series, The Royal Wulff Murders. Fly fishing fans will recognize that as the name of a fish fly, something I didn't know until I read the book. McCafferty has since written six more in his mystery series set Montana in beautiful fly fishing country. (you don't need to be a fisherman/woman to enjoy these books, don't think that for a minute) I recently finished his latest, A Death in Eden and if this doesn't make you want ...more
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Once again McCafferty has written a great book. Even though his main character Sean Stranahan doesn't take so much space in this book it's fun reading about the evolution of the people in this series. I actually think this was one of the best so far. ...more
Feb 27, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Good read. Enjoy the characters (the 'good' guys anyway). Suspensful, good background and you can tell the research that went into it. I'm all for saving the Smith River from the copper mine now, too. ...more
Al Dowling
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another Great Read

Thank for another great read. Really suspenseful throughout the book. Keith McCafferty’s prose makes me want to take up fly fishing. Strong sense of place, accurately portrayed. I hope Keith is at work on another in this series.
Nov 20, 2019 rated it liked it
After an undercover operation with some really intimidating and sketchy poachers, Harold Little Feather is tasked with investigating the installation of eerie scarecrows along the Swift River Canyon in Montana. The effigies have so alarmed tourists that the area parks superintendent has shut down the river to all but Harold’s investigation and a documentary crew. It doesn’t seem a high risk assignment so Harold invites his newly met teenage son to meet him on the river. Harold will travel along ...more
Deon Stonehouse
A Death in Eden, a Montana mystery features Sherriff Martha Ettinger, Sean Stranahan, and Harold Little Feather among a cast of other characters. They are all great to spend time with, but Harold Little Feather is a particularly appealing character and he has the lead in this edge of your seat story. Harold recently left his post as one of Martha’s deputies to take a position as a detective with the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation. He just came off of an undercover investigation invol ...more
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
As tempers flare over a proposed copper mining operation close to Montana’s beautiful Smith River, an important fishery habitat, a series of disturbing scarecrows begin appearing on the overlooking cliffs. Not only are the figures scaring river rafters, they are frequently close to ancient petroglyphs left by Native Americans inciting fears of possible desecration. State investigator Harold Little Feather is assigned to float the river and investigate the effigies just as he learns he has a teen ...more
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
#7 in the Sean Stranahan series. This 2018 series entry by author Keith McCafferty is a fine read that combines an action crime adventure modern western with an ecological message about the despoiling of our wild rivers by rapacious developers. Author McCafferty write a book that is impossible for me to skim, or even read rapidly. His prose reads like a string of finely crafted magazine articles with one gem of a situation or description after another. I've read his first seven novels in the las ...more
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have read the previous books in this fine series and this newest addition is top notch.
"Keith McCafferty is a top-notch, first-rate, can't-miss novelist."
--C.J. Box, #1 New York Times bestselling author

When scarecrows appear in the cliffs above Montana's famous Smith River and a little girl reports being chased by one in the night, state investigator Harold Little Feather is brought in to find the culprit. Are the menacing effigies related to a copper-mining project that threatens the purity o
Mark Taylor
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Death in Eden is the seventh of the Sean Stranahan mystery stories. There are six published before this one.
Sean is an outdoorsman and watercolorist who hangs out his shingle as a private detective. He is not a native Montanan. Keith deliberately chose to have Sean come from out of state in order to show Montana through fresh eyes. Keith McCafferty's experience in the outdoors and as a long-time contributor to Field and Stream influenced the series early on. As Keith says, he likes to create
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: michael-read
It can't be easy to sustain the quality of a character driven mystery series. But Keith McCafferty seems to be doing just fine with the Sean Stranahan books, of which this is #7.

These books are appealing on many levels -- the terrific Montana wilderness settings as affectionately described by fly fisherman-artist-private detective Sean Stranahan. The humor and wit of the dialogue and character interactions are a great pleasure, and the quirky ensemble cast never disappoints.

This outing highlight
I received a free copy of this novel through a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This is my first Sean Stranahan novel. I didn't have any trouble getting into the plot; I rushed straight in and fell into the flow of things like we were old friends. Moreover, I couldn't keep up with the constant mysterious turn of events and was slightly surprised at some of the events of the plot. I very much liked how intimate the writer was with all of his characters. There w
Apr 10, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
-3.49- Unfortunately this book started great, possibly 5 star territory and just took a wet healthy on me. The back story of a possible copper mine destroying the Smith river in Montana was interesting, but the "poaching ring" was less so. The story begins at a solid pace with our protagonist Sean Stranahan doing his usual solid job investigating a mystery tied to fishing. As per usual in the series it takes a downward spiral when Martha the tiresome Sheriff enters the equation. The best analogy ...more
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Who doesn't love camping, friends & family, small towns and a mystery? Add in my favorites of fly fishing, camping, pictographs and dogs (I love dogs!) and you have a great combination! This was an interesting and at times serious read, but so satisfying. I really loved the main characters Martha, Sam and Harold. Keith McCafferty wrote them a fast paced and intriguing story with the unusual themes of poaching and copper mining with it’s potential contamination of a prime spawning stream. Through ...more
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
I received a copy of this book through the First Reads program. It is the seventh in the series. I have not read the first six. My library doesn't have them. This may have contributed to my dissatisfaction with this book.
I found the characters to be bland. Maybe Mr. McCafferty did all the development of his main characters in the first six books. But I found nothing of interest here. I didn't care about the characters which makes the book very dull.
Too many plots spoil the book. Development of
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sighting of Scarecrows along Montana’s Smith River Canyon shut the river to white water rafters after guide Sean Stranahan last group already left to film a documentary on what copper mining would do to the river. The Montana Division of Criminal Investigation assigned Harold Little Feather to figure out what is happening. Considering they shut down access to the river, scarecrows keep popping up. Relationships and tensions only increase friction as opposite side feud and emotions run rampant. T ...more
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the second book in the series that I've read. McCafferty is a good writer, capable of describing scenery, animal behavior, human interaction, adventurous activity, and violent action. In this book he's successfully interwoven two or three main storylines. He succeeds in making me want to visit the Smith River, although I'm not sure I'm up to navigating it, and he makes various idiosyncratic characters multidimensional. I wouldn't mind spending time with some of them. He also is fairly ev ...more
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Started as a sort of average ok book. I had some thoughts of quitting but the writing and milieu and some of the characters were indeed interesting. About midway, there's an unexpected twist (and a little skip-able violence too graphic for me) and it turned into a page turner. I didn't know anything about the Smith River of the Greater Yellowstone area, despite having been there twice...I will sure research it now! I stumbled on this book and was so desperate for something to read that I read it ...more
Myra Romano
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you adore the beautiful outdoors with sweeping forest and a river that runs through breathtaking scenery and adds in touches of Indian history and detail of guns then this should be your perfect book. Alluring and dark with mysterious and incredibly large sculptural scarecrows that have been hung throughout the forest landscape, this story really picks up about halfway through for me. The amount of detail surrounding the scarecrows descriptions and the guns and shells were really interesting.
Sep 12, 2019 added it
Shelves: giveaways, mystery
Thank you, Penguin Randomhouse for my copy! A Death in Eden is a creepy murder mystery set in Montana. It involves a fascinating cast of characters and the landscape itself is a character. You can really tell Keith McCaffrey is an outdoorsman.

This said, I didn’t finish it. The plot is compelling and the scenery is rich, but it’s a very male book. I didn’t connect with any of the characters. I would definitely recommend this book to my guy friends or Dad, but I wouldn’t say this is a cozy mystery
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I "read" this book listening to it as I did my daily walking. A murder mystery, a river in peril, a really bad guy and Sean Stranahan and crew. This seventh book is as fresh and rewarding a read as the first book yet is even better because with every book in this series I learn more of these characters who are now like friends. Beautiful and lyrical writing -- sort of amazing when the topic is murder. ...more
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the fourth McCafferty/Sean Stranahan novel I have read and the one I enjoyed the most. In addition to telling a good story, McCafferty slips in bits and pieces of Native American history and lore, Montana political issues and the wonder of nature in that vast state. I also enjoy the turns of phrase. An added bonus are his allusions to fellow college friends we knew when we were roommates in college together!
Hans Erdman
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sean, Martha and Harold are back and better than ever. Although this is a Sean Stranahan mystery, it is really a Harold Littlefeather story and one that is a genuine nail-biter. I agree with a previous reviewer who was going to give up on the series after the Hemingway story. There are parts that are taut, gripping and even gruesome, and parts that are light and amusing. McCafferty is back in the groove, and I anxiously await the next story.
Linda Frances
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One thing that shines through the Stranahan novels is how much the author loves Montana. This is even more apparent in this one than the others in the series.

The main characters and their relationships are complex, and sometimes confusing, which makes them seem more real. Of the 4 main characters, the sole female doesn't quite make sense. Maybe she's a bit of a mystery to the author, too.

As a negative, I'm tired of all the females that come along throwing themselves at Sean or Harold.
Mar 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
This latest in his series of fly-fishing oriented mystery novels (and I've enjoyed all his previous ones as well) had much I like in a curl-up book - great characters, beautiful writing about dramatic landscapes (in Montana) and fly-fishing! Cozy enough for me. McCafferty is the wilderness survival editor for Field and Stream, and brings decades of rich experience to his writing, as well as a deep love for his beloved Montana and the northern Rockies. ...more
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Keith McCafferty is the Survival and Outdoor Skills Editor of Field & Stream. He has written articles for publications as diverse as Fly Fisherman Magazine, Mother Earth News, Grays Sporting Journal and the Chicago Tribune, and on subjects ranging from mosquitoes to wolves to mercenaries and exorcism. Based in Montana and working on assignment around the globe he recently spent a month in India tr ...more

Other books in the series

Sean Stranahan (7 books)
  • The Royal Wulff Murders (Sean Stranahan, #1)
  • The Gray Ghost Murders (Sean Stranahan, #2)
  • Dead Man's Fancy (Sean Stranahan, #3)
  • Crazy Mountain Kiss (Sean Stranahan, #4)
  • Buffalo Jump Blues (Sean Stranahan #5)
  • Cold Hearted River (Sean Stranahan #6)

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