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The Silent Spirit (Wind River Reservation Series #14)
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The Silent Spirit (Wind River Reservation #14)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  661 Ratings  ·  79 Reviews

Kiki Wallowingbull went to Hollywood to uncover the truth behind why his great-grandfather disappeared back in 1923. But after Kiki's frozen body is discovered on the reservation, Arapaho attorney Vicky Holden and Father John O'Malley must find the connection between the two violent deaths separated by nearly a century.

Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Penguin Group (USA) (first published August 28th 2009)
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Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
I came to Margaret Coel after I'd read all the Tony Hillerman's; I needed my fix of Native American detective stories. What I didn't realise at the time was that I was buying into the angst of a nation, the lost dreams and sorrowful songs of a people. In all her books the sense of loss is great and when that is coupled with the "forbidden" attraction between Father O'Malley and the Arapaho lawyer, Vicky Holden (let alone the baggage they are carrying) there is a hole opened up before us that sho ...more
Patricia McLean
Recently, I've read two Margaret Coel mysteries after not having read one for a couple of years. I don't think her writing is as strong as Tony Hillerman's and I think The Silent Spring is a case in point. She has two basic characters who are emotionally entangled, but pretty much doomed to never become lovers. This theme is getting ragged. I know that people pick up serial books at different points in the on-going story and some reiteration of the setup is necessary, but I found it annoying in ...more
I haven't read any of these for awhile and thought I'd try them again. I really used to love Coel's books, but the relationship between Vicki and John is getting annoying. Just the same thing over and over. We know it is never going to amount to anything, so why keep mentioning it a million times in the book? And, as others have said, the writing is repetitive. The only reason I keep reading these is because of the Native American culture and history. Perhaps she could start a new series which f ...more
Janet Brigham
Oct 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the very few series I can recommend to anyone without hesitation. This book is less intense than earlier books in the series, but pleasantly so. The Father John/Vicky relationship is more settled, although I do still wish that the Vicky character had some shred of a sense of humor. (The relationship between John and Walks On remains the most unflappable and dependable.) The time frame shifts comfortably between the 1920s and the present; the plot twist revelations at the end work ...more
May 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Another fine book by Margaret Coel. She uses her expertise about the Arapahos to bring to life the facts of living on a reservation, old traditions and how the younger generations struggle between the old ways and everyday modern life. Father John and attorney Vicky Holden try to offer guidance and legal advice to those struggling. When a young man, a former drug abuser and convict, is found dead in a ditch, this opens the door to happenings in Hollywood in 1922 and its impact on the dead man w ...more
Nov 09, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was very interesting learning about Tim McCoy and native americans in film. I found the present day murder to not be as well developed or as engaging.

Mystery, Native Americans
Jun 12, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the series
Shelves: mystery, series-book
The premise is a 100 yr old murder from the days of the silent movies when Arapahoes and Shoshones played themselves in the first westerns. The author draws on some real history of that time and uses one of her writing techniques of flashback chapters. The mystery unravels slowly when the great grandson of the murdered man seeks justice and is murdered himself. In places the book felt repetitive, and the viewpoint changes from person to person a lot or I would have given it 4 stars.
Also the tens
Richard Etzel
Jul 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
One learns a lot about the history of the plains indians reading Coel's books. The Arapaho lawyer and a Jesuit priest on the Wind River Reservation team up once again to solve a 90 year mystery of an Indian disappearance while filming a silent movie. Vicky Holden doesn't get into a life and death situation in this one but Father John does. It all works out in the end. A good read that moves along to a predictable conclusion.
Mar 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this for two reasons: the Native American characters (mainly Arapahoe) and the trip back in time to the 1920's and a glimpse of the early Hollywood production. This is my first Margaret Coel read, but I have enjoyed this genre of detective stories. Of course I've enjoyed Tony Hillerman stories but plan to read more of this author as well.
Dec 28, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another solid installment in the Wind River Mysteries series. This one is a bit long winded and doesn't have quite as much action, especially in the conclusion, as the other books. Also, I'm surprised none of the characters have overdosed on coffee yet. I've never seen so many references to coffee in a book.
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This mystery spans time and place, from the early days of movie making to current days on the rez. What ever happened to the young Arapaho who disappeared when he went off to Hollywood to be in a western film? Will his descendant be able to figure it out?
Tom Gorski
Sep 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like all the novels in this series this is a solid and interesting story that advances the main arc (Fr. John and Vicky) toward an eventual conclusion in the last book. Again, she explores another aspect of Native American life with their involvement in the silent film industry of the 1920's.
Arapaho attorney Vicky Holden and Father John O’Malley again work together in this excellent addition to the long-running series. Kiki Wallowingbull goes to California to determine why his great-grandfather never returned to the reservation to his young wife and son after going to Hollywood in the 1920s to help promote a silent film, The Covered Wagon. Shortly after Kiki returns home, Father John finds Kiki dead. Because of his past drug use, the authorities believe he died in a drug deal gone b ...more
Apr 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second Coel book I've read. I enjoyed reading this book until the very end. Coel deftly wove the past in with the present. I learned something new about Native Americans and silent films. Making the Indian scenes realistic was important, so using real Indians was the studio's best choice for the time. The mystery of what happened to Kiki and what happened to William kept me reading to see what would happen next. I especially enjoyed Coel's detailed descriptions of the winter landscap ...more
Bruce Snell
Jul 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I needed this book - I have been reading several other different series, and a chance to get back to Father John and Vicky Holden as they solve today's murder while resolving an 80 year old disappearance and possible murder was a pleasure. Father John has returned to the Wind River Reservation after 6 months in Rome; Vicky is still practicing law, although now it is primarily tribal issues, and she misses dealing with people in need. That is when Vicky gets a phone call from a young man asking f ...more
Dec 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A writer who is in the same class and genre as Tony Hillerman! He wrote mysteries involving Navajos and she writes mysteries involving Arapahos, his books are set in New Mexico and hers are set in Wyoming. I live in Wyoming and it is thrilling to see places I am familiar with mentioned in the story. My husband is currently living in Riverton, WY and that is where the story takes place.
a young Arapahoe man decides to go to Hollywood to determine what happened to his great-grandfather who never re
Oct 30, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story did not live up to what I generally expect from Margaret Coel. The backdrop of the story is the relationship of Father John O’Malley and Native American lawyer Vicky Holden. They have an up and down relationship- forbidden by his role as a priest and complicated by hers as a conflicted Native American Lawyer. She has started a law practice with Adam Lone Eagle, another native American lawyer who would like a permanent relationship. Vicky gets drawn in with Fr John to gather the clues ...more
Feb 01, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another winner from Margaret Coel. If you like Tony Hillerman, these books are a great read-alike and there are 14 in the series, so it's nice and long-running. Kiki Wallowing Bull wants to remake his life to honor his family. After getting out of prison, he kicks the drugs and tells his grandfather he will find out what happened to Charlie's father, who went to Hollywood in 1922 and never came back to the reservation. Kiki goes to Hollywood and returns to the rez, only to be killed days later. ...more
Jan 15, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Father John O’Malley is back from Rome and getting back in to life at St. Francis Mission on the Reservation. Vicky Holden is having thoughts about her relationship with Adam while they are working on major cases for the tribal Council, she can’t distance herself from the day to day problems of the Arapahos on the Res.
Father John and Vicky both get caught up in the murder of a reforming drug dealer Kiki Wallowingbull who has set out to LA to find out what happened to his Grandfather who disappea
Dec 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the fourth of the Wind River Mysteries I have enjoyed. Coel has been compared to Tony Hillerman with her novels about the Shoshone and the Arapaho of Wyoming. I have enjoyed the mix of history and mystery intertwined in each of the novels. This one focuses on the making of a Hollywood silent film about the West. 500 Indians, longhairs, traveled on horseback carrying tipis and old regalia to California to act in this film. The contrast of their stark reservation life with the glitz of Hol ...more
Bill Reinehr
Apr 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This a pretty easy read. Coel has written a bunch of these Wind River Reservation mysteries - about 17 or 18. Rather regional I suppose since the reservation never moves. I've not read any of the other entries in this series. Rather well done - the story shifts from the present back about 90 years to the Hollywood of the Silent Screen era and a supposed crime that took place back then. Those types of shifts can be jarring to the reader but her transitions seemed quite smooth to me. It probably h ...more
Steven Howes
Sep 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The plot line of this Wind River Mystery revolves around the making of one of the first epic western silent movies of the 1920's called "The Covered Wagon." Col. Tim McCoy, who later became a famous western movie actor in his own right, provided a large number of Shoshone and Arapaho Indians to serve as extras. The story is about a young Indian who tries to find out what happened to his great grandfather who worked on the movie but never returned home. As with all the other Wind River Mysteries, ...more
#14 in the Wind River series. The further adventures of Fr. John O'Malley, pastor of St Francis mission on the Arapaho Wind River Reservation, and Vicky Holden, lawyer.

Wind River series - Fr. O'Malley has returned from his Rome sabbatical and encounters Kiki Wallowingbull on his way to Hollywood to trace his great-grandfather. Kiki is murdered after he returns and most think he has returned to drugs. Vicky gets anonymous calls from someone who claims to have killed him in self-defense, but other
Nov 27, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't think this one was as good as some of the others from the series but I am not sure why. I was frustrated with Vickie in this one and her reluctance to stand up to Adam and tell him how she really feels and how she would rather do the type of law she was doing before. The relationship with her and John seemed a little too redundant of books in the past as well. It also seemed a little unbelievable all the information they were able to find about the past situation by searching the web as ...more
Gilbert Baron
May 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Something a bit different this time. Flashbacks.

I have been enjoying this entire series or at least the ones available as an ebook. In this story it zips back and forth to the 1920s and the first epic western. You have a little history and some comments about Indian treatment. They were not treated well. So what else is new? I still wish she would cover a little more about the Arapaho and Shoshone ways. The same things come in every book. Nevertheless the stories keep you reading.
Father John is back from his sabbatical to Rome but Vicki has a hard time adjusting to his return. After all, she thought he was gone forever. However, together they solve another mystery involving the death of one of the Indians on a silent film shoot in Hollywood. So we go back and forth from 1923 to today in an interesting recall of the problems of film making in those days as well as again seeing the prejudice and misunderstanding by the whites about Indians and their culture.
Once again we e
Jane Healy
Coel continues her O'Malley-Holden Wind River Reservation series with this blend of historical fact and fiction. Alternating between old-time Hollywood and modern day Wyoming, O'Malley and Holden work to find out who killed Kiki Wallowingbull and why. Her investigation of this murder puts her at odds with law & life partner, Lone Eagle, bringing her back to her purpose for becoming a lawyer. This book is written so well, you'd think you were there.
Jan 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story is based on the western movies that were made in the 1920's with Tim McCoy and the Arapahos. Kiki Wallowingbull is determined to find out who murdered his great-grandfather in 1923 while they were shooting The Covered Wagon in L.A. After returning from L.A., Kiki ends up dead himself. Father John, newly back from Greece, and Vicky have to solve the murder from the past before they can find out who killed Kiki.
Virginia Walter
Arapaho attorney Vicky Holden and Father John O'Malley team up after a separation to solve a contemporary murder with roots in the 1920s when hundreds of Arapaho and Shoshone Indians acted as extras in the silent movie "The Covered Wagon." One of those men didn't come home, and his great-grandson is obsessed with finding the reason. The early movie connection really happened, and this is a fascinating piece of Western history. The mystery not so much.
Jeff Dickison
Apr 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the best Wind River Mystery that I have read to date. Vicky & Father John must once again join forces to solve a murder. This one revolves around what happened to the victim's grandfather in Hollywood in 1923 while he was working on the classic silent western "The Covered Wagon". To all of you who are trying to compare Coel to Hillerman: Stop it. You're not being fair to Coel as nobody can top Hillerman.
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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)