This is big sky country with its beautiful mountains, clear rivers, and murder. Newcomer Sean Stranahan has gone there to paint watercolors and fly fish, but his past experience as a private investigator puts him in the path of the mysterious singer Velvet Lafayette. She has an odd request for him that he can’t refuse, and inevitably she links him to a recent homicide.
The dead man was caught in the driftwood of the Madison River where Rainbow Sam’s client snagged the body while fly fishing. It was meant to look like a drowning, but the victim was killed elsewhere and dumped in the river. Sheriff Martha Ettinger investigates the murder when she discovers the link with Stranahan, Lafayette, and the victim.
Caught between protecting Lafayette and pursuing the killer, Stranahan is in danger as the murderer begins to target him. Ettinger on the other hand suspects everyone but is still willing to use Stranahan’s help. The Royal Wulff Murders by Keith McCafferty is reminiscent of a noir mystery from the thirties with some wit thrown in it and a colorful cast characters.