EVEN GHOSTS NEED HELP FROM A CUNNING MAN. A new novel in the Cunning Man series from Dragon Award-nominated author D.J. Butler and Aaron Michael Ritchey.
Hiram and his son Michael are dowsing a well in Eastern Utah when they hear a cry of help from the ghost of a small boy, torn to pieces by wild animals. Before they can even begin to look into that tragedy, however, a prosperous local rancher is murdered right before their eyes.
In an attempt to both help the ghost and find the killer, Hiram and Michael must navigate an eccentric cast of characters that includes failed bank robbers, a seductive fortune-teller, an inept sheriff, a crazy prospector, and a preacher with an apocalyptic grudge against the Roosevelt administration.
The mystery, however, isn’t just in the hearts of men. There’s an astrological puzzle that Michael, now his father’s apprentice, must solve. Meanwhile, the murderer is moving slowly against Hiram and Michael, forcing them into a trap from which there is no escape.
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About The Jupiter Knife:
“It’s like Jim Butcher crossed with Grapes of Wrath!”—Larry Correia
“Butler and Ritchey return to Depression-era Utah for a second thrilling tale of murder and folk magic (after The Cunning Man). . . . The play between Hiram’s earnest Mormonism and the more secular Michael’s growing unease with folk magic adds depth to the father-son dynamic, and the false leads and eccentric side characters make for a delightful mystery. This well-crafted historical fantasy is sure to please.”—Publishers Weekly
D.J. (“Dave”) Butler grew up in swamps, deserts, and mountains. After messing around for years with the practice of law, he finally got serious and turned to his lifelong passion of storytelling. He now writes adventure stories for readers of all ages, plays guitar, and spends as much time as he can with his family. He is the author of City of the Saints, Rock Band Fights Evil, Space Eldritch, and Crecheling from Wordfire Press, and Witchy Eye, Witchy Winter, and Witchy Kingdom from Baen Books.
Butler and Ritchey return to Depression-era Utah for a second thrilling tale of murder and folk magic (after The Cunning Man). In 1935, Farmer Hiram Woolley and his adopted Navajo son, Michael, travel to Moab to dowse for a well. While there, they learn of a ghost haunting the newly established Arches National Monument and linger to investigate, discovering that a young boy was recently killed by wild animals. Hiram and Michael also pay a visit to seductive widow Diana Artemis, a fellow purveyor of folk magic who is looking for a charm to help with Hiram's "falling sickness." Hiram's skills dull after meeting Diana, because they require a chaste mind. While in this condition, Hiram discovers the body of Lloyd Preece, a wealthy rancher murdered with his own knife. When law enforcement proves unwilling to investigate, Hiram and Michael look for the killer, uncovering a disturbing ritual involving the men of the town that links back to the Arches ghost and sweeps up Hiram in a dangerous game. The play between Hiram's earnest Mormonism and the more secular Michael's growing unease with folk magic adds depth to the father-son dynamic, and the false leads and eccentric side characters make for a delightful mystery. This well-crafted historical fantasy is sure to please. \n