A Novel

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
Rate this:

Jacob Neptune, a wise-cracking, two-fisted Penacook private investigator with a checkered past, lives in upstate New York--four hundred miles from his tribal community on Abenaki Island. Then one night the phone rings. "We . . . got . . . trouble," Neptune's cousin Dennis says from the other end. And trouble is where it all starts in this brilliant, often hilarious novel by acclaimed Abenaki storyteller Joseph Bruchac.

Attacked by bikers before he can even board his plane, Neptune--"Podjo" to his friends--quickly begins to realize just how much trouble surrounds his people's ancestral home. Guided by his sense of duty to his homeland, he agrees to help protect Dennis and other Penacooks as they stage a takeover of a state campground on land that should have reverted to their tribe. But encroaching developers, government operators, and even fellow Penacooks eager to build a casino each pose a threat to the Abenaki lands--and all have reasons to want Neptune out of the picture.

Podjo greets each challenge with self-deprecating humor--but it's difficult to shake his increasingly disturbing dreams, and an unsettled feeling when his return leads to a reunion with a long-ago love interest. As he and Dennis contend with hired guns, police, and security, a far greater threat appears: someone, or some thing , is brutally killing people in the woods. It will take all of Neptune's skills as a martial artist and the wisdom gained from tribal elders to battle the forces that threaten the sacred land--and his and his people's lives.

Bruchac ratchets the tension from the first page to the last in this detective novel that pairs comedy and action with serious consideration of corporate greed, environmental destruction, cultural erosion, and other modern-day issues pressing Native peoples.
Publisher: Norman : University of Oklahoma Press, [2016]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780806152073
Branch Call Number: MYSTERY BRUCHAC
Characteristics: x, 209 pages ; 23 cm.


From Library Staff

Recommended funny-acerbic humor. Engaging & amusing, fast-paced, detailed story with snarky Native American sleuth Jake Neptune, called Podjo by his friends. Author’s heritage includes Abenaki (a First Nation tribe of northeastern North America). book available

Highly recommended! This stand-alone mystery features an amusing & fast-paced story with snarky sleuth Jake Neptune, called Podjo by his friends. This author’s heritage includes Abenaki (a First Nation tribe of northeastern North America). “At his cousin's request, Joe Neptune returns to his ... Read More »

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jan 09, 2018

I don't usually go for detective stories, but I LOVE this one. For one thing, I connect on a personal level with the detective (Jacob) in this book, because of his interest in martial arts. Another thing that I like about Jacob is his sense of humor. I kept laughing out loud as I read this book. Finally, I love the way that Bruchac weaves Abenaki stories and history into Jacob's narration. (Both Bruchac and Jacob are Abenaki.) I hope that there will someday be more books about Jacob Neptune; I would gladly read them.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at LPL

To Top