Duncan McCallum (Bone Rattler)

Created by Eliot Pattison

Possibly taking his cue (maybe) from Robert B. Parker‘s 1971 doctoral thesis “The Violent Hero, Wilderness Heritage, and Urban Reality: A Study of the Private Eye in the Novels of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and Ross Macdonald,” author Eliot Pattison has recreated James Fenimore Cooper’s Hawkeye as DUNCAN McCALLUMa Colonial-era frontiersman private eye of sorts.

He even has a couple of cool, First Nations-type nicknames: “Bone Rattler” and “Deathspeaker,” the latter for his ability to wean clues from examining the bodies of the dead, thanks to some medical training he received back in Scotland.

But now the is struggling to make a new life in the New World as a guide and scout for hire. Alas, trouble seems to dog his trail. He even has a faithful Indian companion, his Jesuit-raised Nipmuc buddy Conawago, to help with his investigations, all set against the backdrop of the seemingly endless turmoil and violence of the French and Indian Wars of of 1754-60, with subsequent novels in the series stretching into the Revolution, where folks like Benjamin Franklin and Daniel Boone drop by.

If you always saw The Last of the Mohicans as just another wandering daughter job, then this series is for you. Impeccably researched, but they’re also rip-snorting yarns.


  • The Last of the Mohicans meets Braveheart, with a curious dash of CSI.”
    — Entertainment Weekly
  • “This triumphant combination of whodunnit and deeply researched history should help this gifted author get the wider audience he deserves.”
    — Publishers Weekly on The King’s Beast


  • Perhaps disappointed that the series hasn’t caught on with mystery fans, the publishers are setting their sites on the PBS historical romance crowd: does the cover for 2020’s The King’s Beast look like a ringer for Poldark, or what?


Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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