Lola Wicks

Created by Gwen Florio

Cranky, sharp-tongued Baltimore Express foreign correspondent LOLA WICKS goes where the action is, be it Afghanistan, where she’s just gone through more than enough crap to last a lifetime, or Montana, where she’s planning to just chill for a while (and consider her career options) at her friend’s remote mountain cabin, in the impressive, Shamus-nominated novel, Montana (2014).

But it’s not meant to be. Seems her gal pal, Mary Alice Carr, a local reporter with a nose for dirt, has been murdered, which rather puts a crimp in the quality time Lisa was planning to spend with her.

This is Big Sky noir, filled with big ideas and enough Big Sky grit to make it all worth while, and Wicks, who cuts very little slack for anyone, makes for an intriguing and engaging, if occasionally ill-tempered, guide.

But even better news is that Lola returned in several sequels,  where she put down some Rocky Mountain roots. In the immediate sequel, Dakota (2014), she’s chucked her high-profile foreign correspondent gig at a Baltimore paper for a job covering county goings-on at the only newspaper in Magpie, Montana.

And that handsome small-town sheriff Charlie Laurendeau has nothing to do with her sticking around.


It’s a “gutsy series,” according to the New York Times, and they ain’t kidding. Over five unflinching, uncompromising novels, Lola tackled eco-terrorists, the struggles of Native Americans, the on-going challenges of soldiers caught up in the seemingly never-ending Afghanistan war, the plight of transient workers, coal mining, foreign adoptions and enough corruption and greed to easily fill five books. Plus, Lola has more than a few of her own personal demons to face, from family issues to drug addiction.

“Gutsy” ain’t the half of it.


Gwen Florio was a foreign correspondent herself, and has covered everything from the Columbine High School shootings and the Miss America pageant to battlefield reports from Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and Lost Springs, Wyoming (population three). She turned to fiction in 2013 with the publication of her Montana, which was nominated for a Shamus Award  for Best First P.I. Novel, and won won the Pinckley Prize for Debut Crime Fiction and a High Plains Book Award. Florio lives in Missoula, Montana, with her partner, Scott Crichton, and a bird dog named Nell. She is a member of International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and Great Old Broads for Wilderness.


  • “A gut-wrenching mystery/thriller that explores prejudice and the incredible stress on soldiers in a seemingly unending war with no clear goals.”
    — Kirkus Reviews on Disgraced
  • “A hallmark of the Lola Wicks series is Florio’s seamless weaving of Native American communities into the narrative. The culture of the Blackfeet in Montana and North Dakota, the Shoshone in Wyoming, both on and off the reservation, come poignantly alive in characters.”
    — Montana Standard on Disgraced
  • “Gwen Florio achieves what few others can in the field of crime fiction. She creates characters with real depth and places them in a story that is so hard-hitting and believable, it’s easy to imagine it being in tomorrow’s headlines.”
    — J.J. Hensley


  • Curiously, the third book in the series, Disgraced (2016), which deals with the fallout on American soldiers returning from Afghanistan, may be the best-received book in the series. It’s also the only one not released on Kindle. A mistake, or something else?




  • July 27, 2023
    The Bottom Line: This hard-charging journalist comes back from Afghanistan ready for peace and quiet and a Rocky Mountain high. Instead she finds… murder in the Shamus-nominated MONTANA.
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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