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Gwen Florio's 'Montana' Begins New Mystery Series

'Montana,' a mystery novel by Gwen Florio

Gwen Florio talks about her transition from newspaper reporter to fiction author and the process of writing her mystery novel Montana, the first in a new series. She also reads two passages from the book.

About the Book:

In Montana, Gwen Florio introduces readers to Lola Wicks, a war correspondent and investigative reporter trying to rebuild her life after the shock and humiliation of being downsized.

Her editor reassigns her to a stateside suburban beat formerly the province of interns. And when she arrives in Montana for some R&R at a friend’s cabin, her friend is nowhere in sight. Anger turns to terror when Lola discovers her friend’s fate – and is held as a witness. Her best hope in getting out of Montana lies in solving the case herself. But the surefooted journalist who deftly negotiated Afghanistan’s deadly terrain finds herself frighteningly off-balance in this forgotten corner of her own country.

Lola’s lone-wolf style doesn’t work in a place where the harsh landscape and extreme isolation compel people to rely upon each other in ways she finds unsettling. In her awkward attempts at connection, she forms a reluctant alliance with a local reporter, succumbs to the romantic attentions of a wealthy rancher, and fences warily with the state’s first Indian candidate for governor, the subject of her friend’s final stories. Ultimately she comes to truly care about the people she meets in Montana, only to miss the warning signals that her own life is in danger.

Gwen Florio
Gwen Florio

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Gwen Florio's journalism has won several awards and has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize by the Philadelphia Inquirer , the Denver Post and the Missoulian . Her short fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Florio has received prose grants from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts , and writing residencies at the Ucross Foundation and Brush Creek Ranch Arts Foundation , both in Wyoming. Montana is her first published novel, and the first in a series.

Chérie Newman is a former arts and humanities producer and on-air host for Montana Public Radio, and a freelance writer. She founded and previously hosted a weekly literary program, The Write Question, which continues to air on several public radio stations; it is also available online at and
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