DEER LODGE – Who’d have guessed that when author Warner Bair II. moved back to his ancestral home of Deer Lodge, Montana, after retiring from a long career as a practicing attorney, a prosecutor and a judge in Arizona, that his “new digs” would become the setting of a mystery thriller involving the “Anonymous Man” – his private investigator main character – riding on the wake of his highly-acclaimed first such novel, “Kismet”, set in Arizona and California.
Titled “THE MANSE,” Bair’s new book, released this week by Stoneydale Press of Stevensville, involves 190 pages of fast-paced action, and reflection, as the “Anonymous Man” and his wife, Charlie, react to threats on their lives after a chance, and chilling, encounter with a pair of outlaw bikers in a gift shop. The couple had come to Montana to restore a Victorian mansion in Deer Lodge, where they plan to settle and hadn’t expected this sort of trouble.
Here’s how the Anonymous Man describes the story: “Being married to Charlie kept me on the run and now she’d discovered a Victorian mansion in Montana she wanted to renovate. I had to buy it for her from the local crime boss, a point in my favor because I might need his help after a vicious killer made a move on Charlie and I discouraged him with a six iron. Now, the psycho had decided to even the score by killing both of us. I decided to lure him to the killing grounds of the mountains where he and I could do our death dance far from the maddening crowds. Good plan but I should have known Charlie wouldn’t stay home. Sitting by the fire with a good book. Not my woman.”
The story, set basically in Deer Lodge, involves events that take place in Philipsburg, Missoula, Helena, and Butte as the pair cope with an ever-widening web of intrigue and calumny as the threat on their lives leads to an amazing climax in the mountains to the east of the Deer Lodge valley. The author credits his background as a former reserve sheriff’s deputy, prosecutor and judge for enabling him to provide “THE MANSE” with hard-hitting authenticity and action.
As with his first book in the “Anonymous Man” series, “Kismet,” early readers of Bair’s new book, “THE MANSE” have labeled it as “a great read” with “compelling characters” and “vivid descriptions.” “Kismet” played to such commentaries as “A terrific read” by John Austin, host of the nationally syndicated radio show, The Book Club, on WTAN radio in Tampa, Florida, and “Smart and sexy, I couldn’t put it down,” by P. J. Wright of the Silver State Post.
“THE MANSE” contains 190 pages, was issued in 5½ by 8½-inch softcover format with a stunning cover of the Deer Lodge mansion designed by artist Amy Kroon of Deer Lodge.