Historical FictionMystery

The Deseret Reckoning: A Novel

by Matthew L Huffman

“This irresistible novel manages the curious trick of making the reader want to stand up and cheer… A transformative tale of personal reinvention from a masterful storyteller.” – Kirkus Reviews (Kirkus Star)

“a thoughtful but well-paced adventure,… raising the stakes, right till the end. This novel is as much a journey of self discovery and newfound determination as it is a quest for retracing a historical trail.” – 
BookLifeThe latest stunning release from the author of Of Dice and Men comes a tale based in history, told through the eyes of Susan Kingsley, a shy yet bold museum assistant in the midst of change, displacement, and growth.

Susan Kingsley is a historical acquisitions assistant with career ambitions at the Smithsonian Museum. She shares an apartment with her ex-husband, FBI special agent Andrew Harrison.

Susan has discovered copies of a series of letters from 1870 describing a wagon train from Santa Fe, New Mexico, bound for the Deseret Territory, the Mormon lands prior to Utah statehood, and a hidden mine.

The new owner of the letters, twenty-seven-year-old Tom Sullivan, a distant relative of the recipient, joins two older friends on a camping trip to discover the source of the letters. While Susan tracks Tom and his letters across Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah, Andrew tails her every step. After a chance encounter with Kat, a friendly face at a challenging time, a bolder, fiercer Susan emerges.

As Susan’s character arc grows, Andrew’s arc delves from petty disagreements to all-out fraud and deception, a cop with a grudge. What secrets will be revealed? What has been hidden in the mine? Will Susan succeed, or will Andrew commit the ultimate crime?

About the Author

Matthew L. Huffman is an avid fly fisherman, a dedicated western states traveler, outdoorsman and writer. He is a full time professional land surveyor in the front range areas of Colorado, where he calls Arvada home. A Pandemic novella, Of Dice and Men (2019), was his first published work. The Deseret Reckoning (2023) is his first full-length novel.

Huffman holds a Bachelor’s Degree from The University of South Florida, a philosophy major. His first job after college was a seasonal park ranger in Colorado National Monument, in Fruita. A lifetime fisherman, he began fly-fishing in 1998 at the urging of Robin, his partner in life, and the gifter of his first fly rod. Since then, Huffman has made fly fishing a lifetime pursuit.

Huffman surrounds himself with friends who enjoy fishing, fly tying, liar’s dice, whiskey, reading and writing. It is these friends who are the inspiration for many of his characters.

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