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Courting Truth: Montana Courthouse Tales

Eric Olson

Pages: 416
ISBN: 978-145752-969-6
List Price: 22.95
Category: Nonfiction
Available: June 2014
Edition: Perfectbound

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Every county in Montana has a courthouse, and every courthouse has its tales. In 1915 a woman named One-Eyed Molly Wakefield stepped off the train at a station near the town of Scobey in one of the most remote sections of America’s Big Sky Country. No one knew Molly or how she had lost her eye. Within a matter of weeks, however, she purchased several key plots of land within the town limits, as well as the Commercial Hotel. For the next several years, using the hotel as her base of operations, One-Eyed Molly and her crew of working girls proffered local folks a broad menu of epicurean delights designed to satisfy the full range of carnal tastes. Then, almost as suddenly as she arrived, Molly departed, disappearing into the fog of history and leaving behind the hotel building which has for the past century served as the Daniels County Courthouse. Courting Truth is a fresh and fascinating approach to historical literature. Tracking the history of community justice in Montana from territorial days to the present time, Eric Olson has produced a historical chronicle which combines vivid characters with intellectually engaging storytelling. A trial lawyer with thirty-five years of courtroom experience, Olson spent more than two years conducting interviews and scrupulously researching court records, historical journals, and contemporary writings. Employing a variety of fanciful and imaginative narrative techniques, he probes deep into local case histories, many of them forgotten even by the local residents. The result is a collection of larger-than-life tales redolent with the flavor of a television soap opera – funny, insightful, sometimes thought-provoking, but always compulsively readable. Courting Truth is a sumptuous feast for anyone interested in getting a glimpse of Montana history and learning what justice looks like at the grassroots level.

Eric Olson, a former trial lawyer, attended Punahou School, Wake Forest University, and Gonzaga Law School. His three-part novel, The Undone Justice Trilogy, will be published in 2014. He is currently at work on his next novel, Sardonyxx. He lives in Missoula, Montana.