Richard A. Thompson’s evocative period piece a "Tale of Bindlestiffs and Blood"

Big Wheat

Richard A. Thompson

Poisoned Pen Press

Category Sponsor: Marvin Windows and Doors


Jilted by his childhood sweetheart and estranged from his father, Charlie Krueger leaves home to seek employment in North Dakota’s booming wheat threshing industry. There, he witnesses the notorious Windmill Man serial killer committing the most recent in a string of murders, and becomes a target himself.

An excerpt from Big Wheat:

The harvest moon was down to its last sliver, feebly backlighting the wrinkled gray crepe that hid the stars. But for the man with the pick and shovel, it cast light enough. He had dug many graves in the hard soil of the high plains, most of them in the dark. He was an old hand at it. He occasionally used a hooded lantern to check his progress or re orient himself, but he really didn’t need it. He could do the job with his eyes closed.


Richard A. Thompson is a trained civil engineer, but now writes mysteries full time and is a previous Minnesota Book Award finalist for Frag Box. He lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota with his wife of 45 years and two neurotic cats. Click here to visit his website.


“The historical details in this chase-filled thriller transport the reader back to one of America’s most interesting time periods.”
– Minnesota Book Awards judge

“Thompson’s accomplished stand-alone, set in 1919 on the Great Plains…mixes elements of the western with a well-devised mystery plot for an evocative look at the hardships of farming, the intersection of progress with old-fashioned ways, and the loneliness of the Great Plains.”
– Publisher’s Weekly

“Another good story from Thompson. The plotting is deft, and young Charlie is irresistible.”
– Kirkus Reviews

*A bindlestiff is a hobo, especially one who carries a bedroll or bundle of posessions.


Award winners will be announced at the 24th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala on Saturday, April 14, 2012 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel – Saint Paul Riverfront. The opening reception begins at 7 p.m. followed by the awards ceremony at 8 p.m. New this year: a post-awards “Epilogue Celebration.” Tickets are available online or by calling 651-222-3242. Click here for more information.

Have you read Big Wheat? What are your thoughts? We welcome your comments!

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