The Gray Drake

Available Now

Quinn Shepherd was the best guide on the Au Sable river, until he's found at the bottom of the river with the anchor chain of his boat wrapped around his ankle. Lizzie, his wite, is devastated and is left to raise Josh, their six-old son, by herself.


An inquest determines that his drowning was accidental, but a year later new evidence is found and Lizzie is arrested for murdering her husband.


Burr Lafayette, recently divorced and the deposed head of a major Detroit law firm, is recruited to defend Lizzie. A man at loose ends, he is a brilliant litigator but prefers sailboats and dogs over courtrooms and clients.


The prosecutor has damning evidence, and Quinn may not have been the perfect husband. Burr, though, is at his best in front of a jury. He discovers that The Gray Drake, the legendary lodge where Quinn guided, is full of secrets, and the storied Au Sable River won't give up the truth. But Burr won't give up. He finally untangles the truth from the lies and ferrets out the killer with a sleight-of-hand that will keep you guessing until the last page.


“A smashing murder mystery featuring a quick-witted protagonist. ... Cutter’s razor-sharp dialogue in the courtroom (is) truly unforgettable.”


– Kirkus Reviews

“An intriguing tale of illegal drug sales and environmental exploitation. The truth eventually emerges as the unique spirit of the Au Sable flows through this captivating mystery.”


– Jerry Kustich, author Holy Water and A Wisp in the Wind

“Fly fishing and murder are mysterious games. Tighten your wading belt as this novel deftly carries you from Michigan’s famed Hex hatch on the Au Sable River to the Crawford County Courthouse. A robust and enjoyable read.”


– Glen R. Blackwood, Great Lakes Fly Fishing Company, reviewer of sporting literature for Covers, Upland Almanac and Michigan Trout magazines.

“Was it murder? Or an accident? This story has it all. Michigan’s most famous river and its most famous fishing lodge combine with a beautiful suspect, a rumpled, nearly broke lawyer, and unbridled greed to keep you guessing until the end.”


 – Bob Linsenman, angler and author of Water Songs and

Trout Streams of Michigan.

Design by Clemons Creative  |  Charles Cutter |  2019