Bear Bones

Who buried Helen Lockwood in a shallow grave on South Manitou Island?

Helen Lockwood’s boat was found drifting off Sleeping Bear Dunes with no one aboard. A year later her body was found in a shallow grave on South Manitou Island. She’d been in court, fighting with the Park Service who had condemned her family’s four hundred-acre orchard to make it part of the new Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Burr Lafayette, her lawyer, had kept the Park Service at bay for seven years, with no end in sight. Until Helen disappeared.

After her body was found, her husband, Tommy, was arrested for her murder. It turns out that he’d been trying to sell the orchards to the Park Service ever since Helen went missing.

Burr Lafayette, recently divorced and the deposed head of a major Detroit law firm, now finds himself defending Tommy. Burr, though, isn’t a criminal lawyer. A man at loose ends, he’s a brilliant litigator who prefers sailboats and dogs over courtrooms and clients.

The prosecutor has damning evidence and Tommy may not have been the perfect husband, but Helen had many enemies. Burr is convinced there’s a clue somewhere in the dunes that will unlock the truth.

If you like John Grisham and Scott Turow, you’ll love Bear Bones.

The Making of Bear Bones!

Available wherever books are sold, in paperback, hardcover, and ebook.


Bear Bones

“A taut, alluring mystery (with) captivating characters.”

~ Kirkus Reviews

“Cutter is on his way to becoming the next Erle Stanley Gardner, the master of courtroom drama, Cutter has found a home with his Burr Lafayette series, and he has a knack of keeping the reader guessing the outcome with complex plotting, deceitful witnesses and romance set against the beautiful backdrop of the Sleeping Bear Dunes. This is Burr Lafayette in his best Perry Mason imitation.”

~ Bill Castanier, Lansing City Pulse

“Cutter takes flawed but brilliant attorney, Burr Lafayette through twists and turns in this legal thriller set against the backdrop of the fabled Sleeping Bear dunes. The courtroom showdowns – and Burr’s wry, unspoken insights – are as enthralling as the unexpected ending.”

~ Ben Beversluis, Grand Rapids Press, Retired

“Bear Bones and Burr Lafayette remind us of what we have and why we love where we are. Part mystery, part ode to the last best places, Cutter’s prose captures the best of what is always slipping away. A page turner of a mystery.”

~ Glen Young, Bear River Literary