In Murder on the Reservation, Ray B. Browne surveys the work of several of the best-known writers of crime fiction involving Indian characters and references virtually every book that qualifies as an Indian-related mystery. He places this genre within the tradition of crime fiction in general, a powerful democratizing force in American society. All people are equal under the horizontal barrel of the loaded gun, and Indians are increasingly playing an important role. Some of this Indian fiction is intended to right the wrongs the authors feel have been leveled against Indians - ""paying back"" as they call it. Other authors use Indian lore and Indian locales as exotic elements and locations for the entertaining and commercially successful stories they want to write.
Ray B. Browne is professor emeritus of popular culture studies at Bowling Green State University. Through some sixty books and a variety of initiatives - including the founding of the Journal of Popular Culture, the Popular Culture Association, and the Popular Press itself - he has played a key role in making popular culture a topic of serious inquiry.