What happens when a two-headed cowboy, a high school dropout who longs to be a scholar, and a poet who claims to have been abducted by aliens come together in 1970’s Moab, Utah? The Scholar of Moab, a dark-comedy perambulating murder, affairs, and cowboy mysteries in the shadow of the La Sal Mountains.
Young Hyrum Thane, unrefined geological surveyor, steals a massive dictionary out of the Grand County library in a midnight raid, startling the people of Moab into believing a nefarious band of Book of Mormon assassins, the Gadianton Robbers, has arisen again.
Making matters worse, Hyrum’s illicit affair with Dora Tanner, a local poet thought to be mad, ends in the delivery of a premature baby boy who vanishes the night of its birth. Righteous Moabites accuse Dora of its murder, but who really killed their child? Did a coyote dingo the baby? Was it an alien abduction as Dora claims? Was it Hyrum? Or could it have been the only witness to the crime, one of a pair of Oxford-educated conjoined twins who cowboy in the La Sals on sabbatical? (Publisher website)
2011, Association for Mormon Letters, Novel Award winner