Mandan News

Local writer takes inspiration from Mandan history

By Katie Jones

Paulette Bullinger

Paulette Bullinger

Paulette Bullinger from the Bismarck-Mandan area wrote a book about a historical murder mystery that happened in 1912 in Huff, N.D. Her historical mystery, “Nothing Hidden,” has elements of bootlegging, betrayal and murder. All of which began with an original newspaper clipping from the “Bismarck Daily Tribune.”

“The article suggested a jealous lover murdered her,” Bullinger said. Growing up in the Huff area, Bullinger heard of the murder mystery and always wondered what may have happened.

However, after 100 years passed since the woman’s death there was not much information to work with. Thus, Bullinger let her imagination take her away to write “Nothing Hidden.”

Heavily researching the era, Bullinger said, “I enjoyed delving into and learning about the area’s history. But most importantly, I’m thrilled that my book is carrying on the historical conversation of the Bismarck-Mandan area.”

Bullinger won the prize of her lifetime from the Bismarck Red Cross’s Ruby Force fundraising event in 2011, when she received the opportunity to write her own book. To mentor her throughout the writing process, she met Jamieson Ridenhour, a professor at the University of Mary.

The book cover to "Nothing Hidden," by Paulette Bullinger

The book cover to “Nothing Hidden,” by Paulette Bullinger

“The most exciting part of publishing this book is the opportunity to discuss early North Dakota history with readers,” Bullinger noted.

Knuckledown Press released the book on Amazon as an e-book on December 10, 2012, and a print version became available July 1. For every hardcopy version sold, the American Red Cross will receive a $1 donation.

Also in the works, is another historical novel to add to Bullinger’s repertoire. She is in the process of writing a fiction inspired by a clipping from a 100 year-old Mandan newspaper. The clipping tells of a local pastor who gave his baby up for adoption after his wife died during childbirth at the Mandan hospital.
Bullinger ponders the different spins she could take on the story while intensely researching the topic.

Print copies of “Nothing Hidden,” can be purchased at Circle Diamond Ranch Supply in Mandan, or by contacting Bullinger at 701-391-0103 or The e-book can be purchased at