Death Valley (Jack Prester) – Jack Prester, a third generation park ranger, teams up with a very urban accountant to crack both a murder and an embezzlement case. Both of them are uncomfortable, she in a desert wilderness and he with aching body parts.
Fatal Fishes – Fatal Fishes. The assassins were not successful, but they put Joe down pretty darn good. Why? Who? Fingers point to someone in the homicide division, most likely Jerry, the man in charge. Tommy and Gretchen race to find out before whoever it is strikes again. Which of course, this being fiction, he/she does.
The Last Dinosaur – The Last Dinosaur. Somewhere in a pivotal moment in time, the last surviving dinosaur existed, wandering around all alone and wondering woddahel happened. Now a megalomaniac director is filming it using the low desert south of the Superstitions. The story moves all over Arizona and a bit of Mexico.
Gila Monster – Gila Monster. Although Gila Monsters (Heloderma suspectum) are as venomous as rattlers, no one ever dies from their bite. They have no efficient venom delivery system and have to chew on you awhile with teeth that come out quite easily. If you’re stupid enough to just stand there and let them…. And yet, the victim died from Gila Monster venination. Warning: explicit snakes.
Mouse Trap – Mouse Trap. An officer-down epic set in part at the Heard Museum. Of all the wonderful things to see and do in Phoenix, The Heard is the do-not-miss-this place to go, even before you visit the world-class zoo and Desert Botanical Garden.
Cat Killer – Cat Killer. Investigating the murder of evangelist Persis Magen’s right-hand woman, Cat DuBois, Joe and Tommy meet a variety of people of varying degrees of weirdness. The Phoenix Zoo is depicted in the denouement as it was during its first few years (I am a charter member). It is sort of the same today only much, much better.
The Sheriff of Laido – The Sheriff of Laido. So Min is a sheriff. Actually, not a lot has changed, jobwise; she has always dealt with all the correspondence, written the sheriff’s reports to the council, fed any prisoners, kept the office clean, and handled all the sheriff’s sales as one ranch, then another goes under (way too many, for this is the third year of a devastating drought). But for the first time ever, a genuine mystery pops up; the area’s schoolmistress disappears. Not only does duty require that she uncover the perpetrator, her very future depends upon it.
The Doctor of Laido – The Doctor of Laido. Laido has two churches and a couple saloons, but never has it attracted a doctor, try as it might. Finally, one takes up residence, just in time to comment on the untimely death of Laido’s banker and perform the county’s first-ever autopsy. Too, there is a brief visit to Galveston, which in 1887 was the grandest city in Texas and destined for even greater things.
The Butcher of Laido – The Butcher of Laido. Newcomer Aaron Spothwaite was sold a bill of goods. He thinks he has bought a farm as productive as the place he left in Illinois. In Laido County, it takes 40 acres to graze one cow. But the three-year drought is breaking and there’s dancing in the streets, until parts of the town’s resident scum-bum show up. Just parts. Artfully and professionally separated parts. Min does not particularly mourn the guy’s passing, but her deputy nearly dies of pneumonia, her beloved grey mare goes lame with a quittor, and then there’s Aaron, being a pill. And that’s just the beginning.
Mount Rainier – Mount Rainier. Formerly Murder on the Mount. Christmas in Mount Rainier National Park is not your usual holiday, and this is not the usual who-dun-it. Jack plans Christmas in Hawaii. Plans schmans. He gets Christmas in Mount Rainier in tale replete with Bigfoot, druids, and a rousing saloon brawl.
Grand Canyon – Grand Canyon. If you’ve been there, you’ll recognise the venue immediately; if you’ve not, by all means go! There is nothing like it. Nothing. Even Jack, nicknamed Doofus in high school, waxes poetic. The story takes you out to the ends of the park and down to the river as Jack seeks his best friend’s murderer.
Great Smokies – Great Smokies. Formerly Quick and the Dead. Great Smoky Mountains is one of the most visited parks in the system, and one of the most mysterious. Jack totals his trusty Dodge Ram in this one, and for a while there, even misplaces his trusty lab, Maxx.
Acadia – Acadia. Formerly Model Murder. In Acadia National Park, a fashion spread is being photographed; very glamourous, except that the models tend to end up dead, which pretty much dulls a lot of the glitz. Jack goes through three parkas in this one, should anyone be keeping score.
Red Iris Black Rose – Some come close, but there is no truly red iris or truly black rose. Two plant propagationists are out to create what has never yet been seen. Arlayne Wells uses tried-and-true controlled crosses, spending painstaking hours dusting stamens with pollen. Wightman Trainer is dubbed Test Tube Trainer for a reason. He’s using lab techniques to achieve unique varieties. This is a sweet romance, so of course, their paths cross. Repeatedly.
Hyaenas – I had this concept in mind that 35,000 years ago, the last of the Neanderthals were dealing with the encroaching Cro-Magnons, and this might provide a way to look at our own race from afar, as it were. So the hero, Gar, is a Neanderthal. It didn’t work out that way in the print version because the publisher, St. Kitts, wouldn’t let him be non-human (contrary to scientific proof that by golly, they weren’t just Cro-Magnons with eyebrow ridges), and that sort of spoiled the effect. In this the e-version, he’s Neanderthal, and superior by far to those Hairies.
Arachne Flying – Young adult coming-of-age. The bark Arachne, back when she was the Pamphylia, was once grounded and thrice dismasted. Her new owners give her a new name, a new captain, and Edward a new cabin boy, and away she goes to earn some return for them. They end up in Borneo fetching baby orangutans for the London zoo. Edward, who despises anything to do with ships, learns about false friends and true friends and why making potato whiskey might not be such a good idea.