Monday, May 21, 2018

High Country Mystery News for May

It's been a busy month.  The latest book in our High Country Mystery Series, Rapid River Hoax has been released.  In this book McQuede tries to mend his broken heart as he does a little river rafting and attempts to solve the mystery of a young man who has disappeared on the river.  Will he take Loris back or this time has she gone too far?



Click on link to order Rapid River Hoax


We are also having a seven day Amazon giveaway for a Kindle copy of An Icy Death. (Ends Memorial Day!)  In this book, McQuede discovers a frozen body in an abandoned car.  Did Arthur Burnell leave his wife to die an icy death?  Find out in this High Country adventure.  All books in the series contain a complete mystery and do not have to be read in order. 



Click on link to join Amazon giveaway!


Thursday, April 19, 2018

We are happy to announce the latest book in our series, Rapid River Hoax.  

After McQuede is jilted at the altar by his long-time girlfriend, Dawson convinces him that a relaxing river rafting trip is just what he needs to get over his heartache.

Unknown to Dawson, McQuede has also come along to investigate the disappearance of a young man who has recently vanished from the lodge.  Andy Norton may be perpetuating one of his notorious  hoaxes or he may be in serious danger.

Dawson also has a secret motive for the trip.  He is searching for a rare Native American Sheepeater camp, a project that draws Loris and Arden Reed to the scene.  

Surrounded by colorful characters and intrigue, McQuede finds himself in a race to save valuable artifacts and to find out what happened to Andy.


Murder in Black and White
Whispers of the Stones
Stealer of Horses
The Executioner's Hood
An Icy Death
Crying Woman Bridge
Murder and the Good Old Boys' Club
Rapid River Hoax



Wednesday, February 7, 2018

New Release Rapid River Hoax Coming in April!



In our next High Country Mystery, RAPID RIVER HOAX, after being jilted at the altar, McQuede allows Dawson to help him get over his heartache by arranging a river rafting trip.  His relaxing time soon comes to an end when he is asked to follow up on a missing person. 

 Andy, the son of a local man who is known for pulling publicity stunts, has taken a boat out and vanished from the out-of-the-way lodge where he and Dawson are staying. Is his absence another one of his publicity stunts, or has the young man gotten into some real trouble this time?  McQuede can't help but investigate.

To add to his problems, who appears at the lodge but Loris, with his rival Arden Reed in tow? The two of them are trying to find a Sheepeater site hidden in the cliffs above the rapids, and McQuede finds Dawson is trying to beat them to it.

Between trying to find out what happened to Andy and sorting out his love life, McQuede has his work cut out for him.  

This book, the eighth in the series, will be available in April of 2008.

Books in the series:
Murder in Black and White
Whispers of the Stones
Stealer of Horses
The Executioner's Hood
An Icy Death
Crying Woman Bridge
Murder and the Good Old Boys' Club

Thursday, August 3, 2017

A LIST OF THE JEFF MCQUEDE HIGH COUNTRY MYSTERY SERIES IN ORDER

Welcome, mystery series readers! All books in our High Country Mystery series, set in Wyoming, are standalones, with a complete mystery and resolution in each novel.  You don't have to have to read them in order.  But since many readers prefer to read a series in chronological order, we have made a list of books in the series from the first to the most current release.  So, feel free to start with Book 1, or jump into the middle and find a story that personally interests you.  The relationships between McQuede and members of the community as well as his ongoing love life changes between books, but that is well-explained in each novel so you won't be left behind no matter which book you choose to start with.  

Book 1: MURDER IN BLACK AND WHITE


Sheriff Jeff McQuede becomes suspicious when a robber breaks into the Coal County Museum and steals only one item - a black-and-white class photograph. Under the name Jerome Slade the photographer had printed two ominous words: never graduated.  When a body is unearthed beneath the newly demolished school, McQuede realizes Slade had not left Black Mountain the night of the spring dance. McQuede soon uncovers hidden rivalries between Slade and his classmates. When he discovers that Heather Kenwell and the woman of his dreams, Loris Conner, were rivals for Slade's affection, McQuede fears finding out the truth.  Theft, blackmail, and another brutal killing lead back to photographs taken by Black Mountain's eccentric photographer, Bruce Fenton. While others see an innocent collection, McQuede sees murder in black and white.

 Murder in Black and White is a mystery following Sheriff Jeff McQuede as the most unusual burglary occurs...a riveting old-school style mystery that is as fun as it is entertaining.  - Midwest Book Review

Purchase Link: Murder in Black and White


Book 2: WHISPERS OF THE STONES


 Sheriff Jeff McQuede finds 'Bartering Bill' Garr murdered at his rural antique store. Only one item is missing -- a rare artifact believed to be the Pedro Mummy. First discovered in a cave in Wyoming, the Pedro Mummy was reported missing in the 1950s. Dr. Seth Talbot, newly arrived in town, has put out a fifteen-thousand-dollar reward for any information on the mummy, hoping that modern technology will prove his theory that a tiny race of people actually existed: one the Shoshones call the Nimerigar, or Little People. McQuede is astounded to find the mummy in the trunk of Seth Talbot's car. Talbot swears he;s being set up by rival co-workers -- Dr. Arden Reed, in particular -- who plans to benefit from his research. McQuede suspects the theft of the mummy is a red herring used to cover up the true motive for the crime. The closer he comes to the truth, the deeper McQuede is drawn into an elaborate hoax that threatens his career and places him in grave danger.

If you like a mystery with an interesting location as well as colorful characters, this is the one for you. --Reader's Favorite, Jean Brickell 

Purchase Link:  Whispers of the Stones


Book 3: STEALER OF HORSES


The famous Carlo painting Stealer of Horses sells for cash in a small Wyoming town and gallery owner Sheldon Spence gives the $200,000 to his wife, who walks over to the bank to make the deposit...and never returns.  A witness claims to have seen a frightened-looking Susan Spence in a battered old Chevy, speeding out of town. And each succeeding clue reveals a different angle on her disappearance. Sheriff Jeff McQuede begins to wonder if this is more than a simple case of kidnapping and robbery. Was Sheldon involved in Susan's disappearance? Or did Susan and a lover fake the scheme, planning to run off with the money they stole from Sheldon? The identity of a victim found shot behind the wheel of the Chevy holds the key to one ominous question: Is Susan Spence a kidnap victim-or is she part of some sinister ploy?

"A tremendous story that is on par with the best mysteries available on the market..."
Nicola Davies for Readers Favorite


Purchase Link:  Stealer of Horses   


Book 4: THE EXECUTIONER'S HOOD

An ominous black hood, a murdered judge.   When Sheriff Jeff McQuede finds Durmont's highly respected judge, Phil Grayson, bludgeoned to death in his study, a black executioner's hood shoved over his head, he faces his toughest case yet.  The judge has many enemies, including Darin Keefe, sentenced by Grayson and just released from prison. McQuede soon finds out that Keefe's case is linked to a city scandal that may involve Grayson. Seven years ago the judge's best friend, John Harwood, was believed to have taken a bribe from Keefe Construction and to have committed suicide rather than face conviction.  Had Keefe, taking the fall, left prison intent on revenge?   Or is the the judge's murder the result of a robbery gone wrong? Grayson died surrounded by his fabulous Old West outlaw collection, including a death mask, a famous Peacemaker, and other rare artifacts. The intruder could have been after some unknown item of great value.   Is the judge's murder a simple burglary gone wrong or a case of modern-day vigilante justice?


McQuede is a character that would make anybody feel safe and secure. Barry Dawson, is a good friend but you'd just want to smack him for being careless with his life. The Judge? He, like everyone else, was a mixture of good and bad--the question is, which got him killed?
 Sandra Murphy-- King's River Life Magazine


Purchase Link: The Executioner's Hood


BOOK 5: AN ICY DEATH 


 In the heart of a raging blizzard Sheriff Jeff McQuede discovers a woman frozen to death in her car. At first he believes her death to be an unfortunate accident--until he finds clues that point to cold-blooded murder. Margaret's husband, Arthur, left her in the stalled vehicle to brave the storm and manages to reach Joe Trevino's isolated ranch. The case becomes more complicated because of the recent warehouse robberies at Trevino's store. McQueede finds that Trevino is Margaret Burnell's business partner, and that she has traveled from their Casper store to conduct a company audit. In addition, Margaret has planned to meet with her only child, a run-away daughter she hasn't seen in years. Trevino, the missing daughter, and Arthur Burnell would all profit financially from Margaret's demise. Has a relentless killer tracked and sabotaged the Burnells, or did Arthur simply abandon his wife for his share of the money, leaving her to die an icy death?

I loved the setting in An Icy Death...The cold, brutal Wyoming winter is the perfect setting for a book that you want to curl up in front of the fire with and never stop reading...  I also liked the fact that no one w as ever sure that the murder was really a murder. At first, it appeared to be a tragic accident. ... Was the husband at fault? Or was this a simple act of ugly nature? Nice job!  Janelle Fila --Readers' Favorite


Purchase Link:  An Icy Death 


 BOOK 6: CRYING WOMAN BRIDGE


While returning from Professor Dawson's lecture on haunted places, the last thing Sheriff Jeff McQuede and Dawson expect to encounter is a terrified woman clinging to the railing of Mirabella's Bridge, crying for her lost baby. It looks as if Rae Harris has thrown the infant over the bridge in a fit of despair, but she claims he has been stolen by a ghostly figure she calls Mirabella. Similar to the La Llorona legend Dawson just spoke about, Mirabella was a local pioneer woman who was rumored to have drowned her infant after being abandoned by a lover. At first McQuede believes Rae was driven by madness, but he soon finds evidence that her story may be true, and the perfectly timed kidnapping of her child may be in some way related to lecture attendee and local celebrity, Jim Royce, and his vast fortune.

"My favorite book in the series" 
In a crime that mirrors the haunting legend of Mirabella, a 'crying woman' whose story is a variation of the legend of La Llorona, a babe goes missing and the distraught mother claims a ghost has stolen him away. Despite roadblock after roadblock, Sheriff McQuede doggedly pursues the truth, not believing that a legend has come to life...  Lillie Amman, Reviewer

Purchase Link:  Crying Woman Bridge 




BOOK 7: MURDER AND THE GOOD OLD BOYS' CLUB

Threatened victim, waiting grave…Sheriff McQuede is called to the cemetery by Ben Ward, a member of Durmont's Good Old Boys' Club. Ward's tombstone, where he plans someday to be buried with his first wife, is vandalized. A menacing date of death, fast approaching, has been drilled into the stone, and splotches of red paint drips over it like blood. Ben Ward and his four partners have sunk vast sums of money into a recreational community, Pleasant Valley Retreat, and this failing project has flamed anger among the investors. As the inscribed date of Ward's death draws nearer, a killer stalks the resort. McQuede must act quickly before a vandal's threats turn into reality.

"An excellent story that starts with a unused tombstone being vandalized. Murder follows as a Ponzi scheme is uncovered by the sheriff on the eve of his wedding. Fans of C.J. Box will enjoy this modern day Western series by a pair of sisters. This was a free review copy in PDF format provided by the authors. I'm looking forward to reading more books in the series as once I started the story was difficult to put down.--5 star Goodreads review-- Fredrick Danysh 


Purchase Link: Murder and the Good Old Boys' Club


A DEAL ON A HANDSHAKE:  A Collection of Seven Jeff McQuede Short Stories

In these seven mysteries Sheriff Jeff McQuede finds himself in the middle of a deal made on a handshake—where the result is murder. Set in the high county of modern-day Wyoming, the deal makers are speculators at an old-time mountain man rendezvous, traders vying over rare Native American pottery, or two family patriarchs pretending to bridge a lifetime of feuding. Throughout McQuede battles his arch-enemy Ruger, who he suspects runs a host of illegal activities, but generally manages to evade McQuede’s traps. In each of these stories McQuede, putting his own life on the line, relentlessly seeks out the dangerous men who have broken trust.


Purchase Link: A Deal on a Handshake


All of our books are available on Kindle, Kindle Unlimited, and as paperbacks through Amazon. 

Look for the eight book in the series, RAPID RIVER HOAX, coming this fall!


Friday, November 11, 2016

NEW RELEASE: MURDER AND THE GOOD OLD BOYS' CLUB

We are delighted to announce our new release, the 7th book in the High Country Mystery Series, MURDER AND THE GOOD OLD BOYS' CLUB. Our latest book in the series is now available in paperback, Kindle and is also on Kindle Unlimited.

 Review: “Murder and the Good Old Boys’ Club” is a brilliant new addition to their long list of captivating, clean-reading titles: a who-done-it that leaves readers wondering who did it." Author Stephanie Parker McKean

Threatened victim, waiting grave…Sheriff McQuede is called to the cemetery by Ben Ward, a member of Durmont’s Good Old Boys’ Club. Ward’s tombstone, where he plans someday to be buried with his first wife, is vandalized. A menacing date of death, fast approaching, has been drilled into the stone, and splotches of red paint drips over it like blood. Ben Ward and his four partners have sunk vast sums of money into a recreational community, Pleasant Valley Retreat, and this failing project has flamed anger among the investors. As the inscribed date of Ward’s death draws nearer, a killer stalks the resort. McQuede must act quickly before a vandal’s threats turn into reality.

We want to thank our faithful readers, and for those new to the series, each of our books contains a complete mystery and do not necessarily need to be read in order.  All you need to know is Sheriff McQuede has a long-standing girlfriend, Loris, and a best friend, Barry Dawson, who has a knack for getting in trouble.
These stories are more about human nature, about a good man trying to make the right decision in the often difficult situation of being a sheriff who knows everyone in town.  McQuede often must search his soul for not only a legal answer, but the right one.

Friday, August 7, 2015

How Haunted Bridges and Spooky Legends Became Inspiration for our Mystery Novel Crying Woman Bridge


          The idea for our latest Jeff McQuede mystery, Crying Woman Bridge,  started with a legend, specifically, the legend of La Llorona.  We had first heard about this prominent tale while visiting the Southwest.  The Hispanic stories have several variations, but they all deal with a woman who has sacrificed a child or children by drowning.  She commits this terrible act for the sake of her lover and ends up crazed with regret.  In many retellings of the story, the weeping woman, La Llorona, can be heard along the river’s edge crying Ay mis hijos!  which translates to, Oh, my children!   

          During our research we found that La Llorona wasn’t the only mother weeping for lost children.  Throughout the United States many tales exist about bridges haunted either by weeping women or crying babies.  Another story closer to home also caught our interest, that of Theorosa’s Bridge near Valley Center, Kansas, and Wichita.  Several versions of the Theorosa legend are well-known.  In the oldest version, a baby named Theorosa is stolen by a band of Native Americans, and the mother’s spirit still haunts the creek in search of her lost child.  In a more modern version, Theorosa has an illegitimate child which because of guilt she throws from the bridge.  Later she kills herself by jumping into the river.  In yet another, Theorosa was a witch who was hanged, and her baby drowned in the creek.  “If you say Theorosa, Theorosa, I have your baby,” she will appear and attack you.



                    Our latest High Country Mystery!

          Our story takes place in Wyoming and is a fictional tale with elements of these timeless legends that exist in so many forms.  Sheriff Jeff McQuede and his friend, Professor Dawson, are returning from a lecture Dawson has just given about local haunted places.  He has spoken about one that concerns a local bridge they must pass by, called Crying Woman Bridge, or, by some of the locals, Mirabella’s Bridge.  In this story a young pioneer woman named Mirabella got jilted by her lover and threw her baby over the bridge.  At night it is rumored that you can still hear her cries; if you say her name three times, she will appear and bad things will happen.  McQuede and Dawson are startled to find a modern-day woman standing on the bridge crying for her baby.  Has she thrown the infant into the river in a fit of madness as did the pioneer woman?  McQuede is even more stunned when Rae Harris claims that her baby was stolen--by a woman called Mirabella. 
         
McQuede discovers the truth through a strange and twisted turn of events which leads to Rae, the woman on the bridge…and a dark secret. 

Further reading: 


Legends of America  Click this link to read one of the more popular versions of the La LLorona Legend. 

Wikipedia: Theorosa's Bridge  Click this link to read variations of the Theorosa Bridge legends. 





Wednesday, March 18, 2015

An Icy Death: The fifth and latest book in the Jeff McQuede High Country Mystery Series



It’s cold in Wyoming!  Cold enough to freeze to death.  This fact makes An Icy Death the only book we have ever written inspired by the weather.


Jamierodriguez37 Morguefile


In Wyoming the wise never leave home without a thermos of hot coffee, extra food, and blankets.  In winter it’s not uncommon for the temperature to dip to minus seventeen, often with a wind chill factor of thirty below zero.  Because many places still exist where cell phones cease to work and help is almost impossible to summon, blizzards and sudden whiteouts are extremely hazardous. 

An Icy Death opens with Sheriff Jeff McQuede discovering a stalled car on an isolated road far up in the mountains, one that has been closed.  Within the car he finds the frozen body of a middle-aged woman, Margaret Burnell.  The medication, her taped ankle, and footprints in the snow leading away from the car tell the rest of the story--about how she must have died of hypothermia while her husband went for help.  It sounds like a sad but simple story of man vs nature.

Until McQuede discovers that there are enough drugs in her system to cause an overdose, and her death may not have been an accident, after all, only staged to look that way.  It’s McQuede’s job to find out what really happened that snowy night so far from town.  He discovers that Margaret has traveled to Durmont to demand an audit from her business partner concerning the Trivino’s Sporting Goods chain.  In addition she plans to meet with her runaway daughter that she hasn’t seen in years.  Many people come into focus as possible murderers, not least among them her husband, Arthur, who would reap great financial profit from his wife’s death.

Either a relentless killer tracked and sabotaged the Burnells in the heart of a blizzard, or, more likely, Arthur simply abandoned his wife for his share of her vast inheritance.  In any event, Margaret Burnell had been set up to die an icy death.

An Icy Death is available in both Kindle and Paperback.