R.E. Donald

author of the Hunter Rayne Highway Mysteries series

The Highway Mysteries – a series for mystery fans

If you’re a fan of the traditional mystery, like many of my readers, you just might find yourself hooked on the Highway Mysteries. Here they are, in order. I invite you to give them a try!

Slow Curve on the Coquihalla by R.E. Donald

When a well respected truck driver, the owner of a family trucking business, is found dead in his truck down a steep embankment along the Coquihalla highway that winds through the mountains in British Columbia, his distraught daughter wants to know how and why his truck left the highway on an easy uphill curve.  This compels Hunter Rayne, a fellow trucker and retired RCMP detective with daughters of his own, to help her find answers.

As he uncovers signs of illegal cross border activity originating in a Seattle warehouse, Hunter recruits an old friend, an outlaw biker, to infiltrate what appears to be an international smuggling ring.  But while Hunter follows up clues and waits for critical information from his old friend, the wily biker starts to play his own angles. Finally, putting all the pieces together, there in the dark on the same uphill curve on the Coquihalla highway, Hunter risks it all to confront the murderer.

Slow Curve on the Coquihalla is the first in a traditional mystery series featuring “semi-” professional sleuth, Hunter Rayne.  After serving over 20 years in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and becoming a skilled detective, Hunter resigned from the force and took to the road as a long haul trucker.  His ex-wife is convinced he is running away from the personal tragedy that made him leave a job he loved.  Hunter himself doesn’t know why, he only knows he has to keep following the white lines.

See reviews for Slow Curve on the Coquihalla

From on-line reviews:

This is a great read for anyone who likes mystery, intrigue and those that are looking for good reads from up and coming Canadian authors.

This series is mysteries at their best. Slow Curve On The Coquihalla is a police procedural as well as a first rate who-done-it. Author Donald plays fair with her clues in this well crafted mystery. Interesting characters and occasionally lyric descriptions of the Canadian West are a bonus.


Digital and/or paperback editions available from the following online retailers: Barnes and Noble, Chapters/Indigo, iBookstore GoodreadsKobo, Amazon, or Smashwords.

Bookseller or library inquiries please contact Proud Horse Publishing at Books@ProudHorsePublishing.com for information or to receive a sample digital copy.  These books are available to order through INGRAM.

Reviewers: please feel free to inquire from Books@ProudHorsePublishing.com about reading copies for review.


Ice on the Grapevine was a finalist for the 2102 Global Ebook Award in Mystery Fiction.

The story opens on a July morning with the discovery of a frozen corpse at a brake check just south of the Grapevine Pass in L.A. County.  Hunter Rayne, a retired homicide detective turned long haul truck driver,  is in southern California making a delivery, and is persuaded by his irascible dispatcher, Elspeth Watson, to help clear two fellow truck drivers who are arrested for the murder.  His job is made more difficult by the fact that the suspects, a newlywed couple, won’t speak up in their own defence.

The circumstantial evidence is strong, and a rookie detective from the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department is eager to score a win.  The investigation crosses the Canada-U.S. border when the victim is identified as a second rate musician from Vancouver, and it turns out there were more than a few desperate people happy to see him dead, including the accused couple.  Hunter has to use all his investigative skills to uncover the truth.

Hunter’s ex-wife maintains that by taking to the highway Hunter is running away from his past, but he believes that the solitude of days on the road is helping him to heal from guilt over the failure of his marriage and the suicide of his best friend.  His life gets more complicated when he feels an unwelcome attraction for a lawyer representing one of the accused. Tangled relationships and multiple suspects emerge throughout the novel, as Hunter butts heads with more than one officer of the law to solve the crime.

Ice on the Grapevine was a finalist in the mystery category of the 2012 Global Ebook Awards.

See reviews for Ice on the Grapevine.


Digital and/or paperback editions available at the following online retailers:

Amazon, Chapters/Indigo, Barnes & Noble, KoboSmashwords, or iBookstore, or order through your favorite bookstore.

Bookseller or library inquiries please contact Proud Horse Publishing at Books@ProudHorsePublishing.com for information or to receive a sample digital copy.  These books are available to order through INGRAM.

Reviewers: please feel free to inquire from Books@ProudHorsePublishing.com about reading copies for review.


Sea to Sky Sea_to_Sky_HJred by R.E. Donald

A dead man rides a chairlift on Whistler Mountain, and it doesn’t take long for the press to label the murderer “The Chairlift Killer”.   Former homicide detective Hunter Rayne drove the Sea to Sky highway to Whistler’s ski resort for what was supposed to be a pleasant weekend of skiing with an attractive female acquaintance.  Instead, he finds himself at the top of the suspect list, and has no choice but to get involved in the investigation in order to clear his name.

While he’s busy in Whistler, trucker Hunter is forced to hire his biker friend, Dan Sorenson, to take his place behind the wheel.  What connects the badass biker from Yreka, California to the most prolific female serial killer in US history?  And what happens when Hunter’s dispatcher El Watson gets the biker involved in the murder investigation?

In the midst of the investigation, Hunter’s life becomes complicated when the progress of a new relationship is arrested by the appearance of a woman from his troubled past.

Sea to Sky is the third novel in the Hunter Rayne highway mystery series.  It’s now available in both digital and print editions.


Digital and/or print editions available at Amazon, Chapters/Indigo, Barnes & Noble, KoboSmashwords, or iBookstore, or order through your favorite bookstore.

Bookseller or library inquiries please contact Proud Horse Publishing at Books@ProudHorsePublishing.com for information or to receive a sample digital copy.  These books are available to order through INGRAM.

Reviewers: please feel free to inquire from Books@ProudHorsePublishing.com about reading copies for review.

Sundown on Top of the World

Former homicide investigator Hunter Rayne follows the white lines northward on the Alaska Highway, but a truck breakdown forces him to take an unscheduled stop in Whitehorse, Yukon, where he had been stationed as a rookie cop. While his Freightliner is awaiting repairs, Hunter and fellow driver, Dan (Sorry) Sorenson, kill time with a side trip to bush Alaska where a chance meeting with a young Alaskan woman awakens his interest in a baffling cold case. A reclusive trapper and his young girlfriend disappeared from a bloody cabin 25 years before, leaving their sled dogs chained outside.

Reawakened memories of his past coupled with a recent murder find Hunter back in investigative mode with the blessings of Whitehorse RCMP boss Bartholomew Sam, son of a shaman and Hunter’s old friend. He finds himself searching the banks of the mighty Yukon River for a tough old bush woman who may hold the key to more than one bloody death. It’s a vivid reminder that the breathtaking beauty of the northern wilderness camouflages its brutal indifference to human life.

This is the fourth novel in the Highway Mysteries series of character-driven traditional mysteries in a uniquely North American setting.

Sundown on Top of the World is available in the Kindle edition on Amazon, on Kobo, on Smashwords, and in a print edition through the Proud Horse Publishing e-store as well as through most online retailers, and for order through your local bookstore in the print edition. The digital edition is also available through Barnes & NobleiBooks, and other online channels.

Reviewers: please feel free to inquire from Books@ProudHorsePublishing.com about reading copies for review.

I love all the Hunter Rayne books so far. They are real people and the investigations are interesting and personal.

“Those were the best mysteries I’ve read in a long time!! As soon as I finished the first one I bought the second and felt empty when I finished it! The characters were awesome and so there that I somehow think they are in my life and I should be bumping into them at IGA or Gibson’s Building Supplies! Yesterday I was driving home up our road and there was a huge yellow excavator motoring slowly up the road and then stopped in the middle of the road  When I passed it this hefty woman who was driving it gave me a big scowl and I instantly thought of big mother trucker! I can hardly wait for the next one.” Judi H., Roberts Creek, B.C.

“R.E. Donald’s traditional mystery SLOW CURVE ON THE COQUIHALLA is everything the genre represents.  It isn’t until the last pages when you know the killer that your mind flips back to realize all the clues were there, but they were buried in a polished story. A great take to bed read for anyone who loves crime fiction in a traditional fashion.” Nash Black, Jamestown, KY, (author of SANDPRINTS OF DEATH)

“Ice on the Grapevine will keep you guessing.  Great trucking detail, hardboiled characters, no-nonsense dialogue, and a surprise ending.  If you enjoy mysteries, you’ll like Ice on the Grapevine.”  Marc Mayfield, Northern California

“This is a well spun yarn, full of plot detail and credible human response. Whodunit addicts will not be disappointed.” Kindle Book Review


35 thoughts on “The Highway Mysteries – a series for mystery fans

  1. I must say I enjoyed the first three in your highway’s series. My father at one time owned a trucking company that went to Pemberton, so knew the Squamish Highway well. Having lived in Kamloops I have also driven the Coq on occasion. So, how could I not read your series. I enjoyed all of them and recommended them to friends, especially those in B.C., the only disappointing part is that they had to be special ordered and not found in bookstores.

    • Thank you so much, Patricia. It makes my day to hear from someone who enjoyed my novels! And thanks for recommending them. Unfortunately, although I did send a mailout to BC bookstores and libraries, they just can’t afford to stock every book on their shelves. I’m hoping that, as the series grows in popularity, more stores will order them. The fourth mystery in the series should be out next summer.

  2. HI – Ted Campbell from Langley here, I just finished “Coquihalla” Liked it a lot, I’ve been trucking over 50 years and know every spot on that road. I can visualize the exact place the rig went to the right off Route 5 and into the valley, one can see Nicola Lake from there. I’ve written and published a few myself, after reading “Coq” I went back and removed all the dates from my books. Thanks TED

    • Thanks for your comment, Ted. I’m glad you enjoyed “Coquihalla”. I scoped out the Coq carefully for that particular location back in 1995. (A highway sign has gone up at the spot since then.) BTW, we just moved from Langley to the Cariboo last summer.

  3. R.E.,

    “Slow Curve On The Coquihalla” is highlighted today on eBookDaily.com:


  4. I love this series and finished it in a matter of days! I feel lost now that there aren’t anymore! Any idea on when the fourth one will come out?

  5. I am so glad I discovered your books! I’m about half way through my second book and was hoping to discover there would be at least 8 or 10 more in the series to read. I’ve always wanted to visit that part of Canada and these will give me even more incentive to travel north west sometime soon. I really enjoy your thoughtfully drawn characters. They are all so believable. And the insight to Canadian ways are a bonus. Hope you keep the series going!

    • Thank you so much, Julie! Your comment made my day! I hope you’ll enjoy the fourth Highway Mystery, almost ready for release. It’s set even farther north, in the Yukon and Alaska, and was very interesting albeit quite challenging to write. My goal is to publish one novel in the series per year. As it stands, I can’t imagine ever running out of highways in the United States and Canada, so I hope to be adding to the series for many years to come. All the best to you!

  6. Hi RE,

    I just found your books! first as a free book on Book Bub.com. loved Sea to Sky. so I went to amazon and bout all the rest of your books in e-format. keep ’em coming!

    I live in Oak harbor, Whidbey Island WA and I am in the Vancouver & BC area 3-5 times a year playing bridge. Therefore your settings are very familiar to me. After I retired from the US Navy, I took up long-haul trucking, for a year. I too, know I-5, up and down with all the pot holes that live there.

    You probably don’t get to read for pleasure much, but I recommend the Longmire series, by Craig Johnson, to you. And the A & E series, being taken over by Net Flix, to continue one of the most watched franchises on TV.

    Dancin’ Dan

    • Thank you, Dancin’Dan. I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed my books. I’d better get to work on the next one!

      We are very lucky to be living in the Northwest, aren’t we? Thanks for the recommendation of Longmire. When it comes to TV, I’m a true crime and documentary addict, so I’ve never watched Longmire, but I’ll certainly look for the books.

      Again, thanks for the kind words. It makes my day to hear from a loyal reader!


  7. I found the books through Kindle. Very enjoyable stories, and I recommend them to others.
    I’m familiar with the West Coast areas through which Rayne drives, and have driven to Alaska many years ago. One of the things that impressed me is the attention to geographic detail used in the routes. You can, and I do, follow the action on a map. I enjoy the characters, although Sorry needs to grow up a little, IMHO. Perhaps his marital situation will convince him to mend his ways, a little at least.
    Hunter is a very believable character, and likeable as well. There has been family experience with the problems that police work can cause, and I empathize with him. The same internal wiring that makes a good detective, the passion, the consuming desire to see things corrected, to FIND OUT, can make relationships difficult. I’m glad he’s not an indiscriminate bed hopper.
    It’s not easy to keep a series ‘fresh’, but you’re doing a good job of it so far. The premise allows for a lot of different scenarios, locations, and plots.
    I even like the Siamese cat.

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, Sue! I am very glad to hear you like the series. I try very hard to make my stories as authentic as is possible for fiction, and it certainly keeps the writing of them interesting. It’s easy, though, for me to get sidetracked with the research I do, which slows down the writing considerably!

      BTW, in spite of the usual disclaimer, the cat is based on a real character. Sadly, she is no longer with us (if she were, she’d be well over 20 years old), but she’ll never be forgotten.


      • I am astounded at your quick reply to my comments. Although I have to say that I almost would rather have had those hundred words or so spilling out into chapters of book number 5.
        Has there been any interest in putting the stories on screen?


  8. Thanks, Sue. A few readers have suggested that Hunter Rayne’s adventures would make for an engaging TV series, but there’s been no interest from anyone in a position to make it happen. I’m excited, though, that two of the novels will be out in a German language digital edition in the near future.

    I really appreciate you recommending the series to others, by the way. I’d better get back to work on the next one!


  9. Love the series. I downloaded them for my BFF’s husband, who is a trucker. She looked for books but could not find them anywhere. I must read all four first, then he can have my Kindle to read them. I live in Chilliwack & love seeing my location in your books. Write more. I love them.

    • Thank you so much, Cheryl! I am so pleased that you are enjoying my books. Unfortunately, bookstores generally don’t carry the paperback copies on their shelves but they can usually order them for customers, as can the libraries. They’re also available online through many major book retailers or through Proud Horse Publishing’s online store at Amazon. I’m working on the fifth novel, set in BC again, so there’ll be more familiar territory for you. Thanks again. I loved hearing from you!

  10. Found your request for info on Pierre Bostonnais on Jim Swanson’s Robson Valley Place Names website. You might want to contact Laura Vinson who is apparently a descendent of Pierre in some way. She’s an Alberta entertainer who talks and sings about Pierre quite often in her presentations. http://www.lauravinson.com/contact/bookingscanada
    Best wishes for #5!

  11. Just finished, and much enjoyed Sea to Sky on Kobo. What was the first in the series? Your writing reminds me of J.A. Jance. I was a weatherman for 33 years, across The Yukon, B.C., N.W.T., and Alberta, and look forward to reading more of your books.

    • Thanks for posting, Keith. The first in the series is Slow Curve on the Coquihalla, followed by Ice on the Grapevine. The fourth novel in the series is available only on Amazon and as a paperback until June, when it will also be available on Kobo and iBooks. It’s set in the Yukon and Alaska – familiar territory for you again – so I hope you’ll enjoy it as well. The title of that one is Sundown on Top of the World. I very much appreciate hearing from you, and it’s a compliment to be compared to J.A. Jance. Thank you!

  12. Just read slow curve on coquihalla. (You won’t believe what spell check did to that). Just loved it. Went on iBooks and bought the rest. I had no idea you were a woman untill I read notes at back. That made it even better. You really made me feel like I knew all the characters. And I want to know more. So housework waits again. Thanks for the books. They are great. V

  13. Hi i just finished the second Hunter Rayne book, Slow curve on the Coquihalla. Its a great story with mystery and suspense to the end. A very enjoyable read that brings Canada to life, i live in the UK and its good to find a book i can relate to. Looking forward to reading the rest in the series.

  14. I fell in love with the first book…now I’m hooked…I used to drive truck with my husband before he passed away in 2008…it was awesome…we owned our own truck and trailer and were leased out to a company in Barrie Ontario…we ran mostly Canada and yes even on the Coq…we did a stint running to the States but it was wonderful..was looking for novels about trucking and now I found them…keep writing…with kind regards…Eva:)

  15. Just finished Sundown after ordering the four Hunter Rayne series for my kindle. I am only sorry there are not four more waiting for me to begin. Truckers and the RCMP were new areas of reading for me, but I so enjoyed the characters and places. I am a Virginian and have only been in Washington twice for several weeks in the Seattle area and never into Canada. I did drive the I-5 while there, but only Seattle south about 100 miles. So I pulled out the Atlas to find all the places and loved doing that. Thank you for giving me so much enjoyment these last two weeks! Please keep writing!! Sandra

    • Thank you so much, Sandra! It’s great to hear from you. I love the fact that my books are creating connections with readers in so many places around the world. The closest I’ve been to Virginia (except in Patricia Cornwell novels) is Louisville, KY, but I’ve long heard of the Shenandoah and you’d be surprised how often I’ve found myself singing that beautiful song. It’s a real boost to hear from someone like yourself and it inspires me to make sure my next novel won’t disappoint.

  16. I too am hooked on this series. Found Slow Curve On The Coquihalla through Bookbub, and since I work as an office manager for a small trucking company it peaked my interest. I love all the characters and feel like I know them. Am reading Sundown on Top of the World now and it is even better, if that is possible. I feel like I am right there amidst the characters, and turn to Google every now and then to search out some of the places. I hope this series will continue for many books to come! I also agree with a previous commenter that finding out R.E. Donald is a woman makes it that much better! I read Slow Curve thinking it was written by a male author, so was pleasantly surprised!

  17. Hi, just discovered your books and really enjoyed Slow Curve on the Coquihalla and anxious to continue to follow Hunter Payne in the rest of the series. You have created some memorable characters who have substance and depth to them and are believable and very human. Loved how you allowed Hunter to reveal the things he holds in his heart but yet he remains a straight arrow. This is a book that leaves you with some great thoughts on life to think about after the story ends. Also loved your descriptions of B.C., have always wanted to visit Canada. We had many great Canadian friend overseas. I see you have horses too, they are another of my passions besides reading great fiction. Thanks for writing a great book, include me as a fan, keep the books coming!

  18. Met you at Lone Butte Rocks Day; have read all your books to date and am waiting for the next one. Will it be a long wait? Love your stories–can’t put the books down.

    • Thanks so much, Nancy! I really enjoyed meeting readers face-to-face that day. I’m afraid it will be a bit of a wait for the next one. There’s so much else to do here in the Cariboo in the summer that I’m not spending enough quality time at my computer, but I still expect to have the next book out early in 2016.

  19. So glad to hear you are working on a new book! Gives me something to look forward to reading in the cold winter months. Can’t wait to see where the next mystery takes Hunter Rayne and the gang (and me too)!

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