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!
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.
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.
BUY THIS BOOK IN THE PRINT EDITION: ISBN 978-0-9881118-06
Ice on the Grapevine
A finalist for the 2012 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.
BUY THIS BOOK IN THE PRINT EDITION: ISBN 978-0-9881118-13
Digital and/or paperback editions available at the following online retailers:
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.
BUY THIS BOOK IN THE PRINT EDITION: ISBN 978-0-9881118-20
Sundown on Top of the World
A finalist for the 2016 Whistler Independent Book Award in the Crime Fiction Category!
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.
A finalist for the 2020 Whistler Independent Book Award in the Fiction Category!
Just west of the Rocky Mountains, a frightened horse with a bloody saddle is found running loose on the Yellowhead highway. Former RCMP investigator Hunter Rayne is on the road in his eighteen-wheeler when he’s flagged down to help calm the horse and find its missing rider.
The horse with the bloody saddle leads Hunter and a good-natured French Canadian cowboy into a complicated murder mystery. The police are none too happy with his interference, but Hunter strongly believes the RCMP have arrested the wrong man and sets out to uncover who stood to gain from the death of a wealthy ranch owner.
His belief in the suspect’s innocence is shared by a rookie female RCMP constable who joins him in the search for the truth. She befriends the dead man’s young fiancé in an effort to get answers, and discovers that the vulnerable Texas beauty is not who the victim believed her to be.
This is the fifth novel in this unique mystery series set on the highways of North America.
What readers are saying about the Highway Mysteries:
“Love the author’s books. Excellent characters and settings. She is now on my short list of current favorite authors.”
“This series is beautifully researched, vividly written, and always captivating. It respects the nobility which resides in everyone while portraying some unforgettable characters.”
“I love the way the main character, Hunter Rayne, thinks, interacts with people, and in general would put him into the lofty echelons with Adam Dalgliesh, Morse and the Hon. Det Lynley. Great and satisfying series.”
“Hunter is the man. Donald has written a super story that would make a good movie. I think we have another Harry Bosch character.”
“… great writing, excellent pacing that sucks you in right away and makes you forget about the world around you, characters you like and who talk and act the way real people do, set in a place that makes it feel like an adventure, and best of all– a wicked smart plot.”