R.E. Donald

author of the Hunter Rayne Highway Mysteries series

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Audiobook of first Highway Mystery released!

I’m excited to announce that the first novel in the Highway Mysteries series is now available in audiobook format!

Slow Curve_Audio_01-21-21

Slow Curve on the Coquihalla was expertly narrated and produced by actor John Hanks and is now available for your listening pleasure on (click for link):


Audible and


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 he died. Not long afterwards, while driving the same highway, her husband’s brakes are tampered with, almost creating another fatal accident on a treacherous incline, This compels Hunter Rayne, a fellow trucker and retired RCMP detective, 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.


A selection of reviews from e-book and print editions:

“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.”

“I think that Hunter Rayne would make a great TV detective, driving around the country in his rig visiting different states and helping to solve crimes. He is that interesting of a character.”

“The Hero to me is the heart of the story …”

“I hope to see the Hunter Rayne series become movies and audio books.” (Note from me: It took a while, but the first one is now in audio book format!)

And even some 5-star reviews from truckers:

“I was a truck driver for over 10 years and can tell you that part of the book is pretty real to me. I enjoy reading about things I know about as a relaxation, but this is a added bonus because it is also a murder mystery a very real passion of mine. The book is well written and a page turner besides a added bonus. So far I have read all of the” Hunter Rayne series ” of books and am waiting for another to come out. Hint! Hint! Please. I think you will love this series also as much as I did.”

“I decided to read this book to see if it was written by someone who knew anything about trucking. Thank goodness I wasn’t disappointed and someone did know a bit about trucking and dispatching.”

If you’ve already read the book, please tell your audiobook listening friends!

Note to audiobook reviewers: please contact me about getting a promo code for a review copy.


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Yellowhead Blues a finalist for the 2020 Whistler Independent Book Award!

I’m delighted to announce that the fifth novel in the Highway Mysteries series, Yellowhead Blues, has been selected as one of three finalists for the 2020 Whistler Independent Book Award in Fiction!

The fourth novel, Sundown on Top of the World, was a finalist for the 2016 Whistler Independent Book Award in Crime Fiction. Since then, there has only been a single fiction category, and it’s an honor to have Yellowhead Blues be selected from among novels of all genres of fiction. (Of course, I’m biased toward mysteries!)

The winners will be announced during the virtual Whistler Writers Festival, October 15–18. Get your tickets to attend the great lineup of online workshops and events on the Festival’s website. For those of you unfamiliar with Whistler, it’s the primary locale for Sea to Sky, the third Hunter Rayne novel, and is best known internationally as the site of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Meanwhile, I’m at work on the sixth novel in the series. It should be ready for release in the late spring or summer of 2021.

Thanks to everyone who has purchased or reviewed books in the Highway Mysteries series, and especially those who have taken the time to contact me to let me know how and why they’ve enjoyed reading about Hunter Rayne and his fellow travelers. I hope you are all keeping well during this stressful time.

Yellowhead Blues is available in both print and digital formats! 

Get your copy at your favorite online e-book or print book retailer, or ask your local bookstore to order (through Ingram ISBN 978-0-9940762-5-0).


Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble (print edition)

Chapters Indigo






Who should play Hunter in the movie version of Yellowhead Blues?

Since the Highway Mysteries first came out several years ago, a number of readers have suggested that the stories would make a great television series. I think so, too! A few readers have even suggested actors who could play the role of the former RCMP homicide detective turned long-haul trucker Hunter Rayne.

Yellowhead Blues cov sm

As it happens, the latest Highway Mystery Yellowhead Blues is being featured as one of the novels in this week’s TaleFlick Discovery contest. As the TaleFlick website says:

TaleFlick Discovery is a weekly contest that allows the public to vote on which stories they want to see adapted to the screen. Fans can now be involved earlier in the filmmaking process than ever before. 

The contest opens for voting at 10 a.m. Pacific Time on Wednesday, January 8th and runs until 4 p.m. Pacific Time on Friday, January 10th.

And just for fun, feel free to post in the comment section below which actors you would choose to play the role of Hunter Rayne, Dan (Sorry) Sorenson or Elspeth (Big Mother Trucker) Watson in a TV or movie version of the Highway Mysteries.

If you haven’t read Yellowhead Blues yet, here’s where you can find it:

Yellowhead Blues digital edition is available online, including at the following ebook retailers: Amazon,  Barnes & Noble,  iBooks,  Kobo  and Smashwords.

Print editions are available at Amazon or Chapters/Indigo, or can be ordered through your local bookstore. The ISBN is 978-0-9940762-50

Please share this post or the news about the TaleFlick Discovery contest with your friends!






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Yellowhead Blues

Yellowhead Blues_Cover_02-10-19-1Yellowhead Blues was a 2020 Whistler Independent Book Awards finalist.

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 fiancée in an effort to get answers, and discovers that the vulnerable Texas beauty is not who the victim believed her to be.

Yellowhead Blues, the fifth novel in the Highway Mysteries series and a finalist in the 2020 Whistler Independent Book Awards, is available in both trade paperback and digital editions through most major book retailers.

Get your e-book copy of Yellowhead Blues at one of these major online retailers, or ask your local bookstore to order a copy for you. It’s available through Ingram.


Barnes & Noble





I hope readers who have enjoyed the first four Hunter Rayne novels will enjoy this one as well. Like most writers, I’m quite nervous about sending my new creation out into the world in case it doesn’t live up to your expectations. I’m looking forward to getting honest feedback from readers, so once the book is out and you’ve had time to read it, please don’t hesitate to leave a review, or send me a note to let me know how you liked it.


Stuck in Low Gear


At times it has felt like I’m trying to get somewhere in the charming old truck that sits on our ranch.

Yes, I’m still around. No, I haven’t finished the fifth novel in the Highway Mysteries series yet. Yes, I’m currently working on the last chapter and it will be finished soon.

After blowing past several of my self-imposed deadlines, I hesitate to make any promises but The End is certainly in sight. I will soon let the world know when Yellowhead Blues is ready for release.

Just to tease those of you who have been waiting for the next novel in the Highway Mysteries series, here’s a sneak peek at the new cover. Many thanks and a shout-out to my talented cover man, Steve Johnsen, at Hunter|Johnsen for this marvelous graphic.

Yellowhead Blues cov sm

If you have been looking forward to more of Hunter Rayne’s semi-professional investigations, you’ll be happy to know that I’ve started to do some research and gather material in preparation for the sixth book in the series as well.

Meanwhile, I hope all of Hunter’s fans have had a great 2019 so far, and are looking forward to Spring.

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Left Coast Crime in My Home Town

Just two weeks until Left Coast Crime 2019 A Whale of a Crime in Vancouver, British Columbia. I lived and went to school in West Vancouver, just across the Lions Gate Bridge from Vancouver’s Stanley Park, so being in Vancouver will be almost like coming home. It’s been a long time, though, since I’ve prowled the streets of downtown Vancouver, and I’m looking forward to seeing old familiar sights along with exciting changes in the heart of the city.


If you’re planning to attend Left Coast Crime, please look for me and say hello. I’ll be taking part in the Author Speed Dating on Thursday morning, March 28th, from 9 to 11 a.m., and will be hosting a table at the Saturday evening Awards Banquet along with fellow BC mystery writer, Debra Purdy-Kong.

I am also taking part in one of the last panels of the conference on Sunday, March 31st at 10:15 a.m. The title of the panel is “Not So Traditional Traditionals” (hmmm — could it be that my trucker hero is considered an unusual detective?) and it will also include authors Becky Clark, Marsali Taylor and Ingrid Thoft, as well as moderator Anne Louise Bannon.


Lost Lagoon at the entrance to Stanley Park

If anyone attending is interested in an Author Connection with Yours Truly, I’m open to guiding a few people down Georgia Street on Friday afternoon to visit Lost Lagoon at Stanley Park, weather permitting. It’s about 4 miles return including a stroll around the lagoon, so from 4:00 to 6:00 will give us time for a leisurely walk and a return via trendy Robson Street. If it’s raining or otherwise unpleasant for walking, a visit to Notch8 Restaurant & Bar in the historic Fairmont Hotel Vancouver for a Happy Hour cocktail would be fun instead. (Notch O’s will be on me!)

Left Coast Crime is a great conference for both writers and fans of crime fiction. I hope to meet some of Hunter Rayne’s fans in Vancouver this year, or maybe next year at Left Coast Crime 2020 in San Diego for Murder is a Beach.


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Summer of the Elephant

Thanks to those of you who have contacted me over the past year to inquire about the fifth novel in the Highway Mysteries series. I wish I could tell you that it’s ready for release, but unfortunately it’s not. The book was already behind schedule and it’s been a crazy summer, thanks in part to the burning Elephant.

Wildfire 2

The Elephant Hill wildfire came too close for comfort.

The Elephant Hill wildfire started near the town of Ashcroft, BC, on July 6th, 2017. It roared northwards for over two months to cover a 75-mile distance and almost 750 square miles. For a period of time it closed two major highways in the central Interior of British Columbia and it has destroyed 130 homes. It is still burning, albeit with less intensity, within a few miles of our ranch in Lone Butte.


Baling our hay while the Elephant Hill wildfire rages south of Green Lake

We have been on evacuation alert here since July 9th when an earlier wildfire near 100 Mile House was burning out of control. At that time, we evacuated our horses to a safe place where they still remain over two months later.  On two occasions in July and August, we evacuated ourselves and our dogs when the smoke hung heavy in the air while ash and burnt pine needles rained from the sky, telling us the out-of-control fires were getting too close for comfort. We were ordered evacuated a third time on August 31st, and were finally able to return home two days ago. Thanks to some recent rain and colder temperatures, we can hope we’re home for good this time. We are grateful that our house is still standing, and have great sympathy for those who weren’t so lucky during this summer of fire and flood.

Wildfire 4

Smoke glowing at sunset as the Elephant Hill wildfire blazed its way northward.

I generally don’t share much of a personal nature on this site, but felt that I owed fans of the Highway Mysteries series an explanation for the delay, since I’ve told many of you in private correspondence that the next novel in the series — Yellowhead Blues — would be out this summer. I’m hoping to get back to work now without further interruptions, but I doubt very much that I can get it ready for publication before 2017 comes to a close.

Thank you for your patience, and thank you for following the series. Wishing for the best possible outcome for those reading this who may be dealing with any kind of “wildfire” in their own lives.

If you’ve enjoyed the Highway Mysteries, please recommend the series to your friends.

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Whistler Independent Book Awards 2016: How I Became A Finalist

I’m looking forward to the Whistler Writers Festival in October!

Kobo Writing Life

By R.E. Donald

I was thrilled when I found out that the fourth novel in my Highway Mysteries series, Sundown on Top of the World, had been selected as a finalist for the 2016 Whistler Independent Book Award in the Crime Fiction Category. I was not only thrilled, but I also felt a great sense of relief.

As many other fiction writers know, confidence in our own work only goes so far. There’s an inexorable, distressing fear that our new novel has fatal flaws which, as the creator, we are just too close to the book to recognize. Releasing a new book, especially as an independent author-publisher doing so without the support of a team of publishing professionals, is taking a leap of faith. We do our best to write a novel that we ourselves would love to read, and trust that it will appeal to other readers with…

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Sundown on Top of the World up for an Award

whistlerwriters-logo-badgesI’m thrilled to announce that Sundown on Top of the World has been selected as one of three finalists for the Whistler Independent Book Award in the Crime Fiction category. Set in bush Alaska, it is the most recent novel in my mystery series featuring a former RCMP homicide investigator who drives an eighteen wheeler. The title is taken from the Top of the World highway that runs between Dawson City, Yukon and the town of Tok in eastern Alaska.

Sundown_cov origI’m delighted with the many good reader reviews the book has received on Amazon and iBooks since its release last year. The reviewer for the Alaska Dispatch News called it a “finely crafted [story] driven by well-defined characters and strong sense of place”.

Those of you who have read my earlier Hunter Rayne Highway Mystery, Sea to Sky, will know that it is set primarily in the mountain resort community of Whistler, B.C., which happens to be where the award winners will be announced during the Whistler Writers Festival this October.

In the fall of 2015, a German translation of Sea to Sky was released, and award-winning translator Ingrid Könemann-Yarnell is now working on the translation of Sundown on Top of the World. (Könemann-Yarnell received the Readers Choice award from Amazon Crossing during the 2015 Frankfurt Book Fair for her translation of a book by another Canadian author.)

I’m sorry to say that I’m way behind schedule on the next novel in the series, mainly due to family  health issues which prevented me from getting much writing done during the winter. I have more time to spend at the keyboard during the winter months, and too much else to do on the ranch when the good weather arrives. I’m still hoping to have it finished this year. Thanks to all the readers who have written and encouraged me to finish it as soon as I can!

More links:

Announcement in Quill & Quire magazine: http://www.quillandquire.com/book-news/2016/07/20/awards-whistler-independent-book-awards-names-finalists/

Link to a press release published in Broadway World Books.




Sundown on Top of the World

The Kindle edition of the latest in the Highway Mysteries series is now available on Amazon. The print edition is available through the Proud Horse Publishing e-store and through most on-line retailers, as well as for order through your local bookstore. The other digital editions will be released in June. Click here to order Sundown on Top of the World. As I mentioned in an earlier post, writing a novel set in Alaska and the Yukon was a real journey to the past for me. I visited there several times between 1979 and 1994, albeit not to all of the locations mentioned in the novel, but had to do a lot of extra research to make sure I got things as realistic as possible. My research gave me increased respect and admiration for those people who choose to make the north their home. My recent move to the South Cariboo region of British Columbia (Lone Butte, to be exact) helped, because I experienced first hand a long winter, months of snow and below zero temperatures, seeing animal tracks in the snow – foxes, deer, moose and various unidentified critters – and often the animals themselves. I’m hoping that my readers enjoy travelling with Hunter Rayne and his biker friend, Dan Sorenson, north on the Alaska Highway to Fairbanks, with an unplanned detour from Whitehorse to Dawson City, hub of the Klondike gold rush. They also travel the Top of the World Highway from Dawson to the eastern side of Alaska, the watershed of the mighty Yukon River. The people they meet are unique to the land of the grizzly, wolverine and caribou. I enjoy hearing from readers, so after you’ve read it, please let me know what you think! And, as always, thank you for reading my books.