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Dean Hovey is a Minnesota-based author with three mystery series. He lives with his wife south of Duluth.

’s award-winning* Pine County series follows sheriff’s deputies Floyd Swenson and Pam Ryan through the six-book police procedural series.

Dean’s Whistling Pines books are humorous cozy mysteries centered on the residents of the Whistling Pines senior residence. The protagonist is Peter Rogers, the Whistling Pines recreation director.

Dean’s latest series moves to Arizona, where his protagonist, a retired Minnesota policeman, is drafted into service as a National Park Service Investigator after a murder at a National Monument.

* “Family Trees: A Pine County Mystery” won the 2018 NEMBA award for best fiction.

 


To Purchase Dean's Books, click the book covers

 


 

 

COMING IN DECEMBER 2020

Doug and Jill Fletcher are dispatched to the Black Hills when a missing camper’s mutilated body is discovered in a remote part of Wind Cave National Park. Jill searches remote portions of Wind Cave for the victim’s missing companion while Doug tries to determine their identities. The park investigation revelations pull them into a local crime and put their lives at risk. A prairie blizzard brings everything in Western South Dakota to a stop as the pieces of the mysteries start to fall into place.

The stay at Jill’s family ranch takes an unexpected turn when Doug’s mother is invited for Christmas.

 


 

Peter and Jenny Rogers return from their honeymoon to a pile of wedding presents including the deed to an old house. They open presents from the residents of Whistling Pines Senior Care Center ranging from thoughtful, to thrift shop purchases, and “what is that?”

Taking a break from the gift opening party, they tune in to a live news broadcast and watch the historical society president open a time capsule found during demolition of the band shell. The opening ceremony turns grim when a rusty pistol and a newspaper clipping about an old murder are revealed.

The Whistling Pines rumor mill runs amok as the retired residents offer up murder motives, stories about the victim’s checkered past, and a multitude of potential murderers. Despite his full-time job as Whistling Pines recreation director, Peter gets dragged into the time capsule murder investigation.

Jenny’s son, Jeremy, is convinced their new house is haunted when boxes jump from shelves, a radio turns itself on, Christmas stockings appear under the fireplace mantle, wedding gifts rise eerily out of boxes, and ghostly events interrupt their sleep. They start to ask themselves if the house is a gift or a curse…until the ghost is revealed.

 


 

As alcohol lubricates the conversation at a 30th high school reunion, Judy Bloom lets slip that she had an intimate relationship with a teacher while she was a student. More revelations follow, along with the news that the teacher kept a video camera hidden in his closet. When two classmates get to the retired teachers house, they find it abandoned with evidence he’d been dragged away.

Pine County deputies Floyd Swenson and Pam Ryan work their way through the videos, finding the victims evasive and unwilling to speak. Pam Ryan’s growing cynicism spills into her personal life, driving her to a decision point with her new boyfriend who might not be ready for a lasting relationship with a cop.

 


 

Doug Fletcher’s Thanksgiving vacation is interrupted by a phone call from his Texas U.S. Park Service superintendent. A Wyoming coroner determines that a climber’s fall from Devils Tower isn’t the accident it first appeared to be. Doug is thrown into an investigation where he peels back the layers of rumors and lies provided by colorful Black Hills residents to find a murderer in a region where the deer hunting season is winding down and everyone has a gun in their pickup truck.  

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Hurricane Harvey lashed North Padre Island National Seashore exposing tons of silver coins lost since three Spanish Galleons sank in 1554. News about the coins, located in a Park Service archaeological protection area, goes viral on internet treasure hunting sites. Swarms of treasure hunters, arriving by car, truck, and boat, leave the Park Service law enforcement team of Doug Fletcher and Rachel Randall struggling to enforce the treasure hunting ban on the nearly fifty miles of National Seashore.

During a morning beach patrol, the rangers discover a body buried in a shallow grave. A Spanish coin hidden in her wetsuit hints at a link to treasure hunters. Doug and Rachel both struggle to balance their home lives with the murder investigation.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Park Service Investigator Doug Fletcher moves to Padre Island National Seashore to investigate hazardous waste dumping during the Hurricane Harvey clean up. While orienting himself to Texas and the waste dumping investigation, Doug and his rookie partner recover a body from the surf. After they identify John Doe, they coordinate kidnapping and murder investigations with the Corpus Christi Police. Doug’s search for the waste dumpers takes an unexpected twist, putting him at odds with the local police, his boss, and the FBI. He struggles to define his fledgling romance with Jill Rickowski who’s torn between her Arizona Park Service career or an uncertain future with Doug.

 

Amazon Reviews

Fletcher's new job finds him in the Texas gulf. His first week on the job will prove his mettle as a Park Service Investigator. The unflappable Fletcher is joined in Texas by Jill Rickowski from Flagstaff as well as a cast of new Texas characters. Fletcher's ability to see outside the box will wow you as he works through yet another mystery that has landed in his

I received the first book in this series for Christmas this year and have now read all three of his series,12 books, and am eagerly awaiting his next book which came out on February 1st. Once you read one you will be just a big a fan as I am. Move over Kent Krueger there’s a new writer in town. Jody, Amazon

 


 

Park Service backpacking trip turns deadly when hikers are caught in a steep canyon during a flash flood. Three hikers are swept away, but a rescue team recovers four bodies. Park Service Investigator Doug Fletcher teams up with rangers Jill Rickowski and Liz Carpenter, and Navajo Nation Policeman Jamie Ballard. They hike river bottoms and arroyos searching for the origin of the fourth body, leaning on each other to overcome their fears, cultural differences, and emotional baggage. In the process they forge bonds that will last past the end of the investigation.

 Reviews

“A grueling wilderness manhunt, relentless suspense, and a deadly climax. Washed Away delivers.” Brian Lutterman award-winning author of the Penn Wilkinson mysteries

Washed Away combines the excitement of wilderness adventure with the suspense and action of a crime thriller.” James O’Neal author of The Devils Came in from the Country and the Riley series of historical novels

 

 

 

 


 

Doug Fletcher, a retired Minnesota detective, relocates to Arizona and a quiet life as a part-time National Park Service ranger. His plans change abruptly when a suspicious fall at a national monument plunges him into the world of stolen antiquities, ruthless drug smugglers, and shady antiques dealers. Working with Jamie Ballard of the Navajo Nation Police, Doug finds their investigation complicated by the demands of his visiting family, a new boss, an overly friendly neighbor, the FBI, and his new environment.

Review Snippets

“Hovey’s greatest strength is his artful use of suspense.”

"Hovey writes a well-researched story with realistic characters who aren’t just cardboard cutouts like so many writers that crank out potboilers.”