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

Dean’s award-winning* Pine County series follows sheriff’s deputies Floyd Swenson and Pam Ryan through this 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.

In Dean’s latest series  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 click the link above each book cover


Doug Fletcher Mystery Series

The Doug Fletcher series follows Doug and his wife Jill, investigators for the U.S. Park Service as they’re assigned to investigate mysterious deaths in national parks and monuments across the United States.


Praise for Doug Fletcher mysteries

Dean Honey manages to write a terrific mystery filled with humor and good character development. I can't wait to see what is in store next for Doug and Jill. - Linda Johnson

Jill and Doug are assigned a low key, routine investigation back near Jill’s home in Spearfish SD. They get to spend time with Jill’s family and Doug’s mom with some hilarious interactions.

In typical Fletcher fashion, their “routine” investigation quickly becomes a brutal murder at a local rodeo. With bizarre clues leading the way, the investigators work with local law enforcement to take down the murderers. If you have not read a Dean Hovey mystery, you have missed out on a real pleasure. Mr Hovey crafts his characters so well that you can see and hear them right there with you as you read. Do you self a favor and indulge yourself with one of Dean’s creations.. – Greg Peterson



 Doug Fletcher #15 - Strung out to Die


Ranger Grace Watanabe discovers fellow Ranger Erik (Red) Petersen’s dead body tangled in the barbed wire at the Manzanar National Historic Site entrance. The local sheriff’s department quickly decides the death is related to a Mexican cartel who use the nearby highway to smuggle drugs.

Park Service Investigators Doug and Jill Fletcher look for a more obscure motive by focusing on other groups who might be unhappy with the Manzanar site. Finding no obvious suspects or motives, they step back and realize the victim was targeted for an entirely different reason.





Doug Fletcher #14 - Western Justice




When human remains are found at the Vore Buffalo Jump, the short-staffed local sheriff’s department requests assistance from Park Service Investigators Doug and Jill Fletcher. ATV tracks lead the investigators to the victim’s boots and a hunting blind constructed on the edge of the Black Hills National Forest. With more questions than answers the Fletchers find themselves pulled into the community dynamics of tiny Aladdin (population 15) where the café and general store are the hub of information for the county.

The surprising identification of the victim only opens more questions about him, and his connection to the location of his murder. When the Fletchers follow up on the few leads provided by John Doe’s identification, they unwittingly open a can of worms.


Reviewed by Amy's Bookshelf

In Western Justice, the reader is introduced to Doug and Jill Fletcher, National Park Service investigators. I haven't read anything by this author before, and what a hidden gem. I enjoyed it so much, that I have now followed the author and look for more books to read. Western Justice is part of the Doug Fletcher mysteries series, and this is volume 14. I hope to read the books that came before this one. I found that this was an very interesting premise, and a unique story line. I like using Historical and National parks not only for a backdrop of the story, but also as a character in itself. Doug and Jill soon learn the identity of a murder victim, opening it up for more unusual suspects and intriguing characters. The story line has a great depth to it, and the characters have interesting traits, flaws and personality. This story lands the reader in Vore Buffalo Jump National Historical site, and it's a dump job for the victim. A very unpredictable story, my favorite kind! This book is both thrilling and intriguing, all the way to the end. Western Justice is a definite recommendation by Amy's Bookshelf Reviews. I read this book to give my unbiased and honest review.Amy's Bookshelf Reviews recommends that anyone who reads this book also write a review.






US Park Service investigators Doug and Jill Fletcher are dispatched to Hawaii when the bodies of two hikers are discovered near the KÄ«lauea volcano.

Initially reluctant to accept the assignment, Doug becomes intrigued when he learns that the investigating ranger’s report of lost hikers overcome by volcanic gasses disagrees with the autopsy findings. As the investigation progresses, the Fletchers find themselves entangled in more than the investigation of the death of two park visitors.







A champion barrel racer disappears from her trailer on the eve of the Black Hills Roundup. Two hundred miles away, female remains are discovered at the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. Doug and Jill Fletcher, assigned to investigate the crime at the national monument, quickly determine that the remains are the missing rodeo champion. Thrust into the unfamiliar world of calf ropers, bull riders, and barrel racers, they team up with the Belle Fourche police to investigate the murder.

A trucker reports seeing a ghost driving the victim’s pickup across Montana the night of the murder. Other witnesses report seeing a rodeo clown near her trailer. Fletchers locate the victim’s stolen pickup and horse trailer, but not her horse. The evidence seems to point to horse theft as the motive, but the complicated reports of ghosts and rodeo clowns leaves them feeling that there’s more to the crime than a simple horse theft.






When a local rancher’s body is discovered in Tuzigoot National Monument, Doug and Jill Fletcher are dispatched to investigate the suspicious death. Horseshoe prints where the body was found point the investigation toward the dozens of local ranches and trail ride companies.The clues lead the Fletchers into Cottonwood, a nearby tourist town with a blossoming wine tasting industry. It quickly becomes apparent that the victim was a bed-hopping cowboy, who has left behind a string of scorned women and angry husbands.  

While riding along the Verde River in search of clues, Doug and Jill are befriended by Gunner, a young cowboy who’d been injured in a rodeo accident. Socially inept and somewhat slow, Gunner sees things that others overlook. His daily rides around Tuzigoot made him a reluctant witness to much of what happened following the murder.Despite slowly developing confidence in his horsemanship, Doug is forced to ride “Lightning” when their prime suspect flees on horseback. He and Lightning follow, as Jill gallops off in pursuit of their murder suspect. The chase turns into a scene from a Wild West movie when the fleeing cowboy fires his six-shooter at his pursuers.





When Roger Bartlett doesn’t return from his deer stand at sunset, his friends go looking for him. Failing to find him overnight, a broader search starts the next morning, led by the Pine County Sheriff’s Department.  Sgt. C.J. Jensen discovers footprints leading to a remote summer cabin. Inside, she finds Bartlett, dead from a gunshot wound.

The investigation quickly focuses on Barlett’s tire recapping business in the tiny town of Askov. The workers, all parolees from the nearby Federal Prison, are wary of the interviewing deputies, and are less than forthcoming. Roger’s widow seems upset, but she is the biggest beneficiary of Bartlett’s death, so a prime suspect. His partner was in Las Vegas at the time of the shooting, but his past criminal record is suspicious. As Sgt. C.J. Jensen and Investigator Pam Conrad dig, they develop a long list of suspects, all with alibis for the time of the shooting. Consulting with recently retired Sgt. Floyd Swenson, Pam and C.J. sift through layers of lies and misdirection until they uncover the motive and confront the killer.






Doug and Jill Fletcher’s Florida Gulf Coast vacation is interrupted when they’re dispatched to investigate the disappearance of a survey team in Big Cypress National Preserve. The suspect list grows with each interview, bringing into question the motives of apparently peaceful oil drilling protestors and a surveyor’s ex-husband. Fletchers find the local residents unhappy with the government, law enforcement, or anything threatening their generations-old habits and traditions.

After days of hitting dead ends at every turn, Doug decides to take a step back. A conversation with a local resident makes them reconsider a motive they’d previously discounted. Ignoring a “No Trespassing” sign, the Fletchers pulls into a rural driveway and find themselves staring into a shotgun muzzle.





It's evident from their first meeting that Doug and Jill Fletcher’s investigative assistance was not requested and isn’t appreciated. The Everglades National Park Superintendent is quite happy to leave the apparent alligator attack as just that, an unfortunate but natural part of life in the Everglades. The Fletchers point out the inconsistencies in the alligator attack theory: no one has reported the woman missing, her car wasn’t left in the visitor center parking lot, and her body was found without keys, cell phone, or identification.

Thrust into the unfamiliar South Beach culture, the Fletchers work with a reluctant park service associate and the Miami/Dade forensics team to identify the victim. Once identified, they unravel a complicated attempt at misdirection to track down her killer.





A 911 call cut off mid-scream and a melted cellphone in a circle of burned grass hint at an alien abduction in Effigy Mounds National Monument. Doug Fletcher’s cop intuition makes him reluctant to accept the investigative assignment. Jill Fletcher’s curiosity and desire to escape the oppressive Texas summer weather overcome his hesitancy.

Watching a pair of eerie lights rise over the park has them questioning their eyes. The assistance of an Air Force UFO expert, Doug’s ex-wife (an archaeology professor), and ghostly apparitions walking the river bluffs in the moonlight contribute more questions than answers. The eerie sights and clues create a confusing mix of Native traditions, aliens, and UFOs. Joined by a Navajo Nation Police colleague, they pull apart the threads of diversion and get to the root of the problem.





A honeymoon couple disappear while canoeing the St. Croix River. With visiting VIPs due in days andquick searches revealing no sign of the missing couple, U.S. Park Service Investigators Doug and Jill Fletcher are dispatched to the scene. The Fletchers quickly determine the honeymooner’s disappearance is not an accident and the search becomes more complicated than the simple rescue everyone hoped for. Jill and Doug are caught on the river as thunderstorms loom on the horizon. With lightning crackling around them, their canoeing skills are pushed to the limit.








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.





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.






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.





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.






Click to Purchase Bad Omen

Summoned from his comfortable Toronto college life, Christopher Pokaik returns to visit the grandfather who raised him. Surprised by the evolving culture of the newly created Nunavut Territory, he's befriended by an Inuit RCMP Special Constable who helps him understand his Inuit roots. Despite her guidance, he finds himself chased by both earthly demons, and those in the northern lights. Will they lead him back to Toronto, to a new life in Iqaluit, or will they lead to his demise?

Dean L Hovey and John Wisdomkeeper weave a story of homecoming, homegoing and the importance of community to the Inuit people. Through Christopher, you learn about this province-you-didn't-realize-was-a-province, Nunavut, and the Inuit people and the effect ecological tourism has on it. While the story is fictional, the struggle is not. Keeping traditional customs while living in modern times is a hardship many native cultures face. 


Editorial Reviews

Christopher's river journey brings him face-to-face with corporate greed, tourist apathy and his own sense of self. You'll gasp, you'll sigh, you might even get angry, but Hovey and Wisdomkeeper bring Christopher right back where he belongs. – Anne Flagge, Administrator and retired librarian


Bad Omen is an intriguing journey into the world and mystique of the Inuit. In this journey, we are introduced to mystery, adventure and the delightfully drawn characters of this world. The characters are marvelous, and you leave the tome with a feeling of having met new friends that you will never forget. The Inuit society is fascinating. The read is very well written, and enjoyable. I very highly recommend the Bad Omen to anyone who wishes to pass a fun couple of days mixed with a great learning experience. – Greg Peterson M.D.


Hovey blends the turmoil of expectations of life in the outside world with the heart and soul drawing you back to life in simpler times.  Set in remote Nunavut on Baffin Island, our college aged man continues to struggle with memories of family and friends while desiring to complete his education and escape to larger, more progressive areas all while struggling with those who still try to conquer First Peoples. – Michael Westfall D.V.M.


I have never been to the parts of Canada that are written about in this book, but now, I feel like I have. Dean has a way of bringing you to the locations with the characters. This is the kind of book that inspires me to do my own research - a mark of good fiction rooted in truth. We are never done learning about the people and cultures around us. -Margaret Pearson Nelson, Librarian