Prester Mystery Series

Jack Prester, a third generation park ranger, has a plum assignment.  The National Park Service is trying something new, a special unit to look into major crimes in any of the parks, cooperating with the FBI and local authorities, of course. Jack is in on the ground floor, their top investigator. Actually, so far he’s their only investigator. With his big black lab Maxx, he gets to work in some of the world’s most wonderful places, usually back where the tourists never go. Side note: if you have not yet been to these parks, by all means go there, and take the book along.

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Grand Canyon (Jack Prester #5)

Someone offed Jack’s childhood buddy, Ranger Ernie Morales, at the door of the Grand Canyon visitor center. Jack is on it like white on fresh snow, and now here is Ev inserting herself into the investigation. And Jack’s mom and dad, old friend Chief Ranger Janet Blake, Ernie’s dad Dick…the crowd is getting unwieldy. Post cards, two-page spreads in Arizona Highways—nothing prepares you for the Canyon in its vast, moody magnificence. The action occurs up on the rim, down the Canyon trails, and at the very bottom.

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Great Smokies (Jack Prester #4)


In the parks that the visitors never see, politics, greed, and factionism run amok—like they do in any organization of more than one person. As a third-generation employee, Jack has learned some ways to game the system, but it doesn’t help much this time. He rolls his beloved old Dodge Ram, loses his even more beloved Maxx, and his compatriot Ev gets shoved off the top of Clingman’s Dome. Did you know Carl Sandburg’s wife raised world-class goats?

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Mount Rainier (Jack Prester #3)


Christmas in Mount Rainier National Park sounds like a sort of fairy tale thing: stupendous scenery, lots of snow, sparkling nights, elk if not reindeer. Jack plans to spend Christmas in Hawaii with his family; his dad is superintendent of Haleakala National Park. Plans schmans. He gets Christmas on Mount Rainier, replete with a genuine Bigfoot, druids, and a rousing saloon brawl.

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Acadia (JACK PRESTER #2)


In Acadia National Park in Maine, a major fashion spread is being photographed. It’s all very glamourous, except that the models tend to end up dead, which pretty much dulls a lot of the glitz. Jack asks for Ev’s help and then regrets that he even suggested it. And then there’s Marlette, with her velvet Australian accent. And a raccoon. And delectable lobster. And…. He goes through three parkas in this one, should anyone be keeping score.

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Death Valley (Jack Prester #1)

Jack teams up with Evelyn Brant, a very urban accountant/computer whiz, to crack both a murder and an embezzlement case. She is uncomfortable in any unpaved wilderness, and Death Valley is the poster child for unpaved. Jack is comfortably at home in wilderness, but he relates to computers with trepidation. Shucks; electric popcorn poppers mystify him. Complicating the situation are nearly eight hundred bikers who want to pull off one last, gloriously, totally illegal motorcycle rally in the Valley.