The Great Outdoors

Try these novels when you need some inspiration to get yourself outside to the beach, the desert, the woods or a park.  All are suspenseful and have a strong sense of place -- the outdoors and the natural world.  These choices are all the first of a series, so if you like the first one you will have many more to choose from.


Compiled by:
Jim G
The Blessing Way

Tony Hillerman
Mystery & Detective Hillerm

First book in the very popular Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee mysteries series.  Set in the four corners region of the Southwest, these novels feature Officer Jim Chee and Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn of the Navajo Tribal Police.


Clammed Up

Barbara Ross
Mystery & Detective Ross

First of the "Maine Clambake mysteries" featuring Julia Snowden, a New Yorker returning to her cozy Maine hometown just in time to investigate a murder.


Desert Heat

Judith A. Jance
Mystery & Detective Jance

First of the "Joanna Brady mysteries" set in Arizona where the desert environment plays a major role in the stories.


Open Season

C. J. Box
Mystery & Detective Box

Number one in the "Joe Pickett Mysteries" series about a Wyoming state game warden.  Set in the Wyoming wilderness, these stories are action packed, often violent and deal with environmental and political issues.


The Poacher's Son

Paul Doiron
Adult Fiction Doiron

First in the series of the "Mike Bowditch novels" about Maine game warden Mike Bowditch finds him in search of a runaway fugitive.


Sanibel Flats

Randy Wayne White
Adult Fiction White

The first of the "Doc Ford novels" about marine biologist and former secret operative Doc Ford and his ex-hippie friend Tomlinson, set in beautiful Southwestern Florida.


The Shaman Sings

James D. Doss
Mystery & Detective Doss

Fist of the "Charlie Moon mysteries" set in Colorado featuring Ute police sergeant Charlie Moon.  A combination of the supernatural and modern, mysticism and murder.


Track of the Cat

Nevada Barr
Mystery & Detective Barr

First in a series of 18 mystery novels (as of 2014) featuring Anna Pigeon, a fictional detective and law enforcement ranger for the National Park Service. Barr has received several awards and nominations for her writing.


Tularosa

Michael McGarrity
Mystery & Detective Mcgarri

First book of the "Kevin Kerney mysteries" about an ex chief of detectives for the Santa Fe Police Department, a tough ex-cop turned modern-day private eye.  These novels are set in the desert Southwest, mainly in New Mexico.


Who In Hell Is Wanda Fuca? (A Leo Waterman Mystery)

G.M. Ford
Mystery & Detective For

The first in Ford's "Leo Waterman Mystery" series, this book captures the character of Seattle and the Northwest and introduces a terrific private eye. Waterman gets entangled with environmental activists when he goes looking for the missing granddaughter of a local mobster.