Your browser version is outdated. We recommend that you update your browser to the latest version.

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 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.



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 Review:  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 lapFlagMom


Review: Author Dean L Hovey's mysteries are fascinating. His thought process may scare you at times but his books will always leave you wanting more.



 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.



“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.”


“Over 3,000 (migrants) have died in the Arizona desert since January 1999”