Karen’s Killer Book Bench #Police #Procedural #Thriller: THE DEAD OF SLED RUN, A Piper Blackwell Mystery by Jean Rabe

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A Piper Blackwell Mystery


A raging fire sweeps through the decorated landscape of Sled Run, destroying the home of Chief Deputy Oren Rosenberg and killing two.

An accident? Or did something toxic fuel the flames?

Sheriff Piper Blackwell and Detective Basil Meredith believe Oren was targeted and are tasked with finding motive and means before more than the holiday burns bright.

With many clues reduced to ashes, can Piper and Basil catch the culprits before they strike again? Or is this blaze just the start of the most murder-filled time of the year?​

Publisher: ‎Boone Street Press (November 13, 2023)
Publication date: ‎November 13, 2023
Language:  English
Print length:‎ 316 pages

A Piper Blackwell Mystery


Piper shuddered and all the colors paled and blurred as she sucked in a lungful of the smoke and ash-filled air. She was tough, tours in the Middle East, downrange assignments before leaving the Army and running for sheriff. She’d dealt with a lot of death and injuries. Not inured to any of it, she nevertheless managed a stoic mien.

Behind her a loud gawker speculated that Oren had set the fire to make sure his wife couldn’t get the place in the settlement. Common knowledge, Oren being depressed over the pending divorce. Piper didn’t know Oren personally all that well, though she’d seen him on and off while growing up, infrequent barbecues in the backyard during her childhood, Fourth of July gatherings in the park. Oren and her father had spent decades in local law enforcement together and were close.

Piper had trained as an MP at Fort Campbell; she wouldn’t hit her one-year mark with the sheriff’s department for another twenty days. She’d worked with Oren for roughly a year, a wholly professional relationship, no friendship involved; he kept his distance and occasionally let her know he should have won the election. Maybe he should have, she thought, all his experience compared to her short MP stint.

And while their relationship always had been business, not personal, she knew Oren would never burn down his own house. Angry, depressed, stressed … he could be all those things, but he just wouldn’t have done this.

A terrible accident appeared to have caught Oren’s house first, then the neighbors’. The dispatcher said those neighbors were fortunately snow birding in Florida.

She watched flames shoot out the windows of the house next to Oren’s, and then the roof collapsed with a sound like thunder. Total losses, both places; the fire department worked to keep the blaze from spreading to other homes. Oren’s boat storage building remained upwind, but they hosed it down anyway. She noticed the blackened husk of Oren’s department Explorer in the charred remains of the garage attached to his house.

“Circling,” Piper whispered. As in Oren was circling the drain.


“He has cats,” Piper said.

“Four,” Basil returned. “They’re okay, singed, one of them needed oxygen. They’re in his pickup. I pulled it across the street to get it out of the way. Found an extra set of keys under the mat.” He pointed down the block, where the truck sat under a lamppost from which dangled a blinking red and white candy cane. All the lampposts on the street had lighted decorations hanging from them. “I can take the cats home with me, get them to a vet’s when one opens, have them checked out. Or I can pass them off to Millie. Does Millie know?”

“Yes.” A pause. “About the fire. But not about Oren.” Millie, Oren’s granddaughter, and Piper’s most recently hired deputy, had the eleven to seven a.m. shift this week. “She’s covering an accident near the monastery. Semi- and a sedan in a ditch. A few inches of snow on the ground, tonight’s ice was unexpected, most figured it would just be more flurries. People forget how to drive on ice when the weather’s good.”

About Author Jean Rabe…

USA Today best-seller, Jean Rabe’s impressive writing career spans decades, starting as a newspaper reporter and bureau chief.
From there she went on to become the director of RPGA, a co-editor with Martin H. Greenberg for DAW books, and, most notably, Rabe is an award-winning author of more than forty science fiction/fantasy and murder mystery thrillers.
She writes mysteries and fantasies, because life is too short to be limited to one genre–and she does it with dogs tangled at her feet, because life is too short not to be covered in fur.


Links to Jean’s websites, blogs, books, #ad etc.:

Amazon: https://mybook.to/DeadSledRun 

Dead of Sled Run is book five of the Piper Blackwell Series. Want to read the series in order? Check it out on Amazon.

Prefer audio? The Piper Blackwell series is in audio, read by Catherine Wenglowski. Start with book one of the series, The Dead of Winter

Love the Piper Blackwell Series and want to keep up with Jean’s latest works? Sign-up for her newsletter here and follow her on Amazon or Bookbub.

Find out more about her at www.jeanrabe.com


Special Giveaway: Jean will give away  an eBook copy of Dead of Winter (or Dead of Night if the winner already has The Dead of Winter) to one lucky reader who comments on her Karen’s Killer Book Bench blog

Happy Reading!


Thanks, Jean, for sharing your book with us!

Don’t miss the chance to read this book!



7 thoughts on “Karen’s Killer Book Bench #Police #Procedural #Thriller: THE DEAD OF SLED RUN, A Piper Blackwell Mystery by Jean Rabe”

  1. Good morning, your book sounds like it is a hard to put down book, with lots of suspense and mystery ! I love the sound of it ! Not entering this giveaway as I am not tech savvy and dont read ebooks at all, but Thank you. I will for sure put it on TBR as a print book. Have a great day and a Very Blessed Thanksgiving.

  2. Hi, Jean, and welcome back to Karen’s Killer Book Bench. I loved this excerpt. So descriptive and intriguing. The scene is so vivid, I can almost feel the smoke searing my lungs. I can’t wait to read this story! Thanks for sharing your book with us today!

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