Looking for a new book to read or buy for the holidays? Author Courtney White, is known for his non-fiction writing: Revolution on the Range (Island Press), Grass, Soil, Hope (Chelsea Green), The Age of Consequences (Counterpoint Press) and 2% Solutions for the Planet (Chelsea Green).
But, his latest endeavor is fiction. The Sun is a contemporary mystery set on a working cattle ranch in northern New Mexico (holistically managed too). Here’s a brief description:
Something’s amiss in the New West… A murdered ranch employee. A vanished suspect. A stolen rodeo horse. A black helicopter. Angry environmentalists. Menacing oil-and-gas developers. A Sasquatch hunter gone astray. A mysterious billionaire. A missing can opener…
Without warning, Dr. Bryce Miller, a young doctor in Boston, inherits a large, historic ranch in northern New Mexico from a wealthy uncle she barely knew. She flies out to sell The Sun to the highest bidder, but things get complicated when a body is found murdered on the ranch. Is it a warning meant for her? Meanwhile, she must choose among a colorful cast of suitors who want to turn the working cattle ranch into either: an upscale housing development with golf courses, an oil-and-gas field, a nature preserve, a casino resort, the underground home for a doomsday cult, or the plaything of a shadowy business mogul. Each is willing to pay a large sum of money – and maybe do anything – to get the ranch.
She has seven days to decide.
“I am not at all a mystery reader, but I absolutely loved The Sun and I can’t think of a better person than Courtney White to tell this tale of the New West. The Sun is a true page turner and very informative about ranching and the West whether you live in the region or hope to visit. A very engrossing read, indeed!” – Deborah Madison, author of In My Kitchen and Vegetable Literacy
“This murder mystery weaves an enthralling web of intrigue whose strands underscore and illuminate the multi-faceted ecological, economic, and social challenges and deeply seated controversies that are part of the world we inhabit today. Volume 1 of The Sun Saga is absolutely captivating – I couldn’t put it down. I can’t wait to read volume 2.” – Fred Provenza, author of Nourishment
“Bryce hit the brakes, stopping the car in the middle of the road. She had reached the edge of the sea of grass and didn’t feel like venturing any farther in fear of getting lost. She drummed her fingers impatiently on the steering wheel. Where was the foreman? Did he forget their meeting? Unlikely. She pulled her phone from her vest but it still utterly lacked a signal. She tossed it onto the passenger seat in exasperation. Honestly! What sort of foreman skipped appointments? The missing kind. The chill returned. She pushed it away, feeling faintly ridiculous. They had crossed wires somehow, that’s all. She decided to go back to her uncle’s house – maybe he went looking for her there.”
The Sun Ranch Saga is a contemporary mystery series. It is centered on a historic cattle ranch in northern New Mexico, near the fictional town of Alameda, and takes place during the tumultuous years of 2008-9. The murders happen against a backdrop of Wall Street collapse, conflicts over cattle and wildlife, rising political and economic tensions – and a possible Sasquatch sighting!
A former archaeologist and Sierra Club activist, Courtney White dropped out of the ‘conflict industry’ in 1997 to co-found the Quivira Coalition, a nonprofit conservation organization dedicated to building a radical center among ranchers, conservationists, public land managers, scientists and others around practices that improve economic and ecological resilience in western working landscapes.
To read a sample chapter, click here.
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