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National Park Mystery Books In Order

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Publication Order of National Park Mystery Books

Canyon Sacrifice (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mountain Rampage (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Yellowstone Standoff (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Yosemite Fall (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Arches Enemy (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mesa Verde Victim (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Canyonlands Carnage (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Saguaro Sanction (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death Valley Duel (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

The National Park Mystery series is a collection of novels that are described as Eco fiction. The series follows the exploits of an archeologist that solves mysteries related to national parks.

+The Story
The National Park Mystery series tells the story of Chuck Bender. Bender has always been a loner. He runs his own company. And as an archeologist, National Parks contract him to supervise digs and to undertake excavations on sites that might have significant historical and archeological value.

But by the time the events of ‘Canyon Sacrifice’, the first novel in the National Park Mystery series come around, Bender’s life has begun to change. He met Janelle, a much younger woman a little while ago.

And even though she came with quite a bit of baggage, this including a sordid romantic past and a pair of daughters, Bender made the difficult decision to marry her; when readers meet Bender, he is still struggling to acclimate to married life.

Life with Janelle brings with it a significant amount of joy. However, Bender keeps trying and failing to connect with his new stepchildren. It is with the intention of resolving that matter that the archeologist drags his family to the Grand Canyon National Park.

Bender wants to show his family his work. But he doesn’t necessarily expect to encounter much in the way of excitement. So the discovery of remarkable artifacts that were left behind by the ancient Anasazi Indians generates a fair amount of surprise on his part.

And Bender would have loved nothing better than to devote his time and effort to the task of exploring the region in search of additional artifacts. But then one of his stepdaughters disappeared.

From the evidence, it looks like someone took her right out of her tent. Bender makes it his mission to find and stop the culprit before the worst comes to pass. But first, he must first determine whether the kidnapping is related to the archeological finds or if his wife’s past has come back to haunt her.

The first novel in the National Park Mystery series is considered to be one of Scott Graham’s best works. The book gives readers an idea of what they can expect from the National Park novels as a whole.

Actually, ‘Canyon Sacrifice’ is a very accurate picture of the sequels. Each installment in the National Park Mystery series takes readers to a new national park. People keep calling upon Chuck Bender to undertake explorative and investigative projects in National Parks where the presence of significant discoveries is suspected.

And because Bender is still so new to family life, he always drags his family along to his projects. In the process of executing the job he was hired to do, something goes wrong. A mystery manifests and lives are either threatened or taken.

Bender normally jumps into the fray because his family is in danger. It is either that or he is determined to safeguard the National Parks and their treasures from external forces that seek to intentionally or unintentionally destroy them.

In the process of fighting off the bad guys, Bender takes steps to grow his relationship with his new children.

The National Park Mystery series is often praised for the effort Scott Graham injects into describing his settings. The author has a way of bringing the beauty of America’s National parks to life.

Graham’s love for national parks was sparked back when he was a child. His parents would throw him and his siblings into their car and then spend the summer hopping from National Park to National Park.

When he grew up, Graham continued the tradition, dragging his wife and son around America’s national parks.

After a stint as a nonfiction writer, when Scott Graham finally made the shift to fiction, there was no doubt in his mind that any book he wrote would heavily feature national parks.

The author uses his vast experience with national parks to bring his settings to life. Each National Park Mystery novel has a distinct National Park at its core. Graham always centers each novel’s mystery on its National Park’s most unique feature.

Graham was already an amateur archeologist by the time he wrote the first novel in the National Park Mystery series. But he did not base Chuck Bender on himself. Graham was compelled by practical reasons to make his protagonist an archeologist.

Having decided to base his mystery series on his love of National Parks, and having determined that each novel in the series would focus on a different National Park, Graham realized that his hero would need a rational reason to spend so much of his life hopping from National Park to National Park.

Making Bender an archeologist resolved that issue. His profession gave Bender plenty of reason to stick his nose into the business of America’s national parks.

The National Park Mystery series has been commended for speaking strongly about the environment without becoming too preachy.

+The Author
Scott Graham enjoys the great outdoors. His parents nurtured in him a love for nature. As a result, he not only writes novels set in National Parks but he spends his days mountaineering, rock climbing, hunting and the like.

+Canyon Sacrifice
When Chuck Bender takes his family to the Grand Canyon National Park, it is with the intention of exploring the history of the ancient Anasazi Indians. Bender is an archeologist, so he spends a lot of time digging up old fossils.

Bender chose to invite his family to the Grand Canyon partly because he wanted to spend time with his new wife but primarily because he needed an opportunity to connect with his stepchildren.

When one of his stepdaughters is kidnapped, Bender makes it his mission to find her.

+Mountain Rampage.
Chuck Bender is back, and this time he is venturing into the Rocky Mountain National Park where he has been charged with leading a summer field study course.

Just like before, Bender has brought his family along. He believes he is making headway in his efforts to grow closer to his new stepchildren. But his achievements in this area take a backseat when his brother-in-law is accused of murder and Bender steps up to defend him.

Book Series In Order » Characters » National Park Mystery

One Response to “National Park Mystery”

  1. Holly Hardy: 2 years ago

    Excellent article, I’ve just finished the first book in this series.


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