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Ray Elkins Books In Order

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Publication Order of Ray Elkins Mystery Books

Summer People (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Color Tour (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Deer Season (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Shelf Ice (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Medieval Murders (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cruelest Month (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death in a Summer Colony (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder in the Merlot (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Gales of November (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Center Cannot Hold (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Destination Wedding (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Chronological Order of Ray Elkins Mystery Books

Medieval Murders(2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Summer People(2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Color Tour(2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Deer Season(2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Shelf Ice(2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cruelest Month(2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death in a Summer Colony(2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder in the Merlot(2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Gales of November(2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Center Cannot Hold(2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Destination Wedding(2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Ray Elkins is the title of a series of whodunit books penned by American author Aaron Stander. Incidentally, Aaron Stander also doubles up as a poet and has been an educationist, English professor, and trainer. He is the radio host and producer, albeit voluntary positions, of a writing-related show called Michigan Writers on the Air; this program airs on the North Michigan-based Interlochen Public Radio. There is a prequel of the first book in the serialized Ray Elkins but it was belatedly published in June 2011. However, the first edition of his earliest book, which has over five subsequent editions, was published in August 2000, titled Summer People, and the Ray Elkins series of novels is shelved in the mystery and thriller genres, and the police crime drama sub-genre.

Ray Elkins is the featured protagonist in the “Ray Elkins” series authored by Aaron Stander. Protagonist Elkins is a sheriff. This book is an out-and-out police procedural account and Sheriff Elkins is sleuthing after a series of seemingly accident deaths. Like the real-life profession of writer Stander, Elkins was formerly a college professor. He wants to be re-elected in the wake of his contagonist’s campaign which is teeming with various issues such as firearms, booze, and so-called gender equality.

The title of the first book in the said series, Summer People, is set in the backdrop of the Summer season. By the way, the Summer season is synonymous with a particular tendency exhibited by people: vacationing and traveling to summer homes. For starters, Summer is a yearly season which is hemmed in between the spring and autumn seasons. The summer season, which is characterized by warm weather, differs from one region to another, but usually occurs between June and September in regions located north of the equator and between the months of December and March in locations south of the equator. In the setting of the Ray Elkins series, the season and the associated bustle begin in June.

“Summer People” is the title of Stander’s first book. Contextually, the term “summer people” is used to refer to the people who temporarily relocate from one region to another during the summer, especially for vacationing purposes. In this light, summer homes are the go-to places for those who are well-off. These are the scenarios which revolve around the Ray Elkins series. The literal summer people start flocking to Michigan at the onset of summer. Their destination is a resort town which is located along the coastline; the town is also called gold coast, an endearing term used to denote the well-off visitors who visit during summertime.

The local residents of the resort town are chagrined by the influx of the summer people. The locals and visitors clash. Why, even the local facilities and social amenities are stretched to the maximum in the quest for accommodating the visitors. The conflict takes a new face after a series of murders which, on face value, are as a result of a bad stroke of luck. A sordid real estate mogul has been assassinated; a canoeing visitor dies of heart attack after being caught up in a storm; a large sailboat socking in a marina is struck by a lightning, killing and disfiguring a person; and driving under influence apparently leading to a fatal misjudgement.

Amid politics and the hostility between the local residents against the moneyed visitors, Sheriff Elkins starts sleuthing in a bid to find the connection between the murders. The dark underbelly of the gold coast holds the key to the murders and Sheriff Elkins is fastening on to a person of interest.

Ray Elkins Award and Accolade
Author Aaron Stander has won a literary award and garnered an honorary mention. In 2006, Stander’s 2006 book titled Color Tour got an Honorary Mention during the IndieFab Award ceremonies. This was under the mystery category. Better still, in 2011, the book titled Medieval Murders clinched a Bronze Medal during the IndieFab Awards. This was in the Mystery-Fiction category.

Best Books in the Ray Elkins Series
Incidentally, there are eight books, plus a sequel, in the Ray Elkis series of books. All of them are noteworthy in their own right. However, the first three books in that series are the best among those contained therein. Summer People is the most sought-after book in the series; hereby, Sheriff Ray embarks on a sleuthing mission to net the culprit behind the series of murders concerning summer people.

The second book is titled Color Tour and is the second in this series; hereby, the turning point is the killing of a youthful teacher, compelling Sheriff Elkins’ sleuthing to narrow down on the dark underbelly of an elite school and delved into his dark history. Another notable book is titled Deer Season which is the third in the series; the plot is all about a locally-based female anchor who has been shot dead in front of her children and Sheriff Ray Elkins digging into his murky past and that of well-off persons of interest.

Other Series of Books You May Like
People who read Aaron Stander’s Ray Elkins series also found the following series of books appealing. One of them is the Gabe Quinn series authored by Keith Houghton. This trilogy features protagonist Gabe Quinn; Quinn is a hero cop who hitherto worked with the Los Angles Police Department and had been attached to the homicide unit; he has since resigned from his job and is hunting down an avenging serial killer who murdered his spouse but it seems his murky past is catching up on him.

The second one is titled the Butterfield Institute series and is written by M. J. Rose. This series hints at a BDSM-related (BDSM: bondage, dominance, submission, and sadomasochism) series of murder; it features a covert club run by a dozen sexually starved women and a Manhattan-based sex therapy facility, Butterfield Institute, which is run by a top-notch sex therapist. Another one is the Assassins Anonymous series penned by Heidi Hall. This trilogy features a female assassin who at one time worked for the CIA; she resolved to follow that path after a terrorist murdered her parent.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Ray Elkins

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