Dean L. Hovey

GENRE:  Mystery/Police Procedural


When the body of a missing cheerleader is found in a ditch, the local police turn the investigation over to the Pine County sheriff’s department, fearing that the girl’s relationship with the son of a local politician could compromise their objectivity.

Upon arriving at the scene, Sergeant CJ Jensen quickly finds herself embroiled in the politics of the girl’s murder and kidnapping. Calling in Pam Ryan to assist with the investigation, the two veteran officers dig into the girl’s obvious relationship with the politician’s son. While the boyfriend’s shaky alibi seems paper thin, their interviews with the victim’s friends have them questioning other aspects of her life.

A missing laptop computer piques their interest, making them think the murderer’s motive may be buried in her on-line activities.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

In addition to Floyd’s SUV, two Kanabec County Sheriff’s Department vehicles and an ambulance were parked on the narrow gravel road. The road disappeared into watery ditches on both sides, the washboard gravel surface spotted with mucky frost boils. CJ parked behind Floyd and announced her location to the dispatcher. She walked ahead to join the somber group of people gathered in front of the lead vehicle.

Bathed in headlights and flashing red and blues, an obese man with a gray crew cut waved his arms and swore. CJ found it disconcerting that the person apparently in charge would curse at the others like a madman. As CJ approached, Floyd put his hand on the man’s shoulder and pointed toward her. That ended the tirade.

“CJ, this is Sheriff Tim Sanders. Tim, this is Sergeant Jensen who’ll be taking over the investigation.”

The sheriff glared at CJ, taking her full measure before speaking. “It’s about time you got here. We’ve been standing around with thumbs up our butts for about two hours waiting for you to grace us with your presence.”

CJ froze, trying to frame a response. Floyd grabbed the sheriff by the arm and turned him away from CJ, then steered him to a spot apart from the gathered group. A man who appeared to be the senior deputy on the scene nodded and walked over, offering his hand. 

“I’m Teddy and this is our newest deputy, Kayla. Please excuse the sheriff. He’s got a short fuse, especially when he’s been dragged out of bed in the middle of the night.”

Although none of Floyd’s words were audible, his demeanor reminded CJ of a terrier growling at an overweight Labrador retriever. They watched as Floyd stuck his finger in the sheriff’s face and hissed something that obviously struck a nerve. The sheriff glanced at CJ, then back to Floyd before saying something that made Floyd nod.

A male and female EMT stood between the lead cruiser and the ambulance. Nodding toward the approaching sheriff, the male EMT whispered. “Uh oh, Teddy. Prepare to have your short hairs singed.”

The sheriff’s face was impassive until he walked up to CJ and extended his hand. “I’m sorry we got off on the wrong foot.”

Gripping the sheriff’s hand firmly, CJ nodded. “I appreciate your apology.”

The sheriff, whose scalp glistened with sweat despite the cold air, jammed his hands in his pockets. “Tell Teddy and Kayla what you need, and they’ll do whatever they can to assist you. Do you want the ambulance crew to stay, or do you have other plans?”

“Assuming there’s no question the victim is past resuscitation, we’ll keep the ambulance crew to help with the lifting. I called the Duluth Medical Examiner.”

The sheriff’s face started to turn red. “We pay a retainer to the Midwest Medical Examiner’s office.”

About the Author:

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 this 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.

In Dean’s latest series  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.


Dean L. Hovey will award a $15 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you so much for featuring CONFLICT OF INTEREST today.

  2. Thanks for taking a look at Conflict of Interest.

  3. Sounds like an interesting book that I need to read!

  4. I always seem to enjoy reads in this genre. Sounds great.

  5. I like mystery and crime genres so this sounds great!


Post a Comment

Wait! Stop! Are you leaving the same old comment on all the blog pages? Try switching things up a bit. I love reading your comments, but if its the same thing each time... it feels like spam. And NO ONE likes spam...
Please make sure the comments you leave are related to the post, and are at least eight words in length.

Recent Posts

Recent Posts Widget