Jean Rabe’s “The Dead of Jerusalem Ridge” is a Must Read

Yesterday, I wrote a post for Mad Genius Club  about reading and, specifically, finding a new series by an author I’ve long admired: Jean Rabe. For those of you not familiar with Ms. Rabe, she is one of those rare writers who can cross genres and be as entertaining writing mystery as she is fantasy. Thankfully, because it’s given me new books to read. Now if she would only write faster (I know, this is a complaint many readers have.)

I first started reading Ms. Rabe years ago when I discovered her Dragonlance books. I don’t know how many hours I escaped into the worlds she created. But, as life started happening, my reading slowed for a time and, when I finally had time to read again, I moved on to new books and new series.

Then, a week or so ago, I was checking FB and saw a recommendation by Faith Hunter, one of my favorite authors, recommending The Dead of Jerusalem Ridge by Ms. Rabe. I immediately remembered those wonderful hours spent immersed in the Dragonlance world and followed the link. At that point, the book was available as a pre-order. But–and this was important–it was part of a mystery series and the first book, The Dead of Winter, could be purchased for only $0.99.

I’ll admit, I was a little hesitant. I’ve tried reading other authors I’ve enjoyed when they switched genres only to be disappointed. But I couldn’t pass up the $0.99 price. so I bought The Dead of Winter and sat down to read.

And didn’t put the book down except for bathroom breaks until I finished. Okay, maybe I took a few other breaks along the way, but I kept going back to the book. I was hooked.

In The Dead of Winter, we’re introduced to Piper Blackwell. She’s young, kick ass and yet vulnerable. She left the Army, where she’d found her calling, when her father was diagnosed with cancer. He’d been the sheriff of the county where she grew up and had resigned when he fell ill. He convinced Piper to run in his place and, to not only her surprise but pretty much everyone else in the department, she won. Now she’s having to prove to herself and her department that a 23-year-old former MP has what it takes to protect a county that, on the outside looks sleepy and peaceful but hides a number of secrets.

Unlike so many books these days, especially books featuring a strong female lead, Piper is real. She has her strengths and she recognizes them. But she also knows when she is in over her head. She is confident but she also has moments of doubts. Her internal dialog reads as “real” and I found myself cheering for her and she grows as a person and as the sheriff.

The supporting cast of characters is as real as Piper. From Oren, the chief deputy who ran against her and who resents having to work for someone he sees as unqualified–not to mention who is younger than his granddaughter–to the computer geek who becomes one of the dispatchers, Ms. Rabe has given us real, quirky and easily identifiable characters. Heck, we all know folks who are just like one or more of these people.

The Dead of Jerusalem Ridge dropped onto my Kindle last night around 11. The moment I recieved notice that it had been sent, I started reading. I’m not done. I did have to get some sleep. But I’m about halfway through. So far, at least, this book is even better than the first three books in the series. Piper is faced with a challenge that is going to test her to her core, emotionally as well as professionally. I have no doubt Ms. Rabe manages to pull of the second half of the book with the same flair she did the first.

If you are looking for a good mystery, I highly recommend the series. You don’t need to read the books in order, but doing so will help you see how Piper and the others “grow”.

Not only would I give the series a thumbs up, I give it a rare 5-star rating (rare for me). This is one series where my internal editor did not come out. Nor did my own background in law enforcement have me leaping out of the narrative because something came from so far out in left field it through me out of the narrative. Check out the series and the rest of Ms. Rabe’s work. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

For more information, check out Ms. Rabe’s website.

Featured Image by Pexels from Pixabay


  1. Is it safe to ask when Rogue’s Magic will be available for purchase (even a pre-order)?

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