Paul Doiron books in order
Paul Doiron is an American award-winning author of mystery and thriller books.
He is Editor Emeritus of Down East: The Magazine of Maine, where he served as Editor in Chief between 2005 and 2013, before resigning in order to focus fully on his fiction writing.
Born in Maine, Paul holds a degree in English from Yale University, and an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College.
A Registered Maine Guide specializing in fly fishing, Paul is a former member of the Maine Arts Commission and former chair of the Maine Humanities Council
He currently lives in coastal Maine with his wife Kristen Lindquist.
His books have been translated into 11 languages, namely German, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Polish, Romanian, Slovenian, Hungarian, Czech, and Finnish.
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Mike Bowditch Mystery
- The Poacher's Son (2010)
- Trespasser (2011)
- Bad Little Falls (2012)
- Massacre Pond (2013)
- The Bear Trap: A Mike Bowditch Mystery Novella (2014)
- The Bone Orchard (2014)
- The Precipice (2015)
- Widow-Maker (2016)
- Knife Creek (2017)
- Rabid: A Mike Bowditch Mystery Novella (2018)
- Stay Hidden (2018)
- Backtrack: A Mike Bowditch Mystery Novella (2019)
- Almost Midnight (2019)
- The Imposter: A Mike Bowditch Mystery Novella (2020)
- One Last Lie (2020)
- The Caretaker: A Mike Bowditch Mystery Novella (2021)
- Dead by Dawn (2021)
- Skin and Bones: A Mike Bowditch Mystery Novella (2022)
- Hatchet Island (2022)
- Snakebit: A Mike Bowditch Mystery Novella (2023)
- Dead Man's Wake (2023)
Detailed book overview
Mike Bowditch Mystery
"Set in the wilds of Maine, this is an explosive tale of an estranged son thrust into the hunt for a murderous fugitive—his own father."
Game warden Mike Bowditch returns home one evening to find an alarming voice from the past on his answering machine: his father Jack, a hard drinking womanizer who makes his living poaching illegal game.
An even more frightening call comes the next morning from the police: they are searching for the man who killed a beloved local cop the night before—and his father is their prime suspect. Jack has escaped from police custody, and only Mike believes that his tormented father might not be guilty.
Now, alienated from the woman he loves, shunned by colleagues who have no sympathy for the suspected cop-killer, Mike must come to terms with his haunted past. He knows firsthand Jack's brutality, but is the man capable of murder?
Desperate and alone, he strikes up an uneasy alliance with a retired warden pilot, and together the two men journey deep into the Maine wilderness in search of a runaway fugitive. But the only way for Mike to save his father is to find the real killer—which could mean putting everyone he loves in the line of fire.
While on patrol one foggy March evening, Bowditch receives a call for help. A woman has reportedly struck a deer on a lonely coast road. When the game warden arrives on the scene, he finds blood in the road—but both the driver and the deer have vanished. And the state trooper assigned to the accident appears strangely unconcerned.
The details of the disappearance seem eerily familiar. Seven years earlier, a jury convicted lobsterman Erland Jefferts of the rape and murder of a wealthy college student and sentenced him to life in prison. For all but his most fanatical defenders, justice was served. But when the missing woman is found brutalized in a manner that suggests Jefferts may have been framed, Bowditch receives an ominous warning from state prosecutors to stop asking questions.
For Bowditch, whose own life was recently shattered by a horrific act of violence, doing nothing is not an option. His clandestine investigation reopens old wounds between Maine locals and rich summer residents and puts both his own life and that of the woman he loves in jeopardy.
As he closes in on his quarry, he suddenly discovers how dangerous his opponents are, and how far they will go to prevent him from bringing a killer to justice.
Maine game warden Mike Bowditch has been sent into exile, transferred by his superiors to a remote outpost on the Canadian border. When a blizzard descends on the coast, Bowditch is called to the rustic cabin of a terrified couple.
A raving and half-frozen man has appeared at their door, claiming his friend is lost in the storm. But what starts as a rescue mission in the wilderness soon becomes a baffling murder investigation. The dead man is a notorious drug dealer, and state police detectives suspect it was his own friend who killed him.
Bowditch isn't so sure, but his vow not to interfere in the case is tested when he finds himself powerfully attracted to a beautiful woman with a dark past and a troubled young son. The boy seems to know something about what really happened in the blizzard, but he is keeping his secrets locked in a cryptic notebook, and Mike fears for the safety of the strange child.
Meanwhile, an anonymous tormentor has decided to make the new warden's life a living hell. Alone and outgunned, Bowditch turns for assistance to his old friend, the legendary bush pilot Charley Stevens.
But in this snowbound landscape—where smugglers wage blood feuds by night—help seems very far away indeed. If Bowditch is going to catch a killer, he must survive on his own wits and discover strength he never knew he possessed.
On an unseasonably hot October morning, Bowditch is called to the scene of a bizarre crime: the corpses of seven moose have been found senselessly butchered on the estate of Elizabeth Morse, a wealthy animal rights activist who is buying up huge parcels of timberland to create a new national park.
What at first seems like mindless slaughter―retribution by locals for the job losses Morse's plan is already causing in the region―becomes far more sinister when a shocking murder is discovered and Mike's investigation becomes a hunt to find a ruthless killer. In order to solve the controversial case, Bowditch risks losing everything he holds dear: his best friends, his career as a law enforcement officer, and the love of his life.
The beauty and magnificence of the Maine woods is the setting for a story of suspense and violence when one powerful woman's missionary zeal comes face to face with ruthless cruelty.
In this original short story in the Mike Bowditch mystery series, legendary Maine woodsman and bush pilot Charley Stevens tries to convince young Mike Bowditch of the dangers awaiting rookie game wardens.
INCLUDES AN EXCLUSIVE EXTENDED EXCERPT FROM PAUL DOIRON'S KNIFE CREEK!
In the aftermath of a family tragedy, Mike Bowditch has left the Maine Warden Service and is working as a fishing guide in the North Woods. But when his mentor Sgt. Kathy Frost is forced to kill a troubled war veteran in an apparent case of "suicide by cop," he begins having second thoughts about his decision.
Now Kathy finds herself the target of a government inquiry and outrage from the dead soldier's platoon mates. Soon she finds herself in the sights of a sniper, as well. When the sergeant is shot outside her farmhouse, Mike joins the hunt to find the mysterious man responsible. To do so, the ex-warden must plunge into his friend's secret past―even as a beautiful woman from Mike's own past returns, throwing into jeopardy his tentative romance with wildlife biologist Stacey Stevens.
As Kathy Frost lies on the brink of death and a dangerous shooter stalks the blueberry barrens of central Maine, Bowditch is forced to confront the choices he has made and determine, once and for all, the kind of man he truly is, in The Bone Orchard by Paul Doiron.
When two female hikers disappear in the Hundred Mile Wilderness-the most remote stretch along the entire Appalachian Trail-Maine game warden Mike Bowditch joins the desperate search to find them.
Hope turns to despair after two unidentified corpses are discovered-their bones picked clean by coyotes. Do the bodies belong to the missing hikers? And were they killed by the increasingly aggressive wild dogs?
Soon, all of Maine is gripped with the fear of killer coyotes. But Bowditch has his doubts. His new girlfriend, wildlife biologist Stacey Stevens, insists the scavengers are being wrongly blamed. She believes a murderer may be hiding in the offbeat community of hikers, hippies, and woodsmen at the edge of the Hundred Mile Wilderness. When Stacey herself disappears along the Appalachian Trail, the hunt for answers becomes personal.
Can Mike Bowditch find the woman he loves before the most dangerous animal in the North Woods strikes again?
When a mysterious woman in distress appears outside his home, Mike Bowditch has no clue she is about to blow his world apart. Amber Langstrom is beautiful, damaged, and hiding a secret with a link to his past.
She claims her son Adam is a wrongfully convicted sex offender who has vanished from a brutal work camp in the high timber around the Widowmaker Ski Resort. She also claims that Adam is the illegitimate son of Jack Bowditch, Mike’s dead and diabolical father―and the half-brother Mike never knew he had.
After trying so hard to put his troubled past behind him, Mike is reluctant to revisit the wild country of his childhood and again confront his father’s history of violence. But Amber’s desperation and his own need to know the truth leads Mike on a desperate search for answers―one that takes him through a mountainous wilderness where the military guards a top-secret interrogation base, sexual predators live together in a backwoods colony, and self-styled vigilantes are willing to murder anyone they consider their enemies.
Can Mike finally exorcise the demons of the past―or will the real-life demons of the present kill him first?
When Maine game warden Mike Bowditch is tasked with shooting invasive feral hogs that are tearing up the forest in his district, he makes a horrific discovery ― a dead baby buried in a shallow grave.
Even more disturbing: evidence suggests the infant was the child of a young woman who was presumed to have died four years earlier after she disappeared from a group rafting trip.
As Bowditch assists the reopened investigation, he begins to suspect that some of his neighbors aren’t who they seem to be. When violence strikes close to home, he realizes that his unknown enemies will stop at nothing to keep their terrible secrets.
Mike Bowditch has bucked the odds his whole career, but this time the intrepid warden may have finally followed his hunches one step too far.
Maine Game Warden Mike Bowditch accompanies his old friend and mentor, retired bush pilot Charley Stevens, as he pays a visit to a mysterious woman, the widow of a Vietnam vet, living in isolation in the Maine wilderness.
Many years earlier, she had called Charley, then a young game warden himself, for help. She claimed that her badly bleeding husband had been attacked by a rabid bat.
But in the succeeding days, despite her husband's increasingly erratic and aggressive behavior, his wife resisted Charley's attempts to help, arousing his suspicions that more was going on than met the eye.
Was the husband the victim of rabies, or was he suffering from post traumatic stress disorder? The situation finally erupted into horrific violence, leaving everyone involved deeply scarred.
In the devastating finale to RABID, Charley reveals to Mike how he uncovered the awful truth about what actually happened in their home so many years before.
A woman has been shot to death by a deer hunter on an island off the coast of Maine. To newly promoted Warden Investigator Mike Bowditch, the case seems open and shut. But as soon as he arrives on remote Maquoit Island he discovers mysteries piling up one on top of the other.
The hunter now claims he didn’t fire the fatal shot and the evidence proves he’s telling the truth. Bowditch begins to suspect the secretive community might be covering up the identity of whoever killed the woman, known as Ariel Evans. The controversial author was supposedly writing a book about the island's notorious hermit. So why are there no notes in her rented cottage?
The biggest blow comes the next day when the weekly ferry arrives and off steps the dead woman herself. Ariel Evans is alive, well, and determined to solve her own “murder” even if it upsets Mike Bowditch’s investigation and makes them both targets of an elusive killer who will do anything to conceal his crimes.
While on vacation, Warden Investigator Mike Bowditch receives a strange summons from Billy Cronk, one of his oldest friends and a man he had to reluctantly put behind bars for murder. Billy wants him to investigate a new female prison guard with a mysterious past, and Mike feels honor-bound to help his friend. But when the guard becomes the victim in a brutal attack at the prison, he realizes there may be a darker cover-up at play―and that Billy and his family might be at risk.
Then Mike receives a second call for help, this time from a distant mountain valley where Shadow, a wolf-hybrid he once cared for, has been found shot by an arrow and clinging to life. He searches for the identity of the bowman, but his investigation is blocked at every turn by the increasingly hostile community. And when Billy’s wife and children are threatened, Mike finds himself tested like never before. How can he possibly keep the family safe when he has enemies of his own on his trail?
Torn between loyalties, Mike Bowditch must respond in the only way he knows how: by bending every law and breaking every rule to keep his loved ones safe and the true predators at bay.
When the body of a young man is pulled from a submerged car in Roque Harbor, rookie game warden Mike Bowditch is shocked when the man’s driver’s license identifies him as none other than…Mike Bowditch.
For weeks, Mike and his colleagues have been fielding reports of a man terrorizing the locals while posing as a game warden, wielding a plastic pin-on badge and claiming to be “Warden Bowditch”.
Who is the imposter, and how did he end up dead in the bottom of a harbor? Mike must uncover the truth in order to clear his own name.
“Never trust a man without secrets.”
These are the last words retired game warden Charley Stevens speaks to his surrogate son, Warden Investigator Mike Bowditch, before the old man vanishes without explanation.
Mike suspects his friend’s mysterious departure has to do with an antique warden badge that recently resurfaced at a flea market ― a badge connected to a cold case from Charley’s past that the Maine Warden Service would rather forget.
Fifteen years ago, a young warden was sent on an undercover mission to infiltrate a notorious poaching ring and never returned. He was presumed dead, but his body was never recovered. Mike is desperate to find Charley before he meets a similar fate.
His investigation brings him to the miles of forest and riverside towns along the Canadian border―but he soon learns that even his fellow wardens have secrets to keep.
And Charley’s past isn’t the only one coming to light; his daughter, Stacey, has resurfaced to search for her missing father, and Mike must grapple with the return of the woman he once thought was gone forever.
Forced to question his faith in the man he sees as a father, Mike must reopen a cold case that powerful people―one of whom may be a killer―will do anything to keep closed.
New owners of a dream cottage on a remote Maine lake find themselves taunted, then menaced by an unknown figure.
When the local authorities refuse to help, they turn to retired Maine game warden Charley Stevens and his young protégé Mike Bowditch for protection.
But Charley begins to suspect there is more to the mystery than the couple is letting on--and if he and Mike don’t act fast, the situation will explode into violence.
Mike Bowditch is fighting for his life. After being ambushed on a dark winter road, his Jeep crashes into a frozen river. Trapped beneath the ice in the middle of nowhere, having lost his gun and any way to signal for help, Mike fights his way to the surface. But surviving the crash is only the first challenge. Whoever set the trap that ran him off the road is still out there, and they’re coming for him.
Hours earlier, Mike was called to investigate the suspicious drowning of a wealthy professor. Despite the death being ruled an accident, his elegant, eccentric daughter-in-law insists the man was murdered.
She suspects his companion that day, a reclusive survivalist and conspiracy theorist who accompanied the professor on his fateful duck-hunting trip―but what exactly was the nature of their relationship? And was her own sharp-tongued daughter, who inherited the dead man’s fortune, as close to her grandfather as she claims?
The accusations lead Mike to a sinister local family who claim to have information on the crime. But when his Jeep flies into the river and unknown armed assailants on snowmobiles chase him through the wilderness, the investigation turns into a fight for survival.
As Mike faces a nightlong battle to stay alive, he must dissect the hours leading up to the ambush and solve two riddles: which one of these people desperately want him dead, and what has he done to incur their wrath?
When Maine game warden Mike Bowditch discovers a bullet-ridden bald eagle in the Maine woods, he is surprised by the memories it brings back for his mentor, retired warden pilot Charley Stevens. Decades earlier, Charley briefly teamed up with Mike’s father, the notorious poacher Jack Bowditch, on an unsettling case that has haunted Charley for years. The two enemies, both war veterans, found common cause over the senseless shooting of a magnificent eagle.
But what started as a tentative alliance over a wildlife crime soon became something bigger and more terrifying: an investigation into a missing young man whose physically abusive brother might well have finally killed him. When an unspeakable discovery led to an impossible choice, Charley and Jack were forced to decide how far they would go to find justice when faced with inhumanity taken to its extreme.
A call for help from a former colleague leads Maine game warden investigator Mike Bowditch and his girlfriend Stacey Stevens on a sea kayaking trip to a research station far off the coast. Stacey spent summers interning on the island, a sanctuary for endangered seabirds, and they are shocked by what they hear when they come ashore.
The biologists are being threatened by local fishermen and stalked by a mysterious boatman who seems intent on trespassing on the refuge. Even worse, their leader, whose mind is slowly unraveling after the unexplained suicide of a young intern, has now gone missing.
Camped on a nearby islet for the night, Mike and Stacey waken to the sound of a gunshot. When they return to the refuge at dawn, their darkest fears are confirmed: two of the three researchers have been brutally murdered and the third has disappeared, along with the island skiff. Mike’s quest to find the missing man reveals new suspects including a Marine Patrol officer with a history of violence and the sanctuary's enigmatic founder, who conveniently reappears after the killings.
The search expands to a nearby island owned by a world-renowned photographer with a scandalous reputation. The artist and his equally brilliant wife wield a powerful hold over the inhabitants of their private kingdom, and Mike increasingly comes to believe that someone in the village knows more about the killings than they dare admit.
When a teenager arrives at a Maine hospital with a rattlesnake bite, warden Mike Bowditch is baffled. Rattlesnakes have been extinct in the region for over a hundred years—so where did this one come from? Bowditch’s investigation leads him to a pair of eccentric married scientists who have a vested interest in rattlesnakes and their venom. Even more suspicious, their estranged daughter has accused them of carrying out grotesque experiments on her. As more rattlesnakes appear in the woods—and the case becomes increasingly mystifying—Bowditch finds himself running out of time to catch his exotic foe.
Game Warden Mike Bowditch's engagement party is interrupted by the discovery of a gruesome double murder.
On the evening of their engagement party, Maine Game Warden Investigator Mike Bowditch and Stacey Stevens witness what seems to be a hit-and-run speedboat crash on a darkened lake. When they arrive at the scene, their spotlight reveals a gruesome sight: a severed arm floating just beneath the surface.
As day breaks, the warden dive team recovers not one but two naked corpses: a dismembered man and the married woman with whom he was having an affair. Mike begins to suspect the swimmers' deaths were not a senseless accident but a coldly calculated murder.
Meanwhile, the hunt is on for the mysterious boater. Suspects abound on the lake, nicknamed "Golden Pond,” including the violent biker husband of the murdered woman who may have taken vengeance on his wife and her paramour; a strange woman who claims to have witnessed the crash, but then changes her story; a very aggressive realtor and his wife who were determined to catch trespassers; and the lake’s earnest young constable whose eagerness to help may hide darker motives.
Alone among his fellow officers, Mike starts to sense the involvement of a trained marksman, smarter and more dangerous than any enemy he has ever faced before. As Mike and Stacey get closer to identifying the killer, their own lives are suddenly on the line as they confront a lethal killer who plans to silence them forever. The finale is a tour de force of drama and suspense.