Skeleton Picnic: A J. D. Books Mystery Audiobook, by Michael Norman Play Audiobook Sample

Skeleton Picnic: A J. D. Books Mystery Audiobook

Skeleton Picnic: A J. D. Books Mystery Audiobook, by Michael Norman Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Patrick Lawlor Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 5.00 hours at 1.5x Speed 3.75 hours at 2.0x Speed Series: The J. D. Books Mysteries Release Date: April 2012 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9781481590006

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

16:12 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

04:11 minutes

Average Chapter Length:

10:18 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Other Audiobooks Written by Michael Norman: > View All...

Publisher Description

Rolly and Abigail Rogers, residents of Kanab, Utah, come from a long line of dedicated pot hunters who scour the desert southwest in search of valuable antiquities. When the couple fails to return from a weekend “skeleton picnic,” a pot-hunting trip, along the desolate Arizona Strip, local Sheriff Charley Sutter enlists the help of J. D. Books, law enforcement ranger with the Bureau of Land Management.

When Books searches the missing couple’s home for clues about their disappearance, he discovers that the house has been burglarized and a valuable collection of ancient Anasazi and Fremont Indian antiquities has been stolen. Soon a search-and-rescue operation finds the Rogers’ truck and trailer at an abandoned campsite near an ancient Anasazi ruin that has been recently excavated. The evidence there leads Books to conclude that Rolly and Abigail were overpowered by a group of assailants.

Sheriff Sutter assigns an attractive young deputy, Beth Tanner, to investigate the burglary of the Rogers’ home under the watchful eye of Books. Together they track some of the stolen property to a pawn shop in the nearby town of St. George and, ultimately, to a young Navajo man with a criminal record and a serious drug problem. Keeping this man alive long enough to make him talk, however, proves difficult.

Books and Tanner soon learn of a shadowy group of armed Indian police who patrol vast areas of tribal and federal lands in search of anyone desecrating ancient Native American burial sites. They also discover other unsolved disappearances in the region. Could the disappearance of the Rogers and others be the responsibility of this group?

As Books and Tanner close in on those responsible, Books’ own survival skills will be tested when he is unwittingly drawn into a remote part of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. There he is forced into a deadly game of cat and mouse, in which the hunter becomes the hunted and only one person gets to go home alive.

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“Books is a strong and dedicated hero with just enough flaws to be interesting…Norman deftly illustrates that sometimes desperate people do things against their nature, not realizing how their actions affect the ones who love them…a find addition to Norman’s debut.”

— Durango Herald 


  • “Lawlor  delivers a dramatic (when called for) and fully voiced performance, using varied tempos…Lawlor provides an enjoyable experience for listeners.”

  • “Returns to the beautiful deserts of southern Utah and the adventurous life of BLM ranger J. D. Books…Norman paints an interesting and entertaining picture of both sides of the law.”

    — Deseret News
  • “A classy police procedural with odd outbreaks of sundry violence and gunfire as our hero slowly uncovers evidence…It’s written in a simple and direct form, cutting quickly to the chase and never letting up in the pace until we arrive breathless at the end.”

    — Tulsa Book Review
  • “Atmospheric…Details about pot hunting, such as that it’s both illegal and yet a generally accepted practice in many communities, lend interest.”

    — Publishers Weekly

Skeleton Picnic Listener Reviews

Overall Performance: 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 (1.00)
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Narration: 0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 (0.00)
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Story: 0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 (0.00)
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  • Overall Performance: 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

    " I "read" most of this book as an audiobook while sewing, but got tired of the foul language which is more noticeable when listening to an audiobook than when reading a book silently. I finally stopped reading it, as I just wasn't enjoying it. "

    — Jan, 6/1/2012

About Michael Norman

Michael Norman, a native of Seattle, spent his adult life in Colorado and Utah. He is a former police officer, state parole board member, and professor of criminal justice at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. His first novel, The Commission, was named one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2007. He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with his wife Diane, and their pit bulls, Eddie and Joyce.

About Patrick Lawlor

Patrick Lawlor, an award-winning narrator, is also an accomplished stage actor, director, and combat choreographer. He has worked extensively off Broadway and has been an actor and stuntman in both film and television. He has been an Audie Award finalist multiple times and has garnered several AudioFile Earphones Awards, a Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award, and many starred audio reviews from Library Journal and Kirkus Reviews.