Timber Beasts
Timber Beasts A Sage Adair Historical Mystery, book 1

Publisher - Yamhill Press Author - S.L. Stoner

The U.S. economy is in shambles. The ordinary citizen is slipping in his battle for family survival. The incoming president denounces the financial shenanigans of speculators and vows to regulate the greed of those who have precipitated the disaster. Vast acres of national forest and a plethora of small businesses are in a life and death struggle against corporate powerhouses skilled at making and exploiting the law. In ballot boxes across the country, the progressive vision has been ratified, promising a counter-offensive against decades of corporate control. The year is 1902.

Within an historical context eerily reflective of the current day, John Sagacity Adair, Sage to his friends, is determined to expose the chicanery of the financial establishment. He works secretly on behalf of the growing labor movement, pursuing his mission into hobo jungles, lumber camps, seedy saloons and the drawing rooms of the rich. Fighting beside him are a parlor house madam, a leader in the local Chinese tong, an Appalachian coal-miner's daughter and an Afro-American maitre d who shows more class than the people he serves.

On the night Sage uncovers a potential timber fraud, he is also faced with a cry for help. A brutal railroad guard has been murdered and his friend's young nephew must be cleared of the crime. Faced with the choice between pursuing the personal or the political, Sage chooses the personal only to find himself led straight back to the political. Events cause Sage to question how he will maintain his humanity and hope over the course of what promises to be a life long struggle.

Winner of the 2010 Indie Book Award for Best Mystery

"...Timber Beasts relives the NW timber country corruption at turn of century, while providing hope in that dingy setting by creating an imaginary secret counter-force personified in the dashing hero, Sage Adair. Far more than a mere action-figure, this principal character displays convincing dimension and depth. This is a unique, genre-crossing novel. It combines rousing adventure with accurate back-to-the-past details all of it served up with an overlay of timeless social ethic.
    --Jim Strassmaier, Oral Historian, Oregon Historical Society, ret.

"We are not taught that our middle class came from the heroic lives and deaths of ordinary workers. Most authors ignore that historical fact. Stoner's Sage Adair mystery gives us back our history in a hard-to-put-down deeply satisfying and entertaining adventure."
    --Ross K. Rieder, President Pacific NW Labor History Association

"Stoner knowingly evokes early 20th century Portland through a detective story of murder, skillfully developed against a gripping (and true) background of class war and the Oregon Timber Fraud Ring."
    --Michael Munk, author, the Portland Red Guide: Sites and Stories from Our Radical Past

"Stoner has created a fast-paced western tale of murder, corruption and its exposure by an engaging hero. All strata of society come to life from the rich to day laborers."
    --Joel Rosenblit, Union Lawyer and Labor Educator

"A delightful and entertaining mystery that is fast-paced, realistic and serves as a lesson that money and power corrupted men a century ago as it does today. I found myself eager to read the next page, the next chapter."
    --Jason Reynolds, Executive Director, Consumer Justice Alliance

"For those who like mysteries... it is hard to put down and the reader is rewarded with exciting drama as well as living and breathing characters."  
    --The Portland Alliance

"A fast-paced, well-plotted mystery... This engrossing tale is the first in what promises to be a worthy series."  
    --School Library Journal

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Category: Fiction | Mystery - Historical Suggested Price: 14.95 Release Date: 01/19/2010 ISBN: 978-0-9823184-0-9 Product Type: Paperback # Pages: 288