Best of Texas Book Award: The Window Trail by JJ Rusz

This book set a high bar for any mystery novels I might read after finishing this masterpiece.

The Window Trail by JJ Rusz has received the 2019 Best of Texas Book Award for Suspense Thriller.

B. Alan Bourgeoise, founder and director of the Texas Association of Authors, point out, “Readers of the exceptional titles selected for the Book Awards would agree that they are winning reads and top-tier selections in their categories. By any measure, the distinguished books from this year’s forty-eight winners are of stellar quality. Readers will love to fall into the pages and climb out with the greatest of satisfaction.”

This is the seventh year for TxAuthors to select winning titles written by Texas authors for the Fiction, Nonfiction, and Children’s Books. The association has members from throughout the United States and is not limited to Texas writers.

The winners from this year’s contest will receive their prestigious awards at the Celebration of Authors Gala in San Antonio on July 27, which is part of the Fourth Annual Authors Marketing Event.

The Window Trail

What could go wrong on a spring break trek down the storied Window Trail at Big Bend National Park in Texas?

For Assistant Professor Claire Harp, a terrifying incident at the canyon drop-off at the end of the hike merely hints of troubles to come.

Drawn into a murder investigation that rocks the small town of Alpine, Claire finds herself involved with both a famous writer and an appealing young captain from a sheriff’s office baffled by a homicide that points in too many directions.

What she discovers on her own is a crime of a whole different sort.

Full of sly humor, local color, and characters fresh off the range, The Window Trail will keep you guessing and guessing again.

About JJ Rusz:

J J Rusz is the author of the Big Bend Country Mysteries–focusing on crime and intrigue in Far West Texas. (www.jjrbigbend.com). The first book in the series is the award-winning The Window Trail.

A second book, entitled The South Rim Trail, follows in summer 2019. Favorite characters from The Window Trail reappear, while intriguing new ones join the cast. The action occurs in Big Bend National Park, both on its magnificent South Rim loop trail (12.5 miles up and through the Chisos Mountains) and on the Old Maverick Road.

J J Rusz is the pen name for John J Ruszkiewicz, who was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned a BA from St. Vincent College in 1972 and a Ph.D. in English from The Ohio State University in 1977.

Before writing the Big Bend Country Mysteries, he was the author of a wide range of college textbooks, including Everything’s an Argument, How to Write Anything and A Reader’s Guide to College Writing.

In 2017, he retired from the University of Texas at Austin, where he taught literature, rhetoric, and composition for 40 years. He currently spends much of his time in Alpine, Texas, enjoying its proximity to Big Bend National Park.

Review by caleber:

I haven’t read many mystery novels. This book set a high bar for any mystery novels I might read after finishing this masterpiece. I felt like I was out in West Texas, driving on the rural highways and breathing the dry air.

And the characters came to life — I started comparing them to people I know in my less interesting life. When I had to put the book down to attend to some task, I never failed to pick it back up quickly.

The precise descriptions of West Texas, a hint of romance, a promising lead in the case — all these integral parts of any good mystery left me always wondering what would happen next.

But more importantly, this book made me feel things I hadn’t felt in a long time. When I encountered the relationship between Sam and Mote, I teared up on the lawn of a bluegrass concert.

Be careful where you read the book because you just might cry.

Please click HERE to find The Window Trail on Amazon.

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