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Summer People (Ray Elkins Mystery #1)

3.31 of 5 stars 3.31  ·  rating details  ·  1,269 ratings  ·  164 reviews

It is late June in Michigan's gold coast resort area. The summer residents are settling in for the season and the tourists are beginning to flood the highways and beaches. But the idyllic vision of a summer at the shore is suddenly shattered by a gangla
Kindle Edition, 269 pages
Published July 1st 2009 by Writers & Editors, LLC (first published August 10th 2000)
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Scott Rhee
I wholeheartedly support authors who self-publish, and I enjoy buying books by regional authors in little bookstores in towns whose names I can't remember. I think anyone and everyone should be able to have their stories published and read. This is not to say, of course, that they are worth reading or that I actually have to like them.

Recently, during a week vacation in northern Michigan, I stumbled upon this book, "Summer People", by Aaron Stander, a local writer who has a series of self-publis
Anyone who has ever lived in a north woods tourist area knows about summer people. This book is set in the area just south of Traverse City, MI: the Glen Lake and Sleeping Bear National Sand Dunes area. The area is referred to as the gold coast of MI due to monied status of most of the summer residents. My husband spent all his summers with his grandparents in the town of Empire. We, in turn, went up there for the first 8 summers after we married. It's a beautiful area. This is the story of 4 di ...more
I ended up a little confused with the plot, not really understanding who or why, and I couldn't be bothered to go back and check details, The story is okay, but the characters are 2 dimensional and some of the writing is very suspect. This phrase cropped up more than once :

There was so little affect. (which I really do not understand - affection? love? - What does the noun 'affect' mean?)

and there was this:

They both gave a negative nod.

That actually made my brain hurt.
This really didn't feel like it was going anywhere...there were quite a few deaths very close together, then the sheriff Sat around and chatted to his old friend (and the old friends new chick, already acting like an old married couple) did a bit of asking around, and then decided something might have happened to someone twenty years ago, and they were now getting their revenge.
It wasn't clear if this was actually the case, or just coincidence.
Not great.
Quick read- the first in the Ray Elkins series , a sheriff in a small Northwestern, coastal Michigan town south of a traverse City.
Bored. To. Tears.

The truth is, I didn't even finish this book. I thought the characters were shallow, primarily because the author never really went into detail about their thoughts or feelings. The characters I was supposed to like I didn't... the characters I was supposed to feel icky about I ended up being interested in, only to have them die.

Not impressed. Got through half the book before I called it quits. Which is kind of depressing because I can count on one hand how many books I haven't
I was drawn to the topic of this book, as I am interested in the inevitable clash of social classes and distinctions between locals and summer people in such a resort town, and I am personally unfamiliar with the vacation culture and traditions in this Lake Michigan area. I was pleased to see the sheriff in this murder mystery is a local boy who had "done good"--he had an earlier career as a criminal justice professor at a university that he earned meritoriously through hard work and perseveranc ...more
lynda  dwight
was a good easy read.a little slow at first but took off fairly well afterwards. I got into it more towards middle and end. definitely does not end as one would expect.

sheriff ray lives in a tourist area where well to do summer people come to spend there summers in scenic cottages. these are adults of children that vacationed in their youth.

the story takes off as one murder believed to be by a professional and coincendentaly three accidents ... all seem at least aquantically related as in they
Sally Beaudean
Aspects of this book appealed to me. I liked the setting and some of the writer's descriptions were well done. I do remember one paragraph that gave a much too detailed description of how a car is pulled out of a swamp. (Do I really need to know how the wrecker hooks up the axle to get the job done?) The characters were interesting. I liked the ending, because it allows the reader the make inferences about what really happened.
Picked this up because the story takes place in an area I love - northwest lower Michigan. Other than dropping some place names and poking fun at the summer people, Stander's really disappointing story could have taken place anywhere. The mystery is poor, the characters are stock and the ending is awful. I should have put this one down after the first chapter. Ever hopeful...
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kristina Smith
Ray Elkins is the sheriff in a small, coastal Michigan resort town. He used to be a college professor "downstate". He is up for re-election against a local "good ole boy" who is running a campaign based on guns, booze and (the lack of) women's rights. But that is just a sidebar. The real story is the seemingly random "accidents" that keep happening to "the summer people" visiting the town for the summer within the course of one week. First, a sleazy real estate developer is gunned down in what s ...more
I enjoyed this book very much. Hope to read more by this author
I am hoping that seeing as this is part of a series that perhaps this specific one is not the start of said series. There seems to be no depth to the characters or plot. I tried to enjoy it but sadly I could not become invested in any of it. I do not recommend it.

ETA I've realized that this is indeed the first in the series, or so it states on Amazon. I wish I could find something redeeming about the story to keep me interested in continuing the series itself. Maybe there is something more to th
Becky Almon
Interesting story line,but not a good narrative

This is a very interesting story line; however, there is little action. Events are briefly described and then retold from the Sheriff's point of view. Between deaths there are scenes with two of the Sheriff's friends whose only purpose seems to be a sounding board for his theories.
While there is some description of the dead men's character, there is no real depth, no real emotion or suspense developing as the book progresses. It could have been much
Great start and had a lot of potential but where's the ending? I thought there may be a sequel in the series so I anxiously researched it. After reading reviews of the other books by the author, it appears this is how he ends books...with no ending. There were so many loose ends. I want a book that fills in the blanks. I don't want to just end it as to what I think happens. I want the author to do that. So who dunnit? I guess the world will never know.

At least I didn't spend my Amazon certificat
Sheriff Ray Elkins roams a Northwest Michigan county and has been doing so for some time now. Several Summer People (people who own summer homes and only visit during fair weather) have turned up dead in the first few weeks of summer. Elkins and team try to determine if several are accidents or are they tied up in a string of foul play.

I enjoyed the story line, easy to read, nice setting (partial, because I am a "Summer People" in this area of Michigan, well I visit year round though). Just purc
First in the series before "Color Tour."

It’s not unheard of for this quiet beach town in Michigan to have drownings during the summer after the summer people arrive, however this particular summer, men are dying regularly. A few are apparent murders while the rest appear to be accidents.

The author is onto something here with a really good premise and has the reader guessing. It becomes intriguing when the Sheriff begins to wonder whether the deaths are somehow tied together.

However, I don’t kn
When I started reading “Summer People” I expected a much different kind of murder mystery than the one I found myself reading. I guess I expected a little more drama and a little more flash, overall just a lot more excitement. The book starts off on a fast paced pitch, but slows down almost instantly. The first chapter had me hooked, but around chapter 25 I was starting to wonder just how much more I had left to read. The characters are actually written very well. I love Sheriff Ray and think he ...more
Sharon Michael
Very relaxed, kind of semi-cozy police procedural mystery. Quite a few dead bodies for a cozy, but not particularly graphic. Small town law enforcement with an annual influx of summer people, very resonant of the western community where I grew up although this was set on the NE coast.

Plot was interesting, characters were generally well defined, and I definitely enjoyed a practical, sensible major law enforcement character that was not in some way dysfunctional. I did feel the major female charac
Several reviewers have complained about the pacing of Summer People, but I really liked it. It was slow and easy, just like a Michigan summer. Around here we take our watches off when summer hits and don't pick them up again until Labor Day. A book set in the Traverse Bay area that was a fast-paced thriller would have felt all wrong.

While I did like the pacing, I found much of Stander's writing style to be tedious. His setting descriptions were so detailed while his segues were abrupt. I read an
Kim Pope
This was a budget book from Kindle and I love a good mystery. Sheriff Elkins is an engaging character surrounded by the locals and the fudgies aka the summer people. Murder and suspicious accidents occur in short order with no apparent connections of reasons...I liked these characters and the storyline. I didn't guess the outcome but I was disappointed about how that was handled....worth the $2.99 that I paid for it!
More gym reading. This book could have been shortened by more than half if the author had quit repeating himself. First, the sheriff (and sometimes side characters) have to experience something. Then, they have to go back and tell the others. THEN, sometimes, we get to hear the sheriff tell the lawyer or other various and sundry characters. Really? Can't you sum up or eliminate all that dialogue and just tell the reader that he told them? Oy. And the ending? What ending? This series is called "R ...more
Apr 11, 2015 Flavio rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: fabs
I spent maybe two years to read this book. I use to read more than a book at once. I found the 1st. half very detailed, with to many happenings, and information that Ray collected. After the 1st. half, the book became more interesting. The resolution of the story was something disappointed, but not a disaster. It was the author's options to all the discoveries. An interesting read!
Tiffany Tinkham-Graves
This is part of a set. Another is Deer Hunter. This one was a good book that kept me guessing all through it of who done it.

There is a mob style murder that first happens to get the reader rolling. With no leads the sheriff tries to start up his reelection campaign when suddenly other mysterious things begin to happen. Will he figure out what's going on?
Julie Mink
I really enjoyed this book. It is a well crafted mystery surrounding the investigation of 4 deaths in a short period of one summer season in a resort area in Western Michigan. The sheriff, Ray Elkins, a very through
man works to see if there is any connection between one murder and 3 apparent accidents. I am looking forward to read the next book in this series.
A pleasant afternoon of reading. I picked it up because it's one of Traverse Area Library's group-reading summer books. I'm sure it was selected because it's set in the area, rather than for any particular literary merit.

There are lots of characters and bits of their backstories, but all of it seems kind of flat. It's hardly a thriller--we get lots of information we don't need to solve the mystery plus side-track crimes and stories that go nowhere. Like real life, the story meanders along. And w
Not feeling it

This book started out great lead up to a great murder, the a second and third and finally a fourth with only 20 percent of the book left and none of the pieces fitting together to solve the murders. The book ends with unsolved. Also really a fifth murder, I am sure the retired deputy Floyd was murder also.
Sharon Lesperance
I love all the books in this series. I'm waiting for the last one as I write this. Impatiently waiting that is! I have read every one of the books in a row and can't put them down. It's great to read a book on Michigan and remember the trips to that area of the state. Very well written and I highly recommend all of the books in this series.
Florence Primrose
Summer on the lake in the north and many people who spent their summers there growing up return. One by one four of these men in their mid-forties die in mysterious circumstances in a brief period. Sheriff Ray Elkins ponders these deaths seeking the link between them. Lisa and Marc who also spent summers are sounding boards.

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