Rachel Porter Wildlife Mysteries

All of the Rachel Porter novels are available at Amazon and can be read free via Kindle Unlimited.

Gator Aide (Book #1)

A failed New York actress, Rachel Porter figured that any new career would be an improvement–until she became a wildlife agent and found herself stuck in the steamy Louisiana bayous, chasing poachers and fending off mosquitoes the size of Central Park pigeons.

Rachel’s first major assignment for the New Orleans Fish and Wildlife Service has brought her to the infamous French Quarter, to deal with a dead alligator chained to a bathtub—not far from an equally dead stripper. But when Rachel discovers that an o.d. of ingested heroin-stuffed condoms—and not the five bullet holes in the gator’s head—was the true cause of its demise, the inquisitive agent finds herself perilously caught up in both murder investigations. And with killers, cops, neo-Nazis, drag queens and crooked politicos on her case, it’ll take more than Big Apple sass to get Rachel out of the Big Easy… alive.

“A disillusioned actress moves from New York to Louisiana to work as a federal Fish and Wildlife agent and finds herself hip-deep in alligators, poachers and murder in this vivid debut mystery… The writing is palpably atmospheric… [Speart] manages to maintain both tension and action throughout.”
Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

Tortoise Soup (Book #2)

Having transferred from steamy New Orleans, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agent Rachel Porter learns her new assignment in the Nevada desert is no picnic, either: three hundred and fifty endangered tortoises have disappeared from a federal hatching site. Rachel finds no shortage of suspects in the tort-napping: a trio of eco-nuts living in an ark, who fear the creatures are about to die off; trigger-happy ranchers who hate the new government restrictions on their grazing lands; and developers whose greedy land grab has been forced to a halt.

When Rachel discovers the decaying skeleton of a reclusive landowner and her home and office are bombed, her instincts tell her that the missing tortoises are at the center of all the mayhem. And as the deception, dirty dealing and fatal secrets escalate, Rachel finds herself deep in desert danger—from critters two-legged and otherwise!

“Speart has a gift for bringing out the funny side of any region she writes about. Don’t know where Rachel will turn up next, but I’ve already signed up for the posting!”
Murder Ink

Bird Brained (Book #3)

Tangling with animal smugglers in southern Florida—from the Customs counter at Miami Airport to the lush estates of the rich and corrupt—is all part of the job for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agent Rachel Porter.

Working on a hot tip, she investigates the compound of an alleged smuggler of exotic cockatoos and parrots. But once inside, Rachel finds her prey laying in a pool of his own blood—and all of his winged bounty has flown the coop. Though her ornery Cuban boss tells her that birds are her business, not killers, the indomitable Rachel sets out to find both. With a list of suspects that includes a sleazy snake dealer, Cuban cigar smugglers, airboat cowboys, and exiled anti-Castro terrorists, Rachel finds the field spread as wide as a peacock’s tail—and just as colorful. And if this dedicated wildlife chick isn’t careful… she might end up a sitting duck.

“Jessica Speart writes with style and verve… She also peoples her story with a wide cast of lively characters who keep surprising me with their antics. Join her for a wild ride!”
—Mysterious Bookshop

Border Prey (Book #4)

Primates are being smuggled over the Mexican border, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agent Rachel Porter has a hot tip that they’re hidden somewhere on the Happy Hunting Ranch. Bad enough that the game ranch provides rare antelopes, Indian deer, and African oryx for the rich to hunt. Now Rachel’s sure the hidden illegal chimps are being used for a far more nefarious purpose than exotic target practice.

But when a smuggler is murdered minutes before Rachel can get his insider information, and a mysterious thug comes gunning for her after she unearths enemy territory. For on the border, where coyotes roam and mountain lions prowl, the rule is kill or be killed, and Rachel’s no longer a hunter—now she’s become the prey.

Border Prey is fresh and close to the bone. The characters breathe with endlessly fascinating idiosyncrasies of living people. Jessica Speart is a revitalizing gust of the southwest in a stuffy room.”
—Nevada Barr

Black Delta Night (Book #5)

It’s called Delta Gold—caviar from the endangered Mississippi River paddlefish that rivals the world-renowned beluga. And now that greed has all but decimated a billion dollar Caspian Sea industry, the Russian mafia is casting its lethal line into the land of Elvis.

Tennessee is the purgatory where the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has consigned Rachel Porter for making trouble. Now, posing as a dirty agent on the take, she’s diving into a shark pool of hungry predators drawn by the scent of big money. But there’s more roiling these waters than a thriving trade in the illegal poaching of paddlefish for their roe—as Rachel’s investigation reveals even scarier secrets… and murder. In guarding the golden egg, Rachel has gotten in way too deep over her head. And now she’s in grave danger of learning the meaning of “extinct” firsthand.

“Shows a side of the south rarely presented by travel excursions… Jessica Speart adds atmosphere to her strong cast and picturesque locale that turns this work into a chilling mystery.”
BookBrowser.com

A Killing Season (Book #6)

Aggressive and independent, agent Rachel Porter has long been a thorn in the side of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service—and for her sins, she’s been assigned to remote Montana. In this cold, windswept country of private militias and survivalists, grizzlies are being killed at an alarming rate. And while following up on a rumor that someone from the local Blackfeet tribe is responsible, Rachel uncovers an even more terrible truth: Native Americans are mysteriously disappearing as well. In this land that the Unabomber called home, it appears that endangered animals and humans are equally fair game. And the next casualty may well be one gutsy wildlife agent who refuses to let sleeping bears lie.

“Fascinating characters, an intriguing premise, and two rugged male leads make A Killing Season a book guaranteed to hold your interest. The plight of animals in the wild and scenes with scary supremacist members heighten the tension of the story.”
Romantic Times (Top Pick!)

Coastal Disturbance (Book #7)

In many ways, hot-tempered field agent Rachel Porter deals better with endangered animals than she does with people—which is why her superiors at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service dispatch her to the most god-forsaken places. Georgia’s steaming coastal swampland is her latest assignment, where she quickly runs afoul of the local authorities. But someone is operating an illegal manatee water park here, and Rachel is determined to shut it down. Worse still, these fascinating mammals are dying in alarming numbers for unknown reasons. And when people being dying as well, Rachel’s righteous fury is tinged with fear. Because answers and predators alike are waiting for her in a dark and terrifying place: a toxic “Dead Zone” that spells certain doom for any trespassing human, manatee… or wildlife agent.

“Speart tells us a lot why we ought to care about endangered species—and along the way provides a rattling good yarn.”
The Boston Globe

Blue Twilight (Book #8)

Something precious and beautiful is being ruthlessly destroyed. And those who champion the small, fragile, threatened lives are endangered themselves. An agent for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Rachel Porter has been assigned to the northern California wilds, where a biologist recently vanished while searching for a rare blue butterfly believed extinct—a hunt that may well have led him to his death. And now a young girl has gone missing also, and her disappearance might be connected, so Rachel cannot ignore it. But bodies and lies are piling up in her path, and beyond them catastrophe is waiting for Rachel Porter. Because in a world of heartless greed and cruel obsession, there may be nothing that separates a fanatic collector from a cold-blooded killer.

“Jessica Speart’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife agent Rachel Porter mysteries are like peanuts. Once started, you just cannot stop—and they are so good. This is one book you can judge by its gorgeous cover: just grab it.”
Mystery Scene Magazine

Restless Waters (Book #9)

For most people, Hawaii is heaven on Earth. But U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agent Rachel Porter sees the rot beneath its natural splendor. Its pristine shores are harboring a new breed of criminal, those who would upset the fragile ecological balance in the name of profit… those who would kill in the cause of greed.

On the trail of illegal traffickers in exotic animals, Rachel stumbles upon something far more insidious and frightening—and a suspiciously shark-devoured human corpse that washes up on the rocks is only the beginning. Suddenly everyone wants her off a case that is too hot to handle. But she won’t be warned, coaxed, or threatened away, even as the blood that darkens the tropical waters marks Rachel Porter as the most endangered creature in Paradise.

“Fresh, irreverent writing and a fast-paced plot combine with a sassy heroine and vibrant descriptions of ‘the real Hawaii’ to give this environmentally conscious thriller multiple levels of appeal.”
Booklist

Unsafe Harbor (Book #10)

Spirited US Fish and Wildlife agent Rachel Porter is back in her native New York following the trail of murderous smugglers. Rachel has relished the beautiful serenity of Hawaii, but her hometown of New York holds a special place in her heart. So when a job prospect in nearby New Jersey arises, she jumps at the chance. But, after the diversity of Hawaii, rats, roaches and seagulls are about the only creatures Jessica encounters in her new job. While she slaves away at her paperwork, Rachel pines for some excitement. But she gets more than she bargained for when the body of a rich socialite is discovered steps away from her post. Rachel fears for the safety of the woman who found the body after she is called in to investigate the mysterious $20,000 shawl, made of illegal Tibetan antelope fur, found with the victim. Rachel is determined to show that she still has the New York grit needed to track down those responsible for the brutal murder.

“Credible characters, evocative place descriptions and a penetrating look at the world of illegal imports lift Speart’s 10th mystery to feature U.S. Fish and Wildlife agent Rachel Porter… Both established fans and new readers will cheer the gutsy Rachel every step of the way.”
Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)