Presumed Dead

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Presumed Dead

(Wilton/Strait murder mystery series 2)

Andrea Wilton and Brian Strait, from Shuster Detective Agency, take on another case to find a missing person. This second book in the series introduces DJ Wiebe, a biker who rides with The Sons Riders, a Christian biker ministry. Another biker, a member of The Demons Raiders, is missing and presumed dead. DJ, his friend, hires Shuster Detective Agency to find him. He initiates Andrea and Brian into the biker culture, a world that encompasses motorcycles, leather, drugs and murder. (book size 5.5×8.5, perfect bound paper back. 324 pages)


The twists and turns in Barbara’s novels provide many hours of entertaining food for thought. I’ve become a fan and a collector. –Shirley Reynolds, Colorado—

I read Presumed Dead first but then had to have Vanished. The Wilton/Strait Mystery series are my new favorites. Barbara’s plots keep a person guessing all the way through. –Denise Sassman, Storm Lake Iowa—

Ted Dekker is one of my favourite authors. Barbara’s books are as exciting, and hard to put down as his. –Mandy, Manitoba—

My son has had a problem reading all his life: has never completed a whole book…until he picked up Presumed Dead. He couldn’t put it down and now wants the other two in the series, –Irene Schultz, Portage La Prairie

By L. Kerr on October 22, 2012

This book was a really good suspense, mystery novel. It is the second in this series and did a great job of picking up where the first one (Vanished) left off. I loved seeing Andrea and Brian’s relationship develop. There is a sweet flirtation between the two of them and it’s slowly, but surely breaking down Andrea’s walls built up after several bad relationships. True love heals. Not only does their personal relationship develop, but so does their working relationship as they take on two new cases.There’s a lot of twists and unexpected turns, danger and God works through and in it all. I love how she easily pulls God into the “daily” aspects of Brian, Andrea, Trent and Diane’s lives. It’s a good read and I would definitely recommend it to others who enjoy clean, mystery and suspense novels!

As I was reading I wasn’t sure if this story was a romance, a biker’s tale, a detective mystery, or a lesson in Christianity. The more I read, the more I realized that it was all of the above–and very well done, I might add. Andrea and Brian are adventurous and willing to tackle anything when it comes to their detective agency, but they never lose their values or their faith in the Lord. It’s refreshing that these two are in love but are not in bed together. A very enjoyable book with some intense parts that kept me turning the pages.


“No, Brian! Absolutely Not! I do not ride, nor do I want to learn to ride a motorcycle. Why would I want people to align me with those dirty bikers? ” Andrea’s hands were pinned to her hips. Her eyes held a hardened glint of determination as she glared at her new partner. Brian Strait looked just as strong-minded. Andrea’s tirade continued. “Neither of us rides a motorcycle for that matter. Why do we need to ride in order to solve this case?”

“Just listen, Andrea. Do you remember when we were in Haiti? You didn’t want to learn to scuba dive either but you did alright.” Brian chuckled. “In fact, you did better than alright. Now it’s time to learn another skill.”

Andrea Wilton whipped her hair out of her eyes. She turned and marched toward the fridge and grabbed a cold diet cola. “Do you know what my friends call motorcycle riders?” She popped the tab on the can and took a long drink. “They refer to them as crash test dummies. Motorcycle riding is dangerous.”

“Not if we learn to ride properly and defensively. Most motorcycle accidents happen because some driver, usually a car or truck, doesn’t see the motorcycle or doesn’t give the bike enough space on a highway. We’ll learn from the best.” Brian folded his hands over his chest. “As far as associating with bikers, just how do you think we’ll fit in, look inconspicuous, if we aren’t riding as they do. Remember Jesus died for bikers too.”

“Harrumph. Yes well…what about motorcycles? We don’t have any.” Andrea sat down heavily into the chair behind her desk. She knew she was losing the argument.

“Well, I’ve thought of that too. We have a place in our budget for new equipment, don’t we?” Brian leaned his hands on her desk.

“Yes, of course. But when we made that addition, I was thinking office equipment, not motorcycles.”

“Andrea, didn’t we say that the reason we started this agency was to help people. Well, DJ is people. He rides with an organization that does a lot of good. We would be helping solve the murder of one of their friends, if that’s what this turns out to be. And maybe we would be helping put some very bad people behind bars. These outlaws do a lot of harm to anyone crazy enough to come into contact with them.”

Andrea shifted her weight, a clear indication she was reconsidering her position. She began to chew on her lower lip, and the tight grimace on her face began to disappear. “But…”

“No more buts. You know I’m right.”

“This could be more dangerous than Haiti,” she added anyway. “Okay, let’s get DJ Wiebe in here and go over some details. In the meantime, why don’t you go ahead and find us some top-notch motorcycles. Remember, I don’t have a lot of strength in my arms.”

“What has that got to do with anything?” Brian’s response was clearly beginning to show his frustration over Andrea’s reluctance.

“When I fall, I won’t be able to lift the bike back up.” Her hands were back on her hips.

“You aren’t going to fall, remember. Good training …”

“Yes, but we need to think of the ‘what if’s, don’t we?”

“Okay, you win. I’ll get started. What are you going to be doing the rest of the day?”

“I think I’ll dig up any information I can find on the Demons Raiders and their leader, Belcher. That way, we should get a fair idea of how to proceed with this operation.” Andrea walked over to her desk and turned her computer on. “I think we also need all the prayer support we can get, so…

“Make sure when you call the church you just give them sketchy details at best. We don’t want to divulge our source or our intentions and blow our cover before we even get started.”

“You know, sometimes you treat me like an idiot. I will just ask for prayer. They don’t need to know all the details. God already does.” Her eyes spit fire toward Brian who hurriedly put on his jacket and ducked out of the office.

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