Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Irion and Watkins Provides Readers Winning Start to Series!

"After a short wait, I was ushered into the presence of the
great man. I'd scanned Sodoc's history in Wikipedia the
previous day, but was not prepared for his enormous size.
At six feet, four inches, he weighed just under three hundred
pounds, but did not seem fat in the least. Bald, with dark
glittering eyues, he appeared decades younger than his
purported age...
"I have little time for small talk, Mr. Devlon," Sodoc said.
"I'm sure you understand. I take it you were a friend of my son's."
..."So tell me what happened. I've read that book. It struck me
as irresponsible. You didn't talk to the author, did you?"
"No, I've not discussed the climb with anyone."
Sodoc watched me. "Still the book makes a number of claims.
It says my son could have been saved."
..."Could he have been saved?
...I played with my coffee to staff for time. "I don't know how to
tell it. Really."
"Try. He was my only child..."
Murder on Everest:
 A Summit Murder        Mystery

Charles G. Irion
Ronald J. Watkins

I started in the middle of this series, reading Murder on Aconcagua and providing my review, Of course each of the books can easily stand alone, but I was happy to have a chance to go back and pick up first in the series. After all, that's the grabber--the one that pulls us in, so that we might want to read the whole series.

And Murder on Everest does that!

The Prologue sets the stage by providing the important scene of a previous climb on Everest. when Derek Sodok had climbed, but never returned. He had died on the mountain...
Derek had asked his friend Scott on this climb. And it was Scott who had left him there, leaving him so that he could hopefully bring back help. He had waited so long, trying to take him down himself, but then Scott knew he'd have to leave him...

Interestingly, a book had been written, Abandoned on Everest, by Quentin Stern...Interesting, because Stern had not been on that climb and the book had been completely fiction. This novel, Murder on Everest, includes excerpts from that book as chapter headings. Indeed there is a book by that name but written as part of the series...

Now it was the subject of much discussion and finger-pointing as the individuals gathered for the climb  arranged by Derek's father to, hopefully, find Derek's body and bring it down...

Derek's father blamed Scott! And was ready to blackmail him regarding his career if he refused to go this time.

Readers should understand that once the climb begins, there is nothing but the mountaineers and the mountains. You will be there with them--when it is cold or when they find a little bit of sun in which to sit. You will grab the hot tea just as they do because it helps to warm you, to reclaim some semblance of normal body temperature. But it does not last... You'll be eating such things as Yak meat stew--and be glad to have it!

You will either experience the adventure along with the mountaineers or think they are crazy for doing this. I must admit that by this second book read in the series, I was more ready for the adventure and for following the mystery trail...because, no matter what is happening, you should prepare for death, illness or exposure to nature like you've never experienced before!

And when they reached the point where Scott felt he had last seen Derek, they could find no body...

What had really happened to him?!!!

All that had been on that climb when Derek died, for his father had made sure they were all there, were under suspicion... Not exactly a great place to play "mystery weekend" was it? And yet, that's what had to begin as each started talking about where they had been and what they'd done at any time during that last trip.

Indeed, this series is different from others because of the setting. For those of us who enjoy reading where the setting is also a main part of the book's story line, the Summit Mystery Series will take you where few will ever dare to tread. Where death is a constant companion, just because you are where you are!

Add a murder and a mystery to be solved and you'll "almost" experience that thrill of reaching the summit as proclaimed by true mountaineers!

Highly recommended.


Charles G. Irion is a publisher, author, entrepreneur, adventurer and philanthropist. For several decades Irion has been the sole proprietor and broker for U.S. Park Investments, a leading operator of Manufactured Home and RV communities in the United States.

One of Irion’s life-long passions is for the written word, he made that dream a reality when he released the first book in his Hell Series, Remodeling Hell in 2007. Inspired by real life hellish events, Irion wrote the Hell Series based on frustrations he experienced. Remodeling Hell was inspired after Irion was thrust into the role of contractor after he purchased a home he wanted to remodel. Autograph Hell soon followed, and gives readers tips of the trade that Irion has learned after three decades of collecting memorabilia. These led to Car Dealer Hell, and Divorce Hell. Each true book relates not just Irion’s own personal experiences, but the essential information he learned along the way. Irion hopes these books will help readers that may find themselves in the same predicaments he experienced.

While writing the Hell series, the start of the Summit Murder Mystery Series, the most unique murder mystery series ever written, was born. Inspired by Irion’s 1987 attempt to climb Mt. Everest, and later, a 2011 climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro, each book in the series is set atop the highest point of the world’s seven continents. Deaths from falls, avalanches, illness, heart attacks, and high altitude sickness, are a matter of course, when you add in murder, the combination makes for an unforgettable read. The climb begins with the first book in the series, Murder on Everest, and is followed with Murder on Elbrus, Murder on Mt. McKinley, Murder on Puncak Jaya, Murder on Aconcagua, Murder on Vinson Massif and ends with Murder on Kilimanjaro. For more information about this series, visit

As a philanthropis, Irion's contributions span decades and can be seen locally and globally. You can see the full list of Irion's philanthropic endeavors on this website by clicking here.

Irion's passion for adventure has encompassed the full gamut. He has traveled to over 60 countries throughout the world. SCUBA diving is a favorite hobby of Irion's and he has seen the underwater world from California to Mexico, Costa Rica, the South China sea, Belize, Columbia, Rio De Janeiro, the island of Phuken in Thailand, Bali, and in Subic Bay of the Philippines. Irion has also skydived throughout Arizona, loved the thrill of white water rafting on Pacuare River in Costa Rica, and in 1988, Irion completed a week long course in High Wall Mountain Rapelling conducted in the Bavarian Alps.

You can also visit for more information about Charles Irion's Hell Series, and Summit Murder Mystery Series.

Ronald J. Watkins is the author of more than 30 books. He is co-author of the Summit Murder Series, beginning with MURDER ON EVEREST. Before that his most recent book was UNKNOWN SEAS: How Vasco da Gama Opened the East, published in the United Kingdom by John Murray Publisher in late 2003. In 2004, he was nominated for The Mountbatten Maritime Prize in the United Kingdom. UNKNOWN SEAS was named 2005 Book of the Year by the Portuguese Tribune. In 2006, the book was released in Portuguese in Brazil and in Czech in the Czech Republic.

The author holds a BA in history and an MS in justice studies. Following his university studies, he first worked as a probation officer and presentencing investigator in the Superior Court. He is a former chief administrative law judge and was the assistant director of the Arizona Department of Insurance where he served as the state of Arizona's chief insurance fraud investigator.

His first book, High Crimes and Misdemeanors, was the well received account of the impeachment of Arizona's governor, Evan Mecham. Written just one year after events and based on hundreds of interviews with participants, it remains the definitive account of the last impeachment of an American governor.

His work as a probation officer influenced his early books. In only one capital case did he recommend execution. This led to his second book, Evil Intentions, a gripping account of murder. It was followed a few years later by Against Her Will, the story of the murder of Kelly Tinyes in Valley Stream, Long Island, New York.

The author played an instrumental role in establishing American caselaw to protect the rights of writers under the First Amendment. His struggle to protect his sources as he wrote Birthright, the saga of the Shoen family which founded and owned U-Haul International and of the then unsolved murder of Eva Shoen, received national media attention including an editorial in the Los Angeles Times, an appearance on NBC's PrimeTime! and was the subject of an episode of Under Scrutiny with Jane Wallace. Radio, television and newspapers across the country depicted and praised his steadfast refusal to name names.

In 1993, the United States Court of Appeals [Ninth Circuit] in Shoen v. Shoen, 5 Frd 1289 [9th Cir. 1993] issued a landmark decision on his behalf when the court held for the first time in United State's history that writers of non-fiction books have the same rights under the U.S. Constitution as newspaper reporters and can protect both confidential and non-confidential sources. When he refused to comply with the demands of a second subpoena in 1994 he was again found in contempt of court by a another Federal judge for refusing to disclose sources and this time was ordered imprisoned until he complied. A Federal arrest warrant was issued and U.S. Marshals searched his home looking for him. Twenty minutes prior to surrendering, and in a highly unusual ruling, the Ninth Circuit reversed itself and granted a stay. In Shoen v. Shoen, 48F 3d 412 [9th Cir.1995] the court subsequently ruled in the author's favor, adopting the four point balancing test used in most other Circuits.

These two rulings have been used many times since to spare writers from jail when extending confidentiality to sources and have entered the lexicon of the handful of court cases which safeguard the First Amendment. For his conduct the author was nominated for the 1993 PEN American Newman's Own First Amendment Award.

In addition to his own works, the author has served as ghost writer, collaborator or editor for more than a dozen other books. He is founder and principal writer for Watkins & Associates, perhaps the leading ghost writing service in America.

He has lived in Portugal, traveled in Spain, France, Italy, Mexico, Central America, Brazil, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand and India in the course of his work. He makes his home in Phoenix, Arizona.


Dominick Dunne's Power, Privilege and Justice
PrimeTime! with Tom Brokow and Katie Couric
Under Scrutiny with Jane Wallace
Geraldo with Geraldo Rivera
American Forum [national radio]The author has addressed many groups on his work and in particular on the nature of the First Amendment and the measures necessary in society to protect it. He is available as a speaker on several subjects.

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