My new book "Hands Across the Grave" now available on

Murder, Greed and Family Conflict in 1939 Alaska.
Mystery/Thriller Finalist in the 2015 Red City Review Book Award

September, 1939 - George Johnson’s brother, Harmon and Harmon’s wife, Zelda, have been murdered near their cabin in the Dutch Hills of Alaska. Harmon, a successful prospector, has left a large estate and George’s ex-con brother, Ron, wants it all.

George travels to Alaska from Southern California to confront Ron. George and Ron soon realize they must put their animosity on hold, when they are forced to team up with U.S Commissioner Bob Maywood and FBI Agent James Riley to find Harmon’s killer.
The investigation stalls when the primary suspect is murdered. However, the investigation is revitalized when George finds Zelda's diary. They now have a possible suspect and the possibility that there could be thousands of dollars in gold buried at one of Harmon’s mining sites.


​​1967 - Monrovia, California

After twenty-seven years with the FBI, Assistant Special Agent, James Riley has officially retired. Finally out of the crazy and unpredictable world of law enforcement, he and his wife, Meg, are excited to start the next chapter of their lives in the small town of Monrovia, California.

Meg throws James a surprise retirement party that brings their daughter, Clair, and her husband Tom home from Ohio and reunites James with his old friend Bob Maywood. When Clair announces that she and Tom will be moving back to Monrovia, James and Meg are thrilled. However, their excitement turns to terror when Clair and Tom fail to return from a short walk. A search of the neighborhood leads James and Bob to an abandoned house, where they find Clair’s opal and diamond necklace and a chloroform soaked rag.

James and Bob team up with his former supervisor, Special Agent Hank Welch, to find Clair and Tom. They will soon find themselves caught in a web of lies, revenge, and deception that threatens the Riley family and friends.




​Donna Kolling Lear is an award winning author  from Orange County, California and has published two books.

Crimson Gold , in 2013, and Hands Across the Grave, in 2019.  

Crimson Gold, was a finalist in the 2015 Red City Review Book Awards, Mystery/Thriller genre. 

In December 2019, ​Crimson Gold and Hands Across the Grave, received the Author Shout Reader Ready Awards "Recommended Read " Silver badge. 

Donna lives in Santa Ana with her husband, John and their Yorkie, Cujo and cat, Gus

My debut novel, ​Crimson Gold, published in 2013. A murder mystery that takes place in 1939 Alaska.

Based on a true family mystery.​

Available at