William Deverell — Novelist

The official website of William Deverell, Winner of the Dashiell Hammett Award for Literary Excellence in North American Crime Writing

Sing a Worried Song is out ...

and I'm outa here too

bill holding books

“It takes a worried man to sing a worried song. I’m worried now, but I won’t be worried long.” It’s an old folk song that Arthur Beauchamp can’t get out of his head. But poor old Arthur will have lots to worry about, including his possible violent death.

Whatever happens to him is out of my hands now. Sing a Worried Song is out in hardcover and as an e-book as of today, April 1, 2015. Now I must return to my untitled, half-finished work-in-progress.

ferry in mist

I’m on my way to ferry and airport.

I’m going off to commune where there’s no phone, no Internet, no email.



Blog / May 14

Lust. Thrill. Kill.

Okay, on-re-reading your partial manuscript (the copy on your computer ends at page 201), I’m thinking Brian Pomeroy comes off not too bad. Shrewd, edgy, witty, and the island ladies think I’m hot. I am in rich contrast to your Arthur Beauchamp, the emotionally self-abusing yet somehow lovable fusspot.

Sing a Worried Song. I get the title, but I’d have advised something harder. You have a vengeful thrill killer on the loose. What about, simply, Kill Arthur! Or, in the modern style, Lust. Thrill. Kill. (Title of a script I wrote in my noir phase. It’s available.) Or how about Thrill Killer Puzzles Police. Wurtz3 Thrill Killer Puzzles Wurtz – that’s the guy you prosecuted, right? Who threatened to get you…

How does it end? Or do you know? Page 201—is that when the muse died of blockage of creative juices? When the walls closed in and you decided to go away somewhere and start life again?

As for your main plotline, let’s see, we have a sadistic, psychopathic killer on the hunt for the prosecutor who sought to convict him. Oh, dear, that’s Needles. We already did that one, didn’t we, Bill?

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The Blog / April 22

He that filches my good name

Good afternoon, Bill, wherever you are. Still not receiving? Or are you finally tuned in to your blog? I suspect the latter. I see you sitting tight, hoping I’ll go away. I know now why you ran off. Not to escape the horrors of civilization. To avoid me, Bry Pomerantz.

Not just because of the vast guilt and remorse you feel over plagiarizing plot, twists and title of Needles. Yes, the book’s goddamn title—you don’t remember who came up with that? How did I feel when my name didn’t even appear in your acknowledgments? Imagine the sense of being buried alive. needles covers But now you have defamed me. You’ll be singing a very worried song if I sue for libel, bub.

You had erased all your files from your computer (or so you thought), but you forgot to clean out your trash, and there it was, Worried Song2.doc, which I took to be an early draft. I got a few hundred pages into it. I appear as your nemesis. I am the literary analogue of the fucked up character who so prominently lurks throughout its early pages. Brian Pomeroy. Way to come up with an original name.

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The Blog / April 13

My Near-Death Experience

Just had a near-death experience. I was strolling up your driveway when an old pickup rattled down the hill toward me. My only hope was to cannonball into the second growth. Blue Dodge, crumpled fender, peace decal: I told myself to remember these specifics if I survived.

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The Blog / April 7

Escape Fiction

Good morning, Blogosphere, I’m back. Hey, Bill, in case you stop by an Internet shop—do they exist where you are?—to check your emails, I have sent a couple to your old Yahoo account. No answer. But of course, anything from muy amigo mio, unheard from for thirty-three years, goes straight into Spam.

I was hoping you might at least glance at your website, your blog, and see my entreaties to make contact. Or maybe one of your cult following of good-humoured, nonconforming eco-liberals, or a relative, your agent, publisher, somebody who knows where the fuck you are, will get word to you that Bry Pomerantz has hacked into both your writing studio and your blog.

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The Blog / April 4

The Wild Hippie Lawyer

Yeah, I clipped that item from the National Post. I had no idea. The deep end? You may have tiptoed near the edge. But divorce? Shacking up with hippies?

Flashback to this summery scene: I was sitting on a bench in Stanley Park. A bench I hoped to sleep on if it didn’t rain. The Screenwriters Guild had just denied my appeal to get my membership reinstated. I was homeless, hungover, as taut as a stretched condom, exhausted from ranting on the public pathways.

The final blow had just been delivered that morning: Sue announced I was domestically redundant, and gave me my walking papers. (You won’t know Sue, she was after your time. She’s a lawyer. Also, expensively, an afficionada of fine chopped flake.)

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The Blog / April 2

Guess Who Just Hacked Your Blog…

That’s your parting shot? “I’m going off to commune where there’s no phone, no Internet, no email.”

You’re off to commune with whom, some hippie muse? Shit, man, we must have missed each other by a crotch hair.

Maybe that was you getting on the ferry as I was getting off. I said to myself, that can’t be Bill. That wild Einsteinian jungle of hair, the cheap sunglasses, the shirt half tucked in. No, couldn’t be you, I decided—you were always a snappy dresser. Back then. In those times of yore.

Don’t bother scrolling down to see who hacked into your blog—yes, it’s me, Bry Pomerantz, faded wunderkind of the big screen, your long-lost, long-ignored side kicker.

So now I guess that was you packing your bags onto the boat to Vancouver, to catch your flight to wherever the hell you’re going. A scruffy, rustic, yokelized version of you. I didn’t realize your breakdown was that severe, Bill. I read about it in the paper, how you went off the deep end and joined a hippie commune.

I assume you didn’t recognize me either. I was the Cool Hand Luke in the rattletrap truck, who having befriended its stoner owner got dropped off at the local mall, whence I made my way by foot to your house, hefting a pack with forty pounds of essentials. Cigarettes, beer, an illicit over-the-counter envelope of Captagon, and—in case I was invited to stay overnight—fresh gonches and socks. My MacAir and a script I’m working on.

I well remembered your place from when you were building it—that house-warming! a donkey roast, man. That was in ’79—you’d launched your first book, Needles. I brought along my old Needles file, btw, hoping to remind you how we had such a blast collaborating on it. There’s an old snapshot in it, you and me from the seventies. Arms around each other’s shoulders. Like brothers, man. If we were any closer, we’d have been gay.

Imagine my disappointment to find you’d taken a bunk. I was anticipating that delicious moment of recognition at the door, your shock, dismay. “Old soldiers never die, eh, Bill?” You would have responded with something like, “Yeah, but they don’t seem to fade away, either.” I would have explained, to your vast relief, that I’d popped in to your hokey little island only for the day. Just time to share a fast brew, that’s all, and to check on you. I was worried—I’ve been there, I’ve had breakdowns, some lulus. And I felt a need to reconnect with you, Bill, so we could mend our wounds, align our minds, bring back the old days, the creative sharing, the trips, the plots, the games, the laughs.

I would remind you how we brainstormed Needles. Remember that snapper I pulled out of my ass, making the hero a junkie? And how I came up with that twist for Chapter 15, the undercover hooker. (I picture your face darkening. A tremor, a twitch. Fear and loathing on Garibaldi. Oops, wrong island.)

Anyway, I found your house locked up tighter than Aunt Penelope’s anus, so I wandered around your forested hillside, checked out this cute little cabin buried in the forest above your house, which turns out to be your studio. dog cabin

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Killer Review

… of Sing a Worried Song

Well, the first review is in and, inevitably, with my luck, it’s from the pen of my bete noir, Horace Widgeon.Somehow the old bugger got an advance copy and persuaded the editor of The Squib, a pretentious literary quarterly, to allow him to eviscerate Sing a Worried Song.

Killer ReviewOr rather, eviscerate its author. Maybe the people at The Squib thought it would be novel and fun to run a review by a fellow who sued the author for libel and plagiarism.

The attacks border on the personal. “I believe I read somewhere that Deverell has a ‘cult following.’ One can only imagine what strange beliefs this cult holds.”

He writes: “An over-inflated ego is mirrored to us from his pages.” Well, if you’re looking at a mirror, Horace, aren’t you looking at yourself?

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The Blog: August 1

My Grovelling Apology

bill_keyboardPursuant to Article 3 (a) of the Terms of Settlement in the matter of Widgeon v. Deverell, executed this date, I hereby issue the following public statement:

I, William Deverell, sincerely and without reservation apologize to Horace Widgeon, OBE, MBE, (a) for infringing copyright of his various works and writings and (b) for this blog’s many hurtful and unsparingly insensitive comments about his character and his abilities and reputation as a writer, and express my deepest regrets over the distress thereby caused.

There. That was hard to swallow. But Brian Pomerantz, my counsel—and a notorious reprobate—warned that my chances were so bleak that I might walk out of a courtroom stripped of everything but my socks and underwear. (I’d been reluctant to hire such a wild man as Pomerantz, knowing he had just served out a suspension by the Law Society, but no reputable lawyer would take it.)

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The Blog: July 6

On Thrill Killing, Libel, and Writers Block

Where was I? Well, obviously not looking after this sporadic blog.

In my defence, I’ve been driving to complete a first draft of an Arthur Beauchamp novel, a kind of horror sendup, a thrill killer stalking our anxiety-ridden hero. Does he survive? I won’t spoil the ending.

Still looking for a title. The Last Days of Arthur Beauchamp, something like that.

As well, I’ve been distracted by my personal horror show: that grumpy old fellow pictured in my posting of March 19 just won’t let up. To my astonishment, Horace Widgeon has discovered crowd-funding, and is exhorting his fans to kick in for the doubtless atrocious fees of his supposed hotshot counsel, Ballentine J. Bingham, Esq.

Regrettably, my guard dogs (see below) turned out not to be as ferocious as I’d hoped, and were nuzzling and crotch-sniffing Bingham’s pretty student lawyer as she thrust a writ at me through my open studio window. I wasn’t checking my security camera – too busy enjoying a scene where Beauchamp gets busted for pot trafficking.

Mesmerized by the sweet scene of face-licking dog love, I accepted the writ. It accuses me of libel and copyright theft. They’re starting at $500,000.

Come on, fellows, why can’t we settle this the old-fashioned way. A gloved slap. Muskets at fifty paces. Otherwise, I have a friend in Sicily (pictured here) prepared to make a counter-offer you can’t refuse. Don Corleone2 We would be saddened to see your client embarrassed by a public revealing of his terrible secret.

Enough said. Back to work. Here’s a lovely, long-winded tip about writers block from my nemesis’s masterwork, Secrets of the Whodunit.

“Do not mentally exhaust yourself. Before chance (and whatever small talents I possess) favoured me with literary success, I too had a day job, as inspector for Her Majesty’s Customs, and I would often arrive at work exhausted after scribbling till three in the morning. Many a smuggled item must have slipped through on my watch! So please, when you see nothing but rot on your page, take a deep breath, pack your pages away, and make a soothing cup of Earl Grey while you climb into your pyjamas.”

I prefer Chandler’s Law: “When in doubt, have a man come through a door with a gun in his hand.”

In my last posting, on suspects, I overlooked this delicious advice from the vigilance-challenged former customs officer:

“The tardy entrance of your final suspect must not be seen as an afterthought, idly tossed off. Even the dullest of readers should exclaim: ‘Eureka!’ as they realize they ought to have paid more attention to the boring parts.”

Next posting: how to skip over the boring parts. (For instance, the entirety of Widgeon’s short-story collection, Stiff in the Freezer.)

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The Blog: May 27

On Suspects, Villains, and Masturbation

Six weeks ago, I wrote: “Next week, hopefully, advice from the master in creating the ideal suspect…” Okay, but, things got out of hand. It would take a terabyte of information to explain why and how – the end result is that I have taken in four homeless strangers threatened with eviction.

This is how I found them, behind bars, loo0king for a new home

Four Homless Dogs

So far, they have done an admirable job of keeping process servers from the door. Widgeon’s solicitors in England have finally found some supposedly hotshot Vancouver counsel willing to stifle my right of free expression. I know this guy. Ballentine J. Bingham, Esquire. A loudmouth. Sadly for him, his registered letters and writs of summons don’t make it past the “Premises Protected by Attack Dogs” sign.Anyway, on to my next lesson. From his masterwork, The Art of the Whodunit, here is Widgeon on suspects: “The author must offer an array of suspects, and dress them up with strong motive—or at least clothe them with the proper accoutrements of suspicion.”

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The Blog: April 13

More Hot Murder Tips

mystery writertrauma2

Well, three weeks have gone by and not one word from the so-called “leading Canadian counsel” whom Horace Widgeon retained to shut down this blog and put me on my beam ends (see posting March 19). I suspect the touchy old scold blanched when he heard the fee. Leading counsel don’t come cheap, even out here in the colonial backwoods. There go all his advances for his next twenty novels.

So I presume I’m free to re-embark on the project I began on this blog a few months ago, before Mr. Widgeon’s untimely intercession, of passing on to budding writers of crime fiction many of his delicious tips and techniques. All for free. No annoying ads. Yeah, I’m talking to you, Facebook.

I can’t remember where I left off, so let’s return to the beginning, the creative process, and again I take delight in gently lifting a quote from The Art of the Whodunit.

“Know where you are going. No mystery writer may successfully embark upon a cruise across the dark waters of murder without knowing the port at which he must ultimately disembark. One plans, one outlines; one builds a skeleton on which to hang flesh.” (This grisly metaphorical combo is, I feel, Widgeon at his finest).

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The Blog: March 19

Widgeon Wakes Sleeping Dogs


Creator of the Inspector Grodgins Series

Cobble Cottage
18, Vicarage Lane
Cornwall, England
PL24 2AG

March 18, 2013

Dear Mr. Deverell,

Many days have I struggled to still my indignation at your impertinent public response to my sincere offer to accept an unrestrained apology in settlement of issues between us. But at the risk of offending my solicitors, who advise I let sleeping dogs lie while their writ plods its way through court, I cannot let your canards go unchallenged.

Let me say firstly I am proud to bear the name of the great Horace of Caesar’s time, whose satire was intended for social abuses, not personal attacks and ridicule.

Particularly, I want to assure you that the action I am taking has nothing to do with your intemperate review of Blood on the Remainder Table. Please know that I have simply shaken off, like a wet dog, your laments about my allegedly inapt metaphors and “interminable” sentences; however, I warn you that far too often have you skated on the thin ice of libel when commenting on works by our compatriots, so I propose to strike a blow for my fellow scribes by suing you for defamation and theft (yes, theft, my good sir, for you have filched not just my good name – that “precious ointment,” if I dare quote that greatest poet and crime writer of all time) but have stolen that which I daresay does indeed enrich you: the copywritten creations born of my lonely labours at this very keyboard. I am instructed that in one of your novels, Kill All the Judges (which I haven’t read, having assigned my clerk to shoulder that repugnant task) contains some fifteen quotes lifted holus bolus from The Art of the Whodunit. That book retails at ten quid in trade paper!

Nor do my demands for satisfaction have anything to do with my narrow loss in the finals of the Nero awards of several years ago. Though as an aside, let me say there was quite a stir at Cheltenham Press when word came from the jury room that Get Grodgins was favoured. I couldn’t bring myself to tell them that with Deverell on the jury, my book stood as much chance, to use a metaphor, as the egg the chicken laid on the road.

Meanwhile, I am instructed to advise you, in the event that you try to evade service of the writ, that my solicitors have retained a leading Canadian counsel to petition the courts for an injunction to close down your blog pending trial of my claim which, I shall warn you now, Mr. Deverell, will involve a sufficient sum in damages to put you on your beam ends.

Sincerely, Horace Widgeon, OBE, MBE

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The Blog: March 5

A Response to Horace Widgeon

Dear Horace,

Thank you for inviting me to publish in my blog a full and unequivocal apology for whatever I said that ails you.

May I call you Horace? And perchance were you named after the great Roman poet and satirist? By intriguing coincidence he was also a How-To’er, whose The Art of Poetry, unlike the bulk of your output, is still in print, and which famously mocked the worthless creations of the literarily inept: “The mountains are in labour, and a ridiculous mouse will be born.”

Ah, but satire, as I submitted in my last posting, is not your bag, is it?

Not to rub salt, old stick, but you may remember my using that very quote in my syndicated review, some years back, of your twenty-third Inspector Grodgins mystery, Blood on the Remainder Table, in which I had a little fun with your cliché-driven sentences and fussy literary mannerisms.

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The Blog: March 2

Widgeon Threatens Libel Suit

Well, friends, it appears I may be sued for libel, as well as face expulsion from the International Crime Writers Association. This is because my last few posts seem to have infuriated Cornish novelist Horace Widgeon, creator of the mildly successful Inspector Grodgins series.

The email attachment that he fired off to me (which I will reply to, but give me a while to consult with my inner lawyer) confirms one of my knocks against Widgeon: he lacks a sense of humour. I write satire. He doesn’t get satire.

Hey, Horace, me cocker, I’m only sending you up, it’s all in good fun. Get over it. Pour yourself another Laphroaig. This grumpy photo from the dust jacket of For the Fun of It suggests you could use one:


Creator of the Inspector Grodgins Series

Cobble Cottage
18, Vicarage Lane
Cornwall, England
PL24 2AG

March 2, 2013

Dear Mr. Deverell.

Let me preface this letter, with as much civility as I can muster, by saying I was an early champion of your works, and felt no envy at – nay, I applauded – your unexpected success. More power to you that you slid smoothly from successful trial lawyer to successful writer (even though you didn’t pay the traditional price of living out of a suitcase padded with rejection slips).

That said, it takes no pleasure to notify you that I propose to put your legal skills to the test by taking action against you for defamation, plagiarism, and copyright infringement. As well, I shall be moving to have you struck from the Registry of the International Association of Crime Writers .

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The Blog: February 18

For the Fun of It

Dear future best-selling crime writers: an apology.

In my last entry, February 8, I promised that this week I would offer strategies for devising compelling, page-turning ideas for your plots – strategies that, admittedly, I filched from Horace Widgeon. But I got sidetracked by the old sot himself.

Here’s what happened. The other day I visited a used-book store – I don’t normally go to such places; it’s hard seeing your books on the dollar rack, earning not a nickel in royalties – hoping to buy a replacement copy of Widgeon’s The Mystery Novel Unravelled, one of his popular How To’s. My own copy had itself unravelled, from heavy thumbing.

None was in stock, and I ended up purchasing a dog-eared copy of one of his novels. Truth to tell, I hadn’t been keeping up with this prolific author since I was turned off by his depressing 1985 award-winner, Digging Your Own Grave.

The book I bought is titled For the Fun of It, which I thought an odd title for a crime novel. Perhaps the author had written something light-hearted for a change, hoping to persuade readers he actually has a sense of humour, one he managed to stifle in his thirty-five Inspector Grodgins novels.

For the Fun of It came out two decades ago, and no, it’s not comedic. However, to my surprise, I became completely absorbed in it. The setting, as in most of Widgeon’s fictions, is the apparently crime-ravaged town of Illings-on-Little Close, where evildoers are invariably brought to justice by the indomitable but stuffy Inspector Grodgins and his wrong-footing sidekick, Constable Marchmont.

As a result of a bullet wound to the head in a prequel, which I now regret not having read, Grodgins was still suffering a severe visual agnosia, impairing his ability to recognize familiar faces, and even objects. Despite the handicap, his finely tuned skills had him closing in on a bad apple who’d randomly killed several friendless loners.

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Blog Posts


books in box 2

April 2015Sing a Worried Song

Globe & Mail Review By Margaret Cannon

Confession time: I love Bill Deverell’s books. I’ve been a fan since the villainous Dr. Au appeared in Needles and Deverell never fails me.

This sixth Arthur Beauchamp book is simply brilliant and should be shortlisted for next year’s Arthur Ellis Award.

The story begins with a bit of court testimony. The witness describes a man arriving in a motel room. It is stark and scary. This leads Beauchamp back to 1987, battling alcoholism and his wife’s infidelity. He’s one of Vancouver’s best defence attorneys but, faced with a truly vile crime – a thrill kill of a local clown – he takes the prosecutor’s role. He wins. He returns to his life and personal demons. Thirty years later, retired, married, fulfilled, and relaxing on glorious Garibaldi Island, Beauchamp is summoned to defend a local man. But his past is lurking there, waiting to rise up and take revenge for murders long thought settled. You won’t put this one down and, as an added bonus, Deverell is one of Canada’s best at developing the B.C. setting. Almost as good as a trip west.

Toronto Star review by Jack Batten

In William Deverell’s new novel, readers can only nod in agreement when he writes of his central character, “Arthur Beauchamp is a worrier. It is what he does best.” After six novels featuring Arthur, we’ve learned to accept and love him as the champion of all worrywarts. He’s 75 now, and he still frets about his manliness, his performances as a criminal defence counsel, his standing in the community, and practically everything else under the sun.

Sing a Worried Song gives us Arthur in full worrying mode at two different stages of his life. The first half of the book takes place more than a quarter century ago when Arthur was still married to Annabelle, the beautiful artistic director of the Vancouver Opera and a serial cheater. At this time in his career, in late 1986, Arthur briefly changes roles in the courtroom, taking on his first and only job as a prosecutor, acting for the Crown in a murder trial.

The case involves a slippery young guy accused of stabbing to death a Vancouver busker. As Deverell presents the trial, it’s gripping stuff. He may be the most convincing of all writers of courtroom stories, way up there just beyond the lofty plateau occupied by such classic courtroom dramatists as Scott Turow and John Lescroart, and in the new book, it’s Deverell at peak form.

The novel’s second half brings us forward to 2012. Arthur has now moved to Garibaldi Island, is married to Margaret Blake, the Green Party MP, and has mostly retired from law. In this half, Arthur has many mini-adventures dealing with Garibaldi’s rustic eccentrics. But throughout this gently humourous stretch, a hangover from the old murder prosecution nags at Arthur. It worries him, and maybe, we readers realize, he may have very good reason for the worry.

National Post Review by Naben Ruthnum

William Deverell’s Sing a Worried Song is about the murder of a clown. While those who fear and hate clowns believe that this is no crime at all, Deverell and his series character, lawyer Arthur Beauchamp, are quick to establish the corpse as a real and troubled person. Joe Chumpy was a gentle Vancouver downtown eastside busker, stabbed several times in his apartment in what appears to be a pointless thrill murder by a visiting Toronto rich kid. The killing could also have been the work of one of the gay prostitutes that Chumpy sometimes hired, but what little evidence and valid testimony there is seem to point to the out-of-town boy.

The book opens at the 1987 trial of the killer, Randolph Skyler — an excellent sinister rich kid name. Deverell’s two kinds of pro at once: an extremely experienced lawyer and a longtime writer of crime fiction, he makes the courtroom scenes lively and realistic, animating the proceedings with details of personality conflicts and Arthur Beauchamp’s shaky hold on his sobriety.

The second half of the novel takes us out of the courtroom and 25 years further on in time, with the retired Arthur Beauchamp leading a much more pleasant life on Garibaldi Island in 2012. The sense of unfinished business from the trial hasn’t faded, and one of the major players from the events of 1987 is threatening to make a reappearance in the most unpleasant of ways.

Deverell writes the first section in the past tense and the second section in the present tense, a neat division that works quite well. Leaving the courtroom also allows each half of the book to be in a slightly different subgenre, making Sing a Worried Song entertaining in a couple different registers.

The Publishers Weekly Review

publishers weekly worried man

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Book cover

2012I’ll See You in My Dreams

In 1962, Arthur Beauchamp is about to undertake his first murder trial. His defendant is Gabriel Swift, a politically active young aboriginal accuse of killing Professor Dermot Mulligan, a former mentor to both men. Arthur becomes increasingly convinced that the police evidence against Gabriel is not only flimsy, but suspiciously convenient in a system - and a society - with entrenched racist assumptions. But as the case progresses, Arthur develops an uncomfortable sense that Gabriel is not telling him the whole truth. And to make matters worse, the green young lawyer is up against a wily veteran of the courts and a clever but biased judge. Five decades later, Arthur remains haunted by the case. Finally, he is compelled to emerge from retirement to try to complete what he began all those years ago. He must pass through some murky and long-repressed personal territory along the way, but the journey ultimately offers hope for the peace of redemption.

Audible.com’s version is available, as is the e-book. For more information and to purchase this title please go to http://penguinrandomhouse.ca/imprints/mcclelland-stewart and click on authors.

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SNow Job book cover

Oct 2009Snow Job

This is the novel that many dared me (a thrice-failed candidate for office) to write: a novel that takes the mickey out of our posturing politicians while maintaining the tension of a true thriller but with great dollops of humour. A genre-jumping finalist for the Stephen Leacock Award, it was read with glee, I’m told, by Ottawa insiders, One wrote: “Warmest congrats on Snow Job, it is your and Arthur’s fulfillment. I was especially delighted by the recognition of the poisonous mix of vanity, fear and highly conditional loyalty that makes up political life at the top. I thought of your acuity as I wandered through various Xmas parties on the Hill this year - rife with angst on all sides.”

For more information and to purchase this title (http://penguinrandomhouse.ca/imprints/mcclelland-stewart) and click on authors

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Kill All the Judges

April 2008Kill All The Judges

This comic thriller was a finalist for the Stephen Leacock award, and it drew widely upon this author’s growing collection of characters, including the ever-introspective Arthur Beauchamp, and the Garibaldi Island oddballs who constantly plague him. Here’s a summary:

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April Fool cover

Sept 2006April Fool

Winner of the Arthur Ellis Award for best Canadian crime novel…

“Hugely entertaining.” Calgary Herald

“The insular life of isolated places - Bamfield, Garibaldi - expensive law firms and the courtroom are handled with an insider’s knowledge and an iconoclastic sense of humour. Deverell writes breathless prose. Arthur Beauchamp is a lovely guy – spouting Latin, worrying about getting up to speed in the courtroom after such a hiatus, and fearing an inability to get it up when Margaret leaves her perch. He manages to be a scholar, a courtroom wonder and a doofus. April Fool spills over with idiosyncratic characters. The novel blasts out of the starting gate, rockets along, is hugely entertaining. Deverell plays with the blending of good and bad, but one thing is transparent - the fight for the environment, however goofy at times, is essential.” Edmonton Journal

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