William Deverell — Novelist

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

Ebooks: Earlier Editions, Latest Models

ECW Press Reissues Needles, High Crimes, Dance of Shiva, Platinum Blues ... for Starters

ECW Needles CoverECW High Crimes Cover

All of Deverell’s earlier works are now being brought out, in sequential order and in flawlessly readable electronic editions, by the respected and innovative Toronto publisher ECW Press, which also has made them available world-wide in quality paperback editions.

His first novel, Needles, is the first of these to go online, and is being followed by High Crimes and the Dance of Shiva – details available through the ECW website, with e-editions available through Amazon/Kindle, iBooks, Kobo, and all major electronic book distributors.

Needles won the $50,000 Seal First Novel Prize and Canada’s Book of the Year Award and is under film option. The thriller, featuring a heroin-addicted prosecutor pursued by the sadistic boss of an international drug ring, is as relevant today as when published three decades ago.

Deverell’s internationally acclaimed second novel, High Crimes, is based on an infamous international pot-smuggling fiasco that led to a historic trial in which Deverell himself was defence counsel.

Now two more have been added.

The Dance of Shiva, the novel which introduced the zany criminal law outfiit of Pomeroy, Macarthur, Brovak and which first brought to the page (in a kind of best-supporting-actor role) the much-loved senior counsel Arthur Beauchamp, QC, hero of Trial of Passion (also available as an ECW e-book) and the Beauchamp series of Deverell’s last five novels, available in print and electronically from McClelland & Stewart.

And just out as an ebook: the highly praised Platinum Blues (check out the NY Times review under the “Books” link) about a small-town lawyer’s battle against Big Music for plagiarizing a love song to his daughter.

ECW has promised to bring all of Deverell’s remaining backlist titles onto the Web in similar high-quality editions.

A standing ovation for Lynn Gammie at ECW, whose mastery of the arts of proofing, formatting and editing has helped make these books available to those who love reading on the screen.

More news:

Mindfield now on Audible.com

It is 20 below in Montreal, and for the first time in 25 years detective Kellen O’Reilly is going to pieces. Flashbacks frequently take him back to the psychiatric clinic of Coldhaven Manor and the terrifying experiments of Dr. Gregor Satorius.

Mindfield Audible

A 1980s Spy Thriller, More Relevant Than Ever

Mecca_audible books cover

From Montreal, New York and Washington to Paris, Berlin and Saudi Arabia, MECCA thunders at white-knuckle speed through the knife edge worlds of espionage and terrorism. Where violence is a way of life. And time is always running out…

You can find it here on Audible


The Blog: July 6

On Thrill Killing, Libel, and Writers Block

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The Blog: May 27

On Suspects, Villains, and Masturbation

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The Blog: April 13

More Hot Murder Tips

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The Blog: March 19

Widgeon Wakes Sleeping Dogs

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Blog Posts


Book cover

2012I’ll See You in My Dreams - New edition!

Given I’m too shy to use my own words, here’s how my editor describes this novel, which opened at Number 4 on the McLean’s best-seller list and was a 2012 finalist for the Best Crime Novel Award :

“The most gripping and explosive murder case in the career of Vancouver’s great barrister Arthur Beauchamp has sent echoes resounding across five decades. The story begins in 1962 when Arthur is 25, just as he’s about to abandon law for academia, having decided he can’t bear to defend any more thieves and thugs. But he is suddenly handed his first murder case, the legal-aid defence of Gabriel Swift, a bright, young, politically active aboriginal accused of killing Professor Dermot Mulligan, world-renowned scholar and author, and former principal of a Native residential school.

The quality paperback edition of I’ll See You in My Dreams is also now available as an e-book. For more information and to purchase this title please visit…


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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 please visit…


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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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Laughing falcon cover

Sept 2004The Laughing Falcon

An adventure thriller layered with humour and startling twists, with a cast of wildly eccentric characters.

All that Maggie Schneider, a shy, awkward romance writer from wintry Saskatoon, wants is a tropical holiday and maybe a real romance to stir her creative juices. What she gets instead, soon after she arrives in Costa Rica, is a nasty surprise. First she is robbed of most of her money by a handsome, smooth-talking Latino. Then she and the wife of a prominent US Senator are kidnapped and held for ransom somewhere in the steamy jungle by self-styled revolutionaries led by a charismatic man with a mysterious background. Enter heavy-drinking Slack Sawchuk, whitewater guide, ex-CIA agent, who is dragged into the thick of things to attempt a daring rescue…

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