William Deverell — Novelist

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

Street Legal

Street Legal Cover

This is the novel that brings back the beloved characters of the CBC television series Street Legal, written by the creator of that series. It is set in 1980, when Carrie Barr, Leon Rubinovitch, and Chuck Tchobanian were young, struggling and ambitious, and making a name for themselves.

Carrington Barr, fresh from her successful defence of a drifter charged as the notorious Midnight Strangler, takes on the case of a suave, handsome hit man. Her new client is proving to be far more dangerous - and alluring - than she could have imagined. Soon she finds herself drawn into a web of terror involving a rogue police operation, a ruthless drug lord, and a series of brutal murders that threatens to tear apart the firm of Rubinovitch, Barr, Tchobanian. Meanwhile, the Midnight Strangler is still at large. Has he chosen Carrie as his next victim…?


Author’s note: This proudly Canadian television series ran for something like eight years and was sold to networks throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America, introducing Leon, Carrie, Chuck, and the entire city of Toronto to the world. The pilot for the series, my first endeavour in TV script-writing, was produced under the name “Shell Game,” and provides the framework for the novel, though I set it back in time, to 1980, when the lawyers were young strivers, finding their way in the raw, tough competitions of the criminal and civil courts. Oddly, for reasons I still can’t comprehend, the CBC put up a fierce resistance to the publication of the book under the name I gave to the series, and I had to fight my own legal battle to use the words “Street Legal.” Another untold mystery.

“A rollicking romp of a read.” Edmonton Journal

“Restores the excitement, humor and intelligence portrayed so well on screen.” Quill and Quire

“Deverell injects more electricity into his novels than anyone currently writing in Canada – perhaps anywhere.” London Free Press

Read more