(VANCOUVER) What could a one-legged Mountie, a lawyer-turned-teacher, a transit cop, a gay detective in Cowboy Town and a government bureaucrat/former fisherman possibly have in common?
They’re all motivated to solve a murder. And they’re all on the menu during Mystery Night at the Cafe Montmartre on Main Street.
A quintet of Canadian crime writers will give mystery fans and gourmands alike a taste of home-grown homicide during a dinner and reading on Nov. 16 in Vancouver. The evening of dining and death is a presentation sponsored by Touchwood Editions, the People's Co-op Bookstore and the Cafe Montmartre.
The five writers have backgrounds as varied as their eclectic collection of detectives – and their means of transportation. Their novels revolve around trains, buses and boats as well as what drives their heroes to pursue the truth despite the dangers to themselves and their loved ones.
“We’re very fortunate to have so many talented crime writers on the menu at the Montmarte,” said Emily Shorthouse, Promotions Coordinator for TouchWood Editions.
“It’s a great opportunity for readers to meet the creators of some of the most distinctive Canadian detectives in print.
The evening kicks off with food and mingling at 6:30, followed by readings from the authors.
First up is David Russell, whose first novel, Deadly Lessons, was short-listed for an Arthur Ellis Award. His detective, Winston Patrick, a former criminal defence lawyer turned teacher, finds himself immersed in the murder investigation of a high school student allegedly involved in a student–teacher affair. It’s a case that may cost him his life. Russell is an actor, improviser, former talk show and kid's television host and a freelance writer. His second novel, Last Dance, will be released by Dundurn Press in January.
Next, Debra Purdy Kong, the creator of the sleuthing transit cop Casey Holland, reads from The Opposite of Dark. Holland puts her life in danger when she begins to investigate the recent murder of her father -- a man she thought she buried three years ago. Kong has a diploma in Criminology and has worked as a security guard. She’s the author of two other novels: Taxed to Death (1995) and Fatal Encryption (2008) and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada.
Gary Ryan’s Detective Lane has to fight discrimination as well as criminals as a gay policeman in Calgary. In Malabarista, the fifth book in the Detective Lane series, the ever-resourceful investigator contends with dangerous criminals, broken allegiances, a determined bomber and the very real fear of losing the person he cares for most. Ryan was born, raised and lives in Calgary, Alberta. His second Detective Lane novel, The Lucky Elephant Restaurant (2006), won a 2007 Lambda Literary Award.
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has presented Canadians with more than one mystery over the years, but Bruce Burrows plumbs new depths in his first novel, The River Killers. His hero, Danny Swanson, is a DFO employee and ex-fisherman investigating the death of an old fishing buddy. Burrows writes from experience: he’s worked as a fisherman, commercial diver and most recently, an at-sea-observer. He wrote a weekly column called “Channel 78, Eh” about fishing on the West Coast and lives on a small island off the northeast coast of Vancouver Island.
Stephen Legault’s End of the Line transports you to 1884 and the isolated shantytown of Holt City, Alberta, where 500 Canadian Pacific Rail workers are huddled in the shadow of the Rockies during a cold, hungry and deadly winter. North West Mounted Police veteran Durrant Wallace (who lost a leg fighting whiskey traders) is recalled to active duty to solve the brutal murder of a CPR section boss. Legault is an author, conservation activist and photographer who lives in Canmore, Alberta.
The readings will be followed by a meet and mingle session with the authors. Musical entertainment will follow. The evening will be hosted by New Westminster mystery author Don Hauka.
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