Volunteer Dr. Mel Edgar contributes again this week- way to go Dr. Mel!
As a city with a past firmly rooted (cough) in prostitution, gambling, drink and all assorted vice, Vancouver’s real life stories contain enough material to keep us all entertained to the end of time. Hooray!
But sometimes we need a little fiction too.
Just in time for late summer reading- here are 5 authors who have produced rather fantastic works of crime fiction set in our great city!
I have listed these authors alphabetically- because the alphabet helps us avoid fist fights.
1. Don Easton
Don Easton, is a former RCMP undercover operative, who knows a thing or two about crime.
In Dead Ends (Dundurn Press, 2011), RCMP officer Jack Taggert goes undercover in Vancouver- in search of a gang member only known as ‘Cocktail’.
Rapid, action packed and no-nonsense dialogue, as well as the contribution of Easton’s RCMP experience are referenced in gleaming reviews by the Saskatoon Star Pheonix, Bookgasm and the Globe and Mail.
2. Lawrence Gough
Lawrence Gough’s first novel, The Goldfish Bowl (McClelland & Stewart, 2001), won an Arthur Ellis Award (interestingly named after the nom de travail for Canada’s Official Hangmen) for Best First Novel from the Crime Writers of Canada. This book is the first of his Willows and Parker’s Series, which are all set in and around Vancouver, BC.
This novel actually sees Vancouver Police detectives, not RCMP officers, working in their proper jurisdiction.
3. James Hawkins
James Hawkins continues the trend of retired police officers putting pen to paper with his Inspector Bliss Series. Formerly a police commander in the UK and a private investigator in Canada, draw on his global crime solving experiences.
In Crazy Lady (Dundurn Press, 2005), Inspector Bliss works to solve the mystery of a Murdered RCMP officer in Vancouver. Set in Vancouver and the South of France this book involving the International Cocoa trade of all things is quite an entertaining read.
4. Tara Moss
Australian model turned crime writer, Tara Moss’s novels have been short-listed for both the Davitt and the Ned Kelly crime writing awards.
Moss, who holds private investigator credentials from the Australian Security Academy, splits her time between Sydney, Australia and Victoria, BC.
Tara Moss is quite a force to be reckoned with.
When not working on her Doctorate at the University of Sydney, or as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF, Ambassador for the the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children, UNICEF Patron for Breastfeeding for the Baby Friendly Heath Initiative (BFHI), or working as a TV broadcaster- she somehow finds the time to pen her Makkedde Vanderwall Series; about a former model turned forensic psychologist.
In the second book of that series, Split (HarperCollins, 2002), Makkedde or Mak, returns to Vancouver to finish her PhD at UBC. However, the university campus is being stalked by a killer and Mak soon finds herself involved in non-academic pursuits (wink wink).
Superwoman Moss is currently undertaking a Social Sciences Doctorate at the University of Sydney.
5. Sean Slater
Sean Slater is actually VPD officer Sean Somnerville. His first novel, The Survivor (Simon & Schuster, 2011) sees troubled VPD Detective Jacob Striker return to work following his wife’s death. Called out to help his rebellious daughter at St. Pat’s High School, he and his partner are instead faced with a school shooting.
Since authoring his first novel Sean has gone on to produce several in the Jacob Striker Series- all set in Vancouver!
Do you have any Vancouver-based crime fiction to recommend?