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The Dead of Winter
shortlisted for Best First Novel by the Crime Writers of Canada! special limited time offer on this site only.

Peter Kirby

Date of Publication

2012-10-13

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8.95

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Regular price: $21.95 CDN; ISBN 9780987994622 

"One of the new additions to the fine stable of crime writers in this country" −CBC Sunday Edition

PETER KIRBY

The Dead of Winter

"A powerful ride through the dark and raw of Montreal.  Temperance Brennan would feel right at home." −Kathy Reichs, author of Flash and Bones and Bones are Forever

"Saints, villains, the homeless and the powerful are held in winter’s suspenseful grip. In a riveting new series, Peter Kirby reveals Montreal at the worst of times, its underbelly exposed and dire forces at play." −John Farrow, author of City of Ice and River City

"Taut. Claustrophobic. Compelling. A chilling tale--in ever sense of the word. Peter Kirby's story of murder and its machinations tightens around the reader like a noose." −Will Ferguson, longlisted for the 2012 Scotiabank Giller Prize for 419

The accolades say it all: powerful, raw, riveting, taut, compelling. Shortlisted by Crime Writers of Canada for its Unhanged Arthur Award for Best Unpublished First Crime Novel, Peter’s Kirby’s The Dead of Winter marks the debut of a brilliant new voice in international crime writing.

It begins with a subtle telling of what appears to be the mercy killing of a homeless woman in Montreal; a street scene masterfully wrought, disturbing in its implications that quickly turning into a gripping, page-turning police procedural. For all of its wide appeal, it is a work startlingly immediate and original in its concept.

The novel follows world-weary Detective Inspector Luc Vanier as he hunts down a disturbed killer of homeless people. Vanier confronts his own demons while his investigation draws him into the heart of the Catholic Church in Quebec, the boardrooms of Montreal’s business elite, and the back-alleys and soup kitchens of the dispossessed. With a cast of fascinating characters, this is a Montreal that will cast its icy shadow over your shoulder for a long time to come.

Step into the world of Inspector Luc Vanier – it is a world you will want to come back to more than once.

About the Author

Peter Kirby practices international law with Fasken Martineau, one of Canada’s largest law firms. He was born in Cork, Ireland, and grew up in Brixton in South London. As a scrappy kid in a tough neighbourhood, he left school early, heading to the U.S. and eventually working as an itinerant chef. He ended up in Montreal, taking up law as a mature student at McGill University, working as a chef by day and student by night. In 2012, The American Lawyer listed him as one of Canada’s leading 500 lawyers. Benchmark Litigation calls him one of Canada’s stars in international arbitration. His practice has seen him involved in post-conflict arbitration in the Balkans and litigating disputes against the U.S. government in Washington and the Egyptian government in Paris.

The Dead of Winter

Peter Kirby

ISBN: 978-0-9879946-2-2
Publication Date: October 13, 2012
Original trade paperback $21.95 | Ebook $14.95

Linda Leith Publishing

www.lindaleith.com

For interviews or author events, contact Yvonne Hunter, Toronto [yvonne.hunter@me.com] 647-348-2024 or Rita Schaffer, Montreal [ritapublicity@videotron.ca] 514-937-1039.

Advance Reading Edition available on Net Galley: http://www.netgalley.com/index.php?module=reviewer&func=reviewerGalleyDetails&rev=20180


Dear Readers, 

It is my great pleasure to introduce you to Peter Kirby’s first crime novel, The Dead of Winter, to be published in October 2012.

For twelve years, as the founder and artistic director of Blue Metropolis, I had the unique privilege of bringing some of the world’s best storytellers to Montreal – among them Mavis Gallant, Carlos Fuentes, A.S. Byatt, Norman Mailer, and Alaa al Aswany. I am pleased to say I now have the opportunity to bring one of Montreal’s best storytellers to the world.

An earlier manuscript of The Dead of Winter was shortlisted by Crime Writers of Canada for its Unhanged Arthur Award for Best Unpublished First Crime Novel. From the first chapter of this thrilling novel, you will be caught and held by Peter Kirby’s subtle telling of what appears to be the mercy killing of a homeless woman in Montreal. It is a street scene masterfully wrought, disturbing in its implications, and it quickly turns into a gripping, page-turning police procedural that will simultaneously appeal to readers of Ian Rankin, Kathy Reichs and Umberto Eco. For all of its wide appeal, it is a work startlingly immediate and original in its concept.

The novel follows world-weary Detective Inspector Luc Vanier as he hunts down a disturbed killer of homeless people. Vanier confronts his own demons while his investigation draws him into the heart of the Catholic Church in Quebec, the boardrooms of Montreal’s business elite, and the back-alleys and soup kitchens of the dispossessed. With a cast of fascinating characters, this is a Montreal that will cast its icy shadow over your shoulder for a long time to come.

Peter Kirby practices international law with Fasken Martineau, one of Canada’s largest law firms. He was born in Cork, Ireland, and grew up in Brixton in South London. As a scrappy kid in a tough neighbourhood, he left school early, heading to the U.S. and eventually working as an itinerant chef. He ended up in Montreal, taking up law as a mature student at McGill University, working as a chef by day and student by night. In 2012, The American Lawyer listed him as one of Canada’s leading 500 lawyers. Benchmark Litigation calls him one of Canada’s stars in international arbitration. His practice has seen him involved in post-conflict arbitration in the Balkans and litigating disputes against the U.S. government in Washington and the Egyptian government in Paris.

To accompany this introduction, you will find a letter from Peter himself, talking about his journey toward the novel. I invite you to step into the world of Inspector Luc Vanier – it is a world you will want to come back to more than once.

Sincerely,
Linda Leith, Publisher

 

LETTER FROM AUTHOR PETER KIRBY
June 2012

Dear Reader,

In Brixton, the working class South London neighbourhood where I grew up, the only thing I excelled at was getting into fights, not hard for a mouthy Irish kid with glasses and too much attitude. I left school knowing no university would take me, and headed for America. After wandering around for a few years, working as a cook in New York, Boston and Toronto, I arrived in Montreal at the start of the great English exodus that followed the election of the first Parti Québécois government. If the old establishment was running for the lifeboats, I figured the city could be an interesting place to be. I was right, and quickly came to love Montreal like no other place.

My first job in Montreal was as a busboy in Howard Johnson’s on St. Catherine Street; then I graduated to wheelman, the cook who calls out the orders and cajoles everyone else so the plates for a particular table all hit the window at the same time. And I started to dream.

Concordia University had a mature student program with night classes. They let me in. The deal was if I did OK, I could stay, if not, I couldn’t. I stayed. I did OK enough to get into McGill Law. I worked as a breakfast cook from 5.30 am to 11 a.m., and then went to class.

I’ve been writing fiction – scribbling is more accurate – since I left school, but the demands of raising a family and building a law practice meant that there was never enough time. The sock-drawer filled up with unfinished pieces. I figured writing legal briefs was close enough to writing fiction. But it wasn’t.

I first met Detective Inspector Luc Vanier when we were both alone, drinking our way through Christmas, pretending the holiday season didn’t exist. Luckily, we both got distracted. Vanier was called out to investigate a series of murders in Montreal’s metro system, and I followed, recording what I imagined. In the months that followed, The Dead of Winter took shape in hotel rooms, airports and internet cafes. Vanier was with me wherever I went.

Vanier’s Montreal is a seething mix of competing forces bumping up against each other on a shared island; a schizophrenic community where conflicting economic interests, languages, and ethnic groups vie for space. The novel focuses on the most vulnerable of those communities, the homeless. Nobody sets out with the ambition of sleeping alone in some doorway, or under a tarpaulin in an alley. But everyone who ends up there is someone’s son or daughter, and, maybe, someone’s father or mother.

What matters most in fiction is the people that populate it, and people are rarely straightforward, neither entirely good nor irredeemably evil. Most of us make choices on the spur of the moment and with incomplete information. In The Dead of Winter, I have tried to explore how even good people can make bad choices – and the consequences of those choices.

Peter Kirby

 

 

Bio


Author Peter Kirby
Photo: J. Michel

Peter Kirby practices international law with Fasken Martineau, one of Canada’s largest law firms. He was born in Cork, Ireland, and grew up in Brixton in South London. As a scrappy kid in a tough neighbourhood, he left school early, heading to the U.S. and eventually working as an itinerant chef. He ended up in Montreal, taking up law as a mature student at McGill University, working as a chef by day and student by night. In 2012, The American Lawyer listed him as one of Canada’s leading 500 lawyers. Benchmark Litigation calls him one of Canada’s stars in international arbitration. His practice has seen him involved in post-conflict arbitration in the Balkans and litigating disputes against the U.S. government in Washington and the Egyptian government in Paris.

Author website here.

 

Reviews

"A powerful ride through the dark and raw of Montreal. Temperance Brennan would feel right at home." -- Kathy Reichs, author of the Temperance Brennan and Tory Brennan series.

"One of the new additions to the fine stable of crime writers in this country." -- The Sunday Edition, CBC Radio

"Saints, villains, the homeless and the powerful are held in winter’s suspenseful grip, as are readers as Luc Vanier struggles to unravel who is killing whom and why before the murder count climbs higher. In a riveting new series, Peter Kirby reveals Montreal at the worst of times, its underbelly exposed and dire forces at play." -- John Farrow, author of City of Ice and River City

"Taut. Claustrophobic. Compelling. A chilling tale -- in every sense of the word. Peter Kirby's story of murder and its machinations tightens around the reader like a noose." -- Will Ferguson, author of 419.

And the reviews are coming in, among them Maclean'sThe West End Times, and The National Post

"Peter Kirby’s The Dead of Winter (Linda Leith Publishing, $21.95) also doubles as the first mystery outing of Blue Met festival founder Linda Leith’s new publishing house. As such, the stakes are even higher, for a new publisher must announce its sensibility — and the seriousness of its purpose — with its launch title. Fortunately there’s nary a flat foot withThe Dead of Winter, which introduces police detective Luc Vanier and his chosen beat of Montreal. It’s Christmas Eve, he’s more than a little lonely cranking up the Patsy Cline, pondering a dissolved marriage and a recently fractured relationship, when the inevitable phone call comes: five street people are dead in various Montreal outposts, the speed and frequency suggesting something more sinister than natural causes. And since “crime doesn’t take holidays,” Vanier spends the period between Christmas and New Year’s following a trail of corruption and betrayal starring the Church, the moneyed and the charitable. All the while Vanier reveals himself as a worthy series detective, one who takes his job seriously but doesn’t let self-pity get in the way of living his life — not too much, anyway."

"The Dead of Winter is an impressive book by one of the promising new voices in the murder mystery genre. It’s a ferociously crafted piece of crime fiction of how the dark, mean streets of downtown Montreal make victims out of its most helpless citizens." -- Stuart Nulman, West End Times, September 28, 2012.



Excerpt

“Who is the sick bastard killing these people? I want you to find out and get to him before the police do. If the police find him, this story stays in the papers for the next two years while he goes to trial and every bloody politician and friend of the poor will be wringing their hands over the plight of the homeless. I don’t want the homeless in the newspapers for the next two years. We need to shut him down.”

-- from The Dead of Winter, by Peter Kirby

Notable

Will Ferguson, winner of the 2012 Giller Prize for his novel 419, has this to say about Peter Kirby's The Dead of Winter: "Taut. Claustrophobic. Compelling. A chilling tale -- in every sense of the word. Peter Kirby's story of murder and its machinations tightens around the reader like a noose."

The Dead of Winter is featured right now on the Literary Press Group website. And watch this space for upcoming reviews in The National Post and Maclean's.

Hey Toronto! Sunday is your first chance to meet Canada's new crime fiction star, Peter Kirby, whose book The Dead of Winter has been endorsed by Giller prize winner Will Ferguson, by Kathy Reichs, and by John Farrow! Globe and Mail / Ben McNally Books Authors's Brunch, Nov 4th, 10 a.m., King Edward Hotel.

Paragraphe Books sold out -- more than 90 copies -- and has reordered in good time for Montreal Mystery Night, October 28th. 

You can buy your copy of The Dead of Winter right here as well as at fine booksellers across Canada. And for one month only -- to November 12th, 2012, the ebook costs just $9.95.

Here's a link to a video clip of Peter on CTV News, an interview on All in a Weekend on CBC Radio, a terrific piece in Montreal Review of Books -- and Bill Brownstein's profile in The GazetteYou can find Peter's website here.

CHRISTMAS IS MURDER

Peter Kirby signs copies of THE DEAD OF WINTER at Nicholas HoareSaturday Dec. 8th, 11 a.m. 
You can drop by to meet Peter and have a copy personally inscribed. If you can't make it, just call to have a copy autographed and set aside for you. 1366 Greene Avenue, Westmount, 514-933-4201. This will be one of the last opportunities you'll have to stop by Nicholas Hoare, which is closing its doors January 1st. What a loss!

Peter then heads out to Clio, Pointe Claire, 2-4 p.m.  Plaza Pointe Claire, 245N boul. St Jean, Pointe-Claire, QC H9R 3J1, (514) 695-5557.

Great launch of Peter Kirby's The Dead of Winter on Tuesday, Oct. 16th, 6-8 p.m., when Paragraphe Books sold out more than 90 copies. It's reordering and will have lots more in good time for Peter's next Montreal event: Montreal Mystery Night, Oct. 28th, 7 pm.


The launch invitation for The Dead of Winter, Oct 16, 2012, 6 - 8 p.m:

A selection of fall events:

 

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Distribution

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1-800-591-6251; http://www.litdistco.ca/
Terms: 40% discount for trade accounts.

 

Fraser Direct Returns Processing Centre
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Review and examination copies
For media inquiries and review and examination copies, please contact the publisher.

Linda Leith Publishing
P. O. Box 322, Victoria Station
Westmount Qc H3Z 2V8 Canada.
leith.lindaleith@gmail.com.
www.lindaleith.com.
 
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