About the Book
Gangsters. Yard sales. Politics. A severed foot. Family. How far is one person willing to go to issue a bylaw ticket?
M is a bylaw officer, living with two brothers, in their parents’ old house. While investigating a suspicious yard sale, M discovers a red chesterfield sitting in a ditch. Looking closer, M finds a running shoe—and a severed foot.
Now M is involved in a murder investigation. Meanwhile, older brother K’s work for a new political party begins to seem suspicious, while younger brother J navigates the complicated world of young-adulthood, and boss Rhonda demands more and more attention, M must navigate a world of Russian gangsters and neglected wives, biker gangs and suspicious coincidences. On top of everything else, M is determined to track down the owner of that red chesterfield and make sure they get a ticket.
The Red Chesterfield is a delightful, unusual novel that upends the tropes and traditions of crime fiction while asking how far one person is willing to go to solve a crime, be it murder or the abandonment of a piece of furniture.
Wayne Arthurson is a writer of Cree and French Canadian descent. He is the author of five novels, including Fall From Grace, winner of the Alberta Reader’s Choice Award, and Traitors of Camp 113, a finalist for the High Plains Book Award for Best Indigenous Novel.
We’re proud to partner with the National Network for Equitable Library Service Braille Publication Project to offer The Red Chesterfield in braille transcription, available at a library near you. If you are interested in purchacing a braille copy of this book, please contact the NNELS.
Praise for The Red Chesterfield:
A sharp deconstruction of the conventions of the mystery genre . . . There are no neat conclusions at the end of The Red Chesterfield, but there is plenty for readers to uncover as they investigate the various references and meanings embedded within this short but intriguing book.
—Victoria Lessard, Quill & Quire
A seductive crime fiction oddity
—Joan Barfoot, The Sudbury Star
Arthurson has more than pushed the envelope of mainstream mystery narratives, while taking aim at the stereotypical portrayals of Indigenous people that so pervade the genre.
—Basil Guinane, Literary Review of Canada
Part crime novel, part fable, part family drama, The Red Chesterfield is a compelling and inventive story which defies category. Arthurson spins a tale with dry wit and a keen descriptive eye. The Red Chesterfield is a major achievement by an important voice
—Sam Wiebe, author of Cut You Down, Invisible Dead and Last of the Independents
The mark of any great story is when the reader never wants it to end. Wayne Arthurson’s The Red Chesterfield pulled me into an alluring world of magic and mystery, a slow tease of crisp, compelling writing. A ten!
—Peggy Blair, author of the award-winning Inspector Ramirez mysteries