July 31st, 2021

Letters from Readers

On another level, I appreciated the switch in narrators and perspective. On reading the book, one of my first reactions was that the device reminded me of Bob Dylan’s structure of his song “Simple Twist of Fate,” where the narration starts in third person and then shifts to first person. Very effective. Hmm, perhaps you too should be awarded a Nobel Prize.

Another level of enjoyment is of course the environmental message of the book. I agree with the premise that folding the message into an entertaining novel is probably a better way to convince the unconvinced than to hit them with a polemic. I am among the convinced, but I still was charged up about the threats to the pollinators as recounted in the book.

So, all in all, I have to say that it is a great book. Thank you for it.


Dr. Corcoran concludes his emails with this lovely quote:"Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy that sustained him through temporary periods of joy." W. B. Yeats.

(Confession, Dr. Corcoran is a friend and one of my nominators for my honourary doctorate in letters from the University of Saskatchewan.  Here he is.)


Here's an example of how sharp-eyed readers can invariably be counted on to pounce on typos and misspellings.

This from Pat Margetts: Dear Mr. Deverell:"I am slow to leave the court, savoring* the scene, quaffing it like draft beer in August".

The previous sentence made me dash to my computer to find you to tell you how much I enjoy your books!! I have lost count of how many I have devoured - love them all - especially those starring Authur Beauchamp.

I hope this email lands safely in your inbox. Again, thank you for the many hours immersed in your beautifully written books and all the quirky characters within. Yes - I have read "Stung" and am waiting eagerly for the next one! 


Pat Margetts

* I am surprised that you, a dyed-in-the-wool Canadian, allows your editor to take out the letter u from "savouring".


I responded:

Thank you, Pat. Letters like yours help keep the creative fires burning. I love it that you have devoured so many of my books without suffering heartburn.

And thanks for the savoury correction, which I have passed on to my careless editor, who will spell-check it for the paperback edition. In turn, may I dare suggest that the construction “you … allows” is grammatically suspect. (Sorry, couldn’t resist).




Here's an enthusiastic letter from a family lawyer, composed as she was reading Stung. Her path never quite crossed with mine, though we shared a desk and a love of good crime fiction.

P.S. Need a family lawyer? Highly recommended.

Dear Mr. Deverell

I just wanted to say I cannot put this book down. I am savouring every line, every delicious description of the characters and setting. Thank you so much for sharing your gift of writing. During this pandemic it’s a welcome gift.

If rumour has it right, I worked at your old desk in Chinatown if it was housed in the building just inside the gates on the left side, with train tracks running through the building. I articled in a small criminal defence firm (Cobb St. Pierre) and the story told was that the desk was too large to move, so there it sat - William Deverell’s old desk!

I thought you should know I tried to take it with me when I left the firm, but was unsuccessful. I’ve been practicing family law (which I love) since 2008 and working on a few books for the same length of time - crime fiction - is the genre, but none of it is a patch on your work. We shall see where it goes.

I just wanted to write to you and let you know that my daughters bought your book for me on Mother’s Day and I cannot put it down. They know I am a devoted reader. I am awestruck. Just wanted to write that and thank you for another Arthur “Beech-am” novel. We love Arthur and Margaret and now Ulysses. Thank you!

Best Regards,KAREN F. REDMOND,Family Law


From Stewart Goodings, yet another promoter of the concept of Rivie Levitsky as a successor to Arthur Beauchamp:

I've been an avid fan for many years of Arthur Beauchamp--his triumphs, failures, loves, and quirky friends on Garibaldi Island. This time, his forays to the Centre of the Universe, aka Toronto, added to his legendary resume.

Of course, there was a very serious aspect to Stung, and the power of your message about environmental damage was not in any way diminished by the rollicking humour and raunchy episodes of your memorable characters.

And I do hope you keep Rivie Levitsky in mind for a return to action in the future. As a Queen's grad, I was pleased to see she is heading to law school there, and I can definitely see her causing hearts to flutter and courtrooms to gasp in amazement once she graduates.

Final comment: I read David Boyd's novel earlier this year, and now yours--both with the "necessity" defence as a central theme in the courtroom. Is this a Pender thing?? I enjoyed learning from Arthur more about its historical origins. I do wonder how frequently this particular defence gets mentioned in legal fiction...

Once again, many thanks for bringing Arthur back. And I do hope he gets persuaded to take at least one or two more rounds in the courtroom.

Cheers, Stewart.

My response:

Yours is not the only call for a return of Rivie Levitsky. In fact David Boyd also demanded more of her: "maybe I'm over-reaching but could she be a worthy successor to the soon to be retired AB?"

David’s Thirst for Justice had been in the cooker for quite a few years, and yes, we chatted about the necessity defence as fodder for a thriller. I had the advantage of having actually fought a trial based on it. (R. Perka) Won a jury verdict, new trial ordered on appeal but never went ahead, so I consider that a win.

Arthur’s work-in-progress takes him back to 1966. We’ll see how that works out. Rivie will have to wait her turn.

Best, Bill

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