Arthur Beauchamp, the scholarly, self-doubting legend of the B.C. criminal bar, is enjoying his retirement on B.C.’s Garibaldi Island when he is dragged back to court to defend an old client. Nick “The Owl” Faloon, one of the world’s top jewel thieves, has been accused of raping and murdering a psychologist. Beauchamp has scarcely registered how unlikely it is that the rascally Faloon could commit a savage murder when his own personal life takes an abrupt turn. His new wife, Margaret Blake, organic farmer and environmental activist, has taken up residence 50 feet above ground in a tree of an old-growth forest that she is determined to save for the eagles and from the loggers. Beauchamp shuttles between Vancouver and the island, doing what he can to defend Faloon, save the forest, and rescue his wife. Part courtroom thriller, part classic whodunit, April Fool sees Deverell writing at the top of his form, with a big dollop of humour.
"Hugely entertaining." Calgary Herald
"The insular life of isolated places - Bamfield, Garibaldi - expensive law firms and the courtroom are handled with an insider's knowledge and an iconoclastic sense of humour. Deverell writes breathless prose. Arthur Beauchamp is a lovely guy -- spouting Latin, worrying about getting up to speed in the courtroom after such a hiatus, and fearing an inability to get it up when Margaret leaves her perch. He manages to be a scholar, a courtroom wonder and a doofus. April Fool spills over with idiosyncratic characters. The novel blasts out of the starting gate, rockets along, is hugely entertaining. Deverell plays with the blending of good and bad, but one thing is transparent - the fight for the environment, however goofy at times, is essential." Edmonton Journal
"A lively courtroom drama with elements of a traditional puzzle mystery, punctuated by periodic returns to the ecological protest and to the loveliness of Nature itself. Deverell got right through my defences this time, especially in the attractive portrait of his ageing protagonist, with his insecurities, his Latin tags, his courtly, unintentional sexism, and his formidable cross-examination skills. His loving descriptions of the natural landscape, based on his own residence on Pender Island, BC, are also delightful. www.reviewingtheevidence.com
"Arthur is a wonderful creation. In his robes and suspenders and with his hawk-like nose, he has no par in the courtroom, a real Clarence Darrow. But privately, he is racked with insecurities: about his new wife, whether his legendary legal prowess - indeed his very mind - is fading, not to mention having to deal with all these new-fangled gadgets like cellphones and computers. Then there's a catastrophic experiment with Viagra . . . Can Arthur solve the Faloon case by fingering the real killer Perry Mason-style and play knight-in-legal-armour for his bride at the same time? Deverell will have readers smiling and thumbing pages anxiously. The Canadian Press
"A master storyteller with a wonderful sense of humour. The story flows effortlessly, and readers are twigs on the river, along for one hellof a ride." Quill and Quire.
"Tough, puckishly cynical, with a cunning eye for detail and whippet-like sense of humour, Deverell has ventured into the tumultuous heart of the justice system... with a book chock-full of delightful characters." Globe and Mail
"The dialogue crackles, the style is sharp and compelling, and it's a treat to spend another book with Beauchamp." Vancouver Sun
"This novel is memorable for its nuanced characters. Deverell burrows into Beauchamp's soul, and we see almost everything unfold through his addled but fascinating perspective." Vancouver Province