Winner of the 2009 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour
The cops wanted to shoot me, my bosses thought I was a Bolshevik, and a local lawyer warned me that some people I was writing about might try to test the strength of my skull with a steel pipe. What more could any young reporter hope for from his first real job?
The night Mark Leiren-Young drove into Williams Lake, British Columbia, in 1985 to work as a reporter for the venerable Williams Lake Tribune, he arrived on the scene of an armed robbery. And that was before things got weird. For a 22-year-old from Vancouver, a stint in the legendary Cariboo town was a trip to another world and another era. From the explosive opening, where Mark finds himself in a courtroom just a few feet away from a defendant with a bomb strapped to his chest, to the case of a plane that crashed without its pilot on board, Never Shoot a Stampede Queen is an unforgettable comic memoir of a city boy learning about—and learning to love—life in a cowboy town.
“Williams Lake comes across as the Wild West mixed with Capone-era Chicago with a soupcon of Jim Crow Deep South segregation and an unsavory dash of perversion. And that’s just in the first chapter. —Tom Hawthorn, the Globe and Mail
[E]ach tale grabs my attention and holds on tight —John Robert Colombo
Loved it! . . . I salute you, sir. Thanks for a great read. —Zachary Petit, Managing Editor, Writer's Digest
An absolute charmer in the Stuart McLean/Will Ferguson vein. —John Threlfall, Monday Magazine