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.
[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
“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
An absolute charmer in the Stuart McLean/Will Ferguson vein. —John Threlfall, Monday Magazine