Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Fiction Noir

Perilous Passage

by (author) Arthur Mayse

introduction by Susan Mayse

Vehicule Press
Initial publish date
Feb 2022
Noir, Crime, Action & Adventure
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2022
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


Drug-runners threaten the West Coast!

A semi-conscious man looks about a boat's cabin as a woman presses a wet cloth to his forehead. She's young, her nails are short, and her small hands are calloused. When another man tries to enter, she grabs a gun: "If you come down here, Joe, I'll shoot you."

For a moment, the intruder doesn't move. "I don't want your damn' old hulk," he tells her. When the woman threatens a second time, he leaves. "You'd better too," he says. "She's near sunk."

So begins the story of Clint, a reform school runaway, and Devvy, an orphaned farm girl saddled with a deceitful drunk of a stepmother. Clint and Devvy are pushed together as they struggle against the corrupt, criminal, violent adults trying to exert control over their lives.

Perilous Passage first appeared in 1949 as a serial in the Saturday Evening Post. It has since been published in hardcover, paperback, and in Swedish translation. This Ricochet Books edition marks the first new edition since 1952.

About the authors

Arthur William ("Bill") Mayse (1912-1992) "spent his teens in gritty Nanaimo and grittier east side Vancouver. He knew Cowichan shamans, Sointula pukka fighters, tame apes from the A-frame camps, Chinese labourers, unrepentant Wobblies. More than anything, he knew and loved the country. He lived it, breathed it, fished it and sometimes despaired at what was being done to it in the ignorant clamour called progress. He was an ace reporter for The Province from the day he was hired out of UBC, a prize-winning poet one course short of graduation. He left to cover labour and politics for the rowdy Sun, then with his bride Win went to Toronto where he became fiction editor for Maclean's. He later joined the Victoria Times to write a warm column. It ran for thirty years." (Stephen Hume, Vancouver Sun)

Mayse wrote many published stories and articles, several scripts for television's The Beachcombers, and four novels: Perilous Passage, The Desperate Search, Morgan's Mountain and Handliner's Island.

"No one has written more about this coast more often, and more knowingly (I want to say wisely, too) than has Arthur Mayse."
-Charles Lillard

Arthur Mayse's profile page

Susan Mayse is a fourth generation Vancouver Islander who grew up on stories of the mining towns of Cumberland, Bevan, Nanaimo, and Wellington. She has written for many national and international publications including The Daily Mail, The Toronto Star, and The Malahat Review. She is also the author of a prizewinning novel, Merlin's Web and Ginger: The Life and Death of Albert Goodwin, a BC Bestseller and winner of the Arthur Ellis Award for True Crime and the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction. She is the daughter of the late journalist and author Arthur Mayse.

Susan Mayse's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"A rousing tale about drug-running on the British Columbia coast. It is fast-moving, full of plot and surprises, including a nice assortment of incidental murders." - The Globe & Mail

"No one has written more about this coast more often, and more knowingly (I want to say wisely, too) than has Arthur Mayse." - Charles Lillard

Other titles by Arthur Mayse

Other titles by Susan Mayse