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Fiction Crime

The Red Chesterfield

by (author) Wayne Arthurson

University of Calgary Press
Initial publish date
Oct 2019
Crime, Magical Realism
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2019
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2019
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2019
    List Price

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M is a bylaw officer. He lives with his brothers, in their parent’s old house. On his way to investigate a suspicious yard sale, he discovers a red chesterfield sitting in a ditch. Looking closer, he finds a running shoe-and a severed foot.

Now M is involved in a murder investigation. Meanwhile, older brother K’s work for a new political party begins to seem suspicious, while younger brother J navigates the complicated world of young-adulthood, and boss Rhonda demands more and more attention, M must navigate a world of Russian gangsters and neglected wives, biker gangs and suspicious coincidences. On top of everything else, M is determined to track down the owner of that red chesterfield and make sure they get a ticket.

The Red Chesterfield is a delightful, unusual novel that upends the tropes and traditions of crime fiction while asking how far one person is willing to go to solve a crime, be it murder or the abandonment of a piece of furniture.

About the author

Wayne Arthurson, 2016 writer-in-residence for Edmonton libraries, is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Saturday Night, Air Canada's En Route, Writer's Digest, Canadian Living, and AlbertaViews.

Fall from Grace, the second novel in his Leo Desroches series, won the 2012 Alberta Readers' Choice Award.

Wayne is also the author of several history books and the co-author of the most popular fanblog for Amazing Race Canada, Gord and Wayne's Amazing Race Canada. He is a husband and father, and he drums in a band which is as yet unnamed, in Edmonton, Alberta.

Wayne Arthurson's profile page


  • Winner, Alberta Publishing Award for Trade Fiction
  • Short-listed, Arthur Ellis Award for Best Crime Novell
  • Winner, Arthur Ellis Award for Crime Writing
  • Nominated, High Plains Book Award

Editorial Reviews

Will keep you on your toes and leave you wanting more . . . If you are looking for a quick read that will keep you captivated, leave you with a million questions, and prompt you to examine your own life and unique obsessions, this is the book for you

—Shelby Alcorn, Montana Standard

A seductive crime fiction oddity.

?Joan Barfoot, The Sudbury Star

Arthurson has more than pushed the envelope of mainstream mystery narratives, while taking aim at the stereotypical portrayals of Indigenous people that so pervade the genre.

?Basil Guinane, Literary Review of Canada

A sharp deconstruction of the conventions of the mystery genre . . . There are no neat conclusions at the end of The Red Chesterfield, but there is plenty for readers to uncover as they investigate the various references and meanings embedded within this short but intriguing book.

?Victoria Lessard, Quill & Quire

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