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.
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
A seductive crime fiction oddity.
—Joan Barfoot, The Sudbury Star