Blurbs are coming in for Sunset and Jericho, and they’re as generous and effusive as I could have imagined.
The first is from Robyn Harding, bestselling author of The Perfect Family and the upcoming The Drowning Woman (which sounds fantastic):
"Sam Wiebe is one of the most respected names in crime fiction today and with good reason. SUNSET AND JERICHO, the latest entry in the Wakeland series, is a gritty, realistic urban noir that examines the problems so prevalent in cities around the world today. With pacing that doesn’t let up, and a shocker of an ending, readers won’t be able to put this one down.”
The Wakeland series orbits around two preoccupations of mine—the private detective genre and the city of Vancouver. Sunset and Jericho may or may not be the last in the series, I don’t know at this point, but it’s the clearest and strongest statement about both those things which I’ve written.
Please pre-order Sunset and Jericho at your local bookstore, or through Indiebound, Chapters, Amazon CA, Amazon US, B&N, or Harbour.
I’ve been on Galiano the past week, working on a screenplay with Charles Demers, comedian and author of the Annick Boudreau mystery series, as well as Property Values, a truly great and funny crime novel about gentrification. The two of us have been talking this script idea over for over five years now, and we finally committed the time to get it down. After six days, we have a 114-page draft which we’re both pleased with.
I’ve never been on a writing retreat before. I work when I get up and have the office to myself. Before that, I wrote around school, around teaching, around whatever was going on. It’s a very unprecious way of approaching the craft, which has its advantages.
But to spend a week on an idea, the only goal to produce finished pages, and with an astute, hilarious and talented pal to bounce ideas off—and best of all, with no distractions other than a few deer—it would be pretty easy to get used to this.
A bonus is time to browse Galiano Island Books, run by Lee and Jim, two very swell people. Of course I came home with more books than I brought…
Hell and Gone made the CBC’s list of “30 Canadian books for the thriller, horror mystery and crime fan this holiday season,” along with books by Charlie, SG Wong, AJ Devlin, Amber Cowie, Louise Penny, and a host of others. Very neat!
“Cut Man” is a Wakeland story set at the Hastings Park racetrack, which can be found in Mickey Finn volume three, the latest instalment of editor Michael Bracken’s anthology series of twenty first century noir. I can’t gamble worth a damn, but I like the track, especially the breathtaking view from the stands. And horses.
My friend Andrew at Permanent Records Studio made a lovely set of coasters featuring the books in the Wakeland series. My favourite is the newest—I like the slightly at deco look to the Sunset and Jericho font.
In the new year I’ll be adding more content to the Noir Short Story course, which, along with Mystery Writing Mastery, make very good (and carbon-neutral) presents!
Books: I read a couple of Longmire novels by Craig Johnson, of which the second, Death Without Company is my clear favourite so far. Meredith Hambrock’s Other People’s Secrets was fun and had great characters. And Bill Carter’s The Late Shift was an enjoyable look at the backstage maneuvering to replace Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show (the made-for-HBO adaptation of the book, starring Kathy Bates, is very good also.)
Movies/TV: The first two episodes of George and Tammy are well-acted, but it’s odd that the most interesting things about Tammy Wynette—her one-in-a-billion voice and her Daniel Plainview-esque vaulting ambition—don’t factor into the series. Jessica Chastain and Michael Shannon sound a bit like Marla Hooch. (Jimmy McDonogh’s biography of Wynette, Tragic Country Queen, is worth reading.)
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, happy holidays, and a stellar and prosperous 2023. A literary Where's Waldo to end the year:
Sunset and Jericho is out April 2023.