Award-winning Canadian author and humourist Gordon Kirkland has taken his innate sense of humour and combined it with a love for a good mystery in his new book.
Crossbow, his seventh tome, is best described as a marriage between Fargo and the darker passages of the Old Testament. It’s the first full-length novel for the Pitt Meadows resident.
His other books are all collections of short, humorous essays taken from his syndicated humour column, which ran in Canada and U.S. from 1994 to 2007.
Set in a small Kansas town, Crossbow begins with a series of deaths. Although the victims appear to have been randomly chosen, the killer has, in fact, decided that they must die for biblical transgressions he believes they have committed. Among the first to be slain is the county sheriff, leaving two deputies to try to solve the case before the killer can achieve his ultimate goal of wiping what he sees as “Gomorrah on the high prairie” off the map, once and for all.
The deputies are far from seasoned police professionals. Dave Simmons, the senior of the two, is doing his best to improve by learning new police techniques. He’d like to bring geographic profiling to the department, but a serious impediment to that goal is his propensity to get lost whenever he gets behind the wheel of his police cruiser. Chuck Wilson, the other deputy, would like to be a police dog handler.
Added to the mix is a missing romance author who arrived in town to interview the first murder victim just before his death, an ambitious small town newspaper reporter who gets her leads across the pillow from the junior deputy, and the grieving father of one of the victims.
As the evidence unfolds, it becomes obvious that the case is going to hit the deputies much closer to home than they could have imagined.
Kirkland says he began Crossbow during the taping of The 3-Day Novel – a TV series where Kirkland and 11 other writers were given the challenge of each completing a novel in 72 hours. He managed to write a 30,000-word first draft during the taping, with less than a total of five hours of sleep, thanks in part to the children’s bunk beds the participants were provided.
Several years earlier, celebrated mystery novelist Ridley Pearson encouraged Kirkland to try his hand at fiction.
“Not only is Gordon accomplished in his field, but he is funny,” says Pearson. “I don’t know if you have ever tried being funny on paper, but it is one of life’s miracles. Gordon should probably be sainted. But don’t take my word for it; just read him.”
If at any time in the next two months the e-book version of Crossbow is rated among Amazon’s top 500 books for their Kindle e-reader, Kirkland will donate $500 to First Books, a non-profit organization that provides access to new books for children in need.
On the radio
Join Gordon Kirkland with book marketing expert Marla Miller, on Marla’s blogtalkradio show, Marketing the Muse, this Saturday (April 23) at 9:30 a.m. PST (12:30 p.m. EST). They’ll talk about books, marketing and Gordon’s new book Crossbow. There will probably even be a few laughs thrown in for good measure.