Yes, that's me and the night on the town was in Lloydminster at the Arts Without Borders Festival. The handsome dude is Wayne Arthurson and the book in my hand is his first mystery novel (not his first novel or book), Fall From Grace.
First, Fall From Grace, is set in Edmonton and the protagonist, Leo Desroches, is a French-Canadian, Cree reporter for the Edmonton daily paper. Arthurson has created an engaging character with a huge gambling problem and other personal demons. Leo is on probation at work, his job is far from assured and it's imperative that he perform. The first chapter begins with Desroches being invited by a an investigating officer to view the body of a murder victim and scoop his fellow journalists who have yet to arrive at the crime scene. Then Arthurson plunges us into Leo's world. A world where he has tamed his gambling addiction by robbing banks. There's the same visceral charge from this risky behaviour. To tell more, would be trying to be too clever. The good news is that there is a sequel, A Killing Winter, that continues the Leo Desroches story. News that might not be as good is that the third book is written and with the publisher. If he decides not to publish, he turns the Desroches story into an orphan series. It just ends and has no home. Nooooooo. Better news is that Arthurson intends to see the third book published, even if it is an e-book or a print-on-demand venue. We can find out how Leo fares. Presently, Arthurson is hard at work on another novel set in POW camps in Southern Alberta during World War 11. He's not saying a lot more, except that murders happened there, too, and that the story unfolds in a lot less frenetic way than Leo's.
Second, the representative from the Lloyminster Public Library and the Lloyd Reads committee did a bang-up job of hosting an entertaining, enjoyable evening with Wayne Arthurson and through him Leo Desroches. It was not your usual, ho-hum, author reads, tells about himself...as much as he feels is good for public consumption and after polite applause, the evening is over. The event was a clever, question-and-answer style, not unlike the kind of discussion you might encounter at your favourite book club. It did include a couple of readings but the questions ranged from specifics like "what's with the apple" to the more general, yet personal, "What were you like as a kid?" Each table featured "props" that figured in the two published books. And yea, there were refreshments. It was a well-planned, well-executed, "night on the town."
Third, if you're looking for a good read, something a little beyond the formulaic, mystery format, and you haven't discovered Wayne Arthurson and Leo Desroches, it's time you did.
I've been married a long time and often write about everyday events.