STEWART, Kay




Author Tags: Fiction

Kay Stewart's debut novel, A Deadly Little List (NeWest 2006), was undertaken as a writing experiment with her husband Chris Bullock. "Our marriage survived that experiment," she says. After that first foray, Stewart was the sole author of her second police procedural, Sitting Lady Sutra (2011). Both feature RCMP Constable Danutia Dranchuk.

"I like the scope crime fiction gives for exploring questions of social inequality and social justice," she says. "My main character, Danutia Dranchuk, is braver about facing physical danger than I could hope to be, but we share a passion for justice."

The third Danutia Dranchuk mystery, and the second by the wife and husband team, Unholy Rites (Touchwood 2013), reunites the female RCMP cop with drama critic Arthur Fairweather after his mother dies in England and he suspects foul play. Feuding villagers are questioned, leading the pair to discover enactments of Celtic rituals. A local boy is abducted and Arthur's life is endangered. Danutia must come to the rescue before an “unholy rite” becomes murderous.

Kay Stewart second mystery in the Danutia Dranchuk series, Sitting Lady Sutra (TouchWood, 2011), followed the RCMP Constable as her investigation of a single Vancouver Island murder connected to three separate stories--and the head of RCMP forensics.

The pair have released the fourth and final novel in the series, Tour de Mort (Friesen, 2016), a fictional version of the first Tour de Rock, a 1000-kilometre cycle ride down Vancouver Island to raise money for children’s cancer research. Spurred on by her young nephew’s leukemia, Danutia has signed up as a rider. When sinister “accidents” threaten the Tour, Danutia finds herself investigating. Events take a startling turn when people close to Danutia become caught up in a web of speculation and murder. Partial proceeds from book sales will be donated to the Canadian Cancer Society Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock.

In the couple's first co-written novel, A Deadly Little List (NeWest Press, 2006), the body of Joe Bertolucci, security guard for a wealthy and controversial land-developer, is found in a deserted cabin on Salt Spring Island. A note and evidence found at the crime scene suggest suicide, but to Constable Danutia Dranchuk things just don’t add up. As Dranchuk struggles to convince her rcmp Sergeant to keep the case open, she begins an investigation that will lead her deep into the corruption in the community. Arthur Fairweather, an expatriate Brit and drama critic for the Victoria Post-Dispatch, comes to the island to review the annual arts festival and stumbles across a second mysterious death in the cast of The Mikado that prompts him to do a little investigating of his own. As connections are drawn between the two deaths, tensions begin to rise on the island. Kay Stewart & Chris Bullock donated a portion of their royalties from the sales of A Deadly Little List to the Land Conservancy of BC and the ArtSpring Theatre on Salt Spring Island.

Stewart has also published short stories and co-authored two textbooks used in Canadian colleges and universities, Essay Writing for Canadian Students and Forms of Writing. Her personal essays have appeared in two collections of women’s writing and she co-edited, with Caterina Edwards, Eating Apples and Wrestling with the Angel. In addition, she has served as National Vice-President and President of Crime Writers of Canada and in 2011 co-chaired Bloody Words Mystery Conference. Bullock has published poetry and academic articles, particularly on men’s studies, and was a co-author of Essay Writing for Canadian Students.

Kay Stewart was born in Texas, and Chris Bullock was born in Cheshire, England. They met while teaching at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. In 2000 they moved to a rural property near Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.

BOOKS:

A Deadly Little List (NeWest Press, 2006). ISBN 10: 1-896300-95-2; ISBN 13: 978-1-896300-95-5 pb $11.95. Co-authored with Chris Bullock
Sitting Lady Sutra (TouchWood, 2011) 978-1-926741-22-2 $26.95 hb; 978-1-926741-23-9 pb $14.95
Unholy Rites (TouchWood, 2013). ISBN 978-1-927129-82-1 $14.95. Co-authored with Chris Bullock.
Tour de Mort (Friesen, 2016) ISBN 978-1-460-291-45-0 $38.99 hb ; ISBN 978-1-460-291-46-7 $20.99 pb

[BCBW 2016] "Fiction"