Having lived for many years in southeast Asia, Christopher G. Moore returned to Vancouver where he published a novel set in Rangoon and the Burmese countryside, Waiting for the Lady (Subway Books, 2004 $38.95). It concerns part-time smuggler Sloan Walcott and his quest to deliver a camera to Aung San Suu Kyi, the democratically elected leader who has long been held under house arrest by the junta in control of her country. The camera belonged to a Japanese reporter killed in a suspicious car crash. The camera contains a roll of film with an image of Suu Kyi in an automobile with a bullet hole in the rear window. Another image reveals a seductive woman with an unusual tattoo. The father of the deceased journalist has made Walcott promise to deliver the loaded camera to Suu Kyi. The cover of the book features the photo of Suu Kyi in the back seat of a vehicle with the bullet hole in the windshield.
It was Moore's 15th novel since His Lordship's Arsenal in 1985.

Faced with a bizarre ritual murder, a Vancouver judge takes matters into his own hands in His Lordship's Arsenal (re-released Subway 2003 $19.95). The protagonist recounts his youth and education at the UBC Law School in the early 1950s when the Dean's office was a converted army officer's bedroom "in what looked like a working-class brothel", in Mary Bolert Hall. Matthew Borlock recounts his family's involvement in the international gun trade and connects this past with his investigation of a grisly double murder in Vancouver's run-down Delrose Hotel. One victim is found half-eaten by flames; the other has been tied to a cross.

Christopher G. Moore writes both literary fiction and thrillers. Having lived in Thailand for two decades, he is known internationally as the creator of a series featuring a Bangkok private investigator named Vincent Calvino.

Moore was born on July 8, 1946 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Educated at Oxford, he taught at UBC for ten years. "I first visited Vancouver in the sring of 1974 for an interview," he says. "Most of the interviewing occurred in the Faculty Club. Lawyers have this obsession about eating food. Whether you use your fingers, where you put cherry stones, whether you can tell which fork to use first, and whether you call a laundered piece of cloth a napkin or a serviette. I guess they liked the way I ate."

In Vancouver he was active in ACTRA and the Federation of B.C. Writers while producing radio plays such as Sticks and Pucks, set in the Vancouver Canucks' locker room, The Semi-Detached Barrister, set in the West End, and The Bamboo Pillar, set on Powell Street. He credits screenwriter and playwright Michael Mercer with teaching him the science of dealing with CBC staff changes, David Watmough with teaching the Zen of decision making, Phil Savath and Rich Drew for teaching that the ancestral chart of independent producers begins with the shark, and playwright Tom Cone (whom he never knew personally) for teaching that "to get noticed in Vancouver you should move to New York."

Moore moved to New York, then relocated to southeast Asia. "When I think of Vancouver I think of tree-lined streets, stucco houses, well-maintained gardens, mountains, forest and the sea. The sort of place which makes people from Toronto, especially in the winter, feel very insecure. Everything works, is swept, polished and healthy. And when you mention the Times people assume you mean London and not New York; an intellectual trait which deserves full marks... My favourite Vancouver literary location is Wreck Beach and the abandoned World War II gun towers. How many universities have nude beaches protected by high rise bunkers on their doorstep?"



His Lordship's Arsenal (1985; also Subway Books, 2003, $19.95) 0-9687163-3-4
Enemies of Memory
A Killing Smile
A Bewitching Smile
Spirit House
Asia Hand
A Haunting Smile
Cut Out
Saint Anne
Comfort Zone
The Big Weird
God of Darkness
Waiting for the Lady (Subway Books, 2005). 0-9687163-6-9


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[BCBW 2011] "Fiction"