Born in England, John C. Smith emigrated to Canada in 1955. His schooling to age 17 was at Westcliff Grammar School in Essex. He joined the RCMP in 1957 and served 25 years. He worked at six different police posts in British Columbia and was an instructor at the Canadian Police College in Ottawa. Much of his service was performed in what is called 'General Duty' policing, where most law enforcement is carried out. Smith retired from the police force to work for the BC Conservation Officer Service as their training officer, for another 16 years. He currently lives in Victoria, B.C. with his wife Jean.

Smith's first book was The Scarlet Sentinels (Agio Publishing, 2012) and spans a period of one year at a large Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment in the Interior region of British Columbia. Although written as a novel, this story accurately reflects the kinds of events that typically occur in the police world, presented graphically and in the lingua franca that is particular to this work. Readers will enter the lives of members of this famous police force at the detachment level, learning how they operate in, and adapt to, continual challenge and change.

Smith's second novel, First Class Passage, concerns the murder of an American woman on a cruise from Barcelona to Miami. It's a 'whodunit' with a twist. The FBI have jurisdiction to investigate, but they cannot get to the ship, which is in mid-Atlantic when the murder occurs. During his research for the book, Smith found that Security officers aboard cruise ships have no police powers - they are just that, security. To help matters along, Smith invented a passenger, who is a just-retired chief of detectives of the Metro Toronto police force, on a cruise with his wife. Because of his experience, he is asked by the FBI in Miami to conduct the investigation using the security people as assistants. What this amounts to is a crime being committed on the high seas, which are owned by no one, being investigated by two people who have no jurisdiction.


The Scarlet Sentinels (Agio Publishing, 2012) 978-1-897435-80-9

First Class Passage

[BCBW 2014]