A Night of Noir: Local Crime Authors Panel

Join five local authors and host John Belshaw for a night of vice to discover the dark and seedy side of society.

  • Jackie Bateman, Straight Circles (Anvil Press)
  • Eve Lazarus, Murder by Milkshake (Arsenal Pulp Press)
  • Amanda Siebert, The Little Book of Cannabis (Greystone Books)
  • W.D. Valgardson, In Valhalla’s Shadows (Douglas & McIntyre)
  • Iona Whishaw, A Sorrowful Sanctuary (TouchWood Editions)
  • Host: John Belshaw, author of Vancouver Noir

Book sales by 32 Books & Gallery

In partnership with Read Local BC

Jackie Bateman lives with her family in North Vancouver. Her first novel Nondescript Rambunctious won a national first book competition in Canada, and grew into a trilogy of psychological thrillers. The second novel in the series, Savour, was shortlisted for the 2015 Relit Awards. Straight Circles ties up all of the disturbing threads in a grand psychotic finale. The trilogy has been optioned for a multi-episode TV series. She can be found at www.jacbateman.com.

Straight Circles


Domestic satire meets gripping suspense in Straight Circles, the final, explosive chapter of Jackie Bateman’s Lizzy Trilogy. The original and eccentric cast of characters return in this genre-bending thriller, but not everyone’s getting out alive.


Eve Lazarus is a Vancouver writer with an Aussie accent and a passion for true crime stories, cold cases, and non-traditional history. She is the author of three Arsenal titles: Cold Case Vancouver: The City's Most Baffling Unsolved Murders (2015), a BC bestseller and 2016 finalist for the Bill Duthie Booksellers' Choice Award at the BC Book Prizes; Blood, Sweat, and Fear: The Story of Inspector Vance, Vancouver's First Forensic Investigator (2017); and Murder by Milkshake: An Astonishing True Story of Adultery, Arsenic, and a Charismatic Killer. She is also the author of Sensational Vancouver (2014),Sensational Victoria: Bright Lights, Red Lights, Murders, Ghosts & Gardens (2012), and her book At Home with History: The Untold Secrets of Greater Vancouver's Heritage Houses was a 2008 City of Vancouver book award finalist. 

Murder by Milkshake: An Astonishing True Story of Adultery, Arsenic, and a Charismatic Killer


When forty-year-old Esther Castellani died a slow and agonizing death in Vancouver in 1965, the official cause was at first undetermined. The day after Esther's funeral, her husband, Rene, packed up his girlfriend, Lolly; his daughter, Jeannine; and Lolly's son, Don, in the company car and took off for Disneyland. If not for the doggedness of the doctor who treated Esther, Rene (then a charismatic and handsome CKNW radio personality) would have been free to marry Lolly, who was the station's pretty twentysomething receptionist. Instead, Rene was charged with capital murder for poisoning his wife with arsenic-laced milkshakes in one of British Columbia's most sensational criminal cases of the century. Rigorously researched, and based on dozens of interviews with family, friends, and co-workers, Murder by Milkshake documents the sensational case that kept Vancouver spellbound, while providing a snapshot of the city's Mad Men-esque social and political realities in the 1960s.


Amanda Siebert is an award-winning journalist and photographer best known for her work as the first-ever cannabis editor at the Georgia Straight. When she’s not writing, making photographs, or indulging in the herb, she enjoys road trips, practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and taking her dog, Honey, to the beach.

The Little Book of Cannabis: How Marijuana Can Improve Your Life


Cannabis. Weed. Bud. Whatever you choose to call it, it’s been a health aid, comfort, and life-enhancer for humankind for more than three thousand years. But while cannabis is used by hundreds of millions of people around the world, more than a century of prohibition has resulted in confusion about its status. In this fun, illuminating book, cannabis journalist Amanda Siebert delves deep into the latest research to separate marijuana fact from fiction, revealing ten evidence-based ways this potent little plant can improve your life. She speaks with some of the world’s top researchers, medical professionals, and consultants to answer your burning questions. The Little Book of Cannabis is pragmatic and informative look at better living through cannabis.


W.D. Valgardson is an Icelandic-Canadian writer. He taught creative writing at the University of Victoria for thirty years. He has won several awards, including the Books in Canada First Novel Award for Gentle Sinners (Oberon Press, 1980) and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize for The Girl with the Botticelli Face (Douglas & McIntyre, 1993). Born and raised in Gimli, MB, Valgardson now lives in Victoria, BC.

In Valhalla's Shadows


A timely and compelling Canadian Gothic crime novel from esteemed Icelandic-Canadian writer W.D. Valgardson. Ex-cop Tom Parsons’s life has been crumbling around him: his marriage and career have fallen apart, his grown children barely speak to him, and he can’t escape the dark thoughts plaguing his mind. Leaving the urban misery of Winnipeg, he tries to remake himself in the small lakeside town of Valhalla, with its picturesque winter landscape and the locals who make it clear that newcomers, especially ex-RCMP, are less than entirely welcome. Tom has barely settled in the town when he finds the body of a fifteen-year-old Indigenous girl on the beach, not far from his home. The police write off Angel’s death as just another case of teenagers partying too hard. But the death haunts Tom, and he can’t leave the case closed—something just doesn’t add up.


Iona Whishaw is a former educator and social worker whose mother and grandfather were both spies during their respective wars. She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband. Visit her at ionawhishaw.com

A Sorrowful Sanctuary: A Lane Winslow Mystery (book 5)


In the fifth book of the series that the Globe and Mail calls “terrific,” Lane Winslow Lane Winslow is enjoying a perfect, sunny day at the lake when she spots a gravely injured young man drifting in a sinking rowboat. Hypothermic, bleeding, and soaked in icy, bloody water, he is unable to speak, leaving Lane at a loss. What series of events brought him to this grisly fate?


Host: John Belshaw

John Belshaw is a writer, professor, consultant, and an award-winning historian. He is the author of several books, including Becoming British Columbia: A Population History, and articles in subTerrain and The Walrus. He is also the co-author of Vancouver Noir: 1930-1960 (Anvil Press, 2011), and Private Grief, Public Mourning: The Rise of the Roadside Shrine in BC (Anvil Press, 2009). He is the editor of the anthology Vancouver Confidential (Anvil Press, 2014), a collaborative project involving more than a dozen writers, filmmakers, and artists. He is currently writing an OpenText on Canadian history.




Tuesday, October 30, 2018 - 6:30pm to 8:30pm


  • Adults