St. John's, Newfoundland, 1947. Samuel Rossiter is dead. His body is found in a laneway by a police constable late on an August Monday night. Rossiter's death appears to have been the result o
St. John's, Newfoundland, 1947. Samuel Rossiter is dead. His body is found in a laneway by a police constable late on an August Monday night. Rossiter's death appears to have been the result of an unfortunate accident. But Inspector Eric Stride of the Newfoundland Constabulary isn't convinced. And who is Samuel Rossiter? An impoverished old man living out his time in a boarding house in St. John's? Or something else? To find the answers, Stride follows a trail of evidence and circumstance that goes back more than three decades. And at the end of that trail, he finds himself caught up in a complex story of privilege, wealth, and personal tragedy.
View Biographical note
I was born in St. John's, Newfoundland in 1939. That was the year the Second World War started, and it was ten years before a narrow majority of the island's population voted to join Newfoundland with Canada as the tenth province. It is no coincidence, then, that my novels are set in the post-war, pre-Confederation Newfoundland of the late 1940's. My memories of that period are very strong, and I have made an effort to give the reader a sense of what life was like for people in St. John's, and in Newfoundland generally, at the time.
My protagonist is Inspector Eric Stride of the Newfoundland Constabulary. (The designation Royal was added to the Constabulary's title in 1979.) I received my primary and secondary education at Holloway School and Prince of Wales College, both of them Protestant institutions. This was in a time when the educational system was set up along religious lines, reflecting the historical religious divisions and animosities on the island, principally between Protestants and Roman Catholics. I graduated with honours from Memorial University of Newfoundland, and later received my Ph.D. (in plant pathology) from the University of Toronto.
After graduation, I worked in various capacities for the Canadian Department of Agriculture, and also for one memorable year as a lecturer at Carleton University. In my final professional incarnation I was for more than two decades a Senior Researcher and Writer at the Library of Parliament in Ottawa. I am the proud father of two adult daughters who test-read my books, and who sometimes claim to be proud of me as well.
I live in Ottawa, Ontario, but my roots remain in Newfoundland. I visit the island as often as possible for both research purposes and personal renewal.