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Cover of Tour de Mort novel
Tour de Mort

Sinister “accidents” threaten the Tour de Rock, a thousand-kilometre cycle ride to raise money for children’s cancer. Spurred on by her young nephew’s leukemia, RCMP Corporal Danutia Dranchuk has signed up as a rider but soon finds herself investigating. Events take a startling turn when people close to Danutia become caught up in a web of speculation and murder that she seems powerless to untangle.


Chapter 3

Saturday, September 5, 1998

Victoria, BC


He straightened up stiffly, wincing against the pain in his back and hip. Getting older was no joke, that was for sure.  You and me both, he said, giving the truck’s hood a slap. He was proud of it, despite all those dents and dings from years driving logging roads. You couldn’t beat a Ford, and the 150 series was all that a man needed. But dang it, he was having a hard time getting the front grille and bumper clean.  He’d poured on vinegar, like the old lady used on clothes, but it didn’t seem to help much. 

Still he’d got most of the blood off, and he needed a break before his back started to spasm. 

He clicked his fingers and Daisy followed him inside. He filled her water dish and jabbed at the button on the remote. Like everything else in this crappy motel,  it wouldn’t come on at first go, so he jabbed it again.

Right away he wished he hadn’t. Those cops were on. He clicked off the sound. He knew what they were saying; it was always the same thing. They were boasting about riding for the cure, helping the doctors beat cancer. And the interviewer, as always, lapping it all up.

There’s no cure, he wanted to shout, watching the silent figures on the screen, anger flowing in  his blood  like hot liquid. They say they can do great things with their machines and medicines, but all they do is make someone suffer and suffer, and then what you most love in life is taken away from you.  And you cops help people believe cancer can be beaten. People trust you, and you deceive them. Cycling for the cure—bullshit!


He found himself standing, breathing hard and feeling faint. Daisy was circling around him, barking. Had he actually shouted? He thought his shouting was only in his mind but maybe it wasn’t. Maybe he was going crazy. His doctor had warned him about the danger to his heart in getting stressed and out of control. Take a deep breath, like the doctor said, he told himself, and when he had, he felt calmer.

He wasn’t going crazy. He was a man with a mission. He had to let the cops know there was at least one person who didn’t buy this bullshit. He had already started his campaign. He stared at the cops mouthing their boastful words. Talk all you like, he thought. Sooner or later you’re going to have to listen.

Praise for the Danutia Dranchuk Mysteries


“…a strong series with interesting characters and always, unusual plots.” ~ Mystery Maven Canada

"The [Danutia Dranchuck] series features a female RCMP constable who grows more complex with each new book." Coastal Spectator


A Deadly Little List: “This debut has wit and fun and plenty of twists to keep the guesses coming.”  ~ The Globe and Mail


“Sitting Lady Sutra works both as a mystery and a synthesis of our beliefs and sorrows: honest and complex story-telling.”  ~ The Hamilton Spectator


Unholy Rites: “As much of an examination of cultural practices—all of which are fascinating—as it is a straight-up mystery.”  ~ The Times Colonist

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