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Nine Alberta Novel Recommendations
Alberta is home to some amazing novels—and authors, and bookstores, and libraries, and publishers, and we could keep going. In honour of National Novel Writing Month, we have curated a list of novels from nine Alberta publishers that we recommend adding to your TBR shelf. Whether you enjoy reading literary fiction, or you want to puzzle through a mystery novel, explore the fantastical in a speculative fiction novel, or dive into a graphic novel — Alberta’s literary community has something to offer.
by Misha Handman
Shadow Stitcher follows Basil Stark, reformed pirate, and private detective, who finds himself pulled into a tale of organized crime, murder, unstitched shadows, and dangerous espionage when a routine missing-persons case turns into a murder investigation. Crime noir meets fantasy in this fast-paced mystery shortlisted for Kobo’s Emerging Writer Prize.
Published: August 05, 2019 by Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy Publishing
Light on a Part of the Field
by Kevin Holowack
In his evocative debut novel, Light on a Part of the Field, Kevin Holowack introduces us to a family grappling with artistic ambition, mental illness, and rifts that may not be possible to mend. Set in B.C. and Alberta in the 1960s and 1970s, this is a novel of finely observed vignettes offering a refracted look at art and family in the mid-century West. For a sneak peek, check out NeWest Press’ podcast episode with the author here.
Bursts of Fire
by Susan Forest
When war among the kingdoms destroys their sheltered world, three girls are scattered to the wilderness and must rely on their wits and powers they don’t yet master. An epic fantasy novel perfect for YA readers, Bursts of Fire is the first book in the Addicted to Heaven series, followed by Flights of Marigold. Both books in the series are Aurora YA award winners.
Blood Red Summer
by Wayne Arthurson
Blood Red Summer is a Leo Desroches Mystery from Wayne Arthurson. Métis journalist Leo Desroches has just been released from jail. Fortunately for him, he is re-hired at the paper to write a popular column about crime. Soon, Leo is caught in the middle of a billion-dollar conflict between mining companies and a murderous Native street gang. Make sure to pick up the other books in the series as well, Fall From Grace and A Killing Winter.
Blood Red Summer
Published: May 15, 2016 by Eschia Books
by Robin van Eck
On June 19, 2013, heavy rains began to fall in Southern Alberta, contributing to the biggest flood in Calgary since 1932. This is the backdrop of Robin van Eck’s compassionate and fast-paced novel, Rough, focusing on a homeless man, his daughter, and a string of suspicious deaths. Robin van Eck spoke with Read Alberta about her personal experience that influenced the writing of Rough. Read the interview here.
by Keith Maillard
Twin Studies is an engrossing, timely, and contemporary novel about the bonds between twins, about sexuality and gender fluidity, and about the messy complexities of modern family life. Read our interview with author Keith Maillard here.
by Yi-Sung Oliver Ho, Daniel Reynolds, Chris Peterson, & Ruth Redmond
For a fully immersive experience, we recommend the graphic novel Genghis Con. A crime and family drama crossed with illegal international road racing, Genghis Con is the story of a guilt-ridden grifter, Alexis, who seeks redemption for herself and justice for her sister by taking part in a win or die rally race from England into the mountains of Mongolia.
Oliver Ho, Daniel Reynolds
Published: Nov 04, 2021 by Renegade Arts Entertainment
by Barb Howard
The latest book from Calgary author Barb Howard, Happy Sands, is a highly entertaining story of a family vacation gone all-too-predictably wrong. Written with edged humor and a sharp observational eye, this novel is for anyone who has spent a bad day at the beach. With the chill of winter settling in, we recommend sinking into this novel and spending a summer day at Happy Sands Resort.
Seeing the Light
by E. C. Bell
Even with Halloween behind us, we highly recommend Seeing the Light, a ghostly mystery read that follows Marie Jenner, a young woman avoiding the family business of moving the spirits of the dead onto the next plane of existence. After getting her dream job, Marie encounters a ghost that wants her to investigate his death— and she’s pretty sure he’s going to haunt her until she does.
Seeing the Light
E. C. Bell