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William Deverell

William Deverell

Bill Deverell was a journalist for seven years while working his way through university, graduating in law in 1963. As a trial lawyer he both defended and prosecuted and was counsel in over a thousand criminal trials including thirty murder cases. His fields of practice also included civil rights, labour, and environmental law. He is a founding director, former president, now honorary director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association.

His first novel, Needles, won the $50,000 Seal Prize and the Book of the Year Award.  His subsequent novels include High Crimes, Mecca, The Dance of Shiva, Platinum Blues, Mindfield, Kill All the Lawyers, Street Legal, Trial of Passion, Slander, The Laughing Falcon, Mind Games, April Fool, Kill All the Judges, Snow Job, I'll See You in My Dreams, Sing a Worried Song, Whipped, and Stung.. His novels have been translated into fourteen languages and sold worldwide. 
Trial of Passion won the 1997 Dashiell Hammett award, for literary excellence in crime writing in North America, as well as the Arthur Ellis prize in crime writing in Canada. It featured the classically trained, self-doubting Arthur Beauchamp, a trial lawyer who became Deverell’s first series protagonist, in April Fool (also an Ellis winner), Kill All the Judges (shortlisted for the Stephen Leacock Prize in humour), and Snow Job, a political novel set in Ottawa, also a Leacock runner-up. He has been referred to as a national treasure by the Toronto Star and received the Best Canadian Crime Writer award at the Scene of the Crime Festival in Ontario. In October, 2011, he was awarded an honorary doctor of letters from Simon Fraser University and five years later received a second honorary D. Litt from the University of Saskatchewan, which holds his archives.

He created the CBC-TV drama Street Legal, which has run internationally in more than 50 countries. He was Visiting Professor in the Creative Writing Department, University of Victoria, has been twice Chair of the Writers' Union of Canada.

Pender Island


Stung. 2021, ECWPress


Periodical Distributors of Canada Book of the Year, 1981.
Seal First Novel Award, 1979.
Eligible for National Public Readings Program: