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Like every good murder mystery, King's debut novel, That Sleep of Death, keeps its reader guessing until the very end. The books grabs hold of the reader's attention quickly and never lets go. It remains engaging, fast-paced and finely written throughout. (Stephanie Cesca The Chronicle-Herald 2002-08-04)
The plot is pure whodunnit, with touches of procedural and only a few first-novel glitches. King plans a series of Sam Wiseman boks. That's good; he has talent, wit and Montreal. (Margaret Cannon The Globe and Mail 2002-09-07)
a literate mystery, crisply written and captivating in its plot twists. (Times-Colonist (Victoria, BC) 2002-08-25)
Sam Wiseman runs an independent bookstore near McGill University in the heart of Montreal. His existence is untroubled and his relationships are steady - until the day he stops a shoplifter. Out of this seemingly innocent incident, Sam becomes friends with Gaston Lemieux, a police detective with a great affection for nineteenth-century British novels.
The friendship comes into play when Sam discovers the body of professor Harold Hilliard - a long-time customer of the store - dead in his office at McGill. Sam is implicated in the murder when it is discovered that the victim is clutching a special order form from Sam's store in what clearly is an attempt to reveal the identity of his murderer.
Part police-procedural and part cozy mystery, That Sleep of Death introduces a new sleuth to the Canadian murder-mystery scene - one whose continuing presence will be anticipated and enjoyed for mysteries to come.
Richard King is one of the co-founders of Librarie Paragraphe Bookstore in Montreal. Previously, he worked at the Classics bookstore on St. Catherine Street, and has served on the board of the Canadian Booksellers Association, including a year as its president. A graduate of McGill, he has lived all his life in Montreal.