Question: Who is the intended audience?
Answer: I’ve written the book for mystery readers who enjoy amateur sleuth stories, which to me, are a little edgier than cozies, but not gritty enough to be considered hardboiled. Because my protagonist, Alex Bellamy, and his sidekick, Tristan, are twenty-eight years old, my books might also appeal to younger readers who want to read about sleuths closer to their age. I also write for anyone who’d be interested in reading about white-collar crime – in this case computer hacking – and Vancouver, British Columbia

Q: What is the book about?
A: In terms of plot, the book’s about Alex’s attempt to stop a computer hack from permanently encrypting a department store’s data. But the harder he tries, the more the hack ramps up the stakes. People die, buildings are torched, and no one is safe.

In terms of themes – and I really think theme is important – Alex is struggling with an ongoing quest to find his own place in the world. One of the subplots is his anxiety about going to a family reunion in Palm Springs for Christmas because he knows his parents and siblings regard him as the family failure. Adding to this, is an underlying theme about realizing that what you think you’ve wanted and have worked for a long time, might not be what you wanted at all.

Q: Why are you the best person to write this book?
A: Three reasons. One, I’ve worked in department stores and know a lot about how they function, and the nickel-and-dime approach to staying profitable. Two, I’ve spent most of my adult life exploring white-collar crime because it’s an area that both intrigues and appalls me. Three, I’ve lived in Vancouver and its suburbs since 1962, and know the area pretty well.

Q: How is this book different from other books on this topic?
A: To be honest, there aren’t many mysteries that focus on white-collar crime. I remember one good one about a hacking that takes place in Silicon Valley, but corporate crime in Vancouver isn’t something others appear to be writing about.

Q: Is there anything else we should know about this book?
A: This is my second Alex Bellamy mystery. The first one, Taxed to Death, takes place eighteen months earlier where Alex, employed by Revenue Canada Agency, discovers fraud on a field audit and the murder of his colleague and friend, Andy.