REVIEWS OF NO PLACE FOR WOLVERINES:
“The writing is spot-on, the characters are beautifully rendered … A fine mystery novel and a series that should be on nightstands of all Nevada Barr fans.”
– ALA Booklist
“A solid 4 stars. This is a very good sequel to Full Curl, book 1 in the Jenny Willson series. Jenny is a Canada National Park Warden in Banff NP, Alberta, Canada. She volunteers to go to Yoho NP, British Columbia to investigate a proposed ski resort on the border of Yoho NP. She uncovers a project with many questions and problems. One of which is the fact that is located in prime wolverine territory. Wolverines are a protected species in Canada. I read it in 4 days, an easy, satisfying thriller. There is a bittersweet ending that ties up all the threads in a satisfying manner.
Vancouver rain: “Horizontal pulses of rain were coming at him as if thrown from a bucket, apparently unmitigated by the tall buildings all around.”
Jenny’s assessment of ski proposal:
“This was a project with more questions than answers. Willson pictured an iceberg, most of its mass lurking out of sight below the surface, potentially deadly.””
– NetGalley Review
“This blood-stained Jenny Willson mystery has it all: an endangered species threatened by the proposal of a mega ski resort in the Canadian Rockies, a corrupt politician (surprise, surprise), a proponent with a shady past, his easily conscripted Chamber of Commerce-type acolytes who engage in immoral activities in pursuit of financial gain, a mountain community opposed to the development and whose voices are not heard by their provincial government, National Park bureaucrats who refreshingly give a damn about trying to stop this ill-thought out project, a love interest split between a RCMP officer and an investigative journalist…
If you’ve tried to picture how the never-ending Jumbo fiasco could die a merciful death, it’s worth a dive into novelist Dave Butler’s fertile imagination.”
– Pat Morrow, Goodreads review
“This is the second Jenny Willson book that I have read, and I loved it just as much as the first.
There are subplots involving mental illness, the consequences of fraud and official machinations. The pace is relentless rather than fast, but your interest never falters. Each stage follows credible from the previous one. Each of the main characters is fully developed and believable, with their own flaws. No-one is irredeemably evil, and I even felt a smidgeon of sympathy (eventually) for Austin. Throughout it all, the beauty and fragility of the National Park and its denizens shines through – as does Jenny’s unwavering love for it.”
– NetGalley Review (Rosemary Standeven)
“The survival of wolverines is under threat in Canada. Dave Butler has managed to squeeze everything into this book. Corruption at the highest level. Undercover operations. Conservation of endangered species and much more. I LOVED this book. The characters, especially Jenny Willson are beautifully drawn. The writing style is easy to read, yet the plot is involved, and believable. I can’t wait for the next book in this series. 5 stars.”
– Rony G Cambell, Breakaway Reviewers
“For those who like mystery novels with a strong outdoor component and a setting in national parks, the Jenny Willson series by Dave Butler will seem like a Canadian version of Nevada Barr’s Anna Pigeon series. The first in the series, FULL CURL, introduced us to the Banff National Park ranger and won the Arthur Ellis award for Best First Crime Novel in 2018. This second Jenny Willson mystery has her posted to Yoho National Park to work below the radar to find out what’s going on with an attempt to build a ski resort within the boundary of the Park and therefore in the prime breeding grounds for the endangered wolverine. As she arrives, she is considering a short-term international posting to Namibia, which makes her efforts in this endeavor time-limited. Politics play an important role in both the development of the mystery and in its resolution. The threats against Jenny’s mother turn into reality in an unexpected way. In the end, enough holes have been filled to provide a sense of closure, while enough loose ends remain to provide for the next book. Butler may have expanded his range beyond the approximately fifty national parks and reserves in Canada (vs. about 400 in the US (Anna Pigeon’s possible range)) with the potential of a posting to Namibia. We will have to see where he takes Willson in book number three in the series.
The beauty of the Canadian wilderness shines throughout the book, so that the reader is naturally sympathetic toward the environmental perspective. Jenny is a well-developed character, with both virtues and shortcomings apparent. Some of the other characters are not quite as well developed, and some of the history between Jenny and other characters would be lost to those who did not read book #1 in the series. As the series progresses and we get to know the secondary characters better, I look forward to the greater depth this will bring to the Butler’s plotting.”
– Sharon Mensing, reviewingtheevidence.com
REVIEWS OF FULL CURL:
“Dave Butler brings to life the most compelling and complicated protagonist that Canadian crime fiction has seen in a long time. Jenny Willson is one tough cookie whose hard-edged nature and sharp mind make her the perfect candidate to solve this very out-of-the ordinary mystery. With a realistic time-line, multiple murders, and intricate attention to detail, Butler keeps his readers guessing from beginning to end. Truly Canadian in every essence, the scenery practically leaps off the page, making it both a love letter to the Canadian wilderness and a compelling and fast-paced mystery.”
– Judge’s Citation: Arthur Ellis Award Winner – Best First Crime Novel in Canada (2018)
“Meticulously researched and beautifully rendered, FULL CURL is a gripping tale of greed and excess, infused with Dave Butler’s love of the Canadian Rockies and rich with the intimate, detailed knowledge of an insider. I’m an instant fan of the butt-kicking Jenny Willson, and I dearly hope FULL CURL is only the first of her many adventures. I’d follow Jenny Willson anywhere.”
– Angie Abdou, author of “Anything Boys Can Do”, “The Bone Cage”, “The Canterbury Trail”, and “Between.”
“The author tells a moving and suspenseful story that should please all mystery readers, but especially those for whom the subject of poaching and illegal hunting is a special interest. This is the first in a proposed new series, and if this one’s any indication, it could be a series readers will follow for a long time.”
— David Pitt in the Book List
“Butler’s strong debut shows a powerful heroine determined to bring a nasty but fully fleshed-out set of baddies to justice.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“Park Warden Jenny Willson is a modern heroine — tough, smart, irreverent and tenacious — and she needs to be in a dangerous battle against unscrupulous poachers, drug dealers and a bureaucracy threatening to derail her investigation. Full Curl is a fascinating foray into the isolated world of park wardens and the lengths needed to protect wildlife from trophy hunters in our sweeping national parks. Butler breathes life and beauty into the western landscape, making this the perfect setting for a spiraling tale of subterfuge and murder in Canada’s remote wilderness.”
-Brenda Chapman, author of the Stonechild and Rouleau Mystery Series
“An intricate, full-throttle thriller told with passion and authenticity. Park Ranger Jenny Willson is a smart, tenacious hero for our times.”
– Barbara Fradkin, author of The Amanda Doucette Mysteries
“I’ve never read a book like this but what a read! I love all things Canadian, national parks and about animals in the wild so this hit all the spots and more for me. The author’s worked in the field and he knows his stuff – and boy does it show. I’ve spent only a short time in several national parks (mostly in Banff which I loved) and so this novel really spoke to me and revived some very happy memories. This was a great mystery novel and a unique take on the subject – it starts with animal poaching but turns into so much more. Not the novel I thought I was reading – very surprising and in a very good way! A great Canadian set read and captures the essence of more of the national park landscapes and is a cracking good mystery into the bargain! The author based this on an experience he had in the parks which really ramps up the interest and the tension. Thoroughly enjoyed it.”
– Susan at “The Book Trailer”
“I loved this book! Any plot that centers around wild animals and the less than noble people who would illegally profit from their deaths is always of interest to me, and this was no exception. Expertly written with well-drawn characters, plenty of action, and intelligent dialog, this is a story that will pull at every heart-string you have… a definite roller coaster ride. You should add this to your “summer read” list. Recommended.”
– Cindy McBride at NetGalley
“Probably the most Canadian mystery book out there. Don’t mess with our national parks and animals, or else. Jenny Wilson is so kick-ass, I love her. And her taste in coffee? Bless.
All of the characters are well written, and I absolutely love the different perspectives in the chapters. Some of you know by now that that’s my favourite type of book! I don’t know if these kinds of crimes happen a lot, but the creative ways that Dave shows how animal parts are smuggled across the border…I can’t help but think that he’s seen one too many cases that ended like this.
The plot, the writing style, and the characters really sold me on this book. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect mystery. Usually, I’m not a fan of knowing who the killer is – I like to try and (successfully) solve it myself. But I loved it for this book, and it worked well.
In short, my favourite mystery novel of the year so far. Everything else I read after this, I’m definitely going to be comparing to Full Curl.”
– Maria Zuppardi at ReadingMaria
“I absolutely LOVED this book, read it over about two days, could not put it down, and immediately picked up book two, which I never do (because now I have to wait for the next book to be released). The story follows a Parks Canada warden, Jenny Willson, investigating a poaching case in Banff, Jasper, and Kootenay National Parks (inspired by a real-life poaching case Dave worked on as a former Parks Canada warden). Animal protection and environmental conservation are extremely important to me, and I spend a significant amount of time in the backcountry of these parks, thus this story is very near to my heart. It doesn’t just hit close to home; it is about my home – and the home of all who love our national parks, enjoy being outdoors, experience the backcountry, and want to preserve this incredible environment.
The pace of the story was excellent; it takes place over a year which is what you would reasonably expect in this type of investigation, but it also meant every point in the story was relevant and there was no fluff or lulls, keeping me engaged and turning pages. The geographical location is detailed and accurate.
Multiple points of view are offered, and the reader is able to get into the head of the protagonist AND the antagonist, which I don’t often see. Jenny is very relatable; I could have been reading about myself, I see so much of her in me (and vice versa). I despise trophy hunters, but even if the reader was not as environmentally aware, the passion is still evident. I loved the political commentary concerning the government organizations and bureaucracies as I found them to be relevant, but also either accurate or an opinion which I share with the author being familiar with the organizations in the story.
Overall, the story is heavily about animal protection and it went exactly where I wanted it to, an exceptional story of justice. I cannot recommend this book enough. If I could, I would erase it from memory just so I could read and experience it again. Read, read, read, read, read this book!”
– Reading in the Rockies bookblog
-Book Obsessed Introverts