Publication Order of Arthur Beauchamp Books
|Trial of Passion||(1997)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|April Fool||(2005)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Kill All the Judges||(2008)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Snow Job||(2009)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|I'll See You in My Dreams||(2011)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Sing a Worried Song||(2015)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
Many of the courtroom drama characters have the addiction on winning and can not live without the adrenaline. Often they are no-nonsense hunky emotionally scarred antiheroes who see the world as their playground. It is interesting, though, to see, how a retired lawyer with a thing for Latin proverbs, has to say when his past comes back to haunt him. The lawyer’s name is Arthur Beauchamp, and he would rather be left off with his garden of vegetables, but some habits just never die. Beauchamp is a protagonist of the novel series written by William Deverell, an acclaimed Canadian author. However, the “Beauchamp series” is not your ordinary court procedure novel. It employs the tropes of the mystery genre, creating something new and original, a blend that intrigues the readers around the world.
The first novel of the series called “Trial of Passion” was published in 2002. It was an immediate success and landed a lot of recognitions, most notably the Arthur Ellis Award in 1998. This recognition is awarded to the best crime and mystery novel of the year. Deverell’s opening novel of the series also landed him the Dashiell Hammett Award, which is given for literary excellence in crime writing in North America. Its sequels were just as acclaimed, and “April Fool” brought Deverell another Arthur Ellis Award in 2003. Other novels did not go unnoticed as well- “Kill All the Judges”, the third installment of the series was shortlisted for the Stephen Leacock Medal in 2009, whereas “The Snow Job”, the fourth sequel earned itself Globe and Mail Best Book Award.
The series itself is focused on Arthur Beauchamp, a retired lawyer living somewhere in the islands of the British Columbia, who is brought from his retirement now and then in order to prepare complicated trial cases, as well as to give a hand in solving baffling crimes. Beauchamp is not a conventional crime/courtroom novel protagonist- he is a world-weary lover of art, a little of an idealist. His marriage does not fulfill him and he finds the comfort in his garden. Once he was a big shot attorney, who had the law in blood. Together with law, hand in hand came the extravagant lifestyle- expensive cars, liquor, and cheap thrills. His life almost cost him his reputation, and when he retired, Arthur turned to the modest way of life, his home on the shore and his little garden. That is, until he was summoned to help in the cases.
“Trial of Passion” introduces the reader with Arthur’s world. He is in the middle of his routine life, sometimes stirred by his affection for his widowed neighbor, when the blast from the past re-enters his life. His former colleagues want his help in preparing the defense case. Moreover, they want him to lead the entire thing. Jonathan O’Donnell, a current dean of the law school, faces charges of rape. Kimberly Martin, one of his students, who is in a relationship with a rich businessman accused him of sexual assault. It goes without saying that all chips are down and stakes are high. If accusations happen to be real, O’Donell will not only bring shame to his name, but also to his profession. On the other hand, if the allegations are dismissed, mighty powers gathered around Martin’s fiancee, are going to show up on the scene. It is clear that this is a make it or break it type of situation for Arthur and his team. He will either come out as a hero or as a scapegoat, maybe even worse.
“April Fool” is the follow-up to the “Trial of Passion”, and is the novel that secured Deverell his second Arthur Ellis Award. The cunning protagonist of the novel turned back to his wife and his home on Garibaldi Island. Peace will not last for long, as great challenges await for him, both at work and in his private life. Artur has to represent one of his former clients, Nick Faloon, a.k.a. The Owl. Faloon is on the bench as he is accused of rape and murder of a successful psychologist. Arthur instantly notices something fishy in the case- this is not Faloon’s style. He is a first-class thief, specialized in jewel theft. Rapes and murders have never been his modus operandi. Faloon is one of those cheeky rascals, who might have taken the other, more honest route of life, had the circumstances been better. He is certainly not a murderer, Beauchamp concludes and starts preparing his defense. In the meantime, Arthur faces private problems. He may have a perfect defense for his client, but what is he going to do with his wife? Margaret, Beauchamp’s inspiration for sighs, becomes an environmentalist, a change that Arthur receives with a few chuckles. However, the situation becomes serious when Margaret takes drastic measures and builds a lodge among the treetops. She is determined to stop the urbanistic plans and save the eagles. Now, Arthur has to deal with Faloon’ s difficult case, as well as to find a way to rescue his wife. Once again, this retired lawyer will have to use his rare and useful talent in deceit and his eloquence.
Beauchamp’s cases sometimes feel more realistic than most of its peers in the novels with the same theme. This is a personal touch of Deverell, who himself is a devoted criminal lawyer. He has been involved in more than 1000 cases throughout his long career. It must have been fun to create fictional cases built on the actual experiences. You do not get to be a best-selling crime author if you do not invest yourself completely in the creative process. Beauchamp is created upon the conventions and familiar material, but he never feels outdated. Quite the contrary, there is something fresh in Arthur’s struggle to cope with the terms of his life in retirement, as he plants his vegetables in order to obtain peaceful life, like many of his coevals. It is genuinely funny to see how he fails to adapt to the life of a farmer, as he is constantly dragged into the world of crimes, and courts. Some habits never die, indeed, no matter how hard you fight them.Book Series In Order » Characters » Arthur Beauchamp