The promise of a mystery set in Banff National Park overcame my hesitancy of reading a book by an unknown debut author. We had visited both Banff and the counterpart United States Rockies in recent years. I relished a vicarious return and took a chance that the new Canadian author from a Canadian publisher would be a good storyteller. Consequently, I clicked “request” on the offer from Net Galley to read Full Curl by Dave Butler (no relation).
The intrigue lasts from beginning to end as park warden Jenny Willson (yes, with two “l’s”) almost catches the poachers who are hunting wildlife in Banff National Park only to miss them. The ante rises for her and the perpetrators as murder and drug dealing incorporate into the crime mix. Then there are the bureaucrats who are reluctant to join the chase because they don’t take a woman warden too seriously. Obviously, they don’t know Jenny Willson well.
Dave Butler portrays the park skillfully and beautifully in the narrative without calling attention to his descriptions but giving the reader a sense of being present in the park. No doubt this ability comes from his internalizing the area during his day job as a forester and biologist near the Rocky Mountains in British Columbia.
Caution for the debut author was completely unnecessary. In fact, I was pleased to see the notation on the cover, in the front, and in the back of the book “a Jenny Willson mystery, Book 1.” Since my pleasure reading genre is a good mystery, I think I’ll be seeing Jenny Willson – with two “l’s” – again.