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The Return of John Smyth

He’s back!

After a long hiatus, John Smyth is back. By day, he’s the mild-mannered editor of Grace magazine. By night…he’s still the mild-mannered editor of Grace magazine, but he sometimes solves murders.

I am pleased to announce that the fourth John Smyth Mystery has just been published by my own publishing imprint, Mill Lake Books.


John Smyth first appeared in three novels published by Moody Publishers over a decade ago: Who’s Grace?, Desolation Highway, and Mountaintop Drive.

In the intervening years, the publishing industry has undergone a massive reshaping. Many more books are being published, but traditional publishers are publishing fewer books, and many more books are self-published. Print-on-demand and ebooks have replaced offset printing, and books are sold online as well as in bookstores.

But John Smyth is the same diminutive, bald-headed, underappreciated amateur detective he always was. He is still editor of Grace magazine, and he is still living happily in Winnipeg with his wife Ruby and their four children.

The plot of Springtime in Winnipeg can be summarized as follows: When spring finally arrives in Winnipeg, the residents believe they have earned it. After enduring six months of snow and numbing cold, they look forward to April. Snow gives way to rain. Migrating birds appear. The trees swell in anticipation of new leaves. And the lifeless bodies of young women are discovered lying along the wooded paths next to Assiniboine University. When John Smyth returns to school to obtain a journalism degree, he encounters a variety of interesting characters. He debates a combative professor who challenges his faith. And, as usual, he can’t help stumbling over a dead body. The long-awaited fourth John Smyth mystery thus skillfully intertwines two elements–an academic discussion of the nature of the mystery novel and an actual murder mystery.

Springtime in Winnipeg is distributed by Ingram and is available through online retailers as well as traditional bookstores.

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