Tour de Rock provides setting for murder novel

Saanich authors will hold book launch Friday at Victoria's Church of Truth

Saanich authors Kay Stewart and Chris Bullock will launch their novel Tour de Mort Friday at Victoria’s Church of Truth.

Saanich authors Kay Stewart and Chris Bullock will launch their novel Tour de Mort Friday at Victoria’s Church of Truth.

A pair of Saanich authors will take readers on a ride of murder and suspense as they follow the trail of the Tour de Rock.

Kay Stewart and Chris Bullock will launch their novel Tour de Mort Friday at Victoria’s Church of Truth.

The book is loosely based on the inaugural Tour de Rock, and the tour’s founder, former Saanich Police Const. Martin Pepper, will be a special guest at Friday’s launch.

Stewart and Bullock performed extensive research into their work, speaking with several riders to help them convey the experience of the tour through the eyes of the novel’s main character, RCMP Cpl. Danutia Dranchuk.

“Martin Pepper’s perspective was unique and invaluable. He came up with the idea, planned the route, and served as a trainer and captain of the first team,” said Stewart.

The research was woven into the fictional realms of Tour de Mort, which follows previous books in the Danutia Dranchuk mystery series: A Deadly Little List (2006); Sitting Lady Sutra (2011); and Unholy Rites (2013).

Like the previous works, Tour de Mort explores a social issue – in this case cancer, which afflicts the main character’s beloved nephew. The authors also use the disease as a metaphor for the web of evil gradually uncovered in the book.

Bullock notes that he and Kay felt an obligation to portray the disease in a responsible way, covering both the heroism of fundraising for treatment and the less-discussed issue of the link between environmental causes and human greed.

Partial proceeds from book sales will go to the Canadian Cancer Society Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock.

The book launch is free and open to the public and will feature a talk by the authors. It starts at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Church of Truth, 111 Superior St.