Michael Blair

If Looks Could Kill


If looks could kill, she’d be a mass murder.

Love is never simple and pure lust can be downright dangerous. When Vancouver photographer Tom McCall’s former lover, Carla Bergman, walks back into his life, he knows that trouble can’t be far behind. She’s stolen from him in the past, taking much more than his heart. Now she needs his help. Can McCall resist? No. But when Carla disappears a few days later, McCall is left facing far worse danger than he’d ever imagined. He’s not the only one Carla has ripped off. Others are out to get her and they’re sure McCall knows where she is.

If Looks Could Kill was my first mystery, published in March 2001 by McClelland & Stewart after being shortlisted (in manuscript and under a different title) for the 1999 Chapters/Robertson Davies Prize. It was also shortlisted for the 2001 Quebec Writers’ Federation First Book Award.

Critics had some nice things to say about it.

“An auspicious debut.” — Margaret Cannon, Globe & Mail

“Fast-paced and witty...an outstanding first novel.” — Telegraph Journal

“Completely entertaining.” — Edmonton Journal

“A fast, sprightly, well-written puzzle with a lively cast of characters.” — London Free Press

“Surprisingly sophisticated.” — Hamilton Spectator

That last one is one of my favourites, right up there with John North's comment in Quill & Quire that it was “eerily reminiscent of an episode of the Beachcombers TV series.”

It’s out of print now, but you can get it used (and cheap) from Amazon. I’ve also published it as an ebook for the outrageous price of 99¢. Get it from Smashwords or the Apple iBookstore.

If Looks Could Kill
McClelland & Stewart
ISBN: 0-7710-1128-8
ISBN: 0-7710-1127-X

Click here to read an excerpt.