Sponsored Collection

Atlantic Books for the Holidays


Hands Like Clouds

An Elias McCann Mystery

by Mark Zuehlke

0 ratings
0 of 5
comments: 0
reviews: 0
add a tag
Please login or register to use this feature.

list price: $9.99
also available: eBook
category: Fiction
published: 2000
publisher: Dundurn
  • Winner, Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel
close this panel

Winner of the 2001 Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel
When environmental warrior Ira Connaught turns up hanging by the neck from an ancient rainforest cedar overlooking the wasteland of a clear-cut on Clayoquot Sound, everyone seems content to declare his death a suicide. The tree spiker won't be missed by loggers, Tofino's RCMP detachment, or by many environmentalists who applauded his goals but condemned his tactics.
For reluctant community coroner Elias McCann, Ira's death looks increasingly like a murder. Elias is no forensic pathologist, no doctor. A quirk in BC law enables anyone of good community standing to be appointed local coroner. But RCMP Sergeant Gary Danchuk does not believe that Elias meets even the quirk in the law. Danchuk remains convinced - against all evidence - that McCann murdered his wife, Merriam, two years earlier in order to clear the way for his love affair with Vhanna Chan.
Hands Like Clouds is the first in a series of mysteries revolving around the troubled life of Elias McCann, son of a remittance man and local coroner.

close this panel
Contributor notes

Mark Zuehlke lives and writes on Vancouver Island. His previous books include Ortona: Canada's Epic World War II Battle (Stoddart, 1999), The Yukon Fact Book (1998), The Alberta Fact Book (1997), The BC Fact Book (1995), The Gallant Cause: Canadians in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939 (1996), and Scoundrels, the Dreamers and Second Sons: British Remittance Men in the Canadian West (1994).

close this panel
Editorial Reviews

A masterful mix of suspense, tension, action, character development, scenic setting and hard-hitting, thought-provoking social issues. - M. Wayne Cunningham, Kamloops Daily News, Saturday July 24, 2004

There is lots of action as well as lots of descriptive prose in this book.

— Whitehorse Star

the novel combines mystery, murder, romance, politics and social issues in a lively manner.

— Edmonton Journal

Mark Zeuhlke has a promising future as a mystery writer, if his first novel Hands like Clouds is anything by which to judge.

— The New Brunswick Telegraph

this nifty novel touces several of our national hang-ups and pressure points.

— National Post

In addition to reader interest in the troubled detective figure, the novel has the added asset of being quintessentially Canadian. References to our countrys history and current issues abound...The cast of characters reflects the Canadian mosaic.

— Victoria News

Overall the novel combines mystery, murder, romance, politics (both local and international), and social issues in a lively manner. The style is snappy and the setting is hard to beat...I look forward to the next instalment in what may become a series of adventures for Elias McCann and the inhabitants of Tofino.

— Monday Magazine

A very Canadian mystery with a uniquely Canadian protagonist.

— The Times Colonist

Zuehlke's novel is a good read.

— Canadian Press: Daily Gleaner, Star Phoenix

a great read for a rainy Canadian day.

— Airlines Magazine, Westjet, March 2003

A masterful mix of suspense, tension, action, character development, scenic setting and hard-hitting, thought-provoking social issues.

— The Daily News (Kamloops, BC)

[Zeuhlkes] protagonist in Hands like Clouds is one of the most original Ive ever encountered in crime fiction... [This is] one of the better mysteries to come out of British Columbia, or Canada, in many years.

— The Vancouver Sun
close this panel

Buy this book at:

About the Author

Mark Zuehlke

Mark Zuehlke is the winner of the 2014 Pierre Berton Award: the Governor General's History Award for Popular Media. In 2006, his Canadian Battle Series book Holding Juno won the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize. He has also written six historical works outside of the series, including For Honour’s Sake (Knopf Canada), which won the 2007 Canadian Author’s Association Lela Common Award for Canadian History. He lives in Victoria, BC.

Author profile page >

Other titles by Mark Zuehlke

more >

User Activity

more >
Contacting facebook
Please wait...