David A. Poulsen's Serpents Rising

by Shaun Hunter


Calgary Through the Eyes of Writers

Aerial view of Inglewood from 9th Avenue SE, 2009. Poulsen sets much of the action in his mystery novel in and around Inglewood, Calgary's oldest neighbourhood.  (Photo: Calgary Public Library Community Heritage and Family History Special Collection)

Aerial view of Inglewood from 9th Avenue SE, 2009. Poulsen sets much of the action in his mystery novel in and around Inglewood, Calgary's oldest neighbourhood.  (Photo: Calgary Public Library Community Heritage and Family History Special Collection)

Adam Cullen, a freelance crime journalist has two investigations on the go: searching for a teenage crack addict and finding the person who killed his wife eight years before. As Cullen scours the city for clues, he always stops to eat. His favourite spots? Calgary landmarks like Kane’s Harley Diner, Peters’ Drive-in and Diner Deluxe. In this scene set near the Harley Diner in Inglewood, Cullen meets his private investigator friend at a used bookstore (Fair's Fair?) before heading back into Calgary’s quirky geography.

 

He nodded a couple of times, then pointed a thumb back in the direction of the bookstore.

“This guy mentioned an old warehouse not far from here. Some company was supposed to turn it into lofts. When the economy softened, the company folded and the place has been sitting vacant. Mostly squatters there now.”

“Worth a try,” I said.

“My thinking exactly.”

We headed for the car, walking fast. The cold was intensifying. I was hoping Jeep made good heaters.

I didn’t have time to find out. The drive to the warehouse didn’t take long enough for the heater to generate more than cold, then merely cool, air. We were on a street that whoever built it had forgotten to finish. South of 9th Avenue a couple of blocks, then left. A sign told us it was Garry Street. Looking east, we could see that it just kind of stopped. Dead-ended up against a hill that probably shouldn’t have been there. I pictured a gaggle of 1930s engineers working on their drawings and noticing the hill after the street was started. Saying screw it and moving on to another project.

 

David A. Poulsen, Serpents Rising (Toronto: Dundurn, 2014)