After a high-profile case thrusts deputy Art Oveson into the spotlight, Salt Lake City's mayor taps him to head the city's Anti-Polygamy Squad. As a Mormon ashamed that his own ancestors played a part in the church's polygamist past, Art's eager to do his part to remove the extremists still practicing plural marriage. But after one of the polygamist patriarchs is murdered and a shell-shocked young woman found at the scene of the crime, Art finds himself drawn further into this society of extremists than he ever expected. Historian and Hillerman award-winner,
Andrew Hunt returns to 1930s Salt Lake City in a mystery that shows a city and religion struggling to grow and shake off a notorious history that has not yet become a thing of the past.
November 12: At the Tony Hillerman Writers Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Anne Hillerman, daughter of author Tony Hillerman, and Peter Joseph of St. Martin's Press, announced that my book, City of Saints, won the 2011 Tony Hillerman Prize. To be at the conference, with other writers (including past winners of the Hillerman Prize), and receive this incredible award was a truly humbling experience. City of Saints is based on a true story of a brutal murder of a wealthy socialite that occurred right outside of Salt Lake City in 1930. The book introduces a new detective, Deputy Art Oveson - a dedicated husband and father, devout Mormon from a big family of lawmen, and an optimist who sees the best in people. He's paired up with Deputy Roscoe Lund, a cynical ex-strikebreaker who gradually develops a close friendship with Art. The two form an unlikely crime-fighting duo, relentlessly pursing clues to this baffling homicide.
"Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid." So wrote hard boiled mystery novelist Raymond Chandler in the Atlantic Monthly in 1945. When one thinks of the "mean streets" of America, Salt Lake City most likely isn't the first city that comes to mind. Too bad, because it happens to be an ideal setting for murder mysteries. The city has a long and fascinating history of crime. City of Saints is based on an actual crime that occurred in Salt Lake City in February of 1930. Read more about the crime here, as well as Salt Lake City's - and Utah's - checkered criminal past. Check out this page to see some key SLC locations featured in the novel!
A lifelong lover of mysteries, Andrew Hunt, professor of U.S. history at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, decided to actually follow his dream of becoming a novelist by writing the historical mystery City of Saints, set in his old hometown of Salt Lake City. As a historian, Andrew brings a lot of the past into this novel, right down to basing it on a true story.