Authors: Anthony Bidulka
Recent praise for the books of Anthony Bidulka:
“Bidulka mixes fun and seriousness in his fiction, and this sixth episode in Quant’s life and times is no exception.”
– The Globe & Mail (Toronto)
“Bidulka serves it all up with warmth, wit, and savvy, making for a delicious read that will leave you hungry for more…”
– OutFront Colorado (Denver)
“Some writers get all, or most of, the technical components in order…but miss the feeling behind good story telling…Bidulka
has that gift and uses it with more finesse with each succeeding novel.”
– The Hamilton Spectator (Hamilton)
“…beautifully written and deeply wise.”
– Lambda Book Report (Los Angeles)
“It’s an endearing series, and Russell Quant is just the kind of guy you’d want for a big brother.”
– NOW Magazine (Toronto)
“Bidulka’s books, once started, are hard to put down.”
– The Star Phoenix (Saskatoon)
“His characters [have] the happy side effect of making Saskatoon an intriguingly lively spot on the map.”
– The London Free Press (London)
“…what lifts Bidulka’s books a level above other well-crafted mysteries is the human element he has created in the character of Russell Quant.”
– Wayves (Halifax)
“Bidulka pulls out all the stops to give the reader an exciting ride.”
– Lavender Magazine (Minneapolis)
“Bidulka seasons his novels with rich ingredients...”
– Xtra (Toronto)
“…you will be swept away...”
– Out in Print, www.outinprint.net
Also by the author
Flight of Aquavit
Tapas on the Ramblas
Stain of the Berry
Aloha, Candy Hearts
Date with a Sheesha
A Russell Quant Mystery
Copyright © 2012 by Anthony Bidulka
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the publisher or, in case of photocopying or other reprographic copying, a license from Access Copyright, 1 Yonge Street, Suite 1900, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5E 1E5.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
Bidulka, Anthony, 1962-
Dos Equis / Anthony Bidulka.
(A Russell Quant mystery)
Ebook ISBN 978-1-55483-080-0
I. Title. II. Series: Bidulka, Anthony, 1962-. Russell Quant mystery..
PS8553.I319D68 2012 C813'.6 C2012-900759-5
The publisher gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council and the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program.
Printed and bound in Canada
520 Princess Avenue,
London, Ontario, Canada, N6B 2B8
From where I live, I see rolling hills, vast fields of prairie, oceans and rivers, cities and towns.
From where I live, I see people I love, places I’ve visited, and the many more I’ve yet to.
From where I live, I hear laughter, I feel healing, comfort, and caring.
From where I live, support and safety and salvation rise up around me.
All this comes to me easily
From where I live
Atop a mountain
Dos Equis (meaning two X’s) was created in 1897 by a German beer maker to celebrate the start of the twentieth century. For
me, it is a celebration of this eighth Russell Quant book. As many of my readers will know by now, the titles for the books in this series have always included two things: an ingestible, and a hint (sometimes more subtle than others) about where in the world Russell Quant will travel in the story. This title, quite obviously, fits the bill nicely. I also chose it for three other reasons. One: X’s over a person’s eyes are often used in drawings to indicate they are dead, which, as a mystery writer, is a symbol I cannot resist. Two: in the course of this story, two of Russell’s exes make a brief but meaningful appearance. Three: Dos Equis is a drink most people equate with Mexico, a country I’ve greatly enjoyed, especially during the cold winter months of my own home country. In particular, I, along with Herb, and a number of our friends to whom we’ve introduced the place,
have had a long love affair with a lovely place called Zihuatanejo. So I’m very happy to immortalize in this book just a small part of what we enjoy about that place, and to say a warm
to our little Zihua.
As the time since the last Russell Quant book grew a little longer than usual, an interesting thing began to happen. Instead of fewer emails and messages, I began receiving more. Most of them asking: When is the next book coming? So I’m thrilled to be
able to say: Ta Da! Here it is! And thank you to all the dedicated Russell Quant readers for your unflagging interest and
In the meantime, we have been busy releasing new editions of the early Quant books, and I’m pleased to welcome all of our
new readers to the series.
As always, I am indebted to the fine people of the media— reporters, interviewers, reviewers, bloggers—local, provincial,
national, international—who pay such kind attention to my books, and indeed books of any kind. Some say you are a dying
breed. I say you are pioneers, in an as yet not fully formed, new literary landscape. Stay with us. Keep up the good work.
I would like to thank all the organizers and volunteers of literary festivals, reading series, conferences, and special events which I was fortunate enough to take part in across Canada and the U.S., including Blue Metropolis Literary Festival in
Montreal, Vertigo Reading Series in Regina, Bloody Words Mystery Conference in Victoria, Festival of Words in Moose Jaw,
University of Saskatchewan bookstore’s Reading in a Secret Garden, Bouchercon in San Francisco, Saskatoon Writers Coop
Up Front and Personal, the Professional Writers Association Workshop in Saskatoon, the Arthur Ellis Awards, and a very
special thank you for the kind recognition of the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Education by including me on their Wall of Honour. XOXO to all of you who made a point to be there to celebrate with me and sent notes and cards.
And to my fellow writers with whom I’ve spent time on panels, at readings and signings, on boards or committees, at special
events…or in the bar…including Barbara Fradkin, Louise Penny, Nat Grant, Garry Ryan, Geoffrey Ursell, David Carpenter,
Judy Fong-Bates, Yann Martel, Lorna Crozier, Denise Chong, Stephen Galloway, Lorna Goodison, Greg Herren, Ellen Hart,
Susan Calder, Joan Donaldson-Yarmey, Sharon Wildwind, MJ Maffini, Don Hauka, Phyllis Smallman, Hilary MacLeod,
Sharon Rowse, Gail Bowen, Neil Plakcy, Cathy Astolfo, Deryn Collier, and many more, thank you for the fellowship, support,
many good laughs, and fine companionship on this mighty ride. Much appreciation to those fearless mystery writers who
braved the rigours of my “10 Silly Things You Didn’t Know About Canadian Mystery Writers” blog series: Joan Boswell,
Madelle Morgan, R.J. Harlick, Lou Allin, Vicki Cameron, Nicola Furlong, Gail Bowen, P.A. Brown, Suzanne F. Kingsmill,
Maureen Jennings, Catherine Astolfo, Jeffrey Round, Garry Ryan, Louise Penny, Vicki Delany, and Cheryl Kaye Tardif. Not
only are you fantastic writers, but I thank you for your grand senses of humour, matchless pluck, and endless grace.
In my writing life, and life in general, I am supported by and grateful to so many. I cannot begin to name everyone. I do want to say thank you to the many readers who write to me, not only to say nice things about the Russell Quant books, but to share parts of their lives, their stories. I am honoured to be entrusted with them. Dori, my
Date With a Sheesha
toques have kept my ears
warm. Shelley N., thanks for keeping my posters up long after anyone else. Jill C. and Jessica, I think you give more Russell Quant novels away as gifts than anyone I can think of. Paul, my biggest fan who’s never read one of my books,
and Jan for keeping him informed about the funny bits—not to mention your incomparable dinner parties with Bugger, Taylor,
John, and Marie. Shelley B. for a fantastic pre-launch party, and Rhonda for organizing things as only you can. Carl and Tony for hosting me in Palm Springs. The Russell Quant Wannabe buttons from Edmonton — love ‘em! Laura and Alison for
bringing Russell along on your Friendship trips. For spending time with us in Zihua—Pat, Lynne, Dori, Shelley N., (Eldeen and Moo for one afternoon too), Jill M. and Rami, thanks for the memories. To all the members of all the book clubs I was invited to join for a visit, thanks for including Russell Quant on your reading lists. In the year it was released,
Date With a Sheesha
was #1 on McNally Robinson’s Fiction list of Saskatchewan Bestsellers—thank you Saskatchewan! Thanks to my agent,
Robert Lecker, and my editor at Insomniac Press, Gillian Rodgerson, for your continued support and the hard work I know you
put in on my behalf. I love a good bookstore, and the booksellers who go with them. Thank you to those special places and
people for keeping Russell on your shelves. To all of you who come to my readings/signings, I was reviewing pictures the