lesley crewe



Kin by Lesley Crewe

Vagrant Press 2012

Traditions, created and subverted. Love, nurtured and destroyed. Friendships, marriages, and the wild beauty of Cape Breton Island. And above all, kin, in all its convoluted forms. In Kin, bestselling author Lesley Crewe traces the tangled lines of loyalty, tragedy, joy, and love through three generations of families. Beginning with Annie Macdonald, an effervescent seven-year-old living in Glace Bay in the 1930s, and ending with Annie’s great-niece Hilary, an idealistic twenty-year-old in Round Island in 2000, the story is complex and riveting. The cast of characters is vast and varied-some with the island’s deliciously cutting wit, some dour and uptight, some frail, some resilient, and all inextricably bound by their shared histories. Brimming with humour and poignancy, Kin is a celebration of the heartbreaking, maddening joy that is family.

Buy now at Chapters/Indigo and Amazon.ca

Ebook available at Kobo

Vagrant Press 2010

Bay lives with her daughter Ashley in the house she grew up in, while her sister Tansy follows her wanderlust to places unknown. Tansy’s latest situation ends and leaves her homeless. She points her Porsche in the direction of Louisbourg and returns to the home she hasn’t seen in 15 years.

She finds Ashley an almost grown woman on the eve of her graduation and constantly at odds with Bay. Bay, weary and alone since the death of their mother the year before, is dealing with more than just empty-nest syndrome. The loss of the love of her life 18 years ago continues to haunt her and won’t allow her to enjoy a full life. Now Tansy is back and playing the fairy godmother to Ashley and making matters worse has her eye on the only guy in town that’s shown any interest in Bay.

Tansy feels the borders of the small town closing in on her, as gossip and prying eyes lead to clashes with Bay. But bigger still are the buried secrets the sisters kept for years that are about to be uncovered.

Buy now at Chapters/Indigo, Barnes and Noble and  Amazon.ca

Ebook available at Kobo



Vagrant Press 2009

Linda, Bette, Gemma, and Augusta are four lifelong friends who live in Montreal. This year they’re all going to turn fifty, so they decide to take a trip to New York together (courtesy of Linda’s philandering husband’s Visa Platinum). But at the LaGuardia airport washroom, Bette accidentally switches bags with a young mother who’s actually smuggling diamonds for the mob, and things start going terribly wrong. When they kill an aggressive cab driver with pepper spray, the four friends know this is not going to be the trip of shopping and Broadway shows they’d expected.

A series of miscommunications and mishaps entangles the friends even further into the criminal underworld of New York. But out of all the bad luck (Linda’s husband is staying at the same hotel as the friends, with his new girlfriend) and bad people (mobsters, drug addicts, and Linda’s husband) emerge four fifty-year-old avengers of truth and justice. In the style of Crewe’s Shoot Me, Hit and Mrs. is a wildly entertaining comedic romp.

Buy now at Chapters/IndigoBarnes and Noble and Amazon.ca

Ebook available at Kobo

Vagrant Press 2008

From the author of Relative Happiness and Shoot Me comes a riveting story about one terrible secret — a secret kept in shame, buried deep for self-preservation, and exposed in a moment that changes forever the lives of everyone involved.

Ava Harris is a famous actress living the life of the rich and fabulous in L.A. when a family crisis calls her home. It’s been ten years since she’s set foot in Glace Bay, Cape Breton — back when she was plain old Libby MacKinnon. Why she ran away, no one knows. Returning home, she must face her family, her friends, and her first love, Seamus O’Reilly, whose heart broke the day she left.
Ava is a good little actress, determined that no one will know what happened. She will keep the truth buried at all costs — even if she has to run again. But secrets have a way of surfacing, especially in a small town, and love has a way of blasting through the toughest barriers. While Ava can never go home again, perhaps Libby finally can.

  Buy now at Chapters/Indigo, Barnes and Noble and Amazon.ca

Ebook available at Kobo

Vagrant Press 2006

In the words of her psychology student daughter, Elsie Brooks is an enabler. She mothers everyone- her social work clients, her husband, her twenty-something daughters, and her reclusive sister who lives in the attic. Elsie is committed to taking care of everyone…everyone but herself. So, when crazy Aunt Hildy writes to demand a bedroom in their Halifax home, Elsie can’t help but say yes.

When Hilda arrives, she enchants and enrages the family with her moxie. That and her proclamation that she has hidden treasure in the house and the king’s ransom will go to whoever loved her most. When someone threatens Aunt Hildy, she responds with her trademark sass: “Go ahead. Shoot me. I dare you.” Whoever it is takes her up on it. Suddenly, the house is turned topsy-turvy as Elsie’s family searches for a treasure that Elsie doesn’t believe even exists, and for a killer that could be any one of them.

Shoot Me is a funny and sometimes heart-wrenching story about family, fortune, and figuring out who you are and who you love. In Elsie, Crewe has created a character who speaks with humour and honesty to conflicts that exist in the lives of so many women: between work and home, between loving one man and wanting others, and between feeling fulfilled not only as a wife and a mother, but as a woman.

Buy now at Chapters/Indigo, Barnes and Noble and Amazon.ca

Ebook available at Kobo

Vagrant Press 2005

Filled with heartache without being maudlin, this contemporary novel about life and love in a small town debuts Lesley Crewe, Cape Breton’s most original new literary voice. Lesley’s writing is fresh and funny, and her portrayal of the Cape Breton spirit — strong and wry in the face of adversity — is unwaveringly authentic. As is Lexie: not since Bridget Jones has a heroine been so well drawn and so totally lovable- hang-ups, insecurities, annoying mother and all.

In creating Lexie, her sprawling extended family, and their community, Lesley Crewe restores the humour that the best literature of the Island is missing- that teasing, biting, whip-smart style that simultaneously stings and tickles. With her charming combination of hometown warmth and savoir-faire, Lesley is sure to entertain and inspire her audience, who will do well to sit up and pay attention to this rising star of mainstream women’s fiction.

Buy now at Chapters/Indigo, Barnes and Noble and Amazon.ca

Ebook available at Kobo

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