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Michelle Wan

Michelle Wan lives in Guelph, Ontario. She was born in Kunming, China, grew up in India and the United States and has lived in Brazil, England and France. Wan studied anthropology at Stanford University and later earned an M.A. in geography from the University of Guelph.  Wan is known for the four volumes in her mystery series Death in the Dordogne. She has also written a couple of easy to read mystery novels targeted to ESL learners.

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Fiction

Deadly Slipper: A Novel of Death in the Dordogne

[Toronto]: Doubleday Canada, 2005.
PS8645.A62 D43 2005

Publisher’s Synopsis

This literary mystery about a woman’s search for her long-missing sister takes readers to the ruggedly beautiful Dordogne region of France–and into the exotic world of orchid hunting, where the discovery of a new species can be deadly.

Fiction (For ESL students and reluctant Adult readers)

I.O.U. Dead

Victoria, BC: Raven Books/Orca Books, 2015. (Rapid Reads series)

Publisher’s Synopsis

Keno is twenty-three, a high-school dropout working as a rent collector for a slum landlord. Apart from hitting on the office secretary, Cass, his life is bleak. His job takes him into sad, mean places where kids wail, drunks fight and women get beaten up. He works his territory with Jaco, who’s tougher and shiftier than any of the folks they’re sent to shake rent out of.

One night Keno and Jaco finally catch up to one of their targets. But she’ll never pay. She’s dead. Battered almost beyond recognition. But they recognize her killer, and Jaco comes up with a scheme to blackmail him.

Now Keno has to decide who he is―bill collector or blackmailer. Or could he even be the good guy? Will he run or will he stay? In the end, will trusting himself help him outmaneuver a psychopathic killer?

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Fiction

Kill for an Orchid: A Novel of Death in the Dordogne

Toronto: Doubleday Canada, 2010.

Publisher’s Synopsis

Life is finally coming together for Mara and Julian in their idyllic corner of the French countryside. They are even contemplating marriage! However, their happy prospects hit a nasty bump when Véronique, Julian’s not-so-ex-wife, turns up unexpectedly, threatening blackmail and trouble.

Trouble indeed: Veronique is brutally murdered, and the local gendarmes’ top suspect is Julian himself. However, a mysterious list of names found among Véronique’s effects leads Mara to ask if these individuals are linked to the crime. But how? And why? As Mara seeks answers to these questions, Julian has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to journey to China to solve the riddle of his mystery orchid. Is it the legendary Yong Chun Hua — the flower of eternal youth? To his peril, he soon learns that he is not alone in his quest. As he treks through the mountains of Sichuan piecing together the orchid’s dark secret, he soon finds himself in a race for survival against a determined and deadly adversary. In France Mara, comes face to face with the horrendous truth behind Véronique’s death. A world apart, these two must somehow help each other to thwart a cunning and ruthless killer.

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Fiction

The Orchid Shroud

Toronto: Doubleday Canada, 2006.

Publisher’s Synopsis

Following Michelle Wan’s masterful debut Deadly Slipper, The Orchid Shroud takes readers back to the ruggedly beautiful Dordogne region of France, to a tantalizing world of wild orchids– and the discovery of a chilling murder.

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Fiction

A Twist of Orchids: A Novel of Death in the Dordogne

Toronto: Doubleday Canada, 2008.

Publisher’s Synopsis

Expat Montrealer Mara Dunn and orchid-loving Brit Julian Wood are living together in an uneasy, on-and-off way. When bad things start to happen to their friends–first Amélie Gaillard falls mysteriously to her death, leaving behind a husband with Parkinson’s who is visited by a murderous apparition, then a local Turkish couple’s son disappears and is soon found dead of an overdose–each has a very different way of helping out. So different that each begins to wonder if they are really meant to be together.

But when Julian, with his unerring understanding of the orchid-lover’s mind, thinks he has found the link between the local spike in drug traffic and murder, one of them might lose the other–permanently.

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Fiction (For ESL students and reluctant Adult readers)

When I Kill You

Victoria, BC: Raven Books/Orca Books, 2012. (Rapid Reads series)

Publisher’s Synopsis

When mud-wrestling postal worker Gina Lopez is blackmailed, the results are amusing, confusing and potentially life-threatening as she strives to find ways not to carry out a contract killing.

Anthology (Short story)

Wan, Michelle, “Here With Us.” In Gothic Toronto: Writing the City Macabre, ed. Helen Walsh. Toronto: Diaspora Dialogues, 2009, 41-50.
PS8329.7 .T6 G57 2009

Links

Publisher Random House of Canada

Orca Book Publishers

Michelle Wan personal website

Michelle Wan profile from the Crime Writers of Canada website