Douglas Smith | Writer

Hi! Thanks for visiting. I'm an award-winning author of fantasy, SF, horror, supernatural, and the ever popular "undefinable" and have been published in thirty countries and twenty-five languages. 


I'm a three-time winner of the Aurora Award and a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award, the juried Sunburst Award, the CBC Bookies award, and France's juried Prix Masterton and Prix Bob Morane. 


My website is and I tweet at

The Disciple of Las Vegas

The Disciple of Las Vegas - Ian  Hamilton Ok, I'm hooked. This is the second Ava Lee novel I've read (in the last week), and I've already got the third and fourth queued up to read next. Like the Water Rat of Wenchai, this one is very difficult to put down. A compelling heroine and equally compelling plot. Well-drawn and distinct characters, well-described settings, and enough plot twists and challenges to test a very capable heroine to her limits.

Highly recommended.

The Water Rat of Wanchai

The Water Rat of Wanchai - Ian  Hamilton One of the most unique heroines I've read in a long time. Who would've thought forensic accounting could fit with action thrillers? I'm hooked and will be reading more in this series right away.

The Wind in His Heart

The Wind in His Heart - Charles de Lint The Wind in His Heart delivers everything I have grown to love in Charles de Lint stories. Like many of his best tales, this book embodies a sense of wonder of the world around us while making us believe there are other worlds very close by that we could step into, as his characters do, if only we just paid attention. As always, as much as the mythology he builds, it is the characters I loved the best. The Wind in His Heart tells a touching and magical tale from the points of view of a large cast of wonderful characters, all of whom are fully fleshed, very real and very human. De Lint is a master at juggling multiple points of view yet still managing to make the reader feel that they know each character. Better, you like spending time with these characters, most of whom have the classic de Lint traits of being harder on themselves than they need to be, of not seeing the inherent goodness in themselves that others see, including the reader. The Wind in His Heart is a wonderful, magical book that you will want to savour, filled with characters and a world you will not forget. (And as an added bonus to fans of his "Newford" stories, although this is *not* a Newford book, it has enough references to Newford characters to satisfy those readers.) Highly recommended.

The Silent Speaker

The Silent Speaker - Rex Stout, Walter Mosley Given the number of people who've recommended the Nero Wolfe books over the years, maybe I went into this one (my first) with too high expectations. I had to push the 3-star rating, just as I had to push to keep reading this. It was boring. And dated, as well, especially regarding the female characters and their treatment. I won't be going back for more.

Sheriff Poole & The Mech Gang

Sheriff Poole & The Mech Gang - Charles de Lint A very different de Lint story--a clockwork western! It's a short story but a lot of fun, and it left me wanting more of the backstory, which is always a good sign. One day, I hope Charles will return to these characters so we can learn the mystery of where the Sheriff came from and came to be, and who the mysterious creatures are.

Trouble In Paradise

Trouble In Paradise - Robert B. Parker I've never been comfortable with how Parker handled female characters in his Spenser books. Sometimes he surprised me, but looking back, there was never a female character that somehow did not relate to sex. That problem really comes into focus in this book, the second of the Jesse Stone series. Too bad, as the first book in the series was quite good and the main mystery/crime in this one was handled well. Not sure if I'll try another one.

Chasing the Bear

Chasing the Bear - Robert B. Parker A short but fun, enjoyable read, especially having just finished all of Parker's Spenser novels recently. The structure is a series of flashback chapters to Spenser's boyhood, with interleaved chapters where Susan is prompting the adult Spenser to tell her more of his upbringing and how it made him the adult she knows.


Sixkill - Robert B. Parker This was the last Spenser novel written by Robert B. Parker, so I may be stretching my rating a tad because of that. But even an average Spenser novel is better than an average novel. Wish it had at least included Hawk somewhere. I'll likely check out some of his other series, but will pass on the Spenser novels that followed his death written by other authors. Any recommendations re his other series / characters would be appreciated.

Born to Run

Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen One of the best autobiographies I've ever read. A wonderful book whether your a fan or not, but even more so if you are. His prose will remind you of his best lyrics and ballads. What struck me was the honesty with which he presents himself and the self-analysis he brings to his story. A fascinating look into creative process and challenges as well, for creative people of all types, not just musicians.

Hundred-Dollar Baby

Hundred-Dollar Baby - Robert B. Parker The third and (thankfully) last Spenser novel involving the character April Kyle. I think those three books rank in my bottom five of all the Spenser books. But it's still Spenser, so three stars.

Widow's Walk

Widow's Walk - Robert B. Parker The first Spenser novel I didn't enjoy. The plot crawled, the characters all seemed to be barely sketches, and the action when it happened, especially at the end, seemed rushed and not well described. That's two below average Spenser's in a row (imo), with this one following after Potshot.


Potshot - Robert B. Parker One of the weaker Spenser novels, imo. It's basically Parker's version of a modern western, which should have made me love it. About halfway through, he starts to make it his update to The Magnificent Seven as Spenser travels around the country picking up some familiar thugs as his gang to take on the bad guys. My hopes picked up again. But ultimately, this one was disappointing including an ending in which ...


...the murderer gets away (literally) with murder, for the second Spenser book in a row (Hugger Mugger, #27).

But it's still Parker and still Spenser, so there is much to enjoy in this. And the movie quotes sprinkled throughout were fun..."We deal in lead, friend."

Small Vices

Small Vices - Robert B. Parker One of the best of the Spenser books, if not the best. An excellent mystery, lots of action, plenty of soul searching around a potential life decision for Spenser and Susan, lots of twists, and a chance to call back lots of prior characters. And of course the crackling dialog we expect from our literate ex-fighter detective.

The Bird's Nest

The Bird's Nest - Shirley Jackson My first disappointment with Jackson. It struck me as a first novel, but it was her third, coming after the wonderful Hangsaman. I found it disjointed and unbalanced, which had nothing to do with its main character having four distinct personalities, with a meandering plot.

Crimson Joy

Crimson Joy - Robert B. Parker One of the best of the Spenser novels.

McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld

McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld - Misha Glenny A book that is both enlightening and frightening at the same time. The global scope that Glenny covers is huge and works against the book in a way. It reads very much like a world tour of crime, and the linkages or continuity between sections (criminal organizations in one region vs the next one that he moves to) is not always clear, or perhaps the complexity of the subject matter makes it impossible to be clearer. I was reading William Gibson's THE PERIPHERAL at the same time, and I kept thinking of Gibson's "kleptocracies" while reading this one--the governments in league with criminals with a goal only to enrich themselves.

Currently reading

The Scottish Banker of Surabaya
Ian Hamilton
Access All Areas: A User's Guide to the Art of Urban Exploration
The House by the Churchyard
Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
The Haunting of Hill House
Shirley Jackson, Laura Miller