About Vanessa Westermann

An avid reader of mysteries, Vanessa is a former Arthur Ellis Awards judge, and has given a talk on the evolution of women’s crime writing at the Toronto Chapter of Sisters in Crime. Her blog features literary reviews and author interviews. Vanessa is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and The International Thriller Writers. She is currently plotting her next (fictitious) murder, while drinking copious amounts of tea.

Her newest novel, An Excuse for Murder, published by the Wild Rose Press, was released in May 2022.

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From the publisher:

As a former bodyguard, it should be easy for Gary Fenris to kill, especially when the motive is revenge. But Gary has made two mistakes in his life. The first was letting the woman he loved die on his watch. The second was thinking vengeance could bring him peace.

Local bookstore owner and amateur lock pick Kate Rowan loves nothing more than a good mystery. Her curiosity soon leads her down a trail of blackmail, obsession and death. Despite the risk – or maybe because of it – Gary finds himself drawn to Kate. When danger strikes, Gary is forced to face the fact that he used love as an excuse for murder. And he’s got one last score to settle.


“A riveting introduction to a charming, smart bookstore owner.”

Carolyn Hart, author of the Death on Demand mysteries

“A lyrical thriller that crackles with defiance, danger, and uncertain romance. Kate Rowan is the perfect heroine for our times; wit, charm, and spirit balanced by impressive skills in self-defense and lock-picking.”

Barbara Fradkin, author of the Inspector Green mysteries

“A mesmerizing page turner… Westermann is a talent to watch!”

Rosemary McCracken, author of the Pat Tierney mysteries