I think I like book covers because of the age-old axiom that a picture is worth a thousand words, or in the case of The End of the Line, about 100,000 words. As a writer, the cover is what makes the blur of words tangible and complete. The cover – or the spine, as is most often the case — of a book is what makes me pick it up off the shelf. If it speaks to me, then I flip it over and read the short blurb, most often written by the publisher, that paraphrases the writer’s years of blood, sweat and tears into about 75 or 100 pithy words. If the book passes that test, I might crack it open and read the first page, or maybe scan the endorsements by more famous authors.

But it all starts with the cover. And so I’m pleased to present the cover of my forthcoming novel The End of the Line. This is the first in the Durrant Wallace series of mysteries set during seminal events in Canadian history and I’d like your opinion. You can leave a commment, or fill out the poll to the left of this blog posting, or both. (Click the image to open it in a separate window, and then click it again to close it.)

The End of the Line cover

The book is set during the late winter and early spring of 1884 in what is today known as Lake Louise, but then was called Holt City (or The Summit). Five hundred men have been snow bound at the end of steel deep in the Rocky Mountains preparing for the spring construciton season when 10,000 laborers will arrive to push the rail down The Big Hill and into the Kicking Horse Canyon. Its been 30 below for a month, and 30 feet of snow has fallen, and the men are ragged and at each others throats. A man is killed and Durrant Wallace, veteran of the celebrated March West, which brought the North West Mounted Police to the Dominion territories, has been brought back from his convalescence to investigate the murder. What he finds is a web of deceit and corruption that threatens not only the lives of many innocent men, but the future of the Canadian Pacific Railway as well. Read more here.

I loved writing this book, and want it to do well, so please tell me (and by extension, my publisher Touchwood) what you think.