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Full Curl

(A Jenny Willson Mystery #1)

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  153 ratings  ·  52 reviews
When her park is threatened, warden Jenny Willson takes it very personally.

Jenny Willson is a hard-edged, caustic-witted warden from Banff National Park who considers poachers and ladder-climbing bureaucrats equally repulsive and worthy of the same painful fate. Does keeping her promise to protect her park from them mean crossing lines and putting her career at r
ebook, 376 pages
Published September 30th 2017 by Dundurn (first published 2017)
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Average rating 3.58  · 
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 ·  153 ratings  ·  52 reviews

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Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nevada Barr fans
Recommended to Thomas by: Dundurn
I enjoyed reading this book, finishing it in three days. Thank you NetGalley and Dundurn for sending me this ebook. This is a very good debut police procedural with Parks Canada Warden Jenny Willson focused on finding a team of poachers. The author was a Parks Canada Warden and some of this book is based on an actual investigation which involved various law enforcement agencies in Canada and the US. Since the criminals are revealed early on, it is not a mystery, but a thriller, as Willson tenaci ...more
Bam cooks the books ;-)
Meet Jenny Willson, warden at Banff National Park with a tough, kick-ass personality. When she discovers that trophy-hunting is going on in Parks Canada, she pursues the perps with determination, not letting anything get in her way, not even governmental bureaucracy. Her father always told her: Where there's a Willson, there's a way," and she seems to have taken that to heart.

The investigation in this police procedural moves at a realistic pace, taking almost a year before the case fully comes
Maria Zuppardi
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Full review:

All of the characters are well written, and I absolutely love the different perspectives in the chapters. Some of you know by now that that’s my favourite type of book! I don’t know if these kinds of crimes happen a lot, but the creative ways that Dave shows how animal parts are smuggled across the border…I can’t help but think that he’s seen one too many cases that ended like this.

The plot, the writing style, and the characters really sold me on this book. I co
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Banff National Park Warden Jenny Willson is outraged when someone begins hunting animals illegally in the park. First a huge elk is discovered shot, skinned, and antlers removed, left to rot. More animals follow. As she investigates the crimes, she comes up against government bureaucracy, reluctant local officials, and international jurisdiction issues. When the crimes escalate to include drug trafficking and murder, she knows law enforcement needs to move quickly to track down the local guides ...more
Nov 05, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Helen Callahan
May 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Full Curl is the debut novel for author Dave Butler. It is loosely based on an investigation he was part of when a national park warden in Banff, Canada. It is book 1 of the Jenny Willson Mystery series. And I truly hope there are MANY more installments. His gifted wording and attention to detail for any scene makes it appear in the reader's mind. From scenic views, a character's mind set, creative situations and/or a clock's subtle background sound, marking time. The main character Jenny Willso ...more
Peter Kingsmill
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really good read! At first I felt a bit swamped by the characterizations of both the protagonist and the antagonist, but once underway it all made sense and was a fascinating look at wildlife and endangered species management through the lens of a police procedural. Butler captures the iconic landscapes of the Canadian Rockies beautifully, and obviously shares his protagonist Jenny Willson's passion for bringing an end to the criminal practice of illegal trophy hunting. The book is fast-paced an ...more
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
Full Curl is a mystery novel, where the main victims are animals of rare species, being hunted by an evil businessman.
Full Curl is also a mess.

At various points in the book I felt like this had several different authors, where some sequences were actually competent and suspenseful, while others were straight-up ridiculous. The baffling decision to include horribly hamfisted discussion of sexism and feminism stops the books dead in its tracks several times and I honestly felt like droppi
May 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This is the first book in the terrific Jenny Willson series. Jenny is park warden at the Banff National Park. She has become my favourite female crime investigator. Ambitious government bureaucrats and local officials put roadblocks in way of her investigation, but she is dauntless, smart and persistent n her pursuit of justice.

The book is well written. There is a vivid sense of place. The characters, both good and evil, have well developed, believable personalities. The plot is far reaching a
May 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 and 1 / 2 stars

Jenny Willson is a conservation warden with Parks Canada. Her area is Banff National Park.

She discovers the body of a poached elk in a field. She is thus investigating the crime. I like Jenny Willson very much. She is smart, sassy and tough. More animals are taken. As her investigation progresses, she discovers that the crimes straddle the Canada – United States border.

With two of the culprits identified, but without enough evidence to convict, Jenny and
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
To call this book a mystery is to be generous in your description. Rather, this book begins with the antagonists and continues to follow their story as it eventually intersects with the protagonist, Jenny Wilson. This book reads more like a police case study than it does a crime novel. The fact that the perpetrator is already known leaves nothing to the imagination beyond when he gets caught. I read this book in anticipation that it would delve into the beauty of the Canadian Rockies, similar to ...more
Oct 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you're looking for a new mystery series with a twist, this is it. The detective is Jenny Willson, a Parks Canada warden who wants to track down the abhorrent trophy hunter who is poaching protected animals from our national parks, and winds up involved in a murder investigation. Since I live on the edge of Kootenay National Park in British Columbia, I am familiar with the setting, which added another layer of interest for me. If you don't know about the challenging work done by the Parks Cana ...more
Liz H
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
The poaching theme makes for an interesting change from typical murder and I enjoyed the Banff/western Canada setting.

The plot could be worked into a pretty good movie but was not complex enough or constructed properly for mystery/thriller novel. Three chapters of concluding exposition was not necessary. The dialogue was the book’s main weakness though. With better dialogue I might have glossed over the plot’s weaknesses in favour of enjoying its novelties as a poaching-based Canadian thriller.
Sharon Mensing
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Jenny Willson is a sort of Anna Pigeon of Canadian National Parks, which makes Dave Butler a sort of Nevada Barr, I suppose. This is the first of a series based on the Canadian park warden, and we can only hope that the next one follows quickly. Jenny cares deeply for the parks and for the animals that inhabit them so, when it is discovered that a trophy hunter is slaughtering top specimens, she is on the hunt. The reader knows much more about what is going on than Jenny and her fellow wardens d ...more
Reading in the Rockies
I absolutely LOVED this book, read it over about two days, could not put it down, and immediately picked up book two, which I never do (because now I have to wait for the next book to be released).

The story follows a Parks Canada warden, Jenny Willson, investigating a poaching case in Banff, Jasper, and Kootenay National Parks (inspired by a real-life poaching case Dave worked on as a former Parks Canada warden).

Animal protection and environmental conservation are extremely important to me, an
Sylvia McNicoll
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The setting drew me to this mystery. Who doesn't love Banff, Jasper and Radium? Mountains and wild life: curly horned sheep, elk and caribou? In fact I love most of Dundurn mysteries as they are usually set in our most loveable Canadian settings. (my own prejudice is that I write a locally set middle grade mystery series for Dundurn)

The initial crime involves illegal trophy hunting and quickly escalates into drug trafficking and murder. Can't say too much more without spoiling the pl
Grace Koshida
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Banff National Park warden Jenny Willson is shocked when she finds evidence that poachers have been killing several protected animals for trophy hunting, including a bull elk, bighorn sheep and mountain goat. With the help of newly hired Bill Forsyth and her extended network of contacts, Jenny doggedly works to identify the hunting guide and his notorious, ruthless client. It takes almost a year of investigation and since the trail crosses the Canada-USA border into Alberta, British Columbia and ...more
Kristie Saumure
An interesting mystery novel. I liked the move away from the classic murder mystery genre and the exploration of animal poaching in a national park.
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, so great to read a book that is set in an area I am familiar with. Strong believable characters. This is one series I will keep reading.
Feb 17, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great to read a crime novel based in Western Canada/Pacific Northwest parks & wilderness,which also explores the serious challenges to wildlife survival in the face of illegal hunting and other habitat issues (including being loved to death in national parks such as Banff). It sheds light on the broader mandates of park staff in both Canada & the US, and their investigative & prosecution mandates, along with other enforcement agencies such as the RCMP & border agencies. The inter ...more
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
First book in a new mystery series featuring Jenny Willson, a park warden in Banff National Park. She starts investigating a poacher of protected animals, and ends up with an international investigation of not just poaching but drugs, money laundering, smuggling, and murder.
Mommy Reads
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-reads
In Full Curl, the story follows the necessary steps to bring all the loose ends of animal protection together and get all the details in proper alignments so that the perpetrators can be arrested. In her quest to stop the senseless killings of trophy animals in the National Parks, Jenny Willson must face secrets, terror and murder in both Canadian and US Rockies. The investigation moves at a realistic pace, taking almost a year for the case to fully come together.

There are three main
Hannelore Cheney
Jul 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Jenny Willson, an animal warden in Canada's Banff National Park, is horrified when she discovers there are trophy hunters killing the biggest and best animal species in her park. They shoot the animals, remove the heads and horns, leaving the bodies to be eaten by other wildlife. The hunter pays the guide and his helper a premium price for a guaranteed kill. A ruthless power player, he wants trophies from every species that roam the world. The guide is an unscrupulous, angry and nasty bully, try ...more
Rosemary Standeven
Oct 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a crime novel with a difference. The murder victims are protected animals poached from Canada’s National Parks, and most of the investigating officers are National Park Wardens. OK, so a few murdered humans pop up too, and the national police of both Canada and USA get involved – but the main focus is on the illegal poaching of the animals for sport.
The shot animals are described in loving detail, in the prime of their lives, by people who have seen and admired them, and in particular b
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: goodreads-win
Goodreads Advance Reading Copy Win

Jenny Willson is a caustic warden at Banff National Park. When a dead animal is found in her Park and it appears to be a victim of trophy poaching as she finds herself digging into the case. Turns out incidents has occurred as well.

The more she investigates things not only dead animals but dead humans are found. Turnsout this is more than just illegal hunting but it involves Canada/US relationship.

It gives insight to illegal hunting indu
Kathleen Gray
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a well written initial entry into what I hope will be a series set in Canada's national parks. Jenny Wilson is a truly intrepid and determined investigator searching for the truth about who has murdered wildlife under her guard. She's a great character- feisty, thoughtful, and well rounded. Loved the settings. Thanks to the publisher for the ARC. Fans of Nevada Barr will like this one as will anyone who likes a different sort of procedural (and the outdoors.). Looking forward to more.
Jun 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was very excited that I won this book at a bookstore draw and that it was about places I was about to visit. It really showcases our geography and scenery, but like some other Canadian books, overdoes the Canadiana at times. I don't need to hear that Jenny is listening to 3, yes 3, iconic Canadian bands or that Kick Ass coffee is the best thing going and that Tim's is a waste of a coffee mug. I did like hearing about the wildlife and how Park services work.
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
First of all, you can tell this is written by a man, even though the story is written in the 1sp person with a female as lead. I don't know of any female that refers to her friends by their last gets confusing when you can't distinguish men from women in the story. And, I know the book takes place over a long amount of time, but there's just things that are missing in the story. Not the best female forest ranger book I've ever read.
Apr 25, 2018 rated it liked it
The setting is so unique, I couldn't help but enjoy it, even though it does too much telling.
Good story but somewhat cheesy lead character.
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Dave Butler is the author of the Jenny Willson mystery series (Dundurn Press). He's a forester and biologist living in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains in British Columbia, Canada. He's a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal winner, and a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

Full Curl won the Arthur Ellis award for Best First Crime Novel in 2018, and was short-listed for the Rak

Other books in the series

A Jenny Willson Mystery (3 books)
  • No Place for Wolverines (A Jenny Willson Mystery #2)
  • In Rhino We Trust (A Jenny Willson Mystery #3)