About

JOHN WORSLEY SIMPSON

JOHN WORSLEY SIMPSON was born in Bradford, Yorkshire, England, emigrated to Canada at the age of five and grew up in Toronto

A journalist for many years, I’ve stepped away from journalism to concentrate on writing fiction..

My first novel, Undercut, was runner-up to Kathy Reichs’s Déjà Dead, as best first novel in the Crime Writers of Canada Arthur Ellis awards in 1997. Undercut, Counterpoint, Shadowmen and A Debt of Death, all crime fiction, were published by Mercury Press, Toronto.

The novels are being reissued by Muse It Up Publishing, Montreal, as e-books with new editing and titles The first three are now available.

For the last eight years of my journalism career, I was an editor with the Bloomberg news service in the Toronto bureau. My career has included positions as a reporter and/or editor at various major Canadian newspapers, including The Globe and Mail Report on Business, The Financial Post and Montreal Gazette. I’ve also worked in London as a subeditor with The Times and as an editor with Bloomberg.

The Levellers: A Classic Western Adventure (2019)

The Wild West of the late 1800s could be a lawless, cruel and unjust place for many of those who trekked there full of hope and dreams only to have them shattered by violence and thievery.

STARK (2016)

A killer hides behind the dazzle of blood-soaked gold as Detective Harry Stark seeks answers concealed by the glitter.

STARK CHOICE (2017)

It is the heat of summer in downtown Toronto, and Homicide Detective Harry Stark is called in to investigate the murder of a jewel courier who was formerly a soldier in the Israeli army. At the same time, a copycat murder of a young woman is being looked into by Stark’s lover, Carol. This whodunit provides a gritty, realistic picture of Toronto and its downtown and east-end denizens.

STARK SHADOWS (2017)

Young, successful men with unblemished reputations— each of them living a contented, “normal” life— are being murdered, one month apart. The killings seem to be unconnected, but are they? Are there dark secrets in the dead men’s pasts? Homicide Detective Harry Stark has to untangle the mystery of the links between these men in a case that takes him and his partner, Noel Harris, on a tortuous and deadly trip into the world of shadows.

DEATH NEVER SAYS GOODBYE

Death and deception. This book is about the cutthroat world of the pharmaceutical industry, where being first on the market can mean billions in profit, and staying alone in the lead billions more. With corrupt officials and the Russian mob as partners, stakes get higher and methods more deadly. Former U.S. Navy SEAL Liam gets caught in a morass of drug industry intrigue after a whirlwind marriage to Rebecca, who vanishes from sight. Was she the victim of kidnapping, or is Liam the victim of a cruel and evil hoax?

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JOHN WORSLEY SIMPSON

Reviews

WHAT PEOPLE SAY

UNDERCUT

MARGARET CANNON, Globe and Mail

One of the best in the excellent Mercury Midnight Original series. What makes this a standout are the characters. The plot blazes like a house afire.

UNDERCUT

JOHN NORTH, Toronto Star:

Simpson’s crafty plotting, together with his easy command of the book’s characters and Toronto locales, makes this a must read. This has all the hallmarks of an enduring series.

COUNTERPOINT

ANNA ASIMAKOPULOS, Montreal Gazette:

John Worsley Simpson takes us to a hot summer in Toronto. The body of a 78-year-old jewel courier is found, stabbed, in an office building. Homicide detective Harry Stark is called in. As Stark begins to dig into the victim’s life, he runs into his old nemesis, Sal Martineri, a slippery criminal Stark has never been able to pin anything on. Counterpoint is Simpson’s second murder mystery. With it, he proves he is a new Canadian writer worth watching

SHADOWMEN

MARGARET CANNON, Globe and Mail:

The third novel by Toronto author Simpson, is his best. Corbett Chesley is running near Toronto’s High Park when he’s run down by a driver who stops, not to get help, but to make certain Chesley is dead. There’s no evidence to lead the police but when another man is killed, Homicide Detective Harry Stark begins to see a pattern. Young men with no enemies and great expectations are being killed one month apart. There are no obvious links between victims and that’s when Stark and his partner have to uncover a serial killer.

JOHN WORSLEY SIMPSON | SELECTED POETRY