"Andrew Hunt makes a hell of an impressive debut with City of Saints. Art Oveson is a truly unique character on the crime fiction landscape, a young, inexperienced Mormon lawman headed down streets no one would ever suspect were so mean. The Utah landscape is rugged and beautiful and the 1930s setting make this novel an irresistible read. Think a Black Mask classic directed by John Sayles and you'll get the idea."
—Ace Atkins, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Ones
"City of Saints is the best debut novel you'll read this year, maybe any year. It's got everything a great crime novel should have: a complicated mystery, a protagonist you root for, a place and time beautifully evoked, and an emotional intensity that often leaves you breathless. His first time at bat, Andrew Hunt has hit one way out of the ballpark."
—William Kent Krueger, New York Times-bestselling author of Northwest Angle
"City of Saints is a terrific detective story set in Salt Lake City in the 1930s. It features a twisty, brilliant plot, great insight and historical richness regarding an area few of us know much about. Like Tony Hillerman in New Mexico, Hunt has made his old home town his own."
—Robert Ward, author of Four Kinds of Rain
"Set in 1930, Hunt's triumphant mystery debut introduces Salt Lake County deputy Art Oveson, a loving family man and committed Mormon. … Winner of the 2011 Hillerman Prize, this hard-edged whodunit with echoes of James Ellroy warrants a sequel."
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
November 12: At the Tony Hillerman Writers Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Anne Hillerman, daughter of author Tony Hillerman, and Peter Joseph of St. Martin's Press, announced that my book, City of Saints, won the 2011 Tony Hillerman Prize. To be at the conference, with other writers (including past winners of the Hillerman Prize), and receive this incredible award was a truly humbling experience. City of Saints is based on a true story of a brutal murder of a wealthy socialite that occurred right outside of Salt Lake City in 1930. The book introduces a new detective, Deputy Art Oveson - a dedicated husband and father, devout Mormon from a big family of lawmen, and an optimist who sees the best in people. He's paired up with Deputy Roscoe Lund, a cynical ex-strikebreaker who gradually develops a close friendship with Art. The two form an unlikely crime-fighting duo, relentlessly pursing clues to this baffling homicide.
"Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid." So wrote hard boiled mystery novelist Raymond Chandler in the Atlantic Monthly in 1945. When one thinks of the "mean streets" of America, Salt Lake City most likely isn't the first city that comes to mind. Too bad, because it happens to be an ideal setting for murder mysteries. The city has a long and fascinating history of crime. City of Saints is based on an actual crime that occurred in Salt Lake City in February of 1930. Read more about the crime here, as well as Salt Lake City's - and Utah's - checkered criminal past. Check out this page to see some key SLC locations featured in the novel!
A lifelong lover of mysteries, Andrew Hunt, professor of U.S. history at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, decided to actually follow his dream of becoming a novelist by writing the historical mystery City of Saints, set in his old hometown of Salt Lake City. As a historian, Andrew brings a lot of the past into this novel, right down to basing it on a true story.