Contemporary Canadian Literature with a Distinctly Urban Twist

Anvil Press

The Second Detective

The Second Detective

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WINNER OF THE 40TH ANNUAL 3-DAY NOVEL WRITING CONTEST!


The Second Detective is a deliriously entertaining reimagining of the hard-boiled detective novel, featuring a mysterious narrator, a missing husband, and a lascivious mountain goat with interspecies interests. Aging beauty Lilah walks into the narrator’s office with a photo of Babe Ruth, a story about a sketchy reincarnation plan, and the hope of finding her husband Glen. Despite misgivings, the narrator takes on her case and soon the two are galloping headfirst into gorgons, contraband blood and villainous brothers, with a sideways trip to the zoo.


If faced with reincarnation, would you want to come back as a dog, an eagle, a plant? Most poison ivy is reincarnated ivy. You can see the complexity of second lives, the intrepid narrator-detective declares. For those yet reincarnated, devotion can become muddled. And as the characters in The Second Detective learn, you can’t fight the universe and regret is terrible company.


There are two things you need to know: Every action is a choice that tells you something more, unless it means nothing at all.


Praise for The Second Detective:
The Second Detective by Shannon Mullally is a marvelous book. Which is to say that it is both filled with marvels (of insight, of language, of perception) and really, really good. From the first page I was taken up and in by its sentences and by its ever-increasing feeling of strangeness in the way I have been with certain works of Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Kelly Link or Brian Evenson. I highly recommend it.”
— Laird Hunt, author of In the House in the Dark of the Woods


  • Publication: December 2018
  • ISBN: 978-1-77214-128-3
  • Pages: 96 pp.
  • Size: 5 x 8 inches

Shannon Mullally is a two-time winner of the International 3-Day Novel Contest. Her latest novel, The Second Detective, won the 40th Annual International 3-Day Novel Contest. Shannon holds a doctorate in creative writing from the University of Denver and a master of fine arts in writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She writes, edits, and lives in Grand Haven, Michigan.

Books by Shannon Mullally