Full Curl


Winner of the 2018 Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Crime Novel!

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 risk?

When Willson discovers animals disappearing from Canada’s mountain parks, she begins a complex investigation that follows a trail of deceit, distraction, and murder. With a growing list of victims, both animal and human, Willson finds herself in a race for justice that criss-crosses the Canada-U.S. border and pushes her to a place from which she might not return.


Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Crime Novel
Kobo Emerging Writer Prize
Unhanged Arthur Ellis Award for Best Unpublished First Crime Novel


A series readers will follow for a long time.


Butler’s strong debut shows a powerful heroine determined to bring a nasty but fully fleshed-out set of baddies to justice.

Kirkus Reviews

Meticulously researched and beautifully rendered, Full Curl is a gripping tale of greed and excess, infused with Dave Butler's love of the Canadian Rockies and rich with the intimate, detailed knowledge of an insider. I'm an instant fan of the butt-kicking Jenny Willson, and I dearly hope Full Curl is only the first of her many adventures. I'd follow Jenny Willson anywhere.

Angie Abdou, author of Between

Park Warden Jenny Willson is a modern heroine — tough, smart, irreverent and tenacious. A fascinating foray into the isolated world of park wardens and the lengths needed to protect wildlife from trophy hunters in our sweeping national parks. Butler breathes life and beauty into the western landscape, making this the perfect setting for a spiralling tale of subterfuge and murder in Canada's remote wilderness.

Brenda Chapman, author of the Stonechild and Rouleau Mystery series

An intricate, full-throttle thriller told with passion and authenticity. Park Ranger Jenny Willson is a smart, tenacious hero for our times.

Barbara Fradkin, author of The Amanda Doucette Mysteries

This was a great mystery novel and a unique take on the subject — it starts with animal poaching but turns into so much more.

The Book Trail

With his debut novel Full Curl, author Dave Butler is banging on the doors of a pretty exclusive club. That would be a club headed by the late Elmore Leonard, who pretty much created a whole sub-genre of crime fiction on his own; one based on taut writing, witty dialogue and eccentric characters.

BC Forest Professional

The reader can feel the author's love for the Canadian National Parks and its wildlife … You could almost picture yourself where the action takes place.

Book Obsessed Introvert blog

About the Author

Dave Butler

Posted by Dundurn Guest on November 1, 2016
Dave Butler photo

Dave Butler

Dave Butler is an author, photographer, forester, biologist, and a Royal Canadian Geographical Society Fellow. His first Jenny Willson Mystery, Full Curl, won the Arthur Ellis Best First Crime Novel Award. He lives in Cranbrook, B.C.