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“Combine a handful of offbeat characters-with-pasts, a television studio, too many drugs and a vulnerable payroll, and you have Vern Smith’s new noir novel, Under the Table. Set in 1989, with a distinctly Canadian vibe, the novel well captures the era’s unique flavor and electric-cocaine madness. The plotting and personalities are unpredictable, right up to and beyond an explosive climax.”
—Karl Wenclas, New Pop Lit

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Author Vern Smith talks about the origins of his latest noir novel, Under the table. [Special thanks to Garth over at Troublelight Films.]

“A snappy heist novel, set during the production of an out-of-control television comedy in 1989 Toronto, Under the Table, is a clever noir that will keep ‘em guessing. Wickedly funny, you’ll laugh even though you know you shouldn’t. Much like the sketch show that it portrays, Under the Table entertains with dark humor, quirky characters, and celebrity appearances, while poking fun at the absurdity of societal constructs. Quippy and smart, Smith’s prose is electric and crackles across the page.”
—Meagan Lucas, author of Songbirds and Stray Dogs, editor of Reckon Review

“A drag queen Cher sings ‘If I Could Turn Back Time’. . . Vern Smith does. Under the Table is a magician’s conjuring of 1989, an era of more innocent dangers, nuclear annihilation, say, or Billy Idol’s later output. With a plot as tight as a cock-rocker’s perm and dialogue so sharp you’ll be looking over your shoulder to see who’s talking, this is a novel of sass, heart, and the bemusement of being dealt a hand that looked so good you made the mistake of checking. Vern Smith is a rare combination of a true craftsman and a genuine entertainer.”
—Tom McCulloch, author of The Accidental Recluse

“Triggered by the Hollywood power structure corrupting a Toronto TV studio, the well-mannered Canadian stereotype proves to be the perfect ski-mask when an inside-job crime is hashed. Vern Smith offers an informed perspective into entertainment hierarchies, how they tempt the bottom rung into mimicking the top elite right under their noses-the same ruthless inner voice that asks, 'How much can I get away with?' Sprinkled with erudite snark and late '80s pop-culture gemstones, Under the Table is a lively, refreshing take on the heist drama.”
—Gabriel Hart, author of A Return to Spring

Author Vern Smith talks about paying it forward. [Thanks again to Troublelight Films.]