Jeremy Papier, the new Alice Waters of the Vancouver food world, is fast becoming known for his radically rear-guard cuisine--tradition-steeped dishes that celebrate the bounty of the Pacific Northwest. His restaurant, The Monkey's Paw Bistro, is always fully booked, but, unfortunately, it's more an artistic triumph than a reasonably run business. Far too costly ever to turn a profit, it is kited by Jeremy on dozens of maxed-out credit cards. An old family friend, Dante Beale, owner of a worldwide chain of cookie-cutter coffeehouses, is willing to bail the restaurant out-- for the price of sole control. It's a business proposition made in hell, one strenuously opposed by Jeremy's pretty young sous chef, the incorruptible, plainspoken Jules.
Jeremy's problems deepen when his eccentric-academic father--a participatory anthropologist half Joseph Mitchell, half Joe Gould--loses himself among the homeless in Vancouver's Stanley Park. He lives as they do (he's especially adept at catching and roasting sparrows) and soon involves Jeremy in researching a cold case crime, the true-life murder of two children slain in the park in the early 1970's.
Timothy Taylor--the writer who everyone in the Canadian literary community today is talking about (Globe and Mail)--weaves together the disparate, brightly colored strands of his story with unerring skill and unflagging comic invention. Stanley Park, already a Canadian best seller, is a comic novel of the first order--and a memorable literary debut.