Christopher G. Moore

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Christopher G. Moore
Christopher G. Moore 2006.jpg
Born (1952-07-08) July 8, 1952 (age 65)
Occupation Novelist
Nationality Canadian
Genre Crime fiction

Christopher G. Moore (born 8 July 1952[1]) is a Canadian writer of twenty-seven novels, six works of non-fiction,editor of three anthologies, and author of four radio dramas. He is best known for his trilogy A Killing Smile (1991), A Bewitching Smile (1992) and A Haunting Smile (1993), a behind-the-smiles study of his adopted country, Thailand, and for his Vincent Calvino Private Eye series set in Bangkok.[2] His novels have been translated into German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Hebrew, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, Turkish, Norwegian, Polish, Russian and Thai.


While a law professor at the University of British Columbia, he had the chance to visit Japan in 1983 and from Tokyo at the invitation of a friend continued on to visit Thailand for the first time.[3] His first book His Lordship’s Arsenal was published in New York in 1985. A short documentary about Moore's writing life in Thailand is titled The Big Weird World of Christopher G. Moore.[4]

His Lordship's Arsenal[edit]

"The whole story in His Lordship’s Arsenal spins around Wild Bill Anglin, a mysterious character who ends up in flames in a Canadian brothel. The sole owner of the only prototype of a submachine gun, Wild Bill gives it to Potter, an emissary sent by none other than Colonel Thompson, the founder of Auto-Ordnance Corporation... In order to get over the impasse he felt over the Delrose Hotel case, his next-door neighbour, a rich and dodgy psychiatrist, prompts Burlock to write an autobiographical sketch of his own life. And thus, the reader learns about the judge’s childhood and adolescence under the supervision of Potter, about his time at Oxford and his friendship and affair with his future stepmother, and, most of all, his fascination with guns and his qualities as an excellent marksman."[5]

Vincent Calvino[edit]

Vincent Calvino is a fictional Bangkok-based private eye created by Christopher G. Moore in the Vincent Calvino Private Eye series. Vincent Calvino first appeared in 1992 in Spirit House, the first novel in the series. His latest appearance is in "Jumpers", the 16th novel in the series published in October 2016. Moore’s protagonist, Vincent Calvino, half Jewish and half Italian, is an ex-lawyer from New York, who, under ambiguous circumstances, gave up law practice and became a private eye in Bangkok. “Hewn from the hard-boiled Dashiell Hammett/Raymond Chandler model, Calvino is a tough, somewhat tarnished hero with a heart of gold.”—Mark Schreiber, The Japan Times.[6] Calvino has been said to epitomize "the complex, thus constantly troubled, private investigator of classic crime fiction, albeit replanted into the exotic, even surreal setting that is Thailand . . ."

"Thailand's finest expatriate crime-fiction novelist." —Paul Dorsey, The Nation [7]

Chad A. Evans' Vincent Calvino's World, A Noir Guide to Southeast Asia (2015)[8] explores the historical, social and cultural context of the 15 Calvino novels written over 25 years.



  • His Lordship's Arsenal, Freundlich Books (1985) ISBN 0-88191-033-3; Critics Choice (1988); Heaven Lake Press (1999); Subway Books (2003).
  • Enemies of Memory, White Lotus (1990); reprinted as Tokyo Joe, Heaven Lake Press (2004) ISBN 974-92281-7-0.
  • A Killing Smile, White Lotus (1991) ISBN 974-8495-48-5, second printing (1992), third and fourth printing BookSiam (1996); fifth and sixth printing Heaven Lake Press (2000); seventh printing (2004).
  • A Bewitching Smile, White Lotus (1992) ISBN 974-8495-57-4; Heaven Lake Press (2000).
  • Spirit House, White Lotus (1992), Heaven Lake Press (1999) ISBN 974-8495-58-2, reprinted (2004), Grove Press (2008)
  • Asia Hand, White Lotus (1993) ISBN 974-8495-70-1, Heaven Lake Press (2000), Black Cat (2010).
  • A Haunting Smile, White Lotus (1993) ISBN 974-8495-82-5, Heaven Lake Press (1999) reprinted (2004).
  • Cut Out, White Lotus (1994) ISBN 974-87116-3-3, Matichon, (1996), Heaven Lake Press (1999). Re-released under the title Zero Hour in Phnom PenhISBN 974-93035-9-8.
  • Saint Anne, Asia Books (1994) reprinted as Red Sky Falling Heaven Lake Press (2005) ISBN 974-92385-7-5.
  • Comfort Zone, White Lotus (1995), pocketbook edition (1997) ISBN 974-87754-9-6; Heaven Lake Press (2001).
  • The Big Weird, bookSiam (1996), Heaven Lake Press (2008) ISBN 978-974-8418-42-1.
  • God of Darkness, Asia Books (1998) ISBN 974-92281-7-0, Heaven Lake Press (1999) reprinted (2004).
  • Cold Hit, Heaven Lake Press (1999) ISBN 974-92104-1-7; reprinted (2004). The German translation is titled Nana Plaza.
  • Chairs, Heaven Lake Press (2000) ISBN 974-87691-9-4.
  • Minor Wife, Heaven Lake Press (2002) ISBN 974-92126-5-7; reprinted (2004).
  • Pattaya 24/7 (2004) ISBN 974-92066-6-5 Heaven Lake Press.
  • Waiting for the Lady, Heaven Lake Press (2003) ISBN 974-92186-1-2, Subway Books (2004) Trade paperback edition Heaven Lake Press (2005).
  • Gambling on Magic, Heaven Lake Press (2005) ISBN 974-92942-5-4.
  • The Risk of Infidelity Index, Atlantic Monthly Press (2008) ISBN 978-974-88168-7-6. The Polish translation is titled Ulice Bangkoku.
  • Paying Back Jack, Heaven Lake Press (2009) ISBN 978-974-312-920-9, Grove Press (2009).
  • The Corruptionist, Heaven Lake Press (2010) ISBN 978-616-90393-3-4.
  • 9 Gold Bullets, Heaven Lake Press (2011) ISBN 978-616-90393-7-2.
  • The Wisdom of Beer, Heaven Lake Press (2012) ISBN 978-616-7503-11-0.
  • Missing In Rangoon, Heaven Lake Press (2013) ISBN 978-616-7503-17-2.
  • The Marriage Tree, Heaven Lake Press (2014) ISBN 978-616-7503-23-3.
  • Crackdown, Heaven Lake Press (2015) ISBN 978-616-7503-32-5.
  • Jumpers, Heaven Lake Press (2016) ISBN 978-616-7503-34-9.



Radio drama[edit]

  • View from Cambie Bridge (N.H.K. Japan) (1983)
  • The Bamboo Pillar (C.B.C.) (1983)
  • The Semi-Detached Barrister (C.B.C.) (1981)
  • Sticks and Pucks (C.B.C.) (1980)


Critical Acclaim[edit]

“Moore's flashy style successfully captures the dizzying contradictions in [Bangkok’s] vertiginous landscape.”—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review.[9]

“Think Dashiell Hammett in Bangkok. A hard-boiled, street-smart, often hilarious pursuit of a double murderer.”—The San Francisco Chronicle.[10]

“In his novels, Moore writes about Bangkok as if it were one of the most famous cities of noir fiction. The nightlife there comes off as mysterious, dangerous, and exciting and the people in power are cast as no less corrupt than their counterparts might be in America. He makes Bangkok breathe and work as part of his cast. It’s akin to what George Pelecanos does with Washington, D.C., and what Don Winslow does with San Diego. Moore is a stylist much like the writers of the early to mid-20th century who kick-started the P.I. genre in America. He writes with the angry and sad voice of Ross Macdonald and the flow of and beauty of Raymond Chandler. Penning his books in the third-person, he uses allegory and symbolism to great effect. The Calvino series is distinctive and wonderful, not to be missed, and I’m pleased to see that it is finally becoming better known in the States”.

“Moore’s noir thrillers and literary fiction—like Graham Greene, he alternates between ‘entertainment’ and serious novels—are subtle and compelling evocations of a part of the world rarely seen through our eyes.”—Macleans.[11]

“One of Moore’s greatest strengths . . . is his knowledge of Southeast Asian history.”—Newsweek, Joe Cochrane (Nov 10, 2003).[12]

“Moore might be described as W. Somerset Maugham with a bit of Elmore Leonard and Mickey Spillane thrown in for good measure.”—The Japan Times.[13]

“Moore’s work recalls the international ‘entertainments’ of Graham Greene or John le Carré, but the hard-bitten worldview and the cynical, bruised idealism of his battered hero is right out of Chandler. Intelligent and articulate, Moore offers a rich, passionate and original take on the private eye game, fans of the genre should definitely investigate, and fans of foreign intrigue will definitely appreciate.”—Kevin Burton Smith, January Magazine[14]


The German edition of Cut Out, titled Zero Hour in Phnom Penh, the third Calvino novel, won the German Critics Award for international crime fiction in 2004 and Premier Special Director Book Award Semana Negra, Spain in 2007. Asia Hand, the second Calvino novel, won the Shamus Award sponsored by the Private Eyes of America in 2011 in the Best Paperback Original category.
Reunion, a novella, Finalist Arthur Ellis Award 2013, Best Novella.


  1. ^ born 1946 according to the Library of Congress ( authorities database. Other sources, such as Fantastic Fiction list him as 1952
  2. ^ "5 questions to...Christopher Moore", Sawasdee: Thai Airlines in flight magazine, 2009-04-21, retrieved 2009-06-24 
  3. ^ "Hard-boiled and stuck to Thai ways", The Japan Times, 2004-07-18 
  4. ^ The Big Weird World of Christopher G. Moore
  5. ^ His Lordship's Arsenal
  6. ^ "Hard-hitting Bangkok PI knows how to Thai one on", The Japan Times, retrieved 2003-03-16 
  7. ^ "Remember who you are", The Nation 
  8. ^ Heaven Lake Press 2015 ISBN 978-616-7503-33-2
  9. ^ "New York Times Book Review". The New York Times. 2008-01-27. Retrieved 2009-06-29. 
  10. ^ "The San Francisco Chronicle". 2009-02-01. Retrieved 2009-06-29. 
  11. ^ "Macleans". Retrieved 2009-06-29. 
  12. ^ "Newsweek". Retrieved 2009-06-29. 
  13. ^ "The Japan Times". Retrieved 2009-06-29. 
  14. ^ "The January Magazine". Retrieved 2009-06-29. 

External links[edit]