Reviews of the Porter Cassel Mystery Series

Last update:  July 23, 2012


Whiskey Creek


"Molotov cocktails turn arson into murder leaving fire investigator Porter Cassel at odds with the fire service, the RCMP, the local Cree band and the perverted intrusion of overseas smuggling. When the RCMP rule the death was accidental, Cassel’s instincts tell him otherwise and almost lead to another murder … his own.  First-person storytelling provides a sense of urgency. The emotional immediacy of the climax illustrates that oil, money and deception leads to spontaneous combustion."  Don Graves, Hamilton Spectator


"Hugelschaffer knows his way around a fire, keeping things scorching hot as his intrepid fire investigator Porter Cassel fans the embers and beats the heat to uncover whats behind a series of murderous blazes. A smoldering mystery that, like any good fire, builds with intensity. Draw closer, but don't get singed."  Anthony Bidulka, Russell Quant Mystery Series


"I thought a mystery with a forest fire investigator wasn't my type of book. How wrong I was!  I was hooked on page one."  Linda Wiken, Mystery Maven



Day into Night and One Careless Moment


"One of the best Cdn mysteries in the last few years, looking forward to the next one."  John Sullivan, Winnipeg Free Press


“Technically, the book is extremely sharp, and it's not only in the firefighting descriptions themselves. … always on the move, the book is the kind of push-forward mystery that is like the dirt road that opens the book: It makes you want to keep reading, just so you can find out where on Earth the road is going…. a rolling burn with plenty of fuel and wind, and well worth the read. There's even some candling, but you'll probably have to read the book to know just exactly what I mean by that.” Globe & Mail


“Hugelschaffer captures not only the bravado and swagger of the men and women who throw themselves into danger to preserve life and property, but also the insular camaraderie and survivors’ guilt that frequently result from a comrade’s death. The often terse dialogue is balanced by Cassel’s wit and determination. 

The author’s detailed knowledge of firefighting and police services will please fans of procedural mysteries, while the outsider role the protagonist is forced into will appeal to fans of amateur-sleuth tales. As unpredictable as the fires Cassel fights, One Careless Moment simmers with tension and urgency.” 
  Quill & Quire


"Dave Hugelschaffer… just knocked out most of the Top 10 suspense-thriller heavyweights with his sophomore fire-forensics effort, One Careless Moment. It's simply a cracking whodunit, with a battered everyman hero and genuine, real-life characters in an utterly novel setting. Second in Hugelshaffer's nascent Cassel series, it won't be the last." Winnipeg Free Press

 “You'll rip through the pages of the latest Porter Cassel mystery like wildfire through rain-starved timber. It's hard to argue with the write-what-you-know school of thought when it yields a popping, crackling mystery series like this. Hugelschaffer, an Edson-based author, spent 10 years battling blazes in northern Alberta, and while his firefighting expertise hardly prepared him for life as a scribbler, his story-spinning savvy, his mastery of timing and interplay, his judge of character and his sense of humour certainly did the trick.” Calgary Herald


"One Careless Moment is a well-written novel with a vivid, taut and heart-racing opening chapter...  (It) is a well constructed story...  The description is riveting....  The plotting is solid, the dialogue fuels the pace of the story, and the colorful action feels true and logical."  The Hamilton Spectator


"A tense, absorbing mystery".  The Sun Times (Owen Sound, ON)


“Hugelschaffer weaves together elements of the mystery and suspense genres and skillfully combines them with the scientific details of forest-fire investigation to create compelling stories that the layman as well as anyone with intimate knowledge of the rigors of forest firefighting can enjoy.” Fire Fighting in Canada magazine

What Others are Saying

“It was the Forest Rangers’ equivalent of CSI. I liked the realistic descriptions of the work and an interesting plot. A good read.” Best-selling author Nevada Barr


"Compelling characters, intricate plotting, sly wit and, most of all, authentic can smell the smoke and hear the flames crackle." Paul Steensland, internationally renowned wildfire investigator


“Let me say straight up, Dave Hugelschaffer knows how to tell a story! From the first fiery pages of this second instalment in the Porter Cassel series, 'One Careless Moment' crackles with excitement. Hugelschaffer’s careening action-packed style and undeniable wit are surpassed only by his obvious love for the wooded wilderness settings in which he places Cassel. Wild forests and even wilder men and women are Hugelschaffer’s gifts to the reader, along with a first person narrative that is consistently strong and funny. He speaks the language of the Firefighter, brave, self-deprecating and filled with humour. Especially impressive is the ease with which Hugelschaffer carries the reader into the heart of his settings. From start to finish, I felt as if I was ‘on location’. I could almost smell the ‘piss-fir’ burning and the cheap beer splashing onto the floorboards of the Paradise Gateway Motel. His dialogue is human and believable, granting a rare level of access to his characters. You feel as if you know each of them – as if you’ve worked alongside them in another lifetime."  Author - Donna Carrick


“This is a great mystery, with fantastic twist after twist, but more than great, but fantastic, are the characters. Porter Cassel is brilliant, so human you could meet him walking down the street and be glad you did. Day Into Night is full of great details, wonderful characters, and page-turning mystery; this is a mix that is hard to beat.”  Katie Trattner, BC Books


“Fast-paced and filled with enough turbo-charged action to keep you reading to the very last page, Day Into Night is a smokin’ read. And Dave Hugelschaffer, who writes with a unique style and voice, is an author to watch for.” Author - Cheryl Kaye Tardif

"I enjoyed 'One Careless Moment' from first to last!  You have a serious command of your material. Author - John Lathrop