Flitterin' Judas


305 pages
ISBN 0-7710-1508-9




Madeleine J. Bailey was the College Librarian in the Learning Resources Centre at Mount Royal College in Calgary.


Flitterin’ Judas is set in 1947, in Plateau, B.C., a town high in the mountains. The protagonist, Edmund Richardson, a lower-middle-class Englishman who fancies himself a gentleman crook, has been sent by the Canadian government to investigate suspected mismanagement of a construction company with a government contract. Richardson sees the possibility of working a double sting on the company and the government, while enjoying a relaxed summer in the mountains. He reckons, however, without the force of virtue and honesty in the form of company linchpin Anne Fitzgerald, an Alberta student earning her university tuition.

The story is narrated in turn by Richardson and Anne. This device works particularly well in showing the misconceptions possible in a love affair, which adds a bittersweet quality. The change of narrative style for the two characters is also welcome since Charlie, the other dominant figure, speaks in slang, which quickly becomes oppressive. The book’s title, Charlie’s favourite epithet, is used by Branden almost to stultifying effect, so that it is a relief when its extra significance to the plot becomes clear. Another enjoyable counterpoint to the story is an abundance of literary allusions.

Branden, who has written for the stage, has created a cast of lively and complex characters, who keep the reader involved until the final curtain.


Branden, Victoria, “Flitterin' Judas,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 14, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/34987.