"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
"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
"Under the Table is a high-voltage satire of life behind the scenes of Toronto's 'Hollywood North' in the last days of the analog era-when the smartest phone looked like a brick with buttons, and digital communication tended to involve the raising of a finger. The frenetic misadventures of its amped-up underdogs, outsiders, antiheroes, and tarnished glitterati play out through an atmosphere of steamy summer-in-the-city languor. Readers who like dangerous good fun are sure to get a charge off this latest from Vern Smith. It is, in short, a blast!"
-Steve Venright, author of The Least You Can Do Is Be Magnificent
"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