Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search


by (author) Anna Marie Sewell

Stonehouse Publishing
Initial publish date
Nov 2020
English Language Arts, Law, Social Justice
Grade Levels
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2020
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Nov 2020
    List Price

Where to buy it

Descriptive Review

Mi’gmaq, Anishinaabe, and Polish poet and author Anna Marie Sewell brings us her murder mystery novel Humane. This work of fiction takes place in the modern-day city of Amiskwaciy, where Hazel, an Indigenous mother of two grown women, uses her skills as a private investigator to solve a complicated murder of a local street woman. Hazel faces her own biases and assumptions about herself, her children, and the world around her as she tries to unravel the mystery. She encounters the supernatural world and gets help from her nephew, a priest, shapeshifters, and her daughters along the way. We realize things are not what they seem as Sewell melds Indigenous spirituality and teachings with the contemporary urban realities in this crime novel. Simply put, what does it mean to be humane?

Caution: Profanity, drugs and prostitution, physical and sexual violence, one sexual encounter, and male nudity.

300 pp., 5 × 7.5"

Anna Marie Sewell (Mi’gmaq, Anishinaabe, and Polish heritage)

Source: Association of Book Publishers of BC - Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools (2021-2022)

About the author

Anna Marie Sewell is an award-winning multi-genre writer/performer, whose career has centred around collaborative multidisciplinary work, including Ancestors & Elders, Reconciling Edmonton (which featured the first ever Round Dance at Edmonton's City Hall), Braidings, Honour Songs and Heart of the Flower. As Edmonton's 4th Poet Laureate, Anna Marie created and curated The PoemCatcher public art installation. She founded and ran Big Sky Theatre, a three year training and performance project producing original Aboriginal (it was the 90s) theatre with urban youth. She is also a founding member of the Stroll of Poets, which has provided an entrée into Edmonton's public poetry community since 1991.

Anna Marie authored two critically-acclaimed (and much-shortlisted) poetry collections, Fifth World Drum (Frontenac House, 2009), and 2018's For the Changing Moon: Poems & Songs (Thistledown Press). Her essays and articles appear in Eighteen Bridges, Alberta Views, New Trail, Write Magazine, Legacy and various scholarly publications. She's even had a recipe published in a cookbook.

Humane is Anna Marie's first novel. She drafted it with support from an Edmonton Artist Trust Fund award, and finished it as part of her tenure as MacEwan University's 2019/20 Writer in Residence, a gig which has also entailed performing with a 24 piece orchestra, co-producing 2 multilingual poetry & song showcases, and collaborating with an array of artists and educators. She lives in Edmonton, Alberta.

Anna Marie Sewell's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“A riotous mystery set in a mystical city, Humane takes us on a mind-bending journey through Indigenous culture to find love and justice in places we never thought to look. Twisting, turning and diving through and around its mostly female characters, Humane is a smorgasbord of suspense, humour, politics, and culture. A not to be missed original novel that will knock your socks off.” —Judy Rebick, writer and activist.

“In Humane, Anna Marie Sewell’s brings an Indigenous and poetic sensibility to the crime novel, infusing it with imagery and dance as a Métis mother of two works as an unlicensed Private Investigator. Like its Métis characters, Humane straddles two worlds, following the contours of Western-based novel but infusing it with Indigenous storytelling and allegory. It’s a wonderful read, a significant addition to the canon of authentic Indigenous crime novel.” —Wayne Arthurson, award-winning writer of the Leo Desroches novels.


An expertly constructed Agatha Christie-like tale, written with the steadfast and humorous pen of a Maria Campbell. Forceful and unflinching, at times painful, but always love-laden and often funny, Humane is a story about family and community; an examination and denunciation of historical injustices, and a relentless search for truth and integrity.