Going to Beautiful

“I like to pretend the reason each snowflake falls so slowly is because it must first decide where to land.”

International chef Jake Hardy has it all, celebrity, thriving career, plenty of friends, a happy family and faithful dog—until one day when a tragic accident tears it all apart. Struggling to recover, Hardy finds himself in a strange new world—a snow-swept prairie town that time forgot—a place where nothing makes sense. Cold is beautiful. Simple is complex. And doubts begin to surface about whether Jake’s tragedy was truly an accident after all. As the sun sets in the Land of Living Skies, Hardy and his glamourous, seventy-eight-year-old transgender neighbour find themselves ensnared in multiple murders separated by decades.

In Bidulka’s “love letter to life on the prairies” he delivers a story of grief and loss that manages to burst with joy, tenderness and hope. Redolent of his earlier works, Going to Beautiful brings us unexpected, under-represented characters in settings that immediately feel familiar and beloved.

Beautiful—a place where what you need may not be what you were looking for.


Going to Beautiful is a masterclass in how to set a scene. Anthony Bidulka has written
delightfully unique characters that are so richly drawn and settings that are painted with
such a deft hand that the reader is wonderfully transported. The movement of the action
to and from urban, southern Ontario and small-town Saskatchewan, paired with the
character growth resulting from these movements, creates a tale of lasting beauty and the
resilience of spirit.
” Sask Book Awards Jurors, Dawn Baker (NL), Lee Kvern(AB), Bob Mackenzie (ON)


“Each with their unique voice the eclectic characters in Going to Beautiful jump off the page and become part of your daily thoughts. Dodging suspicious innuendos and suffering from unprocessed grief Jake Hardy ventures out in search of answers to his husband’s unknown heritage. Along for the emotional roller coaster ride is this glamorous 78-year-old transgender neighbour. The result of their adventurous quest leads to a town which is wonderfully simple and complex at once and will have you pulling up Google maps for your next road trip. A beautifully crafted mystery, the plot provides humor, love, and a big twist at the end you won’t see coming. Anthony Bidulka’s Going to Beautiful resonates all the feelings that will stay with you long after you read the final page. Highly recommended, and the unanimous first place pick.” CWC Best Crime Novel Judge’s comments


Praise for Going to Beautiful:

“…moves between being a lyrical celebration of life and an unflinching exploration of the dark recesses of twisted souls…totally original and evocative…” The Rap Sheet


“…a compelling story with a powerful and inspiring message of hope and redemption…” Mystery & Suspense Magazine


“…plenty of joy and kindness in Beautiful…” Tonstant Weader Book Reviews


“The Steinbeckian cast of characters…will linger in your mind long, long after the last page is turned. Simply wonderful! Alan Bradley, author of the Flavia de Luce series


“A remarkable story I highly recommend.” Author Sonsie Meadows


“I just loved this novel. To bits. Immersive and entertaining. Fabulous and Beautiful.” Author Charlotte Morganti


“…Going to Beautiful is a slice of Canadiana. And it’s the best book I’ve read this year!” Rosemary McCracken, author of the Pat Tierney mystery series


“…a delightful journey for readers, guided by a writer who knows exactly where he’s going.” Barbara Fister, Reviewing the Evidence


“…beautifully written, gentle, often hilarious, always poignant book…” Author Eva Gates/Vicki Delany


“…a totally original and evocative odyssey that will keep you enthralled until the very last page…vintage Bidulka…” book reviewer Jim Napier


“…a lyrical celebration of life and an unflinching exploration of the dark recesses of twisted souls…” Reviewing The Evidence


“Going to Beautiful by Anthony Bidulka was a finely crafted work that made it nearly impossible to put down…” Diane Walton Blog


“This book has something for almost everyone.” Schatje’s Shelves (Top 25 Canadian Book Blogger)


“…you’ll enjoy this book immensely.” Joyfully Jays Reviews


“… a story rich not only in hope but in vibrant and under-represented characters…” Bookloons.com


“…you don’t have grief without love and this book carefully, beautifully interweaves the two.” Reads Rainbow


“…a captivating, sensitive novel about grief, joy, and finding one’s community.” Foreword Magazine


“A stunning and memorable novel.” Socrates’ Book Reviews


“This is the book I longed for you to write…” Crime fiction reviewer Bill Selnes


“…I consider Going to Beautiful your masterpiece.” Mysteries and More


“…I have no hesitation in awarding five stars.” Whispering Stories


“…Bidulka hits it out of the park.” Terry Fallis, two-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour


“…poignant, often funny, always wise…” Gail Bowen, author of the Joanne Kilbourn series


“… unique setting and wonderfully textured characters…” Felice Picano, author of Like People in History


Read Chapter One

The Going to Beautiful Book Trailer

Going to Beautiful (2022)
ISBN 10: 1-988754-35-6 (Paperback)
ISBN 13: 978-1-988754-35-2 (Paperback)
ISBN: 978-1-988754-36-9 (eBook)