The Undertaking of Billy Buffone


one of the best books of the year.

– Canada Reads American Style


A vivid portrayal of lives intertwined in the search for redemption amidst the uncovering of dormant truths a small town tried to bury, as told by Matthew Collins – about his death, and the secret he left with his best friend, Billy Buffone

It is a story about the trauma – immediate and ongoing, personal and collateral – inflicted by Rupert Churley, who preyed on boys in Twenty-Six Mile House, an isolated town in northern Ontario. The suicides, the conspiracy of silence, the secrets and the damage done to the boys, their friends and families, persist long after the murder of Scouter Churley.

Catherine—a newly minted preacher and lonely outsider—helps Billy confront the tragic loss of his friend and his own secret. The narrative is a fearless and tender look into small-town life. It is also a sometimes-funny story, inhabited by quirky characters.

This novel began with real events involving a pedophile, Reeve, a teacher, baseball coach and respected citizen who, for 25 years, abused boys in the author’s hometown. Beyond that initial spark, the story is otherwise completely fictional.

Click here to order online or Buy at Any BOOKSTORE
To Find your local Independent Bookseller click Here. 

Contact the Author to arrange an interview, reading or virtual bookclub visit.

8 thoughts on “The Undertaking of Billy Buffone

    1. Hi Heather,

      It’s available at all online bookstores (link at top of the page), and at most in person bookstores – I see that Chapters at the Devonshire Mall has copies in stock – or use the link at the top of the page to find your nearest Independent Bookstore.

      Thank you!



  1. Found the book very poignant. Was shocked to learn my nephew went to Thunder Bay with the perpetrator referred to from the novel in grade six but said no thank you and nothing went further. My nephew was an athlete and they shared a room in Thunder Bay. This nephew shared his experience with his friends and brother so they stayed away from this teacher. He was able to name a victim who died by suicide as a result of pedophilia in this mill town.


  2. re ‘eldering’, for me the big listening I’m entertaining is – ‘listening to myself’ for my ‘inner wisdom’, which is about as close as I can get to divinity, and NOT judging – again, either myself or others (hard with the likes of Donald Trump around, both down south and here in the ‘Great White North’). So if I can let go of judging and simply let be what is, then I’m getting closer to being an elder.


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