Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin regularly pens court decisions that change the course of Canadian history. But sources say that after she retires in a year or so, she plans to release a thriller published by Simon & Schuster Canada.

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada may be the highest-ranking former judge in Canada, or perhaps anywhere, to have a novel published.

While Simon & Schuster would not comment on the existence or publication of the novel, two sources in the publishing world have confirmed the existence of the work. The novel would be published following McLachlin’s mandatory retirement date in September 2018, or sooner should she decide to retire earlier.

Simon & Shuster did say it was prepared to discuss the matter next week, following the conclusion of Book Expo America, the North American publishing event that is taking place in New York this week and features the latest in print and digital publishing.

McLachlin’s efforts appear to have been clothed in secrecy. The Supreme Court had no comment when contacted Wednesday.

The Chief Justice has been one of the busiest decision writers during her tenure on the court. The Canadian Encyclopedia describes her writing as “incisive” and as “carefully targeting key points.” She is not, however, known for her “literary elegance” or “pungent phrases.”

McLachlin’s writing experience goes back to her law school days, when she was the editor of the Alberta Law Review. Her M.A. in philosophy certainly acquainted her with some of the classics, and the years she spent as a professor at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver from 1974-81 were marked by a steady flow of course materials and other writings.

McLachlin has written non-fiction works. She is the author of a book on consumer protection, and co-founding editor of British Columbia Practice, a reference book on civil litigation.

As it turns out, McLachlin could probably use a change of pace. As Canada’s first female Chief Justice, she has served for some 17 years, surpassing the previous record of 13 years set in the 19th century by Sir William Johnstone Ritchie.

Financial Post