About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Think of a Numb3r by John Verdon

32. - 545.) Think of a Numb3r by John Verdon – Recently retired to the Catskills former NYPD detective, Dave Gurney, is trying to adjust to a rural lifestyle after a career focused on serial killers. University classmate, Mark Mellery, now an adviser and healer of injured souls reaches out to Gurney after receiving a creepy message which asks him to pick a number between 1 and 1,000 and then has the number in a sealed envelope enclosed with the message. A series of increasingly threatening poems follow the initial contact. Gurney half-heartedly resists being drawn into solving the puzzle. His wife, Madeline, had hoped he would change after retirement but Gurney cannot resist the challenge of the mystery. Gurney is himself a wounded soul. When murder occurs of the most bizarre and carefully staged way Gurney is ready to join the hunt for the killer. Gurney thinks his way through the investigation. He is a cerebral rather than physical detective. I was reminded of Adam Dagleish. The thoughtful detective who appreciates poetry is a rarity in crime fiction. With regard to the core of the mystery I tried hard but was never even close to solving how the killer thought of the number. Tension builds through the novel to an ending that, as in Dead Simple, almost compelled me to leap ahead to find out the conclusion. It was among the best conclusions I have read in a long time. Recommended by Sleuth I was not disappointed. The cover blurbs from a collection of the best thriller writers in America was over the top. What was most impressive was the combined willingness of the distinguished group to contribute comments on the mystery. I look forward to the next in the series. Verdon has created a memorable character in Gurney with an intriguing personal life and his own style of solving mysteries. Hardcover. (Aug. 14/10)

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