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.

Monday, March 7, 2011

"R" is for Keith Raffel

Kerrie Smith has been hosting the Alphabet in Crime Fiction community meme at her blog, Mysteries in Paradise. Each week bloggers make a post that relates to the letter of the week through the name of the author or the book. This week’s letter is “R”.
            This week “R” is for Keith Raffel a mystery author residing in California’s Silicon Valley at Palo Alto.
            He has written a pair of mysteries featuring Ian Michaels. I have read dot.dead which is the first in the series. It was a good mystery set in the high technology of Silicon Valley. It is the first mystery I have read which relates to the computer industry of northern California. I found it a book combining his personal relationships, a tech story and the murder investigation. It fitted well with the area being a precise, logical book with a scientific process to solution.
            The second in the series is Smasher. I am looking forward to reading it.
            Keith became a mystery writer after a pair of successful careers. He was counsel to the United States Senate Intelligence Committee dealing with America’s varied intelligence agencies. He moved back to California and into the computer industry eventually setting up his own business. He describes the venture on his website:
“UpShot Corporation was a pioneer in “cloud computing,” providing software that lives in cyberspace rather than on the user’s PC. I even hold a patent for our graphic user interface. (Not bad for a history major!) In 2003 we sold the company to Siebel Corporation which, in the way of the Valley, was swallowed up itself by Oracle a year later.”
            Two years I met Keith at the “M” is for Mystery bookstore in San Mateo. He had come to listen to a trio of mystery authors talk about their books. My wife, Sharon, and our son, Jonathan, and myself had the chance to talk to Keith after the event across the street from the store in a nice little restaurant with a group of mystery lovers and authors.
            Keith is an engaging man, easy to talk to on almost any topic. We enjoyed talking to him about writing, new technology and mysteries.
            He had a personal method of promoting his book. He handed us a business card containing particulars of the book and a picture of its cover. It helped remind me to buy the book when I returned to the bookstore a few days later.
            Keith has an interesting website. It can be found at http://www.keithraffel.com/. In his blog he is discussing the challenges of epublishing and promoting an ebook. I hope he finds a way to publish a paper copy of his third book.
            I recommend reading Keith’s books. For readers it is too bad he spent so long in earlier careers.


  1. Good choice for 'R' - Keith Raffel is a new author for me. His books sound interesting and I've downloaded a sample of dot.dead to read. That's one example of the benefits of ebooks!

  2. Bill - Thanks for highlighting Raffel's work. The dot.com industry is so full of excellent possibilities for mystery and suspense, and as you say, Raffel knows the industry and writes a good story. A fine choice for R :-).

  3. Margaret: Thanks for the comment. You provide an excellent example of readers in the eworld not needing to wait to experience a new author.

    Margot: Thank you. I expect, now being resident in California, you have contacts in the dot.com world.

  4. Silicon Valley? It is always interesting when writers take you to a new setting.

  5. Thank you Dorte. Without Silicon Valley we would not be writing blogs.

  6. Bill, thanks for the blog posting! Good to hear from you as well. I don't know if I told you that my mother's family is from Winnipeg and that my grandfather's family had a place in Leask, just a couple hundred miles from you. I have an ebook original called Drop by Drop coming soon. It should be up on Amazon, etc in the next few weeks. All best, Keith