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.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

"Z" is for Mark Zuehlke

The Alphabet in Crime Fiction has run out of letters arriving at “Z” this week. I have appreciated Kerrie Smith at her blog, Mysteries in Paradise, hosting the community meme. It has been a fun journey through the alphabet from “H” to “Z” for me. I encourage all readers to take a trip to see the contributions this week and the past 25 weeks. There is an amazing collection of authors and book reviews and articles on the letter of the week. For my “Z” contribution I have chosen to post about author Mark Zuehlke from Canada.


Mark is a prolific Canadian author resident in Victoria, in British Columbia. His writing career combines an unusual combination of books. His primary area has been writing Canadian military histories focused on World War II. At the same time he has published a series of three mysteries featuring coroner Elias McCann who resides in Tofino on the West coast of Vancouver Island. It is a beautiful isolated area at the edge of Canada.

I read the first mystery in the series, Hands Like Clouds, in which McCann works to solve the death of an ecological protester during the controversy of logging in the Clayoquot Sound area. In real life there have been major issues over how much more logging should be done in the relatively few areas of British Columbia not heavily logged already. I found Mark had vivid characterizations and created a decent plot. I would buy him again.

For anyone interested in military histories I can certainly recommend his non-fiction works. He writes in an engaging populist style covering battles and campaigns of the Canadian military.

He has a website located at http://www.zuehlke.ca/.

I met Mark at an author event in Melfort when we still had a bookstore. He has an engaging personality and is well worth going to see if he is at an event in your area. He readily answered all questions and was willing to discuss issues raised by his books. Because of the concentration of books in military history his author appearances are likely to be publicized as military history events.

His website indicates a 4th book in the McCann series is being written.

A reader looking for a contemporary mystery set in rugged country will enjoy Mark.


  1. Bill - One of the things I have liked about this meme is the chance to "meet" authors I didn't know before. This is one of those examples. Zuehlke sounds like a very interesting person and a talented author. Time to broaden my horizons a bit and try his work, methinks.

  2. I haven't come across Mark Zuehlke before. I'm not too interested in military history, although I do like history and historical fiction, but his mystery books sound good. I like books with a good sense of location and so I'll certainly look out for his McCann series.

  3. Bill many thanks for your contributions to CFA and in particular for drawing our attention to some Canadian writers

  4. Margot: Thanks for your comment. I think you will enjoy a trip up the West coast to Tofino to read McCann mysteries.

    Margaret: Thanks. The setting is integral to the mystery. I also enjoy mysteries that clearly identify their location.

    Kerrie: Thanks for the comment and encouragement through the alphabet. You are an excellent host for the CFA.

  5. A series about a coroner sounds interesting (we don´t have coroners in Denmark).

    A controversy over logging reminded me of Hemingway´s The Doctor and the Doctor´s Wife - though that one does not end quite as dramatically :)

  6. Dorte: Thanks for the comment.

    I am not familiar with the Hemmingway work you mentioned.

    The logging issues in B.C. have been ferocious at times.