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, July 25, 2012

Illegal Action by Stella Rimington

3. - 466.) Illegal Action by Stella Rimington – Liz Caryle has been shifted from the drama of counter-terrorism to counter-espionage. With the end of the Cold War there are less spies to be pursued. A regular source and an international meeting and a chance observation lead MI5 to think something is going on with one of the Russian oligarchs, Nikita Brunovsky, residing in London. He is a passionate art collector. Liz is given a crash course in art appreciation and joins his household as a mature student studying Russian art, especially the modernist Pashko. It gradually becomes clear there is an illegal (a secret non-embassy spy) for Russia in England. Liz’s superiors seem more concerned with maintaining good relations with Russia (the Prime Minister is about to visit) than with ferreting out whether there is an illegal and why there would be an illegal in the country. Liz tries to put together threads of information. There is a true thriller ending to the story without a vast pile of corpses. The plot is very credible. As the author was the former director of MI5 I keep wondering how accurately she portrays the secret service. The internal conflicts make a reader wonder how they stem any terrorism or stop any spies. Good but not as good as her previous books. Paperback. (Jan. 10/09)


  1. Bill - Thanks for the fine review. I always like it when the author has some sort of background that s/he can bring to bear on a topic. And it's very nice to know that one can have a thriller without stacks of bodies, too. It sounds like an interesting look too at what has happened to the world of espionage since the end of the Cold War.

  2. Margot: Thanks for the comment. I have thought of doing a thriller body count listing.

  3. I've read her first book which was all right but I'm eager to read others by her. Thanks for the review.

  4. Clarissa: Thanks for the comment. I believe you will enjoy more in the series.