About Me

My photo
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.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

New to Me Authors (July to September of 2012)

At the end of March I participated in Kerrie Smith’s meme, New to Me Authors, that she hosts at her Mysteries in Paradise blog. I did not put up a post for mid-year but am back with a post for the 3rd quarter of the year.

For July, August and September my new to me authors were:

1.) Slaughter Falls by Alix Bosco (New Zealand)

2.) Before the Poison by Peter Robinson (Canada)

3.) Blessed Are the Dead by Malla Nunn (Australia)

4.) The Baker Street Letters by Michael Robertson (England)

5.) Writing on the Wall by Gunnar Staalesen (Norway)

6.) The Shape of Water by Andrea Camilleri (Italy)

7.) The Water Rat of Wanchai by Ian Hamilton (Canada)

Where I read 5 new authors in the 1st quarter I read 7 new authors in the 3rd quarter.

I was interested to see that I read authors from 6 different countries with Canada being the only country from which I read 2 new authors. Being a blogger has definitely widened my mystery reading scope. Without the recommendations of fellow bloggers I would not have read Bosco, Nunn and Camilleri.

Out of 7 good mysteries two stood above the rest for me. Blessed Are the Dead and The Water Rat of Wanchai are exceptional mysteries. They are very different books.

Blessed Are the Dead is set in the 1950’s South Africa with a direct examination of the prejudices of the early apartheid era through Detective Sergeant Emmanuel Cooper and Detective Constable Samuel Shabalala.

The Water Rat of Wanchai takes place in several world locations – Canada, Hong Kong, Thailand, Guyana and the British Virgin Islands – in our current time period. Sleuth, Ava Lee, is a gay Chinese forensic accountant highly skilled in an ancient Chinese martial art, bek mei.

I liked them for different reasons.

In Blessed Are the Dead I was drawn in the land, a beautiful valley, and exploration of the history of the era through portraying the culture of that time.

Ava made The Water Rat of Wanchai a special book. She impacted me in the same way when I first read Lisbeth Salander. Ava is a unique personality that does not fit into contemporary society. Both Lisbeth and Ava also break female stereotypes. Each is very proficient in a field traditionally associated with men. Lisbeth is an excellent computer hacker. Ava is talented in finding out where money taken has been concealed.

Reading the above Magnificent Seven reminds me there are so many wonderful mystery authors to be found.


  1. Always good to read new authors.

    If you liked Malla Nunn's third book, Blessed are the Dead, you must read the first and second in the Emmanuel Cooper series: A Beautiful Place to Die and Let the Dead Lie.

    I'll put your other top suggestion on my TBR list.

    I just enjoyed Vicki Delaney's first about Mollie Smith, In the Shadow of the Glacier. It was a lot of fun and I needed that, as I was in recovery from Broken Harbor, a well-written, but devastating book.

  2. An impressive selection of authors. I agree with your experience that I've found new-to-me authors I've liked via reading blogs, eg from your blog I've discovered Gail Bowen, Robert Rotenburg, L Wright and others. I haevn't read the two books that were your favourites of these, but liked the first two books by Malla Nunn (I think this third one is not out in the UK yet).

  3. Bill - You've really got a terrific selection here! And I know exactly what you mean about how blogging his widened the scope of your reading. That's happened to me too and I've found some excellent new authors whose work I really enjoy. You've been responsible for some of them, like Anthony Bidulka, and I'm grateful.

  4. These books sound interesting and I am pleased to add another suggestion for a Canadian author to my list. I knew about Peter Robinson, but not Ian Hamilton. Thanks for these recommendations.

  5. kathy d.: Thanks for the comment. I do intend this year to read Delaney. I have found a book of hers in the local library.

  6. Maxine: Thanks for the comment and kind words. The world is a smaller place now that I am blogging. I am going to have look for Nunn's earlier books.

  7. Margot: Thanks for your comment and generous words. I find myself looking forward to finding new to me authors more than I did before blogging.

  8. TracyK: Thanks for the comment. I look forward to your thoughts on Ava when you have read one of the books in the series.