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, November 4, 2012

“Y” is for Scott Young

As we reach the 25th letter of The Alphabet in Crime Fiction meme hosted by Kerrie Smith at Mysteries in Paradise I am staying in Canada. I am profiling Canadian author, Scott Young, for “Y”.

Scott spent the first half of his 87 years known as one of Canada’s sportswriters with forays into fiction and non-fiction books. He spent the last half of his life being identified as the father of singer / songwriter, Neil Young. Scott ended up writing a book about their relationship called Neil and Me.

His youngest child, Astrid Young, is also multi-talented. She is a singer, songwriter, writer and painter.
Scott was born in Manitoba in 1918 and grew up in several communities in Western Canada including Prince Albert, Saskatchewan which is about 100 km from Melfort.

While he quit school at 16 Scott was a writer early in his life submitting stories that were usually rejected. At 18 he found employment at The Winnipeg Free Press and was soon a sportswriter. An editor telling him that he would never be worth more than $25 a week to the paper prompted him to move to Toronto.

He covered most major sporting events in Canada for Toronto newspapers and was also a broadcaster on the Saturday night telecasts of Hockey Night in Canada. He was fired from the broadcasts because he ran afoul of the Toronto Maple Leafs owner who threatened the sponsor if Scott stayed on the broadcasts.

He was a man of strong principles. He quit The Globe and Mail because of the paper using anonymous comments. He abhorred unattributed comments.

Through and after his journalistic career he was writing books. Overall he wrote 45 books.

Almost 50 years ago, when I was a boy on the farm at Meskanaw I devoured his Young Adult hockey trilogy – Scrubs on Skates¸ Boy on Defence and A Boy at the Leafs’ Camp. The books followed the path of a young boy’s progression from learning to play hockey to reaching the NHL. Scott put vividly to words the dreams of every young Canadian boy of my generation.

Of his impressive total of books there were two mysteries – Murder in a Cold Climate and  The Shaman’s Knife. I will be posting my review of Murder in a Cold Climate on Tuesday.

Young placed his mysteries in the Canadian Arctic in the Northwest Territories. Young loved going North and the books resulted from his travels to northern Canada.

I expect he is the only mystery writer who is a member of two Sports Halls of Fame. In Wikipedia it states:

In 1988, Young received the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award from the Hockey Hall of Fame as selected by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association, and was also inducted into the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame.

In the blog Neil Young News there is a quote from Canadian writer, Kevin Chong, writing in The Globe and Mail about what Neil learned from his father:

“The most vivid way to get an idea across was to lay oneself bare in the knowledge that others would identify with the bareness, the sometimes painful truth."


  1. Bill - What a really interesting choice for Y! A multi-talented father of a multi-talented son. It's particularly impressive to me that he wrote not just fiction and non-fiction but stories for young people as well as adults. Thank you for this introduction and I'm very much looking forward to what you thought of Murder in a Cold Climate.

  2. Margot: Thanks for the comment. Young was a man skilled with words in every genre he ventured into as an author.

  3. An interesting author to profile and Canadian too. I am looking forward to the review on Tuesday. Hope I see it before I leave on my trip, or I may have to catch it when I get back.

  4. Nice post Bill. Neil certainly looks like his dad! I am on the look out for Murder in a Cold Climate. Thanks!

  5. TracyK: Thanks for the comment. I hope you have a good trip.

  6. Peggy Ann: Thanks for the comment. I found my copy at our local library.

  7. Interesting. You don't see much mysteries way up North. :)

  8. Scott: Thanks for the comment. Out of all the Canadian mysteries I have read only 3 have been set in the Arctic.