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.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Q and A with Gail Bowen on Kaleidoscope

Gail in the Arthur Conan Doyle Room at the Toronto Reference Library
In the spring I wrote a post reviewing Gail Bowen’s new book, Kaleidoscope, which features her sleuth, Joanne Kilbourn Shreeve. I emailed Gail some questions about the book. Tonight I am posting her answers.

1.) I found very interesting the portrayal of Zack in the midst of a trial that is not going well. You set out the experience well. As I understood a past email from yourself you indicated that questions I had asked had some impact on your writing. If I am correct I would appreciate any comments you would like to make on the matter.

I did remember you telling me about the sick feeling a lawyer has when a case suddenly starts to go south. That feeling is, of course, exacerbated when the lawyer believes that his client is not guilty. I hope I communicated something of that in Zack's feelings during the Cronus trial. Incidentally, in the new, new JKS novel (the one after The Gifted), Cronus reappears. He was just too good to lose.

2.) Joanne has drifted away from an active role in politics. Was there a reason for her moving to the political sidelines?

I seem to be giving away a lot about "The Gifted", but by the end of the novel Zack has pretty well decided to run for mayor and Joanne is running his campaign, so I guess Joanne is back in politics. I'm intrigued always by the fact that civic politics, the politics that has the most direct impact on our lives, seems to be of interest only to people who have something to gain from the decisions the mayor and council make.

3.) Did you have some insight a major development would be planned by the City of
Regina for the warehouse district when you were writing the book? I wondered if Leland had considered a new football stadium replacing Taylor Field on the edge of North Central.

Football fan that I am, I am opposed to the new stadium. First because we have a serious housing problem here in Regina that is not being addressed and second because the politics around the new stadium have a distinctly fishy odour. As well, this whole idea of tarting up Taylor field for the Grey Cup and then dismantling it seems to me idiotic. That said, there's no stadium in the new novels, but there are some distinctly questionable land deals.

4.) Joanne and her eldest daughter, Mieka, look to becoming more involved in projects together. Is it possible they will ever form a mother-daughter sleuthing team?

The mother-daughter sleuth thing has not yet come to pass, but who knows? Joanne and Mieka are as close as my daughter, Hildy and I are, and it's natural that they might come together to solve a problem.

5.) I am working on a post, maybe even a series of posts, on how rarely fictional sleuths watch T.V. Joanne and family certain watch the news. Do they watch any other T.V.?

They watch what I watch: football and politics. I do watch a lot of football, CFL, NFL, and college, esp. Notre Dame. What a year the Irish have had, and it's not over! And Obama won, so it's been a good year for me tv-wise.

I appreciate Gail’s always candid answers and look forward to the 14th book in the series.
Here are links to my listing of the series and my reviews plus Q and A with Gail: 
Bowen, Gail – 2011 Questions and Answers with Gail; 2011 Suggestions for Gail on losing court cases; The author's website is http://www.gailbowen.com/ - Deadly Appearances (2011); Murder at the Mendel (Not reviewed); The Wandering Soul Murders (Not reviewed); A Colder Kind of Death (Not reviewed); A Killing Spring (Not reviewed); Verdict in Blood (Not reviewed); (2000) - Burying Ariel (Second best fiction of 2000); (2002) - The Glass Coffin; (2004) - The Last Good Day; (2007) – The Endless Knot (Second Best Fiction of 2007); (2008) - The Brutal Heart; (2010) - The Nesting Dolls; (2012) - "B" is for Gail Bowen; (2012) - Kaleidoscope; Hardcover


  1. Bill - Thanks for taking the time to do this interview. Thanks to Gail Bowen, too, to being a part of it. And now I'm looking forward to The Gifted even more. These are really interesting insights, especially about what's going on in Regina. I appreciate what I learned here.

  2. Margot: Thanks for the comment. Gail has me hoping The Gifted will soon be published. On events in Regina there is never a doubt about Gail's opinions.

  3. How fortuitous. I was just reading about Gail Bowen and thinking I needed to track down one of her books to read for the Canadian Reading Challenge. I do remember your post on her for the Crime Fiction Alphabet, but at the time I wasn't working on the Canadian challenge. So nice to have so much background here.

  4. TracyK: Thanks for the comment. I would recommend one of the earlier books as the books progress through the personal lives of her sleuth, Joanne, and her family. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on Gail.