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, August 25, 2013

My First 500 Posts!

With my last post about the National Historic Site of Batoche and its connection to The Third Riel Conspiracy by Stephen Legault being my 500th post I have been reflecting on the 500 posts and being a blogger.

I had wanted to create a place on the worldwide web where readers of mysteries could have information on mysteries set in the province of Saskatchewan and the authors of those mysteries.

I am glad to have posted reviews of 28 mysteries set in Saskatchewan and will shortly be filling in a gap with a review of A Political Addiction as part of my post for “W” in the Crime Fiction Alphabet meme.

Saskatchewan authors, Anthony Bidulka and Gail Bowen, have generously responded to questions which have made for interesting Q and A posts.

I created a page for the Rest of Canada which, together with my participation in the Canadian Book Challenge for the last 2 years, has broadened my reading of Canadian mysteries. I have now committed myself to reading at least 13 books by Canadian authors each year.

I doubt I would have had the pleasure of reading L.R. Wright had I not started blogging and been looking for Canadian mysteries.

As a lawyer whose practice includes a substantial amount of criminal and civil litigation I enjoy reading legal mysteries. I have not come across another blogger who puts together a list of legal mysteries. I think there are more good legal mysteries being published now than ever.

The introduction of the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction has added to my focus on legal mysteries. I will shortly be reading Havana Requiem by Paul Goldstein which was the 2013 Prize Winner.

I set up a page in which I discuss mystery bookstores I have visited. I have been alittle disappointed that the page is not often visited. I fear the lack of page views is an illustration of the decline in bookstores.

While my focus is on mysteries I continue to read non-fiction and put up reviews of those books. I find I need some non-fiction amidst the crime fiction to maintain my reading interest in mysteries.

I have chosen but one book reading challenge, the Canadian Book Challenge, each year as I feel I would be too restricted in my reading if I was taking part in multiple challenges.

I have enjoyed the memes hosted by Kerrie Smith at her blog, Mysteries in Paradise. She is an amazing blogger. Taking part in the Crime Fiction Alphabet memes has been great fun. For last year and this year I adopted themes. Last year each letter was a post of an author I had read. This year I am putting up a post about a book or an author or a crime topic with which I have a personal connection. I admit the letter “X” which is looming is proving a challenge. I do not seem to have many connections with “X”.

The most unexpected joy has been meeting virtually fellow bloggers from around the world. I never expected to make new friends through blogging. I am always impressed by the depth of knowledge and kindness of the bloggers and readers I have met through the web.

An unexpected bonus has been making comments on other blogs and getting comments on my blog. The indefatigable Margot Kinberg of Confessions of a Mystery Novelist has been a welcome and constant commenter. I am amazed how many places she travels to in the world of blogging while maintaining her superb daily posts.

I have found I neither have the energy nor inclination to put up daily posts. I admire those bloggers who have that dedication. If I can average 3 posts a week I am content.

The post which has garnered the most page views is “N” is for Stuart Neville. The image of “N” I borrowed from Kerrie’s blog somehow ended up on Google images for “N”. Blogger tells me there have been 17,354 page views of the post and counting. One of the ironies of the world of blogging is that my most popular post has nothing to do with the content of the post.

I started blogging as I wanted to talk about books. The first 500 posts have been fun. I look forward to more blogging adventures.

14 comments:

  1. Bill, many congratulations on reaching the milestone! I'd only vaguely heard about Saskatchewan province in Canada but since visiting your blog and reading your reviews of mysteries set in the region, I'm now more familiar with the place as also with native authors like Anthony Bidulka and Gail Bowen whose books I still have to read. You have in turn "broadened" my own knowledge of Canadian fiction including mysteries.

    I have particularly enjoyed reading your reviews of legal mysteries along with your sharp insights as a practicing lawyer. Frankly, I didn't know so many had been published. I'm happy to learn that yours is the only blog that "puts together a list of legal mysteries" which is another milestone in itself.

    What I find most appealing about your blog is the simplicity and conciseness of your writing. Bill, it has been a pleasure to read your blog and I'm glad that you intend to continue blogging in future.

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  2. Bill - Congratulations on reaching such a milestone! Your blog is a welcome addition to the crime fiction network, and I always, always learn when I read it. I hope you'll continue to post for a very long time to come.

    And thanks very much for the kind words.

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  3. Congrats. I now it is a challenge to come up with a different post each and every day. I am luck to get 4 or 5 posts a week now days. I recently sort of celebrated my 100,00th visit to my blog and hopefully this year get to my 1000th post. :) Keep up the fine work and I do not visit as often as I would like, I still enjoy reading your posts even thou they might not fit into my kind of mysteries to read. :)

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  4. Prashant: Thanks for the kind words about my blog. I appreciate your comments.

    I try when I read legal mysteries to provide some legal analysis.

    I am glad to have enabled you to learn more about Saskatchewan.

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  5. Margot: Thanks for this and all your other comments. You provide great encouragement. I have always thought of you as a life long learner.

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  6. Scott: Thanks for the good wishes. I admire you for closing in on 1,000 and enjoy your blog.

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  7. Bill,
    Thanks for being such a devout supporter of crime writing. Every word you write brings attention and creates more interest in our industry. Keep up the good work. It is appreciated.

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  8. Bill, I enjoy your blog and your varied posts. I especially appreciate the resource for Canadian authors, as I have told you often. I still haven't read much legal mystery fiction but you keep tempting me. Congratulations on 500 posts.

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  9. Anthony: Thanks for the kind words. I appreciate hearing from you. You have made a lot of people think about Saskatchewan through your books.

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  10. TracyK: Thanks for the comment. You have lots of fine reading ahead of you if you decide to start reading legal mystery fiction.

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  11. Congratulations, but I must admit that my blog reading has been falling off lately. After reading your comment about your bookstore blogs, I went back and read them. I've been in several of the ones including, of course, Whodunit? here in Winnipeg. Both Twin Cities stores are excellent and did you have time to search the books in the back room at Once Upon a Crime? I was down there a couple of weeks ago on a midwestern US baseball trip with a couple of friends, but didn't have time to visit either store. We opted for a Barnes and Noble in Roseville that has a large used section with plenty of mysteries plus a couple of Half Price stores that have become my favourites. Ended up with a 13 books and most cost either a buck or two dollars. Of course, I'm always looking for baseball books as well as mysteries. If you haven't tried a Half Price, I recommmedn the one in St. Paul. Each spring for the past few years, I have visited Murder by the Beach in Delray Beach. I am pleased they turned you on to Randy Wayne White and James W. Hall. Their books have gotten better and better. If you get back to that store, make sure you ask to see the used books they don't have room for out front. You'll find some gems. At least I always do and have the same probelm as you - how many can I buy and ship home.

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  12. Kent: Thank you for your good wishes.

    I have been in the back room at the Once Upon a Crime store. It is an amazing room.

    Basically to avoid the overwhelming urge to buy books in a bookstore I have not looked for more bookstores in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

    Where I did find interesting bookstores was in Stillwater just outside St. Paul. They are a declared book town with some wonderful bookstores.

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  13. Bill – belated congratulations on your 500th Post!! You were one of my first “finds” when I began blogging about mystery books and I’ve learned a lot from your blogs….in addition to finding one of my favourite authors here, Michael Van Rooy. Just learned something new again….hadn’t heard about the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction!! “To Kill A Mockingbird” has long been one of my favourite books and movies. Also hadn’t noticed your link to mystery bookstores you’ve visited. I’ve now checked it out; great idea! Ironically, I just recently revisited Sleuth of Baker Street after a 20 year absence!!! Keep up the great work!!

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  14. Debra: Thanks for the comment and kind words. They are always appreciated.

    I think the Harper Lee Prize is going to grow in significance as a literary prize.

    I am glad you had a chance to return to Sleuth. It is still my favourite place for mystery books.


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