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.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Wildcat Wine by Claire Matturro

40. - 450.) Wildcat Wine by Claire Matturro – Sarasota medical insurance defence litigator, Lily Belle Cleary, is defending a pet psychic/alien-abductee counselor.They are healing specialities unknown in Canada. As she plots a legal defence her wild Georgia friend (and first lover), Dave Baggwell, arrives with a semi load of organic Florida wine. (I had no knowledge Florida produced wine.) Complications come swiftly and abundantly. She finds out the wine is stolen. Dave and Benny, the teenage son of her trusted secretary Bonits, find a body in nearby swamp. Farmer Earl Stallings, the owner of the stolen wine, is killed by the most unusal murder weapon, a grape picker. It reminded me how a 3 ton farm truck was an attempted murder weapon in Flight of Aquavit by Anthony Bidulka. Lily Belle would be a great partner for Anthony’s character, Russell Quant, if Russell were not gay. Further bodies continue the complications. Criminal defence lawyer, Philip Cohen, has the potential of a continuing love interest. Where Lily Belle was a touch eccentric in her first mystery her obsessive compulsive nature, especially with regard to washing food, is striking in this novel. I enjoyed the plot but found myself wishing she spent more time in the office and courtroom upon her cases. She is at her fictional best as a lawyer. I wonder if Lily Belle will become a senior partner in her next mystery as misfortunes continue striking down the existing senior partners. (Sept. 24/08)
It has been a few years since I read one of Matturro's books. Lily Belle is a memorable character.


  1. Bill - Thanks for the review. I prefer it too when we get to see what lawyers do professionally if the book has a legal plot. Still, the setting seems well-done here and I'm glad you enjoyed the plot. And Lily Belle certainly does seem memorable.

  2. Margot: Thanks for the comment. I do not understand, when a courtroom lawyer is your lead character, why you do not put their work at the heart of a mystery. Still there are no dull pages with Lily Belle.

  3. Bill, with a name like that, I suppose Lily Belle Cleary would be a "memorable character." I take it that more bodies is not absolutely central to the plot.

    1. Prashant: Thanks for the comment. Fewer bodies would have been no problem.