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.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Alittle Quicker Finish to he Honest Folk of Gusdeloupe by Timothy Williams

The Honest Folk of Gusdeloupe by Timothy Williams – In my last post on the book I spoke of the first 100 pages being slow going. The remaining 222 pages went alittle faster. There were just enough genuine twists to keep me going forward.

It is hard to discuss the plot for discussing the twists would be to spoil the story. What led up to the professor / broadcaster / environmentalist who leaped to his death from an office building and the attractive young tourist found dead on the beach was not predictable.

The dual investigations proceed through the book occasionally intersecting.

Anne Marie Leveaud, judge d’instruction, is an interesting person. She is a 42 year old single mother of two children who grew up in Algeria when it was part of France. Her husband disappeared from her life after becoming involved in terrorist violence concerning the independence movement in Guadeloupe. She is not perfect. She has flaws in her personal and professional life.

I regret to say she never became a truly interesting character for me. I wanted to like her. She is an admirable figure but she never caught me as a reader.

A continuing frustration in the book involved the repeated scenes where witnesses and police would not answer Ms. Leveaud’s questions directly. My patience was exhausted with the obstinate nature of the characters. I am accustomed to answers that are not always truthful but to avoid any response was to make the narrative choppy.

As noted in my last post the men of Guadeloupe were obsessive in their pursuit of women. There actions and attitudes did not change in the last 222 pages. Can it be that Caribbean men are living stereotypes?

The book stayed filled with examples of the racism of the island. The distinctions made between white and black and all the shades in between are never ending. The islanders of East Indian descent are simply called Indians. The racist attitudes are constant and depressing.

Guadeloupe may be a physical tropical paradise but the islanders are a grim group. I do not know if Caribbean noir is appropriate but I found the portrayal dark

 I did find the end of the book convincing and all too real. Unfortunately, it was too late for me. I think other readers might gobble up this book but I do not see reading another in the series.
 Williams, Timothy - (2016) - The Honest Folk of Guadeloupe - Part I


  1. I'm sorry to hear that this one didn't really do it for you, Bill. You highlight something really important, though: it's hard to really feel drawn into a book if there isn't at least one character (hopefully the main character) that really appeals. And I know exactly what you mean about the bleakness; I suppose there really is Caribbean noir.

    1. Margot: Thanks for the comment. Too many dark clouds over the honest folk of Guadeloupe for me.