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, October 11, 2016

New to Me Authors for July to September of 2016

Kerrie Smith at her fine blog, Mysteries in Paradise, hosts New Authors each quarter.

For the third quarter of 2016 my reading of new authors emphasized legal mysteries, mainly because I was reading the shortlist for the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction.

The authors were:

1.) Open Season by Peter Kirby

2.) Tom & Lucky and George and Cokey Flo by C. Joseph Greaves

3.) Pleasantville by Attica Locke

4.) Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson

5.) The Honest Folk of Guadeloupe by Timothy Williams

Out of the group my only real disappointment was The Honest Folk of Guadeloupe. I found it a tough read and I barely finished the book.

Most quarters Attica Locke for Pleasantville would have been my choice for best new author. Pleasantville was a fascinating look at a black lawyer drawn into the complexities of a community, Pleasantville, designed for and inhabited by black upper middle class families. The book is aptly named in honour of the community.

I was so interested in the lawyer, Jay Porter, that I looked for and found in one of the Fair's Fair used bookstores in Calgary a copy of the earlier book, Black Water Rising, that Locke wrote with Porter as the lead character.

Locke was not favourite as this was not an ordinary quarter. Snow Falling on Cedars is an extraordinary book. The story involving the murder trial of Kabuo Miyamoto, a Japanese fisherman, accused of murdering Carl Heine Jr. is an American saga.

The painful consequences of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II are at the heart of the book. I liked the book so much I wrote four posts about it. It is the leading candidate for my Best of 2016 Fiction.


  1. Pleasantville is a terrific read, Bill, and I can see how you'd be inspired by it to go back and read Black Water Rising. As for Snow..., I agree: that's a very special sort of novel. Little wonder it was your clear top choice this time.

    1. Margot: Thanks for the comment. Two great books in a quarter means a good quarter of reading.

  2. I didn't realise Atticka Locke has written a follow up featuring Jay Porter, I shall have to look out for it as I did read Black Water Rising and liked the character. But I can see why Snow Falling on Cedars won the day...it is an extraordinary book (and the film is actually decent as well, a young Ethan Hawke is Ishmael from memory)

  3. Bernadette: Thanks for your comment. I appreciate hearing your thoughts on the movie. I may watch it.

  4. You're the only blog that I follow who has mentioend the Harper Lee prize. I hope you'll announce the winner so I'll be able to keep in the loop. Thanks!

    1. Debbie: Thanks for the comment. The winner was Pleasantville by Attica Locke. I think I will do a post tomorrow on the three books from the shortlist.

  5. I agree about Snow Falling on Cedars. It is a beautiful book, well-written and full of compassion for the characters, especially the interned Japanese. There is so much to this book and it should be required reading in U.S. schools.

    Pleasantville is good as is Black Water Rising.

    But I would also put Guterson's book as a favorite.

  6. Kathy D.: Thanks for the comment. So many people love Snow Falling on Cedars. It is one of the rare books that genuinely moves readers.