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.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

2018 Ngaio Marsh Awards

Last year Craig Sisterson, organizer of the Ngaio Marsh Awards, invited me to participate in a clever approach to publicizing the Awards. Bloggers from around the world would write posts about the books and authors up for the Awards in the month leading up to the announcement of the winners. Each day there would be a post on the Facebook page for the Awards - https://www.facebook.com/NgaioMarshAward/

I was glad to be one of the bloggers and read an interesting first novel, Ice Shroud by Gordon Ell.

A few days ago Craig was in contact again. This year I am reading and reviewing Marlborough Man by Alan Carter. My post will be up on my blog and the Awards Facebook page on August 19.

I am in the midst of the book and finding it absorbing.

It is certainly a book that is a distinctly New Zealand story. As an example there was a scene in the book which sent a shiver up my spine. In an effort to get a couple to start answering questions pig’s blood is poured on them and they are threatened with an eel. It is not just an ordinary eel:

Deep in New Zealand’s lakes and along its meandering rivers, lives a monster. The New Zealand longfin eel is the largest freshwater eel on earth. They grow to two metres in length and weigh up to forty kilos. They have leathery skin, embedded with hundreds of tiny scales and monster.

I would have told the interrogator anything he wanted to hear from me.

There is lots of fine crime fiction being written in New Zealand.

The shortlists for this year’s Awards:

Best First Novel

The Floating Basin by Carolyn Hawes
Broken Silence by Helen Vivienne Fletcher (HVF Publishing)
All Our Secrets by Jennifer Lane (Rose Mira Books)
The Sound of Her Voice by Nathan Blackell (Mary Egan Publishing)
Nothing Bad Happens Here by Nikki Crutchley (Oak House Press)

Best Crime Novel

Marlborough Man by Alan Carter (Fremantle Press)
See You in September by Charity Norman (Allen & Unwin)
Tess by Kirsten McDougall (Victoria University Press)
The Sound of Her Voice by Nathan Blackell (Mary Egan Publishing)
A Killer Harvest by Paul Cleave (Upstart Press)
The Hidden Room by Stella Duffy (Virago)

The winners will be announced at WORD Christchurch (August 29 – September 2)


  1. There really are some fine entries into this year's competition, Bill. I'm glad you've had the chance to read at least one of them. I hope you'll enjoy the rest of Marlborough Man.

    1. Margot: Thanks for the comment.I know you have come to love New Zealand crime fiction.