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, January 26, 2011

The Princess of Burundi by Kjell Eriksson

5. – 564.) The Princess of Burundi by Kjell Eriksson – It took me a long time to really get involved with the story. In the midst of a harsh Saskatchewan winter reading a dark mystery set just before Christmas in Sweden maybe has too much winter. Reading about the problems from snow drifts is less interesting when you have just come in from shoveling the driveway. I found myself increasingly interested in the story and the last half of the book was gripping. It is a good police procedural.
            John Jonsson, known as “Little John”, is brutally murdered in Upsalla. It is hard to understand why an unemployed metal worker is tortured and killed. His wife, Berit, and teenage son, Justus, are devastated.
            A team of Swedish police conduct the investigation. Unlike the Wallander series where the stories focus on Wallander there is an emphasis on the team. I was reminded of Ed McBain’s long running series on the 87th Precinct. We learn a lot about all the investigators. While there is more about Ola Haver, leading the team, and Ann Lindell, on maternity leave, it is far more a team story. They conduct a thorough investigation diligently exploring and following up collections. I will be interested in seeing if the next follows McBain’s pattern of not always concentrating on the same members of the team in every story.
            My slow involvement in the story probably reflected that I did not find the powerful connection needed to the victim as P.D. James set out in Talking About Detective Fiction. I may have been unreasonably affected by Little John’s past.
            The story is more interesting because there is far more family involved than the average mystery. Erikson’s character development is excellent. They are real people. Hardcover or paperback. (Jan. 26/11)

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