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, January 31, 2011

Email exchange with Graham Moore, author of The Sherlockian, on self garroting

After reading and reviewing The Sherlockian I wrote to the author, Graham Moore, about the question of whether a person can strangle themselves by tying something around their throat. My email to him and his reply form this post.



After reading a book I prepare a personal review which I post on my blog, Mysteries and More from Saskatchewan, which is located at mysteriesandmore.blogspot.com. My review is at the end of this message. As set out in the review I was very impressed by The Sherlockian.

The deaths of your character, Alex Cale, and the real life Sherlockian, Richard Lancelyn Green, by strangulation with a shoelace and the ambiguity of whether death was suicide or murder brought to mind a recent court case I handled. Part of my legal practice is criminal defence.

A year ago I successfully defended a Saskatchewan prison guard who had been charged with assaulting a young woman inmate. We led evidence that she had tried to strike him and he had defended himself.

The young woman was about 5’6” and 250 pounds. She was a deeply troubled person who often tied ligatures around her neck to choke herself. The evidence at trial showed numerous times while she was an inmate in Saskatchewan she either passed out or nearly became unconscious.

She was then transferred to other penal institutions in Canada. She continued to tie ligatures around her neck at each institution. Her life came to an end when she tied a ligature one night and died. There is great controversy in Canada over staff not intervening when they knew she had the ligature tied around her neck. A coroner’s inquest is dealing with the issue.

There have been various public reports and television documentaries about her.

There is no doubt for me that a person can bring about the end of their life by tying something tightly around their neck.

I would be interested in any comments you might have on this message and the review. I am considering posting the message and would include your response if you make one and give permission for it to be posted.

I look forward to your next book.

My review is:

Click here on The Sherlockian to link to my review


Bill Selnes


Thanks so much for sending that! Fascinating. I appreciate the update on the state of the medical debate about garroting.

And thanks for the kind review; I'm grateful.

So glad you enjoyed the book,


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