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.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Blood and Groom by Jill Edmondson

Recently Toronto author, Jill Edmondson, provided me with copies of her books Blood and Groom and  Dead Light Distric to read and review. Tonight I post the review of Blood and Groom. Tomorrow will be the review of Dead Light District. Saturday will have Questions and Answers with Jill. Sunday will conclude the Jill Edmondson long weekend of posts with a post discussing the Questions and Answers. I encourage all readers to make sure they return for the Questions and Answers. They vividly reflect the author's personality.


17. – 576.) Blood and Groom by Jill Edmondson – Sasha Jackson is an engaging character with an outsize personality. A newly licenced Toronto private investigator she has a quick and sarcastic tongue. I am confident she swears more than any other female mystery hero. There are few hard boiled female investigators. As she seeks to establish herself Sasha toils part-time in the “slut mines” as a phone sex operator. (It is as sad a use of the phone as I expected.) To relieve stress, the former rock band singer loves to pound the drums in the family home. While fiercely independent Sasha is living with her father and brother.
            Usually involved in basic commercial checks and searches work gets more interesting when Christine Arvisais hires her to find out who killed Gordon Hanes, Christine’s former fiancé. He had broken off their engagement four months before the wedding. It was clever to set the mystery in the wedding industry. I would never have dreamed the marriage business could be so dangerous.
           While cleared by the police Christine wants Sasha to find the killer as she is still viewed by many as the killer. Sasha is the only private investigator she can afford. (I thought about Anthony Bidulka’s first book, Amuse Bouche, where a groom left at the altar by another groom is at the heart of the story.)
            It was a challenge to care about Gordon. Deceased before the start of the book it is more difficult to be interested in a victim who was never a live character.
            Sasha leaps into the investigation poking into Gordon’s life. He was a member of Toronto’s financial elite. The hard edged Sasha does not mix well with the genteel residents of Rosedale who, except for Gordon’s mother, are quite unpleasant people. Christine is a remarkably unlikeable client.
            The plot shift from a single murder to multiple fiancé killings was jarring to me. While plausible I found the solution came in a way that did not tie in well with the rest of the novel.
           While I enjoyed Sasha as a character more than the actual story I hope her roughest edges can be smoothed abit in the second book in the series. It was a good debut for the toughest fictional woman P.I. in Canada. She is actually a rival to Howard Shrier’s character, Jonah Geller, as the toughest P.I. in the nation. (Mar. 26/11)

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