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.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Red Square by Edward Topol and Fridrikh Neznansky

The Alphabet in Crime Fiction meme hosted by Kerrie Smith at her blog Mysteries in Paradise rolls on to the letter "N". I have chosen a book co-authored by Fridrikh Neznansky. Written in 1982 it is a superb mystery/thriller which is remarkable, as stated in my review, with how it "presaged" the economic decisions of the late 1980's in the U.S.S.R. Neznansky, trained as a lawyer, was reported to have been a criminal investigator for Moscow prosecutors before he left Russia. The book is not easy to find but is worth the hunt.


12. - 327.) Red Square by Edward Topol and Fridrikh Neznansky (1982) – Leonid Brezhnev’s brother-in-law, Semyon Tvisgun, has been found dead in an apartment with a bullet through his head. Brezhnev summons Special Investigator, Igor Shamrayev, to investigate the official verdict of suicide. Sharmrayev soon discovers it was murder. With his new Georgian girfriend, Nina Makarycheva, and devoted fellow investigator, Marat Svetlov, he relentlessly pursues the truth. Tvisgun and Brezhnev’s family have profited handsomely from corruption in the economy. A special investigation is rounding up their friends and business acquaintances. Is a coup in sight? An investigator has unlimited power in a totalitarian state when he bears a personal letter of authority from the head of state. The end was as uncompromising as Le Carre’s Absolute Friends a generation later. It is amazing how the book presages the decisions of the late 1980’s to partially open up the Russian economy to try to save the Communist state. Excellent. (Feb. 27/06)


  1. Thanks for showcasing a crime fiction author I never heard about till date

    Here is my Npost!

  2. guatami - Thank you for the comment. I find it interesting to hear about new authors.

  3. I see there is another one called RED SNOW and yet another called RED GAS Bill. Thanks for this contribution to the CFA with yet another author to track down

  4. Kerrie: Thanks for the comment. I have read Red Snow and it is a remarkable story set in northern Russia. I will have a post about some time in the future. I think you would find yourself gripped by either book. I appreciate your hosting of the Alphabet in Crime Fiction. The posts have provided me interesting information and encouragement to try new authors.