Wolfe has written two mysteries set in rural
. Each features 61 year old detective inspector, Hazel Micallef, in the fictional town of Ontario . The Calling and The Return have been critical and popular successes. I have read The Calling and thoroughly enjoyed the book. On Tuesday I will publish my review. Port Dundas
The mystery within the mystery is the identity of Inger Ash Wolfe. The publisher, McClelland & Stewart, describes the author:
“Inger Ash Wolfe is the pseudonym of a well-known and well-regarded North American literary writer.”
The book was about to be published with the author’s name as Inger Wolfe. There arose a minor controversy because of the real life Danish author, Inger Wolf. At the last moment Ash was inserted into the name to make it more distinct. A questionable defence for the process of the Canadian name was offered that it was not realized that Inger Wolf had written mystery fiction when the name was checked.
The major issue has been Wolfe’s real identity. There was considerable speculation early on involving well known Canadian authors.
Jane Urquart was proposed until Wolfe’s agent, Ellen Levine, denied it was Urquart.
Nicola Manning, a Canadian blogger, said Wolfe is Canadian author, Russell Smith, in her review of The Calling which can be found at http://back-to-books.blogspot.com/2009/11/207-calling-by-inger-ash-wolfe.html. Her source of information was audiofilemagazine in its review at http://www.audiofilemagazine.com/dbsearch/showreview.cfm?Num=35504. I have not found anyone who knows audofile’s source. It appears Amazon briefly picked up on the audiofile story.
I have not been able to find any source in which Smith confirms or denies he is Wolfe. His website at http://www.russellsmith.ca/ does not contain any information on the issue.
He has previously used a pseudonym. Amongst his works of fiction is Diana – A Diary in the Second Person which he wrote under the pseudonym, Diana Savage. Depending on the reviewer the book is either erotica or pornography. I do not know if Smith writing a book imagining a woman in sexual passion leads to him imagining a strong willed 61 woman police inspector but it is intriguing.
January magazine did an interview with the author which can be found at http://januarymagazine.com/profiles/wolfe.html. There is also a Facebook interview at http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=141697892508677&topic=164. In each Wolfe explains the choice of a pseudonym.
I would be very interested if anyone out there has cracked the mystery of who is Inger Ash Wolfe?