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 17, 2011

Bone Valley by Claire Matturro

The Alphabet in Crime Fiction hosted by Kerrie Smith at Mysteries in Paradise is virtually at the end of the alphabet with “Y”. There are not many “Y’s” in my reading history. I have chosen Bone Valley by Claire Matturo. I have not found a lot of successful writers using humour in crime fiction. Even fewer feature funny lawyers. Rarer yet is the author an actual lawyer. Claire and Paul Levine are the only writers I know who meet the triple challenge.
28. - 491.) Bone Valley by Claire Matturro – Lily Belle Cleary is dragged into defending an orange defamation suit by Olivia, the wife of a senior partner in her law firm. Who knew you could not insult oranges in Florida? Her clients, Angus and the beautiful Miguel, are crusading environmentalists. With little difficulty they draw Lily into their efforts to protect the Sarasota area from further mining for gypsum phosphate. The mining industry has already created bone valley. M. David Moody, unscrupulous businessman and former lover of Lily, is discovered dead in a gyp stack – a gruesomely appropriate site for his murder. As Lily delves into the mystery she acquires a senior citizen assistant, Jimmie Rogers, who is also her handy man and her yard man. The action is non-stop as Lily whirls about always maintaining her cleaning fetish. It is an entertaining book. I did miss Lily in her office and in court. Her mysteries are better when they feature Lily, the hyper-aggressive trial lawyer. I regret the plainness of the paperback cover after the stylish eye catching designs on the first two mysteries. The characters are fascinating and a part of the locale rather than generic anywhere people. I hope to find Lily Belle back in the courtroom in her next adventure. Paperback. (July 31/09)


  1. Bill - Thanks for this fine review. Like you, I don't often find crime fiction that successfully combines humour, lawyers and a decent mystery. And the author's an attorney? That's really interesting! I'm glad you enjoyed this mystery, and I'm going to have to scout out some of Matturo's work.

  2. Margot: Thanks for the comment. I think you will enjoy any in the series. Lily Belle is an entertaining quirky character.

  3. An orange defamation suit? Really?

    Sometimes I think I am getting to know the English language, but I really saw a person dressed in (challenging) orange there. But perhaps I just read too few legal thrillers :D

  4. Dorte: Thanks for the comment. Matturro put together a fictional case involving a Florida law passed to protect oranges (actually the industry) from slanderous comments. It was a strange basis for a court case but entertaining.