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.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Alix Bosco Revealed and Inger Ash Wolfe Still a Pseudonym

A few weeks ago for “W” during the Alphabet in Crime Fiction meme hosted by Kerrie Smith at Mysteries in Paradise I put up a post asking “Who is Inger Ash Wolfe?”

The post dealt with theories on the identity of the author. The name is pseudonym. When the first book in the Hazel Micallef series, The Taken, was published there were articles published advising the author was a well known Canadian writer.

Since that time speculation has continued for the identity has not been revealed. I went into information from bloggers that put the leading candidate to be Russell Smith.

Wolfe’s books have done very well despite the author being unavailable in person for interviews.

On the other side of the world in New Zealand there had been another successful mystery series launched by an author using a pseudonym.

Alix Bosco published a very successful first novel with Cut & Run featuring legal researcher Anna Markunas.

Blurbs led the world to believe Bosco was a woman. Blogger, Craig Sisterton, from Crime Watch said he was convinced Bosco was a woman.

A week ago the author emerged from the shadows. To general surprise it was a man, Greg McGee, a former star rugby player.

At Crime Watch Craig has an excellent post on Bosco / McGee. He also provides a link to a long story in the Sunday Star Times where McGee was revealed as the author.

He said that he had used the pseudonym as he was convinced the book would not get a fair chance to succeed if readers knew the author was a man, especially a man known as a rugby player, whose lead character was a woman. His decision was confirmed by a panel of readers. The two who knew he was a man did not find it credible. The three who did not know had no problems with credibility.

McGee said he went public with his real identity because he heard it been a letdown when Bosco won the Ngaio Marsh crime writing award and there was no one to accept the award.

In an interesting exchange of comments on Crime Watch Kerrie raised the issue whether it was a form of deception for McGee to have used a female psuedonym. She specifically brought up the issue that were the writer Australian the author would have needed to reveal gender to be eligible for a Davitt Award. I thought McGee reacted rather defensively to the comment.

I am not sure there needs to be a protocol for authors using pseudonyms. They are intended to conceal a writer’s identity. Blurbs sound too artificial if they have no gender and make the author an “it”. No one should be surprised by the actual gender of any author using a pseudonym. Organizations and awards based on gender can simply disregard any author who relies on a pseudonym and does not reveal their gender.

The “reveal” certainly gained McGee significant publicity.

There is no indication Inger Ash Wolfe is about to identified. No one in the blogsphere has been able to help me answer the question “Who is Inger Ash Wolfe?” I am still interested in receiving information to solve the mystery.


  1. I can´t help you there, but I have noticed that when Scandinavian writers have ascertained that their books sell well, they usually let it slip who they are. ;)

    Latest examples are "Lars Kepler" (a married couple) and "Arne Dahl" (a literary critique).

  2. Dorte: I had not thought about the less successful authors being likely to remain pseudoymns. I suppose waiting to see if the book or books sell well is a way to decide whether you want your name unknown.