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, December 12, 2011

Bad Debts by Peter Temple (1996)

23. – 486.) Bad Debts by Peter Temple (1996) – J.D. Singh has raved about Temple’s books. I enjoyed the first, Iron Rose, I read but did not find it great. I decided to try his Jack Irish series with the first written in the mid-1990’s. Irish is a middle aged widowed barely practicing lawyer who makes his living working with a betting group who set up horse races (honestly finding an under-recognized horse and priming it for the right race) and searching out and collecting from debtors for which the law has no solution. He is a tough guy lawyer! (I cannot think of another.) I wanted him to be great. He is an intriguing character. His avocation is making furniture. In the great tradition of tough guys around the world he is troubled when a former client, Danny McKillop, seeks his help but misses him and then is murdered. Irish starts poking around on the death of the client and whether he was rightly convicted of vehicular homicide and sent to prison almost 20 years when Irish was functioning poorly after the murder of his wife. Irish finds himself drawn into the murky world of government land transactions. The young woman allegedly killed by McKillop was an activist against the closure of some questionable low rent housing. As Irish begins to unravel the mystery the schemers push back violently. Bodies start piling up around Irish. He finds love with journalist, Linda Hillier. Irish has a strong moral code in the manner of Spenser.  Irish’s Melbourne is a hard town with its full share of bad guys and corruption. I found the book very good but not great. I have an ongoing prejudice against high body counts in a mystery. I want to read the next to see how his life develops which is always a good sign for a mystery series. Paperback by choice. (June 10/09)

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