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.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Return to Whodunit? Mystery Bookstore

Two years ago I was in Winnipeg for a Rotary Conference and visited the Whodunit Mystery Bookstore on Lilac Street. After starting the blog I put up a post on the store.

This weekend I am back in Winnipeg for another Rotary Conference and was glad to be able to return to the store. Witih "M" for Mystery having closed in California I am never sure whether a mystery bookstore will still be there when I can return to a city.

Whodunit has been having a difficult spring. Their roof started leaking and water came through the ceiling of the store. Fortunately it missed most of their books and only a few used books were damaged. They are in the process of repairing the store and the building will be back to normal shortly.

Jack and Wendy Bumsted carry on in the store while the repairs are being made and all the books are available.

It is a great place to go for mysteries. You are immediately at ease talking with them about mysteries. One or both of them know authors popular and obscure. It is far from the average bookstore where clerks barely know the best seller authors.

On this visit I was looking at Canadian and foreign authors.

I would have gotten the second book in the Michael Van Rooy series involving the former convict, Sam Parker, which is set in Winnipeg but they did not have it in soft cover.

I picked up a copy of Before the Poison by Peter Robinson. It won the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Mystery Novel in 2012 beating out a trio of books I had read - A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny, I'll See You in My Dreams by William Deverell and Old City Hall by Robert Rotenberg. Also on the short list was I'm Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley. As I thought the trio I had read were all excellent books I want to see if I agree Before the Poison is best.

I then found myself trying to decide between a Martin Limon book and another 2012 Arthur Ellis Winner, The Water Rat of Wanchai by Ian Hamilton, which won the Best First Novel.

Jack said Martin Limon was a superior writer and the Hamilton book was also very good.

In the end I decided to stay in Canada with The Water Rat of Wanchai. I declined to give way and purchase 3 books when I went determined to limit myself to 2 books.

Any mystery book lover who gets to Winnipeg should make time to get to Whodunit. It is worth the effort.


  1. Oh I do envy you Bill - we don't have any mystery bookshops in my city and the one I know of in the whole country (a mere 800km drive away) sells second hand only which is fine except that the stock is...eclectic to say the least.

  2. Bill, thanks for writing about the Whodunit. As a genre specific bookstore it must be very popular among readers of crime-fiction in Winnipeg. Does Whodunit sell vintage mystery books? I decide to buy a couple of books and usually end up buying more.

  3. Bill - What a great store! I'm so glad they're still doing well. I love stores that are just devoted to mysteries and there aren't any close by where I live. Thanks for reminding me that they're still out there.

  4. It sounds such a wonderful bookshop. There were two very good crime fiction bookshops in London, but first one closed and then, more recently, the other. It seems impossible to find specialist sellers of this kind of fiction any more in the UK. I hope you enjoy the Robinson book & look forward to your views on it in due course. I've read and enjoyed four of his books but have not read any more for some reason.

  5. Bernadette: Thanks for the comment. I think I was in the shop you speak of in Melbourne and eclectic is a good description.

  6. Prashant: Thanks for the comment. The used books on display were fairly recent mysteries. I do not know if they keep any vintage mysteries hidden away.

  7. Margot: Thanks for the comment. There are not many mystery bookstores in Canada. Whodunit? is the only one I know between Toronto and Vancouver.

  8. Maxine: Thanks for the comment. It is sad that no crime fiction bookshops have survived in London.

  9. I wish that a bookstore named Whodunit, owned by the Bumsteads was in my environs.

    There is an independent mystery bookstore about 15 blocks from my residence, but I'm not often there.

    I do like it. Wish I could visit more often.

  10. kathy d.: Thanks for the comment. I equally wish I got to Winnipeg more often to visit the store.