Being a lawyer rather than a statistician I do not know the odds of having three mystery authors setting their books in the same province and having the same letter of the alphabet to begin their last names but it must be long odds.
Of the trio Tony and Gail reside in
Nelson grew up in rural Saskatchewan
at Wakaw which is just over 80 km. from my home in Melfort. Saskatchewan
The author backgrounds overlap. Gail grew up in
and moved to Toronto where
she was an English professor at the Saskatchewan
until she retired. Tony grew up in rural First
on the family farm. He has had a series of jobs including bull cook at a
uranium mine (not a job for the sensitive), waiter, teacher and shoe salesman.
He appeared to have settled into being a chartered accountant until he decided
to become a mystery writer. Nelson grew up at Wakaw where his family published
the local weekly newspaper. He was an English teacher in Saskatchewan until he retired. Tony and Nelson actually
grew up about 60 km from each other with Nelson being a few years older. British
Their books are set in three different parts of
Tony’s books featuring Russell Quant are based in Saskatchewan
which is the largest city in the province with approximately 270,000 people.
Gail’s series with Joanne Kilbourn take place in Saskatoon ,
the capital of the province. Nelson’s mysteries with Bart Bartkowski are set in
the small town of Regina
which is a thinly veiled Wakaw. Crooked Lake
Their sleuths have very different occupations. Russell is a private investigator. Joanne spent most of the series as a political science professor at the
and just retired in the latest book. Bart is the operator of a fly-in fishing
camp in northern University of Regina . Saskatchewan
I have thought about what common elements there are for their sleuths and their mysteries. In particular, I have reflected on aspects of the characters and the plots that I would associate with
Family is very much a part of the lives of each of the sleuths. Russell is very close to his mother, Kay. Joanne has recently remarried and is happy with her lawyer husband Zack (Who could not be happy with a Saskachewan lawyer husband?). Bart is in a strong marriage with Rosie. Joanne and Bart have children with whom they have good relationships.
Each of the families of the sleuths have problems but none are the desperately dysfunctional families I see so often in crime fiction. Their issues are the challenges all of us face in life.
Each sleuth has a character trait associated with
people. They are all polite. While politeness may be boring to some it is a
provincial attribute with which I am comfortable. Saskatchewan
None of the books are piled high with bodies. I am sure each of the authors could have written large body counts but they are content with 1 or 2 or 3 bodies. With
having a low rate of murder in real life the books reflect our province. Saskatchewan
Each of the sleuths clearly enjoys living in
They like their fellow Saskatchewanians. They appreciate lifestyles that are
not in the midst of millions of people. Saskatchewan
Each of the sleuths is someone a reader would find easy to sit down with for a chat or meal.
The authors are equally fun. I have spent time with Tony and Gail. They are wonderful people with whom to have a conversation. I encourage any reader having a chance to attend an event with them to go see them. You will not be disappointed.
****My connection to the