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.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

6th Canadian Book Challenge (Part II)

In my last post I discussed the 6th Canadian Book Challenge which ended earlier this week. Tonight's post deals with the books read during the Challenge.

The 13 books I read for the Challenge this year were:
1.) Before the Poison by Peter Robinson
2.) The Water Rat of Wanchai by Ian Hamilton
3.) Murder in a Cold Climate by Scott Young (1988)
4.) The Legends of the Lake on the Mountain by Roderick Benns

5.)  River in a Dry Land by Trevor Herriot and Reflections on River in a Dry Land
6.) Healthy, Wealthy & Dead (1994) by Suzanne North
7.) A Murder of Crows by David Rotenberg
8.) Redefining Success – Still Making Mistakes by W. Brett Wilson

9.) "C" is for Showdown at Border Town by Caroline Woodward

10.) “H” is for High Chicago by Howard Shrier

11.) The Disciple of Las Vegas by Ian Hamilton

12.) When the Saints Go Marching In by Anthony Bidulka

13.) "M" is for Murder at the Mendel by Gail Bowen (1992)

 I was alittle surprised when I realized that only 2 of the 13 books, Redefining Success and River in a Dry Land were non-fiction.

Three of the books - River in a Dry Land, When the Saints Go Marching In and Murder at the Mendel - were set in Saskatchewan.

Two books - The Legends of the Lake on the Mountain and Showdown at Border Town - were part of the Leaders & Legacies series of the adventures of young future Canadian Prime Ministers.

I liked all the books and would recommend them all to readers. At the same time I would not describe any of them as outstanding.

Out of the group, the pair of books by Ian Hamilton featuring forensic accountant and martial arts expert, Ava Lee, were my favourite finds of the year. Ava is a compelling character and the plots ricocheting around the world are fast paced. Ava reminds me abit of V.I. Warshawski.

My favourite book of the 13 was Murder in a Cold Climate. Matthew “Matteesie” Kitogitak is a fascinating character with an unconventional lifestyle for an RCMP inspector. The mystery set in the winter of northern Canada is a story that is uniquely Canadian in its combination of climate, location, geography, people and snowmobiles.

I am starting on the 7th Canadian Book Challenge next week.


  1. Bill - Thanks for your thoughtful discussion here. I'll admit I'm only just meeting Ava Lee, but I agree that she's a great character and I like what I've read so far. I very much like the variety among the books you've chosen too. There's a lot of diversity in Canadian crime fiction and I like that.

  2. Margot: Thanks for the comment. I think Ava will be the next internationally known sleuth from Canada. I expect Canadian crime writers will continue to be as diverse as our nation.

  3. Nice list, Bill, with lots of variety. I haven't written up my list yet. I will be interested to see how much variety there is in my books. I know I repeated some authors.

    And I am looking forward to starting on more Canadian books for the next challenge, and trying new authors.

  4. TracyK: Thanks for the comment. I am glad you are continuing to read North of the border. I look forward to your review post or posts.

  5. Good luck with the 7th Canadian Book Challenge, Bill. Gail Bowen and Anthony Bidulka are now officially on my list of new authors to read. I hope to read at least a couple of novels by both these writers, to begin with.

  6. Prashant: Thanks for the comment. I believe you will enjoy your literary trips to Saskatchewan. I will be interested in your thoughts on the books.