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.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

New to Me Authors for April to June of 2014

Half of 2014 is gone. The first six months of the year have raced by for me. With regard to reading in the second quarter of the year I have read 6 new authors for me. They are:

1.) Defending Jacob by William Landay;

2.) Presto Variations by Lee Lamothe;

3.) Walls of a Mind by John Brooke;

4.) The Ascendant by Drew Chapman;

5.) The Hero of Hopewell Hill by Barbara Martin; and,

6.) An Inquiry into Love and Death by Simone St. James.

Of the sextet of newly read there was a clear choice for my favourite new author of the quarter.

The Ascendant captured me and held me to the end of the book. I have not read a book that so cleverly used technology to attack nations.

Walls of a Mind is a very good book and might have the favourite of the quarter but for The Ascendant. Brooke's novel is actually well into the series featuring French Chief Inspector Aliette Nouvelle. She is an engaging character and I plan to read more in the series.

I thank Kerrie Smith at her Mysteries in Paradise blog for continuing to host this meme which has made sure I read new authors every quarter of the year.


  1. Bill, you've read a variety of new authors and their books. In spite of your two favourite recommendations, "The Ascendant" and "Walls of a Mind," I couldn't pick either one as all six are new to me and I know they deserve to be read.

    1. Prashant: Thanks for the comment. I hope you can find a way to read some of these books.

  2. Bill - I like the variety in your choices for this quarter. And thanks for the reminder that I should read The Ascendant.

    1. Margot: Thanks for the comment. I think The Ascendant will reach your Spotlight if you get a chance to read it.

  3. Bill great to have made your list. While Presto made the finalist list for the Arthur Ellis award, I see most prize/award entries as publicity/promotion initiatives by the publishers; I didn't enter it in the Ellis and I don't think I'd enter anything in anything anyway. Nice to jump the industry and get directly appreciated by an actual reader.

    And -- this is very very minor self-promotion, which is the only kind I practice: The Glass Pieces is (finally) available through McNally-Robinson as POD. If you get a copy, I'd be interested to see what you think about it. (That series, too, was entered by the publisher for the Ellis; it was also a finalist.)

    In any event: thanks for the kudo. I'm always amazed how well my stuff is received outside Toronto.

    Best, Lee

    1. Lee: Thanks for the comment. I will keep an eye out for The Glass Pieces.

  4. Months ago, you told of three books nominated for a Canadian mystery prize. I think one was Sycamore Row. There was another I didn't write down but want to read, especially as I like to read legal crime fiction in my summer reading vacations.

    Can you recap the list of those three?

    1. Kathy D.: I think you may have been thinking of the 2014 shortlist for the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction. The list is:

      1.) Ronald H. Balson for Once We Were Brothers;
      2.) John Grisham for Sycamore Row; and,
      3.) Elizabeth Strout for The Burgess Boys.

      The other recent list was for the shortlist for the 2014 Best Novel Award of the Arthur Ellis Awards by the Crime Writers of Canada. If you want that list as well please let me know. It does not involve any legal fiction.

  5. Thanks. It was the Balson I hadn't written down. Strout's is on my list. (groan; that list is humongous.)

    1. Kathy D.: Thanks for the comment. When I finish my current book I am going to read Balson and Strout. My TBR pile is actually several piles.