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, October 3, 2014

New to Me Authors for July to September of 2014

While I thought there were not a lot of new authors for me for the third quarter of the year the total of 7 is actually higher than usual. What made the quarter different was the exceptional quality.

My new authors in chronological order are:

1.) Billy Strobe by John Martel;

2.) The Devil’s Making by Se├ín Haldane;

3.) Once We Were Brothers by Ronald H. Balson;

4.) The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout;

5.) The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach;

6.) The Collini Case by Ferdinand Von Schirach; and,

7.) Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin.

Of the group there were 3 books featuring lawyers – Billy Strobe, Once We Were Brothers and The Collini Case - mainly because I was reading the shortlist for the 2014 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction.

The Devil’s Making was the winner of the 2014 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Canadian Mystery Novel.

What made the quarter special were the last three books I read. Each was a great book and excellent in a different way which makes my choice for the best of the quarter difficult.

The Art of Fielding explored the human psyche and relationships through the experiences of a young baseball shortstop, Henry Skrimshander, at a small American university in Wisconsin.

The Collini Case dealt with the issues behind a brutal murder in contemporary Germany that took the reader back to WW II and the consequences of the war.

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter was an evocative look at rural Mississippi. It delved deep into the relationship between police officer, Silas “32” Jones, and garage owner, Larry Ott. It set out how lives can be defined by community assumptions and prejudices.

After reflection I choose The Art of Fielding. I expect I am influenced by my love of the baseball. I do expect the book to be known as a modern baseball classic. It is a powerful, almost mythic, book using baseball to frame the plot.


  1. Bill - You have had some good experiences with new-to-you authors this quarter. I'm glad of that. I'm honestly not surprised that the Harbach was your choice this time; there's something about baseball, and when you combine that with good writing and a solid story, well, the result can be fabulous. And I agree with you about the Franklin; I think it's an excellent novel.

  2. Margot: There are a lot of good authors to read. I struggle each month to get to most of the books I want to read.

  3. Bill, I agree, these are all quality books by quality authors. I'm interested in reading "The Collini Case."

    1. Prashant: Thanks for the comment. I hope you get to read The Collini Case.

  4. A nice and varied list there, Bill. The most interesting to me is Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter. I am not sure I am going to enjoy reading about rural Mississippi, but I will do it anyway.

  5. TracyK: Thanks for the comment. As I read the book I thought of you. I expect you will have a special perspective as it covers a time in the American South you have personally experienced.