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, May 13, 2017

2017 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction Shortlist

The shortlist for the 2017 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction was announced by the ABA Law Journal and University of Alabama Law School earlier today.

On the shortlist are:

1.) Gone Again by James Grippando;
2.) Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult; and,
3.) The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore.

As with most literary awards I have not read any of the books.

Certainly Grippando, Picoult and Moore are all well known authors.

In 2011 I loved Moore’s book, The Sherlockian. There were past and present mysteries involving Holmes. In my review I said:

Both White and Doyle work to solve their mysteries by Holmesian methods. We have a devout Sherlockian and the author of Holmes trying to be Holmes. The book is a triumph of logic. It is a rare mystery so devoted to logical reasoning. There are no leaps of intuition and but rare coincidences or fortunate circumstances.

It tied for third on Bill’s Best of Fiction in 2011.

I exchanged emails with Moore on the question of whether a person can cause their own death by strangulation by tying and tightening a ligature around their neck. I referred to a criminal trial which involved a young woman who tied many ligatures around in neck. Here is a link to that post - http://mysteriesandmore.blogspot.ca/2011/03/email-exchange-with-graham-moore-author.html

With regard to this year’s award there were 25 books submitted. A few years ago, after John Grisham won for the second time, the criteria were tweaked to provide previous winners could not win again.

This year’s panel of judges are:

Deborah Johnson, winner of the 2015 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction and 
author of The Secret of Magic; Cassandra King, author of The Same Sweet Girls 
Guide to Life; Don Noble, host of Alabama Public Radio’s book review series as 
well as host of “Bookmark,” which airs on Alabama Public Television and Han 
Nolan, author of Dancing on the Edge.

They are described as a panel of writers.

For unexplained reasons the Award will be handed out at the University of Alabama this year rather than at the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.

I am planning to read and review the shortlist and post my thoughts on whether I agree on the best book.


  1. I'll be really interested in what you think of these books, Bill. And I always like learning a bit about the judges for the prize. Thanks, as ever, for keeping us updated on this award.

    1. Margot: Thanks for the comment. I picked up the three books this afternoon at the McNally Robinson bookstore in Saskatoon.

  2. I look forward to your reviews on these books, Bill. I have not read anything by these authors.

    1. TracyK: Thanks for the comment. I will start upon the trio after reading the Arthur Ellis shortlist for best novel.

  3. I haven't read these books and look forward to your reviews.

    1. Kathy D.: Thanks for the comment. They are sitting beside me to be read once I am through the Arthur Ellis Best Novel shortlist.