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.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

A Quintet from Sleuth of Baker Street

In my last post I discussed attending an author event on Sunday at the Sleuth of Baker Street bookstore in Toronto. As always I did some book shopping at Sleuth.

Having listened to the descriptions of the books and excerpts from each book I decided to buy The B-Team by Melodie Campbell. I was attracted to the book by the quirky characters and Melodie’s well known and well recognized sense of humour. Her website is titled funnygirlmelodie.blogspot.ca.

Melodie spoke of the challenge in trying to write fiction that is funny. At the end of the writing process, having read the book so many times she said she has to send it away to the publisher to judge its humour as she can no longer tell if it is humorous.

As I went around the bookstore looking at shelves and tables I spent most of my time looking for authors who are harder to find in stores. I can find the books of the best sellers in almost any bookstore.

I did look for a book bound to be a best seller. Jason Mathews’ new book, The Kremlin’s Candidate, has just been published. With the success of Red Sparrow and Victim of Treason I expect the third book in the trilogy, The Kremlin’s Candidate, will be a best seller. Dominika Egorova is a fascinating spy.

My second book purchase was Body on Baker Street by Vicki Delany which is the second in her series involving Emma Doyle in her Sherlockian bookshop in Massachusetts. In the first book I enjoyed Emma’s intense powers of observation and her surprise that the rest of the world did not always appreciate the swiftness of her mind. A boyfriend did not propose marriage when she told him in advance she knew he was going to propose.

In a recent comment on The Kings of London, fellow blogger and friend Moira from Clothes in Books, said she was not ready at the moment for a depressing story. I can understand the thought. Part of the reason I bought the above two books is that each of them is not going to depress me in the reading.

My third book was Cut You Down, the second book in the Dave Wakeland series by Sam Wiebe. The author gained recognition in 2012 when he won the Unhanged Arthur Award for best unpublished novel with Last of the Independents. It subsequently became his first published book. He then embarked on the Wakeland series with Invisible Dead. The series, gritty but not depressing, is set on the mean streets of Vancouver.

The fourth book was All the Lonely People by Martin Edwards. I have enjoyed reading about Martin over my years as a blogger. Between his own fiction and collections of stories he has edited and his non-fiction work few can match the breadth of his crime fiction skills and knowledge. I had always been interested in reading his Harry Devlin series about a Liverpool solicitor. With Martin having been a lawyer I wanted to read what kind of lawyer he created. (That sentence sounds vaguely Frankensteinian but I will leave it as written.)

I was going to stop after four books but, as I was lined up to pay for my books (there is a scene not seen often enough in independent bookstores), on the shelf of staff recommended books was Take Down by James Swain. It sounded abit like The B-Team with a criminal seeking to do right. Being a book set in America, Las Vegas, I expect there will be more violence than the ladies of the B-Team in Hamilton. Still hesitating I asked Marian who had liked the book and she said J.D. Knowing it is not often they like the same book I asked her thoughts and she said J.D. had told her that he thought she would like it. She said he does not often make such a recommendation and she expected to soon read the book. Take Down became my fifth purchase. And it turned out to be autographed by the author.

I did take the opportunity to ask Marian if the store had any copies of the new Susan Wolfe legal mystery. I said I had liked The Last Billable Hour and was looking for the new book. She said she had loved The Last Billable Hour but had not heard of the new book. Her computer showed that the Canadian distributor did not have any in stock. She said she would contact them and see if she could get me a copy.

While there is no longer a cat to greet customers Marian has her faithful companion, Percy, quietly wandering the store and checking out visitors.

Lovers of crime fiction will never be disappointed if they visit Sleuth. I have been shopping there for almost 30 years.


  1. You got some fine books, Bill. I know what you mean, too, about not wanting to be depressed. Sometimes I do the same thing - choose books that I know won't depress me. I think you'll like All the Lonely People. Edwards is a talented author as well as a knowledgeable crime fiction expert. I'll be interested in what you think of it.

    1. Margot: Thanks for the comment. I try not to get too excited before reading a book so that my expectations are not too high.

  2. Sounds like an excellent haul. I have many fond memories of our time spent together at the Sleuth, particularly on several cold winter days when we visited the great aunts in Mississauga.

    1. Jonathan: Thanks for the comment. Your comment brought back my own memories of our visits to Sleuth, Aunt Maureen and Aunt Ellen. Maybe in a few years we will be able to take Hannah to Sleuth.

  3. thanks for the mention Bill - I must say I am looking for cheerful books more and more (strange in a crime fiction fan, perhaps, but I think we all know what I mean.)
    This bookstore sounds wonderful, you were lucky to get the chance to visit, and got away lightly with your haul...

    1. Moira: Thanks for the comment. I am always glad to mention you. With books to the left and right and up and down and in almost every room I ........ will not be short of reading.