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, May 14, 2019

2019 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction Shortlist

The shortlist for the 2019 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction has been announced by the University of Alabama and the American Bar Journal. The following books from the 25 entries were chosen:

1.) The Boat People by Sharon
2.) Class Action by Steven B.
Frank; and,
3.) The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey

This is the first year in which I do not know any of the authors.

In the release on the shortlist there is the following comment:

"This year's Harper Lee Prize was particularly difficult to
judge," said Molly McDonoug, editor and publisher of the
ABA Journal. "We were evaluating so many gripping and
compelling reads."

I would have been interested to know which books were on the long list but that information has not been released each year.

The judging panel for 2019 will be:

Robert Barnes, a journalist with the Washington Post; Steven Hobbs, Tom Bevill chairholder of Law at UA; Claire Matturro, a UA law school alumna; Utz McKnight, chair of the UA department of gender and race studies and professor of political science; and author Gin Phillips.

Of that group I know Claire Matturro having read her books featuring the obsessive and funny Southern attorney, Rose Lily Belle Cleary.

As with the Award in recent years readers of the ABA Journal will form a 5th voter for the Award.

The Award will be presented again at the Library of Congress during the National Book Festival.

Following my reading practice I plan to read the shortlist and provide posts on each book and my thoughts on the winner.


  1. What an interesting list, Bill. I do know Sujata Massey's work, and I believe she's quite talented. However, I've not read this one. I do think this will make for fine reading for you, and I look forward to your thoughts on the shortlist as you get to them.

    1. Margot: Thanks for the comment. I am glad to read your recommend Massey's work.

  2. Sharon Bala's book is on my summer TBR list since she is an Atlantic Canadian author.

    In the past, I've read one of the books in Sujata Massey's other series, and have Widows of Malabar Hill on my library reserve list, as it has been highly recommended by some book bloggers I respect.

    I admit I have heard of neither book nor author for #2.

    I'm looking forward to seeing who wins!

    1. Debbie: Thanks for the comment. I did not know Bala is Canadian. I am looking forward to these books.