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.

Monday, May 20, 2019

On the Up by Shilo Jones

On the Up by Shilo Jones - A stream of character consciousness. Totally absorbed in themselves.

Jasminder Bansal role playing. Journalist. Now sales associate Marigold Group in Vancouver - It is one of “the largest development firms in the country” -  motive is not money. Wanting evidence. Seeking to exposing of Vincent Peele, a director of Marigold, and Clint Ward, the killer of her brother. Clint now part of Marigold. Aging gangster making the move from drugs to real estate. She will write corruption inside Marigold. Will get her a career in journalism.

Peele bicycle riding young executive. Relentlessly studding speech “progressive” cliches. Still has traditional approach to business.

Mark Ward, Clint’s brother, back in town. Ex-army. Wounded by a bomb in Afghanistan. Clint loves him - wants to dominate him - have him join Clint in crime. Has ex-wife and a child. Was in Thailand. Wants out of Vancouver.

Carl “Blitzo” Reed. Head of successful investment firm. Ethical investing. Loves recreational drugs. High during a business meeting. Mind racing. Thoughts veer in and out of reality. In Tesla. Imaginary pet pig, Holdout, in car. Good conversation with Holdout. Pig has solid investment advice. Call with estranged wife. Is she a robot? Challenging call. Wife no drugs. Concern over daughter. Holdout advising on personal relationships. Flying higher and higher. Blitzo surreal.

From Mark:

Saturday, six-o-fucking-clock in the a.m., twelve hours after landing in
Vancity. Driving one of Clint’s work trucks toward the Cash Corner, early
2000s Ford, not as sick as the Cummins but still dandy, feels good being
behind the wheel, eating an overripe apple I bought at 7-Eleven, dark
outside, winshield wipers on, work boots on, missing Thailand’s sunshine
but not the humidity, should I call Daree? Otherwise feeling flat, wonder
what next-level dope comes after the Oxys, which at this point are mainly
maintenance. Lots of crap careening through my head, jumbled, mostly
excited to get to work, smell fresh-dug dirt, cut lumber, diesel exhaust
form the Bobcat.

Or Carl:

Brand strategy meeting at an as-yet-unnamed organic hop farm/craft
brewery in a valley sideways from Pemberton. Huddled inside
voluminous orange robes, carrying a carved cedar staff adorned with
tinsel, sitting at the head of a table made of rough-hewn planks, under a
threatening sky, whispering incantations, brooding on the politics of the
street. Thinking about liberation in the form of a brick. Smashed
windows, simpler times. Black bloc. Infiltration. Worried my robes make
me look like a sunburned scrotum. Worried about toxins, off-gassing,
fluoride. Worrying that I should be worrying about formaldehyde. Brain
in a jar? Worried that fluoride and formaldehyde rhyme, is someone
trying to tell me something? Worrying about what to worry about next ….

Every character consumes multiple recreational drugs in mind altering quantities. Hard to be convincing. If satire too subtle for me. Who would trust any of them with an investment dollar?

Murder incidental to the plot.

Found hard to read. Normally no review of book not completed. On the Up exception. Post in style of the book.


  1. As I read your post, Bill, I was thinking that you must have written it in the style you chose for a reason. Now I understand the reason. Many other books on my TBR. Not choosing to add this one...