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, November 2, 2021

The fourth "F" is Forgiveness

In my last post I reviewed Gail Bowen's new book, An Image in the Lake. After posting the review I exchanged emails with Gail. I appreciate her responding to my thoughts on her book.



Below is a link to my review of An Image in the Lake. I enjoyed the book.

I appreciated Joanne’s return to provincial politics. 

In Deadly Appearances, the opening book of your series, Andy Boychuk, Saskatchewan’s premier, was poisoned at a political picnic. I was glad there was not a carafe of water sitting on a trailer at the political picnic in An Image in the Lake.

Joanne, a dedicated supporter of Boychuk’s progressive party, participated in decades of political campaigns until she took a break while Zack entered municipal politics running to be Mayor of Regina.

As I read the book I noted the provincial political party was not named. As I think about it I do not recall the party being named in any of the books. It is clearly the NDP (the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party for readers outside Canada).

You are proud of the party and its accomplishments. I have wondered why you have chosen not to name the party. I can see no harm for the provincial NDP and even some benefit for the party in being mentioned in your books.  In An Image in the Lake you have a character refer to a candidate for the real life Saskatchewan Party.

Throughout the series you have referred to existing Regina businesses. In An Image in the Lake Joanne orders pizza from the Copper Kettle and gets sandwiches from the Star Deli (I love their fresh made Italian sandwiches).

I found Joanne’s statement that the party needs to return to the core principles of its founding in the 1930’s in the CCF (Canadian Commonwealth Federation) interesting. Might that be your personal conviction?

I am not a supporter of the NDP. At the same time I have been an avid observer and occasional participant in Saskatchwan politics. As with Joanne I have been in the background.

You rightly point to the need for the leader of any political party to have charisma. In your book Alison Janvier admirably fills that role. I remain a little surprised the real life party has never had a female leader beyond Nicole Sarauer’s brief tenure as interim leader.

I wondered if the following statement, while swiftly withdrawn by Janvier, might also have reflected your personal thoughts:

…. and when a reporter asked her if it was time for someone like her to lead the party, she said, “Why not? We haven’t had much luck with our string of old white guys.”

I look forward to the next book in the series.

If you are able to reply I will include it when I post this email on my blog.

All the best.



Happy Friday, Bill,

This did indeed arrive, and as always, your comments are thoughtful and thought provoking. As in the other books in the JKS series, faith, family and food are integral parts of An Image in the Lake, but this novel focuses on a fourth 'f' -- forgiveness. 

Jill Oziowy's betrayal of Joanne and her family is at the centre of 12 Rose Street. After much soul-searching, Joanne is finally able to reach out to Jill.  When the book was published I had a surprising, and to me, heartbreaking number of letters from people asking me if I could teach them how to forgive. 

Joanne's conversation with her daughter, Mieka, about the Japanese art form of Kintsugi is an attempt to answer those readers' questions about forgiveness.  I'm glad you noted that the need to forgive is at the heart of An Image in the Lake.

Have a fine weekend. 

** Bowen, Gail – (2000) - Burying Ariel (Second best fiction of 2000); (2002) - The Glass Coffin; (2004) - The Last Good Day; (2007) – The Endless Knot (Second Best Fiction of 2007); (2008) - The Brutal Heart; (2010) - The Nesting Dolls; (2011) - Deadly Appearances; (2012) - Kaleidoscope; (2013) - Murder at the Mendel; (2013) - The Gifted and Q & A; (2015) - 12 Rose Street; Q & A with Gail Bowen on Writing and the Joanne Kilbourn Series; (2016) - What's Left Behind and Heritage Poultry in Saskatchewan Crime Fiction; (2017) - The Winners' Circle(2018) - Sleuth - Gail Bowen on Writing Mysteries / Gail the Grand Master - (Part I) and (Part II); (2018) - A Darkness of the Heart and Email Exchange with Gail on ADOH; (2020) - The Unlocking Season; (2021) - An Image in the Lake Hardcover


  1. Thanks, Bill, for sharing this. And thanks to Gail, too, for your remarks. I've seen forgiveness play roles in other novels in this series, too; it's interesting how it's woven through the series. Really interesting discussion of Saskatchewan's politics, too - a topic I don't know enough about. I appreciate your sharing this exchange.

    1. Margot: Thanks for the comment. Forgiveness is an important theme in the series. It is a powerful emotion.

  2. The virtual launch of An Image in the Lake is on Youtube and also has some revelations you might find interesting. Also - I never thought I'd watch an interview with Gail where they have to 'bleep' her! Ha!

    1. Anthony: Thanks for the comment. I will have to go take a look. Oh my, "bleeping" Gail.