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.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

The Corpse With the Iron Will by Cathy Ace

(17. - 1122.) The Corpse With the Iron Will by Cathy Ace - When Gordy, her next door neighbour on Red River Mountain, dies Cait Morgan is deeply saddened. Gordy had been a good friend to Cait and Morgan is deeply saddened. Gordy her husband, Bud Anderson. Increasingly frail at 93, his death was not a shock but it was unexpected.

Gordy had lived simply with aging appliances, a woodstove, a radio, no television and several thousand books.

With no known relatives and no closer friends, Cait and Bud decide to clean up his house a bit and check Gordy’s papers. They are soon summoned to the office of Gordy’s lawyers in nearby Mission, British Columbia. He has left hand printed letters to a number of area residents with comments and requests. Included are Cait and Bud. I was fascinated. I have never had a client leave behind a group of letters to be distributed after death.

Cait, a professor and victim profiler, and Bud, a retired homicide investigator, are ready to honour his directions to them.

Gordy turns out to be far more than a friendly quirky neighbour. Bud and Cait have their own quirk. They refer to each other as “Husband” and “Wife”.

They are surprised to learn he was one of many Saskatchewan residents who moved west from the 1950’s onward, usually for greater economic opportunities.

When diaries covering decades are found, Cait dives into Gordy’s life and I was anxious to find out what she discovered. She can process what she has read quickly for her eidetic memory lets her make mental rather conventional written notes.

Gordy was deeply involved in breeding plants in their area of Southwestern British Columbia. 

With her quick mind Cait can be brusque. She has few good friends.

Being designated to give Gordy’s eulogy gives Cait a clever means of asking questions about Gordy and his relationships.

I enjoyed the characterizations and descriptions. I was not fond of the ending.

Ace is a gifted writer and Cait an interesting sleuth. I plan to read more in the series.

The Corpse With the Iron Will was another good choice for the shortlist for Best Canadian Crime Novel Set in Canada. 


  1. I like this series, Bill, and I like Cait Morgan's character, so I was pleased to see you enjoyed this one overall. I think Cait and Bud make a good couple, and I like the way they work together. You make an interesting point about those letters; I've read a few crime novels where there are letters like that involved, but I've never heard of it in real life.

    1. Margot: Thanks for the comment. I discourage trying to rule from the grave. When you are gone let the next generation make their own decisions.

  2. Cathy recently sent me a copy of this book and I just finished it. I'm still surprised by how happy I become when I see Saskatchewan in a piece of fiction. I too will read more in this series.

    1. Anthony: Thanks for the comment. I agree. I am surprised by the number of writers who place Saskatchewan in their fiction who do not have a contact with the province known to me.