Desperation: The Queen of Swansea by Gary Collins

Desperation: The Queen of Swansea won a 2017 The Very Best! Book Award for Fictionalized History.

storyteller and prolific author Gary Collins hails from Newfoundland and his previous book, Left to Die concerned the tragic death of 78 seal hunters on an ice floe in 1914. For his eleventh book Desperation: The Queen of Swansea (2016, Flanker Press), Mr Collins has gone back to the year 1867 to interpret another tragic maritime event, the shipwreck of the brig Queen of Swansea on Gull Island and the eventual death of all crew and passengers, either aboard ship or on the barrenness of lonely Gull Island bereft of anything slightly edible or drinkable.… Continue reading

Heroes of the Sea: Stories from the Atlantic Blue by Robert C. Parsons

Bestselling author Robert C. Parsons presents more than fifty exciting stories of high-seas adventure, set mainly along the shores of Newfoundland and Labrador in the 1800s and 1900s, these are true stories of men and women who faced the dangerous Atlantic Ocean in the days of sail. The stories are loosely grouped into nine parts such as Unusual, Wreck, Danger, Anxiety, Survival, Abandonment, Court, People, Conflict.… Continue reading

Truth & Honour by Greg Marquis

Subtitled “The Death of Richard Oland and the Trial of Dennis Oland” this book is due to be released just weeks after the New Brunswick Court of Appeals is to hear Dennis Oland’s appeal of his conviction in late October 2016. Dennis Oland is accused of second-degree murder in the bludgeoning death of his father, Richard Oland in Saint John, New Brunswick back in 2011.

The Evidence

As I removed this hardcover book from its cardboard container I noticed two names gracing the dustjacket.… Continue reading

Steal It All by Chuck Bowie

“The man continued down the hall, turned right and walked all the way to the back corner of the floor. He approached the door marked Director, Trade, opened it and walked in. The door, very solid, closed behind the intruder and the discrete click alerted the director to the presence of a guest. He swiveled around in time to receive a slug between the eyes. The man fired a second shot through the director’s heart, but he was already dead.”

So begins Steal It All, book #3 of the Sean Donovan: Thief for Hire series by New Brunswick author Chuck Bowie.… Continue reading

Hector Maclean: The Writings of a Loyalist-Era Military Settler in Nova Scotia by Jo Currie, Keith Mercer, John G. Reid

Hector Maclean (1751–1812) was a Lieutenant in the 2nd Battalion of the 84th Regiment during the War of the American Revolution. After the war, Maclean settled in the newly created county of Hants, Nova Scotia, near present-day Kennetcook. This volume presents the annotated texts of two major historical sources: the letters Maclean wrote between 1779 and 1787, primarily to Murdoch Maclaine, and the diary he kept between April 1786 and April 1787 using the empty pages of his orderly book from the South Carolina campaign of 1781.… Continue reading

Prisoner of Warren by Andreas Oertel

World War II Internment Camp B70, better known as Ripples Internment Camp is a little-known part of New Brunswick (and Atlantic Canada) history. Located near the mining town of Minto, the camp existed from 1940-45. Little of it exists today; a concrete structure that supported a wooden water tower is the only permanent part of the camp still there. There is a walking trail through the area where the camp existed, and the Minto town hall hosts a museum containing hundreds of camp artefacts.… Continue reading

English is Not a Magic Language by Jacques Poulin

This small treasure of a book (130 pages) was first published in French in 2009, and Véhicule Press has had it translated (by Sheila Fischman) and released it as English is Not a Magic Language under their Esplanade Books fiction imprint. It is the story of two brothers, Jack, the elder brother and Francis the younger one. In between the two is their sister (who goes unnamed, but Francis refers to her as “Little Sister” even though she is a little older than him).… Continue reading

Mister Nightingale by Paul Bowdring

Award-winning Newfoundland author Paul Bowdring’s fourth book, Mister Nightingale (2016, Vagrant Press) is an introspective novel, one requiring some patience on behalf of the reader before being gently absorbed into James Nightingale’s world. Mister Nightingale, while being written by Mr Bowdring, is penned as if the fictional character James Nightingale (who is also an author) has written it, adding a high level of startling authenticity to a novel that reads more like a memoir.… Continue reading