Jack Fitzgerald’s Treasury of Newfoundland Stories, Volume II: Amazing and Strange

Jack Fitzgerald’s Treasury of Newfoundland Stories, Volume II: Amazing and Strange is a substantial collection of tales from times long forgotten. They include yarns of Newfoundland’s people and places, happenings and things, ranging from the extraordinary and remarkable to the bizarre, uncanny and fantastic. Especially appealing is the Christmas section which includes spine-tingling tales of spooks and spectres. These stories have been gathered from archival materials, old newspapers and magazines, and from the oral traditions in communities throughout the province.… Continue reading

The Nearly Girl by Lisa de Nikolits

The Nearly Girl is a quirky exploration into people’s peculiarities and is absolutely riveting to read.

Amelia, the novel’s young protagonist, signs up for group therapy to assuage her teenage angst; she feels like an outcast and just yearns to be normal. Like most young adults, Amelia thinks she has been marred by her parent’s foibles. Her father, Henry, is an acclaimed, outré poet with preternaturally dark tendencies and her mother, Megan, is an aloof, withdrawn woman who shirks all parental responsibilities—finding solace in suntan booths and the gym instead.… Continue reading

Waiting for Still Water by Susan White

Award-winning New Brunswick author Susan White’s newest young adult/middle-grader novel is Waiting for Still Water, a book centred around an extended family composed of foster children, past and present, who have been under the care of the redoubtable Amelia Walton, who owns a farm on Walton Lake on the Kingston Peninsula. Over the years, Amelia (a foster child herself) has fostered many children and has just one rule for her charges: “Do your part and spend an hour alone at the lake”.Continue reading

A Long Ways From Home by Mike Martin

Instalment #5 in Mike Martin’s Sgt. Windflower Mystery series finds the Grand Banks Newfoundland RCMP officer monitoring a relatively peaceful motorcycle gang show of strength in the province, only to discover two dead bodies in its wake. This, along with tracking down a missing female motorcyclist has Windflower stretching his limited resources to the full.

Sgt. Winston Windflower is a Cree from Alberta but loves life in Newfoundland with his dog Lady, and his long-time sidekick Corporal Eddie Tizzard.… Continue reading

The Money Shot by Glenn Deir

Ever since anchorman Peter Mansbridge (CBC’s The National) announced his plans to retire, the search has been on for a replacement. I propose that Sebastian Hunter the male protagonist (and more often than not, antagonist) of Glenn Deir’s irreverent novel The Money Shot (2016, Breakwater Books) be given a ‘shot’ at the top job.

The author (who is a former CBC television reporter) describes Sebastian as an “unscrupulous rake”.… Continue reading

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

Straw Man (A Jack McMorrow Mystery #11) by Gerry Boyle

: Straw Man was the winner of the 2017 Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction!

Islandport Books has released book #11 in the Jack McMorrow Mystery series by Maine author Gerry Boyle. I previously reviewed #10 Once Burned and said that the hard-boiled detective created by Dashiell Hammett is alive and well and living in rural Maine, working as a freelance writer/reporter. This time Jack is up against gun runners, gangs and Old Order Mennonites in his quest for stories.… Continue reading

After Drowning by Valerie Mills-Milde

This is Valerie Mills-Milde’s debut novel and it is a superb one. Located on the north shore of Lake Erie where there was once a thriving freshwater fishing industry, After Drowning is a semi-psychological and vastly intriguing novel about lives shattered by events past and present in the fictional town of Port, where a vestigial fishing industry still exists in company with gentrified tourist destinations, and of course, the beach.… Continue reading