The Spanish Boy by C.S. Reardon

The year is 1936 and the Clarey family of Halifax, Nova Scotia is, by all accounts, a typical family. The father, Charles is the latest owner of Clarey Paint and Glass, a business started by his grandfather. Charles and Mary Clarey live in a house with their children Edith (Edie) and Mel. Their oldest, Gus is away at a seminary college in Antigonish. Mel’s best friend Lawrence (Lawrie) Shine lives across the street.… Continue reading “The Spanish Boy by C.S. Reardon”

Weaving Water by Annamarie Beckel

Author (and former St. John resident) Annamarie Beckel once conducted behavioural research on river otters* for her doctoral thesis and her fourth novel, Weaving Water (2016, Killick Press) is about Beth, a fiftyish woman who teaches Biology at a university but longs to get back into research, specifically river otters. Her husband Alan is a veterinarian and has just come into ownership of a dilapidated cottage once owned by his Aunt Kathleen on Medicine Rock Pond, about a four-hour drive from St.… Continue reading “Weaving Water by Annamarie Beckel”

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 “The Money Shot by Glenn Deir”

Art Love Forgery by Carolyn Morgan

Newfoundlander Carolyn Morgan has published her first novel, Art Love Forgery (2016, Flanker Press) and fans of historical fiction and romance will certainly appreciate this fine book. It is based on a singular incident in nineteenth-century colonial Newfoundland history when Polish artist (and convicted forger) Alexander Pindikowsky was tasked with beautifying some of St. John’s most important buildings, including Government House, home to the colony’s Lieutenant Governor.… Continue reading “Art Love Forgery by Carolyn Morgan”

Shadow of Doubt: The Trial of Dennis Oland by Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon

It’s not very often you get to review two books covering the same topic practically back-to-back. Such is the case this month (October) with the coverage of the Dennis Oland trial. Dennis Oland was convicted of second-degree murder in the bludgeoning death of his father millionaire Richard Oland in 2011. His bail appeal is set for Oct. 31st.

The first book out of the gate was Truth & Honour by Greg Marquis, published by Nimbus Publishing.… Continue reading “Shadow of Doubt: The Trial of Dennis Oland by Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon”

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 “Prisoner of Warren by Andreas Oertel”

Blood of Extraction by Todd Gordon & Jeffery R. Webber

It seems that Latin America is not given much attention these days, unless an international event like the Brazil Summer Olympics directs our attention to that sector of the globe. Yet, there is¬†a multiplicity of issues occurring there as a casual look at the BBC’s Latin America news page proves: economic unrest and uncertainty in Venezuela, a huge cocaine haul in Bolivia, and a drug lord’s luxury prison cell in a Paraguayan prison were just some of the headlines there at the time of this writing.… Continue reading “Blood of Extraction by Todd Gordon & Jeffery R. Webber”

The People Who Stay by Samantha Rideout

Samantha Rideout was born and raised in an outport community in Central Newfoundland. Her first novel, Pieces, was released in 2013. She currently lives in New York with her husband, Rob. Perhaps it is no coincidence that the primary female antagonist of The People Who Stay (2016, Flanker Press), Sylvia Pride, is also from an outport community and lives with her husband in Boston. She left Newfoundland to find something better, wanting to escape its close confines of friends and family and spread her wings.… Continue reading “The People Who Stay by Samantha Rideout”