Under the Zaboca Tree by Glynis Guevara

Guevara was born in Barataria, Trinidad. She was shortlisted for the Small Axe Literary short fiction prize in 2012 and was also a finalist for the inaugural Burt Award for Caribbean Literature in 2014. She currently lives in Toronto where she works as an adult literacy and ESL instructor.

Under the Zaboca Tree (2017, Inanna Publications) is a Young Adult (YA) book that tells the story of Baby Girl (Melody) Sparks, and her trip to Trinidad and Tobago with her father Smokey (Nicholas) who has sole custody of her.… Continue reading

The Greatest Hits of Wanda Jaynes by Bridget Canning

If F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby defined a time period, then Bridget Canning’s The Greatest Hits of Wanda Jaynes is a book defined by a time period, and that time period is now. 2017. Technology and social media figure so prominently in Wanda Jaynes that this book could not have been written 10 or 15 years ago, for 2007 was still the email age; texting, YouTube, and the rise of the ubiquitous smartphone were yet to come.… Continue reading

The Effects of Isolation on the Brain by Erika Rummel

Don’t let the title mislead you; this is not a book about the results of a psychology experiment, however it is a novel about a woman who uses that excuse to explain away her presence in a cabin in a remote northern Ontario town in the dead of winter, should anyone ask. Ellie Kruezweg describes her situation in the opening pages:

It’s the middle of November, and I’m bored out of my mind.Continue reading

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

Black River Road cover

Black River Road by Debra Komar

Canadian author and retired forensic anthropologist Debra Komar has written her fourth book examining a historical crime, Black River Road (2016, Goose Lane Editions)*. Subtitled “An Unthinkable Crime, an Unlikely Suspect, and the Question of Character”, Ms. Komar searched back through historical court records to find this unique case of a murder committed outside the city of Saint John, New Brunswick in 1869.

The Man, the Mistress and the Murder

The man accused of the murder of Sarah Margaret (“Maggie”) Vail was respected Saint John architect John Monroe.… Continue reading

Debra komar

The Debra Komar Interview

To date, award-winning Canadian author and retired forensic anthropologist Debra Komar has written four books dealing with historic crimes committed in Canada: The Ballad of Jacob Peck, The Lynching of Peter Wheeler, The Bastard of Fort Stikine and most recently, Black River Road (to be released in September 2016). All are published by Goose Lane Editions. The four books are notable for Ms. Komar’s authoritative, forthright style of writing, covering the historical time period of the case, presenting the facts and pursuing lines of medico-legal reasoning from a present-day perspective.… 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