Death at the Harbourview Cafe by Fred Humber

Three deaths: one, a popular Chinese businessman, the second his adopted son, and the third a rookie RCMP constable in a popular cafe and store in the unassuming town of Botwood Newfoundland. If that doesn’t have the makings of a good mystery-thriller, then I don’t know what does. But this isn’t fiction, it’s a true crime story that occurred in 1958, and it remained untold for many years, but lay dormant in the collective memory of the town and any eyewitnesses that happened to be in Botwood that fateful November day.… Continue reading

The Mike Martin Interview

Sgt. Windflower Mystery series is a series of cozy mysteries set in the small Newfoundland town of Grand Bank where Sgt. Winston Windflower is the top cop in the RCMP detachment there. The latest instalment in the series, A Tangled Web (2017, Baico Publishing), has just been released.

It begins innocuously enough:

“Life doesn’t get much better than this,” said Winston Windflower. The Mountie looked over at his collie, Lady, who wagged her tail at the sound of his voice.Continue reading

I Remain, Your Loving Son: Intimate Stories of Beaumont-Hamel by Frances Ennis (Editor), Bob Wakeham (Editor)

this book is composed of transcripts of two documentaries, with added poems and photographs, it doesn’t really lend itself to any type of review other than to compliment Flanker Press on doing admirable job of assembling and producing this book. Particularly striking is the full-colour insert “Remembering With Rugs” a collection of hand-hooked rugs commemorating aspects of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment and that fateful July 1st, 1916 when the entire regiment was machine-gunned down in minutes.… Continue reading

The Fortunate Brother by Donna Morrissey

winning author Donna Morrissey revisits the hardscrabble Newfoundland outport world of her 2009 book Sylvanus Now in The Fortunate Brother (2016, Viking) her sixth novel.  The Fortunate Brother is Kyle Now who has recently lost his beloved older brother Chris in an oil well accident in Alberta. This accident has ripped the family apart, Chris being the oldest and most favoured of the Now family (which also includes a daughter, Sylvie).… Continue reading

Life on the Great Northern Peninsula by Adrian Payne

-time author and memoirist Adrian Payne has compiled stories taken from his life growing up and working in and around Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula in places like Cow Head, Parson’s Pond, and Hawke’s Bay. Born in 1940, he left school at an early age (which he regrets doing) to hunt, cut wood, and fish to make a meagre living in the 1950’s and 60’s. Aside from four years spent in Toronto, he has resided in Cow Bay where he lives to this day.… Continue reading

A Boy From Botwood by Pte. A.W. Manuel

“Generals, colonels, majors, and captains have all written books about the First World War, but in the years that have since come and gone, I have never read or even heard of one that was written by a sergeant, a corporal, or a private, the lowly common front-line foot soldier.”

are the words of Private Arthur.W. Manuel who served in the First World War (or the “Great War” as it was then known) with the Royal Newfoundland Regiment from 1914-1919.… Continue reading

Escape Hatch by Gerhard P. Bassler

, Newfoundland & Labrador has had a colourful history, from fishing to a strategic WWII port to today’s tourism business. However, a little-known slice of Newfoundland & Labrador (NL) history (outside of the province, that is) is that of Premier Joey Smallwood’s attempt to diversify NL’s industrial base outside of fishing and logging by attracting post-WWII German industries and German immigrants to Canada’s newest province. Smallwood’s plan was an “escape hatch” for German industries fearing what Soviet Russia may have in store, by coming to Canada.… Continue reading

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