Three Non-Fiction Flash Reviews

Civilians at the Sharp End by David A. Borys

Subtitled “First Canadian Army Civil Affairs in Northwest Europe”, Civilians at the Sharp End follows the story of the Civil Affairs branch through France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany in 1944-45. David Borys highlights how Civil Affairs helped civilians caught in the jaws of war by delivering food and medicine, providing shelter for refugees and displaced persons, establishing law and order, dealing with resistance groups, and aiding in the reconstruction of infrastructure in damaged urban areas.

A very detailed read of this little-known effort of the Canadian Army, and a must for WWII historians.

  • McGill-Queens University Press (February 2021)
  • 268 Pages
  • 7 photos, 2 maps
  • ISBN 9780228006497

Montreal and the Bomb by Gilles Sabourin

A thoroughly enjoyable read, Montreal and the Bomb take the reader back to the end of WWII when the race for nuclear power was on. Not as high profile as the contemporary Manhattan Project, yet the research was just as urgent and vital. But did the Canadian project have anything to do with the bombs dropped on Japan? The answer to that and other questions are in the book! Written for a general-interest audience, the author wisely restricts detailed descriptions of the nuclear principles and focuses more on the men and women involved.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Baraka Books; 1st edition (Oct. 1 2021)
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 208 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1771862653
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1771862653

The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream by Dean Jobb

An excellent true crime book from Dean Jobb, The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream had me turning the pages at a good clip due to the way the story is told by Mr. Jobb. A serial killer before Jack the Ripper (but in the Victorian era too) the Canadian doctor Thomas Neill Cream was a bounder and a murderer, particularly of young marginalized women who had little recourse but to turn to prostitution as a means to paying the rent. Poison was the weapon of choice and Dr. Cream was skillful in his acquiring it and administering it. This book is meticulously researched, contains courtroom scenes and it follows Cream from Canada to England and back again as he attempts to reinvent himself to avoid capture. With B & W photos and maps, this is a true-crime lover’s dream of a book. Highly recommended.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ HarperAvenue (June 1 2021)
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 432 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1443453323
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1443453325

James M. Fisher is the owner and editor-in-chief of The Miramichi Reader. He began TMR in 2015, realizing that there was a genuine need for more book reviews of Canadian literature. It has since become Canada’s best-regarded source for the finest in new literary releases. James has been interviewed about TMR on CBC Radio and other media sites. James works as a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Technologist and lives in Miramichi, New Brunswick with his wife Diane and their tabby cat Eddie.