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

Night Ambulance by Nicholas Ruddock

Gun Control. Doctor-assisted death. Abortion. Three of the most polarizing issues facing humankind in the 21st century. There are no ‘grey areas’ when it comes to these issues, no fence-sitting; one is either for or against them. It is abortion, however that is the central pervading theme for the characters of Bell Harbour and St. John’s Newfoundland in Nicholas Ruddock’s Night Ambulance (2016, Breakwater Books).

Synopsis

Rowena Savoury, a young teen living in the outport town of Bell’s Harbour is pregnant.… Continue reading

Once Burned (A Jack McMorrow Mystery #10) by Gerry Boyle

The spirit of Dashiell Hammett’s hard-boiled Continental Op detective is alive and well in Gerry Boyle’s Jack McMorrow. Given, he is a somewhat kinder, gentler version, but don’t let the façade fool you: Jack means business. Once Burned (2015, Islandport Press) is #10 in the Jack McMorrow series based on the activities of the investigative reporter created by Maine author Gerry Boyle.

A Serial Arsonist in a Small Town

The small town of Sanctuary, Maine is being systematically targeted by a serial arsonist that knows his craft.… Continue reading

Left to Die: The Story of the SS Newfoundland Sealing Disaster by Gary Collins

The story of the SS Newfoundland sealing disaster of 1914, in which 78 of 132 men died on the ice, is told in arresting fashion by Newfoundland author Gary Collins in Left to Die (2014, Flanker Press). Known as “The Story Man” in his native Newfoundland, Mr. Collins has written a book that will appeal to those who enjoy reading actual survival accounts from history.

Disaster Brewing

Having personally known two of the last remaining survivors of that tragedy, Mr.… Continue reading

Strangers on the Beach by Josh Pahigian

Maine resident Josh Pahigian’s first novel Strangers on a Beach (2012, Islandport Press) is what I consider the perfect type of “summer read”. By that I mean it is a mystery/thriller that will hold your attention until the end, the type of book to take on vacation, one you can put down to have some fun, then pick up when you have a relaxing moment. That is not to say you cannot read this in the dead of winter; it’s just the location of the book (Old Orchard Beach, Maine) lends itself to summer and playing in the waves or sitting on the beach getting some sun.… Continue reading

Random Acts by Valerie Sherrard

This young adult story concerns three ‘quintessential almost thirteen-year-olds’ Zoey, Jenna and Bean who, after scarfing down a huge meal of pizza, garlic cheese fingers, Caesar salad, a dozen buffalo wings (which eventually get the blame), two litres of Pepsi and a tub of ice cream decide to do anonymous random acts of kindness to others after learning about a similar club being started by a rival schoolmate.… Continue reading

Driftwood by Valerie Sherrard

I came across Valerie Sherrard’s name when I performed an Internet search for “Miramichi Authors”. Here, right in Miramichi was a well-published, short-listed author that had somehow flown under my radar. Perhaps this is due to the fact that Ms. Sherrard writes novels for middle graders and young adults. Being well out of that demographic, and having no children of that age likely didn’t help either.… Continue reading