Rapid Reviews June 2016

This installment of "Rapid Reviews" includes five titles which run the gamut from Maine to Nova Scotia to Newfoundland and then Canada in general. One is pure fiction, another a combination of memoirs/fiction, one is of Nova Scotia beaches, another about the late Newfoundland musician Ron Hynes, and lastly a reference book on the history of policing in Canada.

The Lynching of Peter Wheeler by Debra Komar

Author and forensic anthropologist Debra Komar has written two books to date dealing with murder and wrongful conviction in Atlantic Canada’s past. Her first book, The Ballad of Jacob Peck (2013, Goose Lane Editions) was about a murder inspired by religious fervour that occurred in 1805 in New Brunswick. The follow-up, The Lynching of Peter Wheeler (2014, Goose Lane Editions) is about the wrongful conviction of Peter Wheeler in the death of Annie Kempton in Nova Scotia in 1896.… Continue reading

The Gary Collins Interview

Newfoundland author Gary Collins has written a total of ten books now; one of his most recent was Left to Die (2014 Flanker Press), the compelling account of the SS Newfoundland sealing disaster of 1914 in which 78 of 132 men stranded on the ice died. He is also the co-author (along with his granddaughter Maggie Rose Parsons) of What Colour is the Ocean? Gary took some time away from his various pursuits to answer a few questions for the Miramichi Reader.… 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

The Last Half of the Year by Paul Rowe

It is a curiosity that the more I enjoy reading a book, the more difficult I find composing a review. This is especially so of a work of fiction and even more especially so with a book like The Last Half of the Year by Newfoundland author and actor Paul Rowe (2016, Killick Press). It is a book I read through so fast, that it took quite a bit of reflection to see it’s deeper themes.  … 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

The Dead Man by Nora Gold

One could be forgiven if they thought the title of this book belongs in the murder-mystery genre. While there is no actual murder, there has been a psychological one of sorts, and, like a good mystery, the reader is compelled to read right up to the last page to see how Eve, the female protagonist of The Dead Man (2016, Inanna Publications) throws off the bonds of her entrapment to a man she met years ago and hasn’t seen or heard from in five years.… Continue reading