One for the Rock by Kevin Major

In One for the Rock, his first venture into crime fiction, Kevin Major has written a fast-paced and highly enjoyable novel that will appeal to fans of the genre, but which also offers the dual bonus of an engaging narrator and a vividly rendered St. John’s, Newfoundland setting. Recently divorced ex-teacher Sebastian Synard runs a tour operation, St. John’s landmarks being his specialty.…

Operation Wormwood: The Reckoning by Helen C. Escott

The long-awaited sequel to Operation Wormwood (2018, Flanker Press), The Reckoning concludes the story of a disease that appears to only target pedophiles and is accredited to God by those of the Roman Catholic Church.

I don’t think it is too much of a stretch to say that Helen C. Escott is Newfoundland’s premier crime-thriller author. Her novels such as Operation Vanished (2019, Flanker Press) and now the two Operation Wormwood books will cement her career as such.…

Butterfly by John Delacourt

the heart of John Delacourt’s Butterfly is a simple enough story: blackmail and robbery gone very wrong with the principle characters fleeing the law as well as each other. However, I have come to expect an elevated raison d’etre from any book published by Montreal’s Linda Leith Publications, and Butterfly certainly upholds (if not exceeds) those expectations. There is a lot more here than the crimes of blackmail and robbery.…

Operation Vanished by Helen C. Escott

Helen C. Escott’s Operation Vanished follows closely on the heels of her bestselling Atlantic Canadian thriller Operation Wormwood (2018, Flanker Press). While that book dealt with an investigation by the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, Operation Vanished has the RCMP investigating some unsolved abductions and murders of women back in the 1950s. Heading up the investigative team is RCMP Corporal Gail McNaughton, whose own father is a retired career Mountie.…

Darkest Before the Dawn by Mike Martin

With the release of Darkest Before the Dawn (2018, Ottawa Press and Publishing) the Sgt. Windflower Mysteries has reached book #7. I reviewed the previous two, A Long Ways From Home (#5) and A Tangled Web (#6) along with an author interview*. As I had “jumped in” in the middle of the series and I had enjoyed both books so much, I was eager to see what #7 brought to the series.…

Deli Meat by Tom Halford

At one point in Deli Meat (2018, Crooked Cat Books), Bree Arms tells her husband Todd that she is reading a book called, um, Deli Meat. She tells him it “is weird as hell and twice as strange,” which is a good summing up of the book itself. It was a very delightful type of weirdness and strangeness that I found between the blood-red covers of author Tom Halford’s first book.…

Rotten Peaches by Lisa de Nikolits

Note: this review is based on an Advance Reading Copy supplied by the author in return for a fair review.

Perennial author Lisa de Nikolits is back in 2018 after publishing No Fury Like That in 2017 and The Nearly Girl in 2016. While Rotten Peaches is a slight departure from those two well-known books, the four main characters in Rotten Peaches are cut from the same vile cloth as No Fury’s Julia Redner and her boss/squeeze Junior.…

Deadline (A Jack McMorrow Mystery #1) by Gerry Boyle

Boyle began his writing career in newspapers, an industry he calls the “best training ground ever.” His first reporting job was in the paper mill town of Rumford, Maine. After a few months, he moved on to the (Waterville) Morning Sentinel, where Boyle learned that the line between upstanding citizen and outlaw is a fine one, indeed. His experiences as a reporter inspired Deadline, his first novel, was first published in 1993.…

No Fury Like That by Lisa de Nikolits

“Each of us is a seeker, walking along Eternity’s Road, which has no beginning and no end.”
—Sri Chinmoy

An apt quote to begin a review concerning a book that deals with aspects of eternity, and whatever your belief (or beliefs) are, you may have to suspend them temporarily to fully enjoy this new offering from Lisa de Nikolits, author of 2016’s  The Nearly Girl (Inanna) as well as the award-winning Between the Cracks She Fell (2015, Inanna).…

Boundary: The Last Summer by Andrée A. Michaud

It’s 1967 in the vacation cottage community of Boundary; an idyllic place to bring your family for the summer. Until a teenage girl goes missing. And then another. Replacing the peacefulness of the place with terror.

Who is responsible? is it one of the community members, or the ghost of an old man who used to live in the woods? The detective on the case works tirelessly to solve the crime before another tragedy takes place.…

Murder on Highway 2 a Claire Burke Mystery by Emma Pivato

Emma Pivato is a Canadian author who writes “cozy mysteries” a popular mystery genre that shuns graphic violence, sex, and profanity. It is quite popular amongst young adult readers and mature ones alike.

Murder on Highway 2 is book number 5 in the Claire Burke Mystery series (Book #6  was Deadly Care) and while one need not have read the previous titles in the series, it certainly helps in familiarizing oneself with the various characters in Claire’s ever-widening circle of friends and family.…

A Long Ways From Home by Mike Martin

Instalment #5 in Mike Martin’s Sgt. Windflower Mystery series finds the Grand Banks Newfoundland RCMP officer monitoring a relatively peaceful motorcycle gang show of strength in the province, only to discover two dead bodies in its wake. This, along with tracking down a missing female motorcyclist has Windflower stretching his limited resources to the full.

Sgt. Winston Windflower is a Cree from Alberta but loves life in Newfoundland with his dog Lady, and his long-time sidekick Corporal Eddie Tizzard.…

Steal It All by Chuck Bowie

“The man continued down the hall, turned right and walked all the way to the back corner of the floor. He approached the door marked Director, Trade, opened it and walked in. The door, very solid, closed behind the intruder and the discrete click alerted the director to the presence of a guest. He swiveled around in time to receive a slug between the eyes.