Now, on to today's Blog, which continues my Canadian author theme, this time focusing on Mystery / Thriller writers. I'll follow a similar method as my last Blog, highlight 10 favourites and mention some others as I finish off.
Canadian Thriller / Mystery Authors
I have 7 of the books on my bookshelves and have so far enjoyed 3 of them. I'll continue to read them, treasuring each one, now knowing there will be no more written. The series is made of the following books -
2. The Maltese Goddess (1998) - 3 stars
3. The Moche Warrior (1999) - 3 stars
4. The Celtic Riddle (2000)
5. The African Quest (2001)
6. The Etruscan Chimera (2002)
7. The Thai Amulet (2003)
8. The Magyar Venus (2004)
9. The Moai Murders (2005)
10. The Orkney Scroll (2006) - (3 stars)
11. The Chinese Alchemist (2007)
"This was a pleasantly surprising book. The basic premise from the back cover synopsis is that a woman, Keisha Ceylon, is a con-woman, who pretends to have powers to talk to spirits, and uses her pretense to try and con a man whose wife has gone missing, into paying her for her supposed help. But this activity ends up endangering her life.
So with little expectation I began the book and was nicely surprised at the twists and turns. Every time I thought it would go one way, Barclay would turn it another. For all her conman activities, it's difficult not to like Keisha. I also liked the police detective, Rona Wedmore, for her ability to get to the crux of the situation. It's not a complex story, but the writing style was easy and smooth and the story most enjoyable. A real pleasure to finally try a book by Linwood Barclay."
Barclay has written non-fiction and a mystery series featuring a newspaper columnist / sleuth, Zack Walker. His big break came with his 2007 thriller, No Time For Good-bye, one I'll have to look for. I currently have his 2011 novel, The Accident on my bookshelves.
2. The Feast of Stephen (1999) - 3 stars
3. The Ferryman Will Be There (2001) - 4 stars
4. Leave Me By Dying (2003)
5. Red Mass (2005)
6. Don't Forget You Love Me (2014)
Aubert has written other books as well; e.g. Judge of Orphans (2007) and Terminal Grill (2013).
2. Seaweed on the Ice (2006)
3. Seaweed under Water (2007)
4. Seaweed on the Rocks (2008)
5. Seaweed in the Soup (2009)
6. Seaweed in the Mythworld (2011)
2. Dead Calm (2007) - 4 stars
3. The Cruelest Month (2008)
4. The Murder Stone (2009)
5. The Brutal Telling (2009)
6. Bury Your Dead (2010)
7. A Trick of the Light (2011)
8. The Beautiful Mystery (2012)
9. How the Light Gets In (2013)
10. The Long Way Home (2014)
11. The Nature of the Beast (2015)
12. A Great Reckoning (2016)
2. Jupiter's Daughter (2000) - 4 stars
3. Mars Eclipsed (2001) - 4 stars
2. The Delicate Storm (2002) - 4 stars
3. Blackfly Season (2005) - 4 stars
4. By the Time You Read This - 4 stars
5. Crime Machine (2010)
6. Until the Night (2012) - 4 stars
L.R. Wright (1939 - 2001). I won't spend too much time on L.R.Wright, except mainly to list her books. (If you click on her highlighted name, you will link to a previous Blog I wrote about her in 2010. I discovered her mystery series featuring RCMP Sgt Karl Alberg when I first came to the Comox Valley. It appealed to me at first because it was set on the Sunshine Coast, mainland British Columbia, just across the Straits of Georgia from where I and my wife now reside. However, it didn't take me long to be hooked on the books. I enjoyed the character, the locale, the stories, which are more than mysteries. Once again, I'll harken to Martin Walker's Bruno mysteries or Donna Leon's Inspector Brunetti series. The books are about the life of the characters, where they live, what they do. The mystery is important but also used as a window to explore the characters and their lives. L.R. Wright wrote 9 books in the Karl Alberg and then had just started a new series featuring Alberg's replacement, Edwina Henderson, when she passed away. It's odd how an author's death can affect you, but I readily admit that when I heard of her death, it took the wind out of my sails for a little while. Check out the link for more information on the books and check out the books too. Excellent series.
"Beast In View was a true gem. I've enjoyed a couple of her other books in the past few years, when I've been able to find copies. The Soft Talkers was one of my favourites of last year. Beast in View is another 5-star read. It's such an interesting story. I love how Millar develops her plots. Is the story about Helen Clarvoe, who lives alone in her apartment, isolated from the world about her? Is it about Mr. Blackshear, Helen's financial adviser, bored with his work, who she asks to help her find the woman who made the distressing call to Helen and who begins to conduct an investigation on Helen's behalf? Or is it about Evelyn Merrick, the woman who makes the initial call to Helen and who seems to be making many calls to other people that have upset her? I loved how it moved along, from the one character to the other, how the tension builds, how the story surprisingly makes a turn to the left. Excellent, excellent!! She is such a wonderful writer."
I've also read Rose's Last Summer and Ask Me For Tomorrow and enjoyed very much. On my bookshelf is still How Like an Angel (1962) and I'm looking forward to trying it out. It isn't easy sometimes to find Millar's books. I've managed to locate the odd copies in various used book stores I've wandered through. Find them, especially The Soft Talkers (also published as An Air that Kills) and Beast in View. You'll be impressed.
2. The Lake Ching Murders (2002) - 4 stars
3. The Hua Shan Hospital Murders (2003) - 4 stars
4. The Hamlet Murders (2004) - 4 stars
5. The Golden Mountain Murders (2005) - 4 stars
If you like these authors, check out also:
- Gail Bowen - Joanne Kilbourn mysteries
- Alan Bradley - Flavia de Luce mysteries
- Howard Engel - Benny Cooperman mysteries
- Maureen Jennings - Murdoch mysteries
- John Farrow - Detective Emile Cinq-Mars mysteries
- Deryn Collier - Ben Fortin mysteries
- Ian Hamilton - Ava Lee thrillers
- Michelle Spring - Laura Principal mysteries.