Mystery

Category: Mystery

Cullen and Cobb Blog Post

Cullen and Cobb and Me

Posted on October 24 by David A. Poulsen in Mystery

I’m sure the question that mystery writers are most often asked is:  How much like you is your main character? I’m betting Gail Bowen has heard it dozens, maybe hundreds of times about her wonderful Joanne Kilbourne, that Ian Rankin gets it all the time with respect to Rebus, and that Bill Deverell is often asked how similar he is to the brilliantly created Arthur Beauchamp; in fact, it was one of the questions I posed to him during a recent interview.

If you grew up in Windsor, you probably first learned about Prohibition through stories told to you by your grandparents. These bootleggers and their wild adventures along the Detroit River are a part of local folklore. As a kid, I didn’t really care how much of it was true – I just thought they were great stories. Then along came Marty Gervais’ The Rumrunners, full of photos, newspaper excerpts, and interviews, and that made it real.

Picture yourself fifty kilometers west of Calgary, at the point where natural prairie gives way to densely forested foothills. The hamlet of Bragg Creek sprawls along the picturesque Elbow River; its homes and businesses spread through the heavily-treed valley. Upstream are the Elbow Falls, Bragg Creek’s best-known tourist attraction. The Falls display their glacier-fed beauty in a pristine wilderness guarded by pathways and railings intended to keep the annual flood of visitors safe. Every few years someone chasing the perfect photograph passes a railing and slips off a rock.

Watching the birds at my bird feeder the other day, it was quite clear from the way they puffed out their chests and strutted around that they were auditioning for a title role in some future Birder Murder Mystery. For the benefit of these avian aspirants, I’d thought I would run through the characteristics I look for in a leading bird.

No, this isn’t a real-estate blog, but the familiar mantra is just as relevant to fiction, where the setting can be as central to a novel as one of the characters. As a reader, I love books that transport me to foreign settings, whether they conjure up memories of places I’ve been before or introduce me to somewhere new. And I’m far from alone. There’s a reason writers like Jo Nesbo, Ann Cleeves, and Mark Billingham are so popular with North American readers, just as Michael Connolly and Louise Penny are beloved in Europe.

A Day of Mystery

Posted on October 23 by Michelle

North America's biggest mystery convention, Bouchercon, came to Toronto in September! Our crime fiction authors came from across the country to showcase their fine books and had we had a blast with them when they visited us in our office.

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