Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Crime Fiction Grab Bag No. 5: Bouchercon and More

This week's crime fiction grab bag begins with the 2012 Bouchercon World Mystery Convention, the annual event for crime fiction authors and fans that took place this year in Cleveland, Ohio.

Highlights of the event included Louise Penny receiving her third Anthony Award for Best Novel for A Trick of the Light. Meanwhile, Mystery Readers International awarded their Macavity Award for Best Novel to Sara Gran for Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead, the first book in her new "Claire DeWitt" series. As well, Canadian crime fiction authors hosted a Meet the Canucks dessert event, as reported by Linda Wiken.

In other news, Margaret Cannon of the Toronto Globe and Mail provides an encouraging review of Linwood Barclay's new novel, Trust Your Eyes, along with a look at Karin Fossum, Marek Krajewski, and Ian Hamilton.

Meanwhile, Adam Woog of the Seattle Times praises The Cutting Season by Attica Locke, Dan Fesperman's The Double Game, and The Hot Country, "Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Olen Butler's foray into crime fiction."

Finally, Jack Batten of the Toronto Star provides another series of mini-reviews on Peter Robinson's Watching the Dark, Bones are Forever by Kathy Reichs, Barclay's Trust Your Eyes, and Hamilton's The Red Pole of Macau.


Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Autumn in Canada Brings a Welcome Change of Pace

Autumn has arrived in Canada, and with it comes a welcome change of pace for me as I prepare to publish The Fregoli Delusion, the third Donaghue and Stainer Crime Novel.

The manuscript has been rewritten, revised, edited, and proofread. Now it's in the hands of my trusty beta readers, who will parse it for flaws, errors, and patches of boredom begging to be skipped. While they get to work on it, I have a chance to do something a little different for a change.

Yesterday I went for a walk in the forest behind the house with my camera in hand. As you can see, the leaves are rapidly changing colour and carpeting the ground. On the right are two red maple leaves I found resting comfortably on a bed of white pine needles.

The back of my property is actually in transition, part of the reforestation of a wide stretch of land that was cleared in the nineteenth century as farmland but hasn't been farmed in about forty years or so, having instead been subdivided and sold off as building lots. It's a mixture of softwood trees that usually come first in reforestation -- tamarack, birch, pine, and cedar -- and hardwood trees that follow, especially maple, elm, and a few precious oaks.

In eastern Ontario it was a very dry summer, which was bad news for farmers in the area but good news for someone like myself who prefers dry weather to wet. However, I spent most of the summer at this desk, working on the book. Now that the bulk of the work is done, I'm free to get outside without feeling guilty, but with frost warnings at night and frequent rain, I have to accept the fact that  summer's gone and autumn's here instead.

I've decided to try to shift my schedule to take better advantage of the seasons. This winter I'll try to complete two projects. The first is a rewrite of my first novel, The Ghost Man, which will be the subject of an upcoming post. The second will be to write the next Donaghue and Stainer novel. If all goes well, I'll be able to take next summer off and enjoy the warm weather while it's here. Sounds like a plan.