Mystery

Category: Mystery

I wrote the fifth Dan Sharp mystery, The God Game, during the much-publicized political antics of what became known as the Ford Nation. Its self-proclaimed leader, Rob Ford, was then mayor of Toronto. Like many, I was appalled by his aberrant behaviour, but dismissed it as a passing phase in Canadian history. Not for a moment did I think it was just the beginning of what in many ways is now the defining ethos of our current political era.

Uncovering The Roma Plot

Posted on November 9 by Mario Bolduc in Mystery

After sending con artist Max O’Brien to India for his first mission (The Kashmir Trap, 2016), I wanted to use this character in a second book. I did not want to follow with a sequel, but a standalone story that would send Max in a different location. The situation of the Romani people immediately appealed to me. First of all, they originate from India and have travelled across the world for many centuries – which made a nice thematic link to The Kashmir Trap. Secondly, their fate during the Holocaust was not widely known.

The Magic of a Backstory

Posted on September 11 by Steve Burrows in Mystery

The spotlight shines on the magician’s stage. In the box lies a lady, her torso sliced in two by a shiny, razor-sharp blade. In the audience, breathing stops. Beads of sweat trickle down temples, palm are damp. Can she have survived her ordeal? Is she still alive? Suddenly, the magician speaks: “Ladies and gentlemen, I’m afraid you’ll just have to wait a while before you find out what happened.”

Recently I was the moderator for a panel discussion that was part of Calgary’s participation in the nationwide Arthur Ellis Crime Writing awards simultaneous shortlist announcements. The topic was “Not Your Grandmother’s Whodunit.” Over the course of the discussion the panelists and I examined the changing face of crime writing over the last century.

At one point in Widow’s Walk, the twenty-ninth novel in Robert B. Parker’s masterful series featuring Spenser, the Boston private eye, Spenser says to another character in the book, “In all the years I’ve known you, you haven’t aged any more than I have.”

    The joke in this remark is that at the time—Widow’s Walk is a 2002 book—Spenser would have been all of seventy-two years old!

Every crime novel begins with a disquieting event, whether in the news or observed, that ferments in the author’s imagination, sometimes, for years before appearing on the pages. The germ of the idea for Shallow End, fourth in the Stonechild and Rouleau police procedural series, came from my earlier years working as a special education teacher.

For some time now, I’ve been learning to juggle. I’ve pretty much mastered the principle of throwing objects up in the air at different times; it’s just catching them on the way down I’m still having trouble with. Regardless of how high I throw things, they always seem to come back to me at the same time. The same is true of writing a series. I have written one Birder Murder Mystery per year for the last four years and sent them out into the public arena. This is the equivalent of throwing them in the air.

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