Mystery Writers… do you know these authors?

… writers you might not be familiar with (hence the mystery)… not writers who write mystery novels, though some might. These are a few of my very favourite authors.

Louise Penny  Think cosy British murder mystery but with a definite Canadian twist. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is called to solve murders in the tiny community of Three Pines in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. Start with Still Life to get a real feel for the people, place and atmosphere where murders seem to occur while residents of this idilic village go about their daily lives.

Elizabeth Hay  Late Nights on Air is the 2007 Giller Prize winner and, wonders of all wonders, this time the judges actually got it right.  The cast of interesting characters work at a local radio station in Yellowknife, and for a good portion of the book they are on a canoe trip in the arctic wilderness. The power of the north is so evident in her writing that it grasps you right into the story. A definite winner!

Charlotte Gray  Read Sisters in the Wilderness and I dare you to complain about your life ever again. This book is the story of sisters Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Traill, two of Canada’s most famous pioneer women. The hardship and struggles they endured is almost unbelievable. In addition to just trying to survive “in the bush” they both became very famous writers themselves. This is an amazing story!

William Deverell  His book April Fool is a real favourite of mine.  Retired lawyer Arthur Beauchamp only wants to tend his hobby farm in the idilic setting of B.C.’s Garibaldi Island, but he gets dragged back to Vancouver to defend an old client. With a quirky set of characters and great writing (Deverell was the creator of the TV series Street Legal) you’ll definitely want to check this book out.

Anita Rau Badami   She has written 3 novels, my favourite of which is Can You Hear the Nightbird Call? This book tells the story of 3 women over the span of 50 years, from the Partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 to the Air India crash in 1985.  Full of rich emotions, powerful descriptions and amazing characters, this is a book that will stay with you long after you have finished it.

Sandra Gulland   Sandra was originally from the US but moved to Canada in 1970. Her Josephine B. Trilogy (comprising The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B., Tales of Passion Tales of Woe, and The Last Great Dance on Earth) will please anyone who loves historical fiction. Her books focus on Josephine, as opposed to Napoleon, and provide lots of fascinating details about her life and the time she lived in.

Susan Hill   She is a British writer. She has many books to her credit but I’ve only read her mystery series involving Detective Inspector Simon Serrailler. There are 4 books in this series so far. The mysteries aren’t linked but the background events are so I suggest you start at the beginning. It is the perfect ‘set’ to take on holiday because they are all in paperback  – the last one coming out in June I think.  The books are The Various Haunts of Men, The Pure in Heart, The Risk of Darkness and Vows of Silence.

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