Two of Canada’s finest independent book shops, started my search, both are winners of the prestigious Canadian Booksellers Association Libris Award for best bookseller in Canada. A remarkable achievement for both book shops. A Different Drummer
Books, celebrating 40 years in Burlington, at 513 Locust St. in the downtown core. Bryan Prince Booksellers, celebrating 28 years in Hamilton, is located at 1060 King St. W. in Westdale. With a few exceptions I chose the world of the historical mystery–centuries old themes about European politics, war and royalty, penned by the well known Canadian, C.C. Humphreys and by international story tellers such as C.J. Sanson, Andrew Swanston, Peter Blake, Bernard Knight, and Candace Robb. Also from the shelves featuring murder and mystery from WW1 to WW2, I discovered: Jacqueline Winspear:  This long running series features Masie Dobbs a well to do private investigator in London, UK .  Her latest adventure is ‘In This Grave Hour.’ Marueen Jennings,  a Canadian author famous for her Toronto based, early 20th century tales of Detective Murdoch. Her most recent novel,’ Dead Ground in Between. is set in WW2.  I found this to be one of the finest Canadian offerings that I’ve read in this sub genre in some time. Charles Todd:  ‘The Shattered Tree’ is set in France nearing the end of the Great War in1918 featuring battlefield nurse, Bess Crawford.  This satisfying series is written by a mother and soon team living in the American East coast. While browsing the mystery shelves for novels set in current times, I found these. Ross Pennie, award winning author of a medical mystery theme, his latest being Beneath the Wake, reviewed in June’s edition of The Bay Observer. Melodie Campbell; The Queen of the Rapid Read series, Melodie writes a comedy driven mystery series, set in Hamilton featuring  Barton Street’s not so innocent Gino Gallo. In this long running series, the latest stories are, ‘The Bootlegger’s Goddaughter and The Goddaughter’s Caper’.

‘Be Ready for the Lightning”. A stunning novel by Toronto author, Grace O’Connell, is an intensely immediate story of a young woman finding her way through a dysfunctional world from Vancouver. The dialogue is warm and unsettling and together with powerful descriptions, made for a book I simply could not put down.

My search for the summer is for other book shops to be found in our Bay Area. If you think of one, let me know at:  Happy Reading.

Donald Graves

Providing a Fresh Perspective for Burlington and Hamilton.

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