Sunday, May 16, 2021

 I am thrilled to announce that my short story, "Days Without Name" has been shortlisted for a Crime Writers of Canada Excellence Award for 2021. It appeared in Grave Diagnosis, an anthology published by Carrick Publishing. The story takes place in Belize during Wayeb, the short inauspicious month of the Mayan calendar.

Thanks to Donna Carrick for her hard work and dedication in producing the anthology.



Thursday, May 28, 2020

I have recently finished reading an exceptional novel by Rosemary Aubert, The Light in Trieste. Known for her award-winning Ellis Portal mysteries, she has written something very different, an historical novel, with much success. The book interested me because the story is based on a fictionalized account of the last month of Empress Elizabeth, or Sisi, as she was affectionately known, wife of  Franz Joseph, ruler of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. I have posted my review here.

The Light in Trieste by [Rosemary Aubert]

The Light in Trieste is a stunning achievement, an ambitious opus set in Trieste, straddling 120 years and divided into three time periods. In 1898 Empress Elizabeth of Austria, Sisi is desperate to escape the stultifying court in Vienna and start a new life in New York. This historical section was a thrilling read for me, having visited the palace in Vienna and like many others, being mesmerized by the vain beauty who starved herself to maintain her tiny waist right till the time she was assassinated at age 60. Aubert’s rendition of Sisi is exhilarating. 

In the second part, still set in Trieste but in 1954, the protagonist, Marijana, is the granddaughter of the man who was supposed to take Sisi to New York. Echoing the storyline, Marijana, now a scientist, desperately wants to escape her home in Communist Yugoslavia and get to America with the help of an American scientist.

 The final section jumps to the present with Ravena, a street-smart young con artist who deals in scientific oddities for cash and who has an inexplicable talent for mathematics. The theme replays and she, too, fervently seeks a new life in America. I am not a math aficionado, but I enjoyed Ravena’s display of math bravado as well as the mathematical esoterica introduced, among them a “nocturnal,” which can tell time from the stars. Aubert has connected the three stories with a prism, a magical piece of glass originally owned by Isaac Newton and used by the three women as a bargaining chip for their freedom. 

Highly recommended.

Time has slipped away from me because of the pandemic and I am only now posting the news that my short story, "None Shall Sleep," originally published in In the Key of 13 by Carrick Publishing, was shortlisted for a Derringer Award in April. Many thanks to the organizers, coordinators and judges of the Short Mystery Fiction Society.

Congratulations to the winner, Sandra Murphy, for her excellent story, "Lucy's Tree."

Thursday, April 11, 2019

The Cabin in the Woods shortlisted for Derringer

My story, "The Cabin in the Woods" has been shortlisted for a Derringer. It was originally published in Mystery Most Geographical, a Malice Domestic anthology in 2018.


The Cabin in the Woods


Thursday, March 01, 2018

The Ranchero's Daughter, published in 13 Claws

"The Ranchero's Daughter" was published in 13 Claws by Carrick Press in 2017. I wrote the story after my husband and I visited his old boss, H, in a swanky seniors' residence in Santa Barbara the previous fall. H introduced us to his friend at the residence, a ninety-five-year-old Honduran psychiatrist who had spent the last half of his life practicing in the U.S.  I and my husband, also a psychiatrist, were spellbound, listening to his melodic voice recounting what he had done and where he had been over his long life. His profound insights and generous spirit resonated with me long after we left. This story is not about him but was inspired by his humanity and the echo of his voice in my ears.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Cormorant publisher Marc Cote

Marc Cote waxing eloquent at the launch

Book Launch for Queen of Unforgetting

We had a great launch at Ben McNally's Bookstore despite the pouring rain. Publisher Marc Cote set up a tastefully arranged table of fresh fruit, gourmet cheeses and crackers to go with the champagne on ice. Everybody schmoozed and had a good time. John Lasruk took a lot of great pictures.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 interview

Here's a recently posted interview I did with about my new book The Queen of Unforgetting.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Cormorant Books

Here's a link to Cormorant Books to see my new book, Queen of Unforgetting:

Barbara Kerslake with Northrop Frye and wife Helen at cottage

Here is a photo my friend Barbara Kerslake was generous enough to share with me. She's about 7 here, Frye considerably younger than most of us think of him. Barbara's grandfather was the well-known artist C.W. Jeffreys. And yes, Barbara's legs are still that long!

Frye is a character in my new book Queen of Unforgetting. My protagonist, the beautiful ambitious grad student, Mel Montrose, persuades him to supervise her thesis. Her area of interest is Jean de Brebeuf, the 17th century Jesuit who came to Huronia, now Simcoe County, to convert the Indians. Much of my story takes place in Midland, Ontario and nearby Sainte-Marie among the Hurons, the reconstructed mission/fort.

New book is out!

The Queen of Unforgetting hit the stores last week. Came down to Cormorant Books to pick up my copies and have lunch with publisher Marc Cote on a pretty spring day-- sat out on the patio of a Spadina cafe and exchanged scuttlebutt. The Queen book has a lovely mat cover with French flaps, rich chocolate brown (my daughter said it looked good enough to eat...) Cormorant is faring amazingly well in this economy, recently branched out into poetry and young adult. Must be doing something right.

See preview of Queen of Unforgetting at