Friday, October 16, 2015


My favourite time of year, not just for the cooler nights but finding the new crime writer titles and settling down to read by the fire. Or curled up in bed and staying up late as I can't put down the latest mystery/thriller of choice.

Summer went all too fast and my reading was limited as I prepared for a trip to the Netherlands and the UK to visit family.

While at my sister's place outside Amsterdam I met an author who is her neighbour. Claudia van der Sluis

My sister has a translating business. Dutch into English, so, Caroline, get busy as I'd like to read Claudia's book.

In London, I checked out a few bookstores looking for Canadian authors. Quite well represented. Snapped pictures of a bronze Agatha Christie and strolled by a Sherlock Holmes restaurant. Not enough time to do everything so off to Edinburgh where the International Book Festival was held in Charlotte Square.  

Be still my heart! The book tent was huge. 800 authors were represented at this festival and readers and writers were there from all over the world. After wandering about the tents with Joan Blanch and generally having a good time doing what bibliophiles do, we went for lunch and talked books over a very nice Merlot. In the evening, my nephew and his son escorted me to a reading by two crime writers. I was in my element.

Love this painting of The Writers Museum.

This place is situated in Lady Stairs Close just off the Royal Mile. It has such a sense of history as much of Edinburgh does. Tiny doors and steep and narrow steps. They were much shorter in those days.

The Writers Museum

Lady Stairs Close

The Writers Museum celebrates the lives of three of Scotland's finest writers.

Too many writings to quote but you may be familiar with;

                            Robert Burns 1759-1796

'Auld Lang Syne'  'A Man's a Man for a' That' 'Tae a Mouse'  'Ae fond kiss'  


                              Sir Walter Scott 1771-1832

'Ivanhoe' ' Rob Roy' 'Lady of the Lake' 'The Waverley Novels'

        Robert Louis Stevenson 1850-1894

'Treasure Island'  'A Child's Garden of Verses'   'Kidnapped'  'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' 

Many of these works are still in print. 

I enjoyed my visit and if you haven't read any of these authors you will find them still very readable after 200 years and more.

My next writerly visit was the evening before I left to come home. After dinner with my brother and sister- in- law at the Spylaw Tavern, we took a walk on a path that Robert Louis Stevenson  meandered  when he visited his grandfather at the manse in Colinton. 

It was a long way down.

One of my favourite finds.

Vacation is over and it's back to work. Jamie Tremain is back in session. We've been brainstorming, plotting and planning and have made some headway with the sequel to " The Silk Shroud." Check back for some new reviews.
Talk soon,

Sunday, October 11, 2015

A Brons Winner

Janet Brons that it is.

In Janet Brons’ first book –"A Quiet Kill" – we are introduced to Detective Chief Inspector Stephen Hay from Scotland Yard and RCMP Inspector Liz Forsyth.   And now they’re back in “Not A Clue”,  the newest offering from Janet due for release October 13


This time they investigate murders on two separate continents. In Ottawa, Inspector Forsyth is handed the case of a young Chechen woman’s murder, gunned down at the gates of the Russian Embassy in Ottawa.  While on the other side of the Atlantic, Scotland Yard’s Inspector Hay works to unravel the puzzle behind the murder of a young Canadian woman who had been travelling alone.

Hay and Forsyth work their respective cases while trying to establish a long distance relationship. Not always easy with a five hour time difference.

Janet’s previous experience with the Foreign Service in Moscow has provided a good foundation for creating intriguing characters

This is a page turning read, with a definite Canadian flavour. Revisiting the destruction of ice storms was vividly described. And memorable characters and circumstances were deftly woven around the central protagonists.

Jamie Tremain is very pleased to highlight Janet Brons this month.

Welcome, Janet, to our blog.

An obvious first question is will there be another chance for Liz Forsyth and Stephen Hay to connect in the near future – is there a new book in the works?   If so, can you tell us a little about it.
JANET:  Yes, I am currently writing a third book.  I’m very much enjoying writing this story, which I’ve notionally entitled “The Wrong Size”.  Suffice it to say that Forsyth and Hay will find themselves in the same country this time!

Your postings with the Canadian Foreign Service took you to some truly exotic places, including Kuala Lumpur. Does any particular posting stand out more than the others and why?
JANET: They were all memorable, although in very different ways.  Malaysia was indeed, as you say, exotic; I remember lovely people, intense tropical heat and colour, and phenomenal food!  I was in Poland from 1989 to 1990, during which time extraordinary change took place in the former Eastern Bloc, with Warsaw at the forefront of events.  Moscow was very interesting, and I was there at a challenging time, as Russia struggled during the aftermath of the dissolution of the Soviet Empire.

Were there locations you missed out on during those years and if given a chance could go to today?
JANET:  I would probably go just about anywhere, given half a chance!  I would have loved to go to London; despite locating A Quiet Kill in the Canadian High Commission in London, and although several High Commission characters reappear in Not a Clue, I was never actually based there!  Now that you’ve asked the question, I can’t really think of anywhere I wouldn’t want to go!

If we were to have a peek at your list of “Want to read next” what book titles would we see there?

JANET:  You might be surprised to find that the books on the list are all classics that I haven’t got to yet!  I haven’t yet finished reading all of Dickens – I think I have two to go and will in fact be very sorry when I’ve finished.  I still have a number of Trollope novels yet to read and, despite having read all of them at least twice, I can’t get enough of Austen.

How active do you feel an author needs to be on social media such as Facebook or Twitter?

JANET:  Oh boy, that’s a tricky one.  I know that a lot of people are all over social media like a rash.  To the dismay of my publisher, I am very uneasy with Facebook and other social media, although of course I recognize their immense value as advertising tools.  I may yet be compelled to take to social media, but for the moment the most I can offer is a website!

Jamie Tremain is a collaborative writing partnership – is this anything you’ve ever considered?
JANET:  Until I spoke with you two, I never even thought about such a partnership!  It sounds wonderful, but I’m sure that within a week I wouldn’t even be speaking to my writing partner, let alone producing a book.  I’m sure that it works wonderfully well for some people, but fear that I am not one of them!

Jamie Tremain wishes you much success in the coming days and thanks you for being our guest today.

JANET: Thank you very much – it was a pleasure!

You can learn more about Janet at her website
Books may be ordered through Amazon  where Not a Clue will be available in paperback October 20 2015.

Jamie Tremain wishes all our Canadian friends and followers a very Happy Thanksgiving!

More interviews and book reviews coming up shortly - stay tuned.

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