My first eleven books are known as the Collins-Burke mystery series, revolving around the trials and tribulations of my two main characters. Monty Collins is a Halifax criminal lawyer who lets off steam by singing in his blues band, Functus. Father Brennan Burke is priest whose family emigrated from Ireland to New York City under a cloud. Burke is now a choirmaster in Halifax, but aside from his musical brilliance he is hardly a choirboy. He is fond of a drink, uses salty language, and has occasionally let a pretty face compromise his vows, but he stays the course as a priest of God. Monty and Brennan sometimes work together, and sometimes inadvertently against each other, as they try to solve the murders that happen on their turf.
My new book is a departure from the series. The Keening: A Mystery of Gaelic Ireland is a stand-alone historical novel. I’ll be returning to the Collins-Burke series for my future novels!
Like any other writer, I love reading! I read a lot of history, philosophy, politics and, of course, good fiction. My list here includes some of my favourite genres, books that I have enjoyed or that have influenced my own writing: crime fiction, true crime, historical mysteries, …
Halloween may be over, but that doesn’t mean November isn’t dark enough all on its own. Is there something inherently spooky about the autumn that lends itself to a celebration of the darker mysteries around us?
With the waning of the year, we’re surrounded by reminders of mortality, from the crunch of leaves underfoot to the snap of cold in the air in the morning to the faint whispers of smoke in the distance. And along with those reminders, the early evenings and the lengthening shadows hint at secrets beyond the darkness, beyond the divide between life and death ... Though perhaps that’s just me.
The daring independent booksellers of the Shelf Talkers column have taken a peek into the darkness and come up with a great selection of titles for November, some fiction and a couple of local, true-to-life collections that will chill you to the bone and give you the perfect excuse to lock the door and pretend you’re not home. You’re not hiding, you’re reading.
The Bookseller: Colin Holt, Bolen Books (Victoria, BC)
The Pick: The Haunting of Vancouver Island, by Shanon Sinn
It is the perfect time of year to brush up on your scary stories, and Shanon Sinn is here, with a compelling investigation into supernatural events and local lore on Vancouver Isla …