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PATH OF THE SUN

THE STORM WITCH

THE SOLDIER KING

THE SLEEPING GOD

THE MIRROR PRINCE

DEAD IN THE WATER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PATH OF THE SUN
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Path of the Sun Review: SciFi Fanletter

Path of the Sun has Dhulyn and Parno, Mercenary Brother partners, involved in a murder mystery in the Menoin Tarkinate.

They come escorting the Tarkin's bride-to-be, but a grisly murder causes them to pass through a Caid ruin, the Path of the Sun, in pursuit of the killer. The path leads to another world where those Marked with the powers of Healing, Finding, Mending and Seeing - like Dhulyn - are broken and put to death. And the Espadryni, Dhulyn's extinct people, still live.

The identity of the killer is revealed to the reader early on. The makes for an interesting character study, as we see the killer interact with several people, lying and manipulating his way to his goals.

As with her other books, Path of the Sun examines a new corner of her fantasy world. The peoples are all distinct, with cultures, tastes, politics, etc. that differ from those used in the past.

Newcomers to the series will not be able to start here, however. Too much of this book depends on knowledge of events in earlier books. Characters from book 1 reappear, the trouble the partners get into in book 2 is finally resolved, and some actions from book 3 are referred to.

Still, if you haven't discovered her and want to read a quieter, more thought provoking fantasy, Malan is a great choice. Her characters grow with each novel and there's always more of the world to discover.



 

Review from Monsters and Critics, November 1st 2010

A new fantasy adventure featuring "the highly talented Dhulyn and Parno."(Locus). Mercenary partners Dhulyn Wolfshead and Parno Lionsmane think they're escorting the Princess of Arderon to her wedding with the new Tarkin of Menoin, but the Mercenary Brotherhood has a secret mission for them: find out what happened to the two Brothers who were sent on assignment to Menoin a year ago-and vanished. Once in Menoin, they discover that the Brothers' disappearance is linked to a series of killings. And when the Princess of Arderon's corpse is found mutilated in the same way as the others, Dhulyn and Parno track the killer into the Path of the Sun, an ancient labyrinth from which people sometimes never return...

Mercenary Partners Dhulyn Wolfshead and Parno Lionsmane have returned to Lesonika's Mercenary House to hear the Senior Brother's decision regarding charges of kidnapping and murder against them. Although cleared of the charges, honor dictates that Dhulyn and Parno serve as escorts to Princess Cleona on an ocean voyage to her betrothed Tarkin. Coincidentally, this places them in position to investigate the whereabouts of two Brothers who disappeared from Menion. The night after they presented the Cleona to Tarkin, the Princess was discovered brutally and ritualistically murdered during her evening ride.

Dhulyn and Parno soon hear of other such killings and with the aid of Gundaron, a talented Finder and his wife, Mar-eMar the Partners follow the murderer's trail into the Path of the Sun, a multidimensional labyrinth that takes them to a land where Marked Ones are considered broken and typically killed. As a Marked One herself with the sporadic gift of Sight, Dhulyn has a stake in a land where her people, known as the Red Horsemen live according to the old ways. Dhulyn and Parno come to discover a truly evil creature walking in a most benevolent disguise, using the Path of the Sun to evade capture. To catch him the Brothers must risk becoming trapped within the labyrinth with no way out.

An elaborate plot involving two different yet similar worlds is handled with a deft touch as Dhulyn and Parno face a formidable adversary yet this time, it won't be fancy swordplay that will win the day. The pace is fast, smooth and flawless as is the character development in arguably, the best book of the series that expands upon an already fascinating world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE STORM WITCH
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Critics Reviews

 

Critical Mass - THE STORM WITCH

Dhulyn and Parno are a pair of mercenaries whose adventures remind me at times of those of Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser. In their latest, they find themselves wrongly accused of murder. Naturally they decide to prove their innocence and to do so by finding out who really responsible, but before they get far along that path, they are distracted by more immediately menacing events. Instead, they set out on a quest by sea rescue captured friends, even though one has had persistent visions of the death of her partner while traveling on the ocean. The plot then shoots off in a new direction when they arrive in a distant land whose people have unusual problems, and the usual array of dangerous situations. A nicely swashbuckling tale that does tend to meander a bit, but it's such a fun ride that you're not likely to notice the occasional detours. And everything begins to shape up nicely as we approach the climax. Malan has become one of those writers whose new books I watch for. 9/14/09


Night Owl Romance Top Pick - THE STORM WITCH

The Storm Witch by Violette Malan does another fine job of demonstrating the author's ability with world building, creating yet another civilization populated with believable characters and conflicts that her likeable and complex duo, Dhulyn Wolfshead and Parno Lionsmane, become embroiled with. The two mercenaries are trying to clear themselves from the charges of kidnapping and murder resultant from their adventures in "The Soldier King" but they are both kidnapped by the Long Ocean Nomads who need impartial arbitrators to negotiate in their dealings with the landlocked Mortaxa who have suddenly abrogated their treaties and are threatening Nomads' way of life. The desperate Nomads have turned to the Mercenaries to negotiate for them but are handicapped even more by the fact that not only is the duo disinclined to cooperate with being conscripted but also Dhulyn has Seen Parno's death in a storm at sea during one of her erratic Visions. Multiple surprises, including the fascinating Crayx and their intricate relationship with the Nomads culminate in the duo having their uniquely disruptive effect on yet another culture by changing perceptions and long-standing beliefs. Surprisingly, Ms. Malan is able to repeat the theme of spiritual possession of an unwilling physical body without becoming tedious. She continues to create a very enjoyable series sure to appeal to fans of fantastical quests without losing her ability to create empathy for her main characters and their very strong bonds with each other. Not quite as many entertaining sword fights in this volume but a little more is revealed about the history of the Caids and there are enough references to the previous books in the series to whet ones appetite for the stories contained in the first two tales if they are unfamiliar to the reader. Dhulyn Wolfshead continues to be a strong Senior Brother with her share of insecurities while she tries to deal with her erratic gift of Sight and Parno learns


 

Monsters and Critics

The new fantasy adventure featuring Dhulyn and Parno.

Members of the Mercenary Guild, Dhulyn Wolfshead and Parno Lionsmane who share the unbreakable bond of Partners, have returned to their Mercenary House to clear themselves from charges of murder and kidnapping. They will be declared outlaws should they fail to answer those accusations but within hours of stepping off ship, Dhulyn and Parno are forced to accompany the Long Ocean Nomads on a perilous ocean voyage. Dhulyn, terrified by what her rune stones have revealed, is convinced that this trip will see the death of her Partner by drowning which will likely result in her death as well.

In a journey of discovery, Dhulyn and Parno learn much about the lives of the Nomads and the Crayx with whom they share an unusual partnership but are at a loss for how they can possibly be the answer to a Seer's vision. As the weather proves ever more unpredictable and pending loss of the Nomad's livelihood, there is much more at stake then disputed trade routes. Dhulyn and Parno must be stronger then they imagined if they are to survive the trials ahead, not the least of which is an ancient bodysnatching witch with immense power.

Third of the series, Malan continues her world building with the addition of a fascinating telepathic species who have formed a working relationship with the Nomads. Hints of romance are sprinkled in with a deeper understanding of what it means to be Partnered while terrific fight scenes, excellent character development and just the right amount of political intrigue make for great fantasy read.


SCI-FI FAN LETTER, SEPTEMBER 22, 2009

The third in the adventures of Dhulyn and Parno, Storm Witch does some interesting things. The pair is trying to clear their names with the Brotherhood after their maligning in Soldier King when their help is requested at sword point by the Nomads, sea traders from the Long Ocean. It seems the ancient trading partners of the Nomads, the Mortaxa, have begun building their own ships and only members of the Brotherhood will be considered as negotiators for future trade considerations.

The problem? Dhulyn has had prophetic visions of Parno's death. At sea. And she wants to prevent that at any cost. Well, any cost but telling him of the vision, something she promised she would never do.

The story deals heavily with Dhulyn's internal conflict, which really makes her character come alive. We get to learn more about what being partnered means, and why Dhulyn doesn't have any children.

The characters also travel to a part of the world we haven't seen yet, where two peoples are coming close to war. One side still practices slavery, the other has a psychic connection to a race called Crayx, sea creatures who help guide their ships.

Newcomers to the series will find the first chapter confusing, as it refers heavily to the previous book, but after that the action is entirely self-contained. There are one or two references elsewhere in the book to their first adventure, The Sleeping God, but understanding them isn't essential to the book. The series is otherwise designed so that you can jump in anywhere, but, as with any series, those who read all the books will definitely get more out of them.

Violette Malan's writing keeps getting better. I found this a fun, quick read.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE SOLDIER KING
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Critical Mass - THE SOLDIER KING

The sequel to The Sleeping God continues the adventures of two mercenaries, Dhulyn and Parno. This time they're faced with a difficult ethical question. They were hired by one side in a local war, a battle they unexpectedly won, and in the process they accepted the surrender of a prominent nobleman from among their enemies. The rules of war are such that prisoners are to be freed after the cessation of hostilities, but their employer had decided to violate that principle. Our two protagonists decide that their personal honor takes precedence over their employment contract so they free their prisoner and, in his company, set out to escape from their former allies. The capture, escape, and chase sequences are all well done and exciting, but as with similar books by Fritz Leiber, Jennifer Roberson, and Simon R. Green, the real joy in the book is the interplay between the two partners, in this case one male and one female. There are prophetic visions, mysterious personal histories, a search for personal roots, and other peripheral elements to enrich the otherwise familiar story and differentiate it from the competition. Easily the best of the author's three novels to date. 9/06/09


Locus - THE SOLDIER KING
Short Reviews by Caroline Cushman, October 2008

Mercenary Brothers Dhulyn and Parno return in their second fantasy adventure. Dhulyn still hopes to find someone to teach her to control her abilities as a Seer, but the two got sidetracked by a ruler needing mercenaries to fight off an invasion. During the fighting, the duo accidentally capture the enemy Prince Edmir, the heir to the throne of Tegrian, and try to return him to his people, but it quickly becomes clear that someone on his side in is trying to kill Edmir. Suspicion falls on his stepfather, the powerful Blue Mage. The mercenaries and prince join the only survivor of a theatrical troupe, disguising themselves as players to get the prince home safe [spoiler edited out] The plot twists and turns with plenty of action, good fun for any fan of S&S adventure.


Sacramento Book Review - THE SOLDIER KING
October 2008
In the sequel to Malan's The Sleeping God, mercenaries Dhulyn and Parno unexpectedly find themselves on the winning side of a conflict, which leads to complications when the War Commander they were following refuses to honor the agreement that allows their prisoners to go free. Feeling honor-bound to see their captive, Prince Edmir, free, they break their contract and escape with him. This leads to Dhulyn finding clues about her past, and puts the duo into trouble as they pursue them. While not as good as Leiber's Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, Malan has created an entertaining pair of mercenaries and a world for them to adventure within.


SF Fan Letter - THE SOLDIER KING
January 2009

Dhulyn and Parno's second adventure is as exciting as their first. Having chosen the winning side in battle they discover their prisoner is the enemy's crown prince! But their employers refuse to accept the brotherhood's code of honour, requiring the mercenaries to release the prince without ransom. So they refuse pay and kidnap him, intending to escort him home. But not everyone from his home country wants to see the prince return. The Blue Mage, the power behind the throne, sets in motion plans to take over completely, leaving the mercenaries and their charge walking into a trap. The book is full of action and surprising consequences to decisions made now and in the past (for example you discover that the downside to Dhulyn's immunity to poisons is her inability to use herbs to dull pain). There's also a touch of romance and some interesting stories within stories, as the three end up masquerading as actors and more in order to reach the capital. A fun read.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE SLEEPING GOD
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Critics Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The Sleeping God

Combining classic heroic fantasy with a metaphysical twist, Malan (The Mirror Prince ) introduces the Mercenary Brotherhood and two of its most fascinating members: Dhulyn Wolfshead, a psychically gifted former slave, and Parno Lionsmane, a rugged exiled nobleman. Their assignment seems simple: deliver Mar-eMar, a young orphan, to her distant relatives of the demi-royal Tenebro House in Imrion's capital, Gotterang. The trip quickly turns complicated and dangerous as they encounter the deadly persecution of the Marked, supernaturally talented people whom the fanatical New Believers think are trying to wake the Sleeping God and destroy the world. Parno must confront his noble past and Dhulyn fight the limitations of her visions as they battle the elusive, terrifying Green Shadow, who's manipulating the New Believers for his own ends. Malan's sometimes wordy, philosophical musings weigh down the action, but she makes up for it with abundant swordplay and the protagonists' strong, entertaining partnership.(Aug.)

 

http://www.wantzuponatime.com/Search/Review.php?ReviewID=313

Members of the Mercenary Guild, Partners Dhulyn Wolfshead and Parno Lionsmane are accustomed to danger. Their fighting spirit is summed up in their ritualized parting: "In Battle," to which another Mercenary replies "Or in Death." When they arrive in the land of Parno's birth, they are shocked to find homicidal hostility toward the Marked-people born an ability to Find, Mend, Heal, or See. Historically, the Marked have been treated as everyday tradespeople, paid for appreciated services. Now, they're being persecuted by priests of the Sleeping God. Dhulyn has a secret Mark, that of Sight, which is the rarest of the four. Guided by her ability to See, she and Parno take on a commission to deliver a young girl to her family in a city Parno both misses and would rather forget. Their arrival triggers a series of events that could change everything. In this fully realized fantasy, Violette Malan blends traditional elements with her characters' unique perspectives. Not only are the settings vivid, but the social structure and climes are understandable and believable. Readers will experience this journey as if they were part of it, a sure sign of good fantasy writing. This novel is a fun read with a great combination of danger, intrigue, humor, and more. The pace only slows long enough for readers to catch a breath before picking up with more action.
Violette Malan's THE SLEEPING GOD is a great choice for good fantasy reading.


Charlaine Harris, NY Times best-selling author of "ALL TOGETHER DEAD"

Violette Malan's THE SLEEPING GOD is really, really good. In the interests of disclosure, Violette and I have the same agent, Joshua Bilmes, who is also the agent of Simon Green, Tanya Huff, Lee Killough, Tobias Buckle, John Moore, Elizabeth Moon, Brian Sanderson, and Kat Richardson, among others. But I bought THE SLEEPING GOD because I've enjoyed her writing in the past, and this is another excellent read. It's science fiction fantasy at its best. Dhulyn and Parno are members of the Mercenaries Guild, and they're hired to escort a young and undistinguished member of a noble house from one city to another. Dhulyn has a secret gift; she's a seer. She tells no one but her partner, Parno, because she knows once that fact is out, no one will look at her the same. Parno has his own secrets. Though the two Mercenaries are devoted to each other and have been together for years, they find out more on this trip than they ever bargained on. A false religious leader is causing all the people with extrasensory skills (the Marked) to be shunned, if not killed, and he's powered by an evil entity that can travel from one body to another. Though Dhulyn and Parno hadn't counted on taking sides in a fight for which they weren't hired, they are sucked into the struggle along with the rest of the country. In the process of helping the better side to win, they learn more about each other than they realized there was to discover. There's a wonderful bit of world-building here, and lots of sword fighting. There's love, poison, and fully-drawn characters, both good and bad and in-between. Malan's written a classic fantasy novel that manages to be fresh and compelling. I highly recommend THE SLEEPING GOD.


From Fantasy Book Spot

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The Sleeping God
The Sleeping God by Violette Malan follows two Mercenary Brothers, Dhulyn Wolfshead and Parno Lionsmane, on their mission to safely deliver a noble girl (Mar-eMar) to here family in the capital of Imrion. Dhulyn is an ex-slave freed and tutored by another Mercenary Brother by the name of Dorian the Black Traveler. She is one of the "Marked" who have special abilities and now are being persecuted because of them. Parno was partnered with Dhulyn after their chance meeting during a battle some years ago and holds his own secret from her: secrets are not supposed to exist between partners. Partners in the Brotherhood seem to be an entirely different thing than most people would consider partnership. It goes beyond work, honor, and love; it's truly a symbiotic relationship: "In Battle and In Death". The story starts with the two Mercenary Brothers on their way to Imrion (Parno's homeland)because he vaguely states he wants to see how things have changed and see family again. Shortly after setting out they come across a village in the middle of carnage and apparently burning the home of a marked family. Dhulyn and Parno step in and handle the situation in the process get hired to escort the noble child Mar-eMar to the capital Gotterang. Upon arrival in Gotterang it becomes clear that everything is not as Parno remembered and Jaldeans (priests) are pressing the persecution of the Marked. Dhulyn and Parno find themselves entwined in a deadly political mess, trying to avoiding assassination, war, and coupes all the while trying to stick to the code of Mercenary Brotherhood. The Sleeping God is Malan's second novel and it's a solid fantasy trip. The plotting is strong and cohesive as well as original. She has a writing style that took a few chapters to get used to but it's definitely serviceable though it at times lacked clarity. The characters have good, distinct, personalities that are easy to grasp and by only a few chapters Malan has the reader invested in them. The second tier characters are also interesting and supply some branches to the plot that were excellent side adventures. The Sleeping God is neither primarily character nor plot driven, but a good mix of both which are the two strong points of the novel. My only issues with the book are that Mercenary Brothers (Dhulyn and Parno) are built up to point of being among the greatest warriors known ,but there are only a few fight scenes. Malan makes it clear in the book and builds the prowess of the Dhulyn and Parno but just doesn't deliver or back it up enough. The few battle scenes in the book are glossed over and end quickly which doesn't seem to be consistent with her two battle loving main characters. The pacing was also off and again I have to point to the main characters not being involved in as much action as you might expect. At times the story moves slow enough where a reader could very well lose interest, but luckily the plot is good enough to give it time to unravel. A patient reader will be rewarded. In the end I can recommend The Sleeping God to those who enjoy a good political intrigue fantasy. The characters and plot are strong enough to make you stick around even if the action that the reader is expecting never materializes. I would not recommend this to anyone who is looking for an action packed slug fest. Overall, Malan manages to pull off an intriguing story of politics, love, and the fate of the world without being clichéd and should not disappoint readers in those aspects.


Warrior Fantasy

Rather than sitting the characters down for a history lesson they already know, Violette Malan introduces her world through the actions and personalities of her protagonists. And the actions begin with a well orchestrated scape goating campaign by the New Believers, a sect of the Sleeping God's priesthood, against the Marked, those with special abilities to Heal, Find, Mend and See. Enter Dhulyn Wolfshead, mercenary partner of Parno Lionsmane and a carefully hidden Seer. They have returned to Parno's homeland, where unknown to them, the priesthood is coming to greater power. Their job to escort Mar-eMar to the capital takes several unexpected turns involving kidnapping, assassination and mob violence.

October 18, 2007
Jessica Strider


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE MIRROR PRINCE
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Critics Reviews

REVIEW OF THE MIRROR PRINCE
Paul Goat Allen
B&N's Explorations and Ransom Notes Editor

The Mirror Prince
Violette Malan
DAW
$19.50;
July (ISBN 0756403391)

Blending the timeless enchantment of a Patricia A. McKillip fantasy and the epic narrative splendor of a Tad Williams work, Canadian author Violette Malan's debut novel is nothing short of superb. The Mirror Prince is - like the Newford saga by fellow Canadian writer Charles de Lint - a kind of urban fantasy, taking place simultaneously in the Shadowlands of Earth and the magical realm of Faerie. Max Ravenhill is a professor of military history living in Toronto. His biggest goal in the very near future is to somehow get closer with Cassandra Kennaby, the sexy little blonde-haired owner of a martial arts dojo with whom he is infatuated with. His dreams come true - but not quite the way he planned - when Cassandra informs Max that he is, in fact, an exiled Faerie Prince in mortal danger and that she has been assigned to protect him at all costs. Once on the run from the nightmarish hounds of the Hunt, Cassandra (really a Fairie named Sword of Truth) tries to get Max to believe the cold hard facts: that he is the Prince Guardian, the Keeper of the Talismans, and without his help, the entire realm of Faerie is in jeopardyYY Although the pacing of The Mirror Prince suffers somewhat in the beginning chapters (as complex characters and intricate plotlines must be properly constructed and put in place) the book's surprising - and utterly satisfying - conclusion is well worth the build up. Fantasy fans should brace themselves: the world is about to discover Violette Malan.

Paul Goat Allen.
www.barnesandnoble.com


Library Journal
Banished to the Shadowlands (the human world) for being on the wrong side of a civil war, Max Ravenhill forgets his true nature until his ancient enemy, the Basilisk Prince, plans an attack on him in the land of his exile. Warden of the Faerie folk, Cassandra Kennaby discovers Max and helps him remember his true self, determining that his only hope of survival is to return to the world of the Faerie, even though his banishment has not yet ended. Malan's fantasy debut straddles two worlds, each detailed in vibrant colors and images. Believable characters and graceful storytelling make this a good addition to most fantasy collections.
Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.


The Washington Times
Washington, DC
August 27, 2006
Judith Kreiner


Violette Malan's debut novel The Mirror Prince (DAW, $15US, 309 pages) is everything a fantasy novel should be
Max Ravenhill is an exile, implanted with false memories and sent to live among humans because he lost a civil war with the person now known as the Basilisk Prince. For nearly a thousand years he has lived again and again, his memories repeatedly wiped and his powers bound, as he is protected by his Wardens, what humans call Faerie. Back in his real life and his real land, Max is Prince Guardian, Keeper of the Talismans, necessary for the Lands to finish one Cycle and begin another.
One of his guards he calls Cassandra, and they have been lovers for many lives, she knowing, he unknowing. Then Cassandra learns Max is in danger and he must be returned to Faerie and his memory restored so that he can save the world as Faerie knows it.
There is adventure, there is romance, there is magic, there is danger and loss, love and sacrifice.       
There is lovely writing, and again, the promise of more to come.


 

 

Readers Reviews

Excellent Read!
Reviewer Malcolm from Canada
Date:23/07/2006 3:51:28 PM

This book was an excellent read from a new author in fantasy. It is a very character driven story but with plenty of action to satisfy us swords and sorcery fans. The author manages to give a subtle twist to some of the generic elements of fantasy that brings with it an air of realism and involvement. It's also refreshing to read a fantasy novel that, though it leaves the door open for more, is complete in and of itself. Highly recommended!

New Canadian Fantasy Talent
Reviewer Jessica Stachowski from Toronto
Date:21/07/2006 4:47:36 PM
An urban fantasy that successfully wanders into the realm of faerie. It makes you think. Are you happy with who you are? Would you give up the bad things in your past if it meant possibly being someone you won't like? The ending is highly satisfying. An excellent read.

Spellbinding stand alone fantasy
Reviewer Harriet Klausner
He has lived for almost a thousand years, having his identity changed when the memories start to break apart in his present incarnation he is Toronto history professor Max Ravenhill hoping to obtain tenure soon. However, he will soon learn that he is not even human but instead a Rider (faerie folk) who as the Prince Guardian lost in a civil war and exiled to live endless lives amidst mankind. --- While in exile, his memories and his dra''aj (magic) were stripped from him by the victor the Dreamer of Time now known as the Basilisk Prince who intends to become the High Prince once he possess the Talismans that his enemy hid from him. That is why the time to bring Max to the Land is now so the Basillik Prince can use cunning and to make him reveal his hiding place. Max is no longer an easy target and Cassandra who has been at his side through each reincarnation will not allow anyone to harm him while she envisions a second civil war between the royal faeries which is what will happen if Max looses to the man he once considered a friend --- THE MIRROR PRINCE is a spellbinding stand alone fantasy that enchants and resonates with readers who feel and fear for the bewildered beguiling hero. Fans will root for him to defeat his adversary in the anticipated confrontational rematch (this is a fantasy so no surprise there). The spell cast by Violette Malan enables her audience to believe that faerie exist in a realm where evil and good skirmish endlessly with collateral damage on our plane. --- Harriet Klausner

 

 

 

DEAD IN THE WATER
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News Service
Tue 23 May 2006
Byline: Mike Gillespie
Dateline: OTTAWA
Source: CanWest News Service; Ottawa Citizen

It slipped onto the shelves almost unnoticed [it's] so Canadian. But the cat is out of the bag and a new anthology of Canadian mystery is now starting to make waves. Dead in the Water (RendezVous Crime; $15.95), is a collection of short stories from award-winning such authors as Dennis Richard Murphy, Barbara Fradkin, James Powell, Rick Mofina and H. Mel Malton. Toronto author Linwood Barclay provides the foreword. But why water? Simple enough. More than 80 per cent of all Canadians live near water and that means, the authors contend, that when we turn to crime, somebody usually gets wet. They don't, after all, call them bodies of water for nothing, Barclay quips. "Water; it's dark, foreboding. It's cold, it's mysterious. It hides its secrets well,'' Barclay explains in his introduction to the 19 short tales that also include original stories from the likes of Vicki Cameron, Joan Boswell, Victoria Maffini and Therese Greenwood. The anthology's stories are set across Canada and there's even a crossover tale from fantasy writer Tanya Huff. "Dive in the water's fine, believe me and be ready to hold your breath,'' counsels Barclay. "Would I lie?''


THE GLOBE AND MAIL
SATURDAY MAY 13TH
CANADIAN CRIME BOOKS by Margaret Cannon

A perfect cottage book, Dead in the Water is an anthology of Canadian mystery short stories. The theme is water. It appears that 80 per cent of Canadian live near a body of water, and these original stories all star water. My favourite is the title story by Dennis Richard Murphy, which begins: "It was me killed The Painter". You can guess who that is, and if not, just read on.

The rest of the stories, by the likes of H. Mel Malton, James Powell and a nice crossover by Tanya Huff, are all lots of fun. For reading before the afternoon nap or the evening walk.

©2006 Bell Globemedia Publishing Inc.
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