Fiction

#962 Experiments in Morse code

Yams Do Not Exist by Garry Thomas Morse Winnipeg: Turnstone Press, 2020 $19.00 / 9780888016775 Reviewed by Candace Fertile * As yams do exist, it’s clear right from the first page that Garry Thomas Morse’s novel falls into the category of experimental. The 33 chapters or short stories linked by the character of poet Farinata…
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#959 The anvil of female power

Fight Like a Girl by Sheena Kamal Toronto: Penguin Random House, 2020 $21.00 / 9780735265554 Reviewed by Natalie Lang * What do any of us really know about one another? The reality of someone’s life is likely to be filled with multiple layers of who they’ve been and what they’ve done. Someone living in our…
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#957 Transmission of the Queer

The Walking Boy by Lydia Kwa Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2019 (first published by Key Porter Books, 2005) $19.95 /  9781551527635 Reviewed by Paul Falardeau * “To transmit the strange” is a fine goal to be set before a writer. One with the talents of Lydia Kwa might find in it the chance to do…
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#956 Meet the Chekovs

A Russian Sister by Caroline Adderson Toronto: HarperCollins, 2020 $24.99 / 9781443426817 Reviewed by Valerie Green * If you are a fan of Russian playwright Anton Chekov (1860-1904) you will most certainly enjoy A Russian Sister by Caroline Adderson. If not, you might find the book somewhat perplexing and strange. Adderson’s book is based on…
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#948 Down and out at Main & 6th

Notice by Dustin Cole Gibsons: Nightwood Editions, 2020 $21.95  /  9780889713840 Reviewed by Brett Josef Grubisic * Early in Dustin Cole’s audacious and emphatically atmospheric debut novel, Levett, Cole’s furious flaneur of an anti-hero, catches a glimpse of himself: he takes in his pouched eyes and frazzled hair. Minor indignities, they’re practically the least of…
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#947 The subtleties of love

The Crooked Thing by Mary MacDonald Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2020 $22.95 / 9781773860312 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * The title of Mary MacDonald’s debut short story collection alludes to W.B. Yeats’ “The Young Man’s Song”: “O love is the crooked thing,/ There is nobody wise enough,/ To find out all that is in it.”…
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#946 Inside the Iranian Revolution

Aria by Nazanine Hozar Toronto: Penguin Random House (Knopf Canada) $24.95 / 9780345811820 Reviewed by Candace Fertile * On March 12, 2020, Hozar’s Aria was one of five books shortlisted for the 2020 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize of the BC and Yukon Book Prizes — Ed. * Nazanine Hozar’s debut novel tackles the chaos of Iran…
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#945 When horse sense is required

Coming Back by K.L. Denman Victoria: Orca Books, 2019 $9.95 / 9781459822665 Reviewed by Carol Anne Shaw * Coming Back, by K.L. Denman, is part of the Orca Books’ Rapid Reads series. These short novels and non-fiction books are high-interest, quick reads, primarily targeted at readers who struggle with literacy. Denman introduces us to Julie,…
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#943 Investigating Sherlock Holmes

Sherlockian Musings: Thoughts on the Sherlock Holmes Stories by Sheldon Goldfarb London: MX Publishing, 2019 $16.95 / 9781787054813 Reviewed by Patrick McDonagh * Sheldon Goldfarb’s Sherlockian Musings live up to their title. They are very much musings, open-ended and accessible, and they are quite often amusing as well. The book’s structure is immediately accessible —…
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#941 Remembering World War Two

Midnight Train to Prague by Carol Windley Toronto: HarperCollins Canada, 2020 $24.99 / 9781443461023 Reviewed by Sherrill Grace * Midnight Train to Prague is a complex narrative set during and immediately after the war with important messages for the present. It is also a compelling historical novel that is well worth reading. Against the background…
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#938 A small town with a secret

Songs from a Small Town (In a Minor Key) by Penny Chamberlain Surrey: Now or Never Publishing, 2020 $19.95 / 9781989689097 Reviewed by Zoe McKenna * Like many harmful and insidious things, the strange disease that haunts the girls in Songs From a Small Town (In a Minor Key) begins almost imperceptibly. Based on the…
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#934 Murder on Texada Island

A Garden of Thieves by Dean Unger Duncan: Village Lane Press, 2018 $24.00 / 9780981306421 * Blessed Be the Bones: A Garden of Thieves, Book II by Dean Unger Duncan: Village Lane Press, 2019 $24.00 / 9780981306452 Both books reviewed by Valerie Green To purchase copies of these books see here or call Dean Unger…
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#927 A runecaster’s apprenticeship

Runecaster Book 1: The Stone of Sorrow by Brooke Carter Victoria: Orca Book Publishers $14.95 /  9781459824393 Reviewed by Myshara Herbert-McMyn * The Stone of Sorrow concerns magic, myth, and adventure. Each page I turned of this YA (young adult) novel meant more mystery and surprise. I wasn’t sure how much Icelandic and Norse mythology…
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#926 Crisis on the front line

The Last High by Daniel Kalla Toronto: Simon & Schuster Canada, 2020 $22.00 / 9781501196980 Reviewed by Benjamin Matthews * Daniel Kalla’s The Last High begins with a murder, or rather a bunch of murders. We get a firsthand view of the murders through the eyes of Alexa, a 16-year-old girl who watches in bliss…
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