In late May I went to Toronto for two mystery writers’ events. I took the VIA Rail train, The Canadian, from Kamloops to Toronto. Three relaxing days, with excellent food, a comfortable bed and service for my every need. I came back home by train as well.
Crime Writers of Canada holds their annual Arthur Ellis Awards for the best crime writing in seven categories. The main one, of course, was the prize for best crime novel. My novel, Cui Bono? was entered but didn’t win. However, one of the judges praised it and thought it should have been included in the finalists at least. That made me feel pretty good!
The next day, the people who used to put on the Bloody Words mystery writers’ conference held a mini-conference and awards banquet for “books that make us laugh.” It is called the Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award and was won by Margaret J. Duncan for her novel, Murder on the Hour, published by St. Martin’s Press.
Anne Barton at the Bony Blithe Mini-con 2017
The mini-con was a whole lot of fun. I have found that mystery writers are one of the nicest bunches of people I have ever been with. That seems strange since all of us are constantly trying to figure out novel ways of killing people!
I hope that next year I will have a book that will be considered for this award. I’m working on it now. It will be about a young teenager who has been dragged out into the wilderness where his parents want to lead “the simple life.” Life isn’t simple, he learns. In fact, it can be murder!
My new novella is now in print!
Here Be Dragons has been available in e-book form, published by Books We Love, since April, but is now available in its print version, published by Carrick Publishing.
I introduce what I plan to be new series characters, Gail and Anton Schild. Gail is a veterinarian, Anton a plant geneticist. The location is a small prairie city called Drayford, roughly based on Drumheller, Alberta, my birthplace. Anton, newly graduated with a PhD, has been hired by the Drayford Agricultural College. Gail will operate a veterinary emergency clinic.
They have barely arrived when they have dinner with math professor, Jon Mendel. Later that night, Mendel is murdered. He is found in his swimming pool with his throat slashed. A knife from his own set of knives is found in the pool of the Dragon Fountain on the campus. Gail and Anton are logical suspects, and things don’t get better when they discover that they may have walked off with what might be a clue to the murder.
Their private investigations lead them to the hoodoos and to the dinosaur museum. Their observance of one of the other suspects leads Gail to propose a motive and a means for the murder.
The Carolyn Dale Mysteries
As Carolyn Dale, I have written three mysteries; two novellas and one novel.
The novel is Cui Bono? There is no question that a mentally challenged young man hit the victim over the head with a mallet. The judge is upset that the young man did not have a proper defence and that the jury came back with their guilty verdict without even discussing the evidence. He enlists the aid of a young lawyer to represent the accused at the sentencing hearing. There are two questions that need to be answered. How could the friendly young man be persuaded to kill a man he didn’t even know? What was there about the victim that someone wanted him dead? Who benefits? Cui Bono?
Living With Death is one of the novellas. An attractive young woman is brutally murdered. Whodunit? Was it a family member, a boyfriend or one of the defendants in a lawsuit she has filed against those responsible for the euthanasia of her comatose step-brother. This book explores the pros and cons of physician-assisted dying.
Here Be Dragons is my latest novella and will be on the market by April or May in print form and possibly earlier in electronic form. I introduce a new pair of sleuths, Gail and Anton Schild. When it is finally ready, I’ll update the information and include the cover picture, which is still not finished.
I have started a new novel. I’ll tell you more about it as I go along.
Carolyn (or Anne)
I am both Anne Barton and Carolyn Dale. As Anne Barton, I have written mystery novels in two series. I have followed the advice to write about what you know. I am a retired veterinarian, so I wrote one series of three novels featuring Dr. Erica Merrill, a young woman vet trying to establish a veterinary practice in her hometown, a small northern Idaho county seat.
I am a pilot and have been a flight instructor, so I wrote another series of five novels about Robin Carruthers, a middle-aged female flight school operator, who is also active in her local Anglican church. Flying and church politics might seem to be an odd combination, but clues in the mysteries come from both areas.
As Carolyn Dale, I got away from the personal and have written one novel and two novellas on different subjects, though in the novellas I have thrown in vets as minor characters. The latest of these will be published by Books We Love sometime this spring. Check the Books We Love website.
All my books are in both e-book and paperback formats.
In future posts, I will describe my work in more detail, starting with the Dr. Erica Merrill series.
Anne (and Carolyn)