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About the Books
by Mike Martin, Mystery
in Newfoundland on the east coast
These cozy-like books follow the adventures of Sgt. Winston Windflower, a Cree
from Northern Alberta as he finds a new life and new loves in the tiny village
of Grand Bank. There are crimes and mysteries for the Canadian Mountie to investigate
and solve but the Sgt. Windflower Mysteries are more about family, friends,
good food and good times.
life, Sheila Hillier who keeps him well-fed and grounded in reality. There’s
also his fellow Mounties like Corporal Eddie Tizzard and a long list of bad
actors, both local and just visiting, to cause havoc in their sleepy little
town. Windflower brings his native background and traditions with him and finds
ways to use them to help himself and his friends through difficult times.
Rounding out his life are his collie, Lady, who often has adventures of her own
and some new additions to his family that appear in the latest book, Darkest Before the Dawn.
on the Cape (Book 1)
A man’s body is found on the Cape in a
small fishing community on the East Coast. At first everyone thinks it’s a
heart attack or stroke. But then it is discovered that he was poisoned. Who
would do this and why? Finding that out falls to Sergeant Winston Windflower of
the RCMP along with his trusted side-kick Eddie Tizzard. Along the way they
discover that there are many more secrets hidden in this small community and
powerful people who want to keep it that way.
Windflower also discovers two more things; a love of
living in a small community that is completely different from his up-bringing
in a remote Indian reserve and maybe the love of his life. He gets a taste of
East Coast food and hospitality as well as a sense of how crime and corruption
can linger beneath the surface or hide in the thick blanket of fog that
sometimes creeps in from the nearby Atlantic Ocean.
The Body on the T (Book 2)
in the Windflower mystery series and it follows up on the highly acclaimed
premiere, The Walker on the Cape. The story begins when a body washes up on a beach near
Grand Bank, Newfoundland. There is no identification on the body and few clues to
identify who the person was or where they came from. The case becomes the
responsibility of Sgt. Winston Windflower of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
and his trusted side-kick, Corporal Eddie Tizzard.But this is just the beginning. There is also a
devastating accident on the highway and another suspicious death to deal with.
Throw in a rogue police officer and an international drug ring operating in the
waters off the coast and Windflower’s peaceful world is turned upside down.
This time Windflower’s adventures take him to the scenic town of Burin
where Captain Cook once patrolled the waters looking for French mercenaries.
And to historic St. John’s where he faces down an armed suspect on a parking
garage rooftop in the midst of a busy downtown evening.
Along the way Windflower also continues to enjoy the
food and home-style hospitality of this part of the world. Cod tongues, pan
seared scallops and even figgy duff become part of his diet, and his long list
of favourite foods. Windflower may be a long way from his Cree home in Northern Alberta
but he has found a new place to love in the fog and mist of Newfoundland.
Beneath the Surface (Book 3)
he’s loving life on the east coast. He may be a long way from his home in Northern Alberta
but he has been adopted by the locals as almost one of their own. He has a good
life, good work with the RCMP, and a good woman that he has grown closer to in
his years on the southeast coast of Newfoundland. But trouble is brewing just beneath the surface of this
calm and charm-filled existence. It begins with the discovery of a dead girl’s body in St. John’s, the capital city of Newfoundland and Labrador. The girl is from Grand Bank where Windflower has been
stationed for the last few years. Sgt. Windflower and his associate Corporal
Eddie Tizzard are pulled further and further into the case. The situation also
grows to include a whole array of criminal activities from human trafficking
and even the Russian Mafia.
Along the way Windflower not only has to deal with this
crime wave operating all around the region, but with some challenges in his own
life. He has to go back to his Aboriginal roots to find the answers to some
very deep and disturbing questions. But nothing seems to bother his appetite
and joy for life, especially his appetite. He continues to sample traditional Newfoundland dishes like fish and brewis but he also expands to include
pan-fried sea trout and baked salmon, along with a range of desserts from
blueberry buckle to his all-time favourite, peanut butter cheesecake.
His faith in the police force, that has become his
life, is also threatened by a series of events that he becomes aware of that
are certainly immoral if not even illegal. He is forced to face not only his
own personal demons but those in real life that are lurking all around us.
Sometime they are right in front of our face, but at other times they are
hiding deep beneath the surface, waiting to be resolved.
A Twist of Fortune (Book 4)
book in the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series and it continues the adventures of
Sgt. Windflower as he tries to solve crime and experience the joy and the
sadness of life in a small maritime community. Follow along as he feels the
sometimes bitter taste of an east coast winter and the unique culinary delights
of this part of the world.
A Long Ways From Home (Book 5)
for Sgt. Windflower to clean up. This time he’s facing violence, murder,
mystery and intrigue. This adventure has Windflower questioning everything he
thought he knew. There are troubles on the home front, cutbacks in the policing
budget, old friends leaving and new ones not quite here yet. Windflower is
seeking to find answers in territory that is both dangerous and unfamiliar.
This instalment in the Sgt. Windflower Mystery series
has our hero dashing all over the beautiful little island of Newfoundland. Along the way he never wavers in his pursuit of justice.
But he stills tries to find a way to enjoy the natural beauty that lays all
around him, and to bring out the best from everybody he meets.
A Long Ways from Home is about more than just homicides
or the dirty dealings of outlaw bikers. It is also about helping people and
communities face up to and overcome new and very difficult challenges.
Windflower relies on his friends and allies, including some four-legged ones,
to help him and them find the answers. He also discovers that we are never
really alone, even when we are a long ways from home.
A Tangled Web (Book 6)
in Grand Bank. This time there’s a missing girl, trouble at the factory and
signs of danger everywhere. But there’s always good food, good friends and good
company to make life worthwhile. All the usual characters and a few new
suspects are back to help Windflower unravel the web of deceit and deception
that threatens the small community.
Darkest Before the Dawn (Book 7)
latest adventure in the Sgt. Winston Windflower mystery series, the popular
Maritime tales about a Mountie who finds himself with a new family and a new
life in tiny Grand Bank, Newfoundland. Ghosts, mysterious deaths, and a new, perplexing character
confront Windflower, Tizzard and the other police officers in Grand Bank as
they unearth secrets that have been lying hidden in the sleepy hamlet for
decades. A fast-moving mystery, Darkest Before The Dawn is also a story of
love, loss and learning how to grow old gracefully; a tale of family, community
and looking after each other, of not giving up hope, just before the dawn.
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Guest Post by the Author
The Elements of a Great Mystery
Author of A Tangled Web, A Sgt. Windflower Mystery
For me, the mystery genre has always been a comfortable fit, as a reader and as a writer. I enjoy most crime fiction, but my tastes do run towards the more traditional and the lighter side of mystery. No hard-boiled noir or graphic descriptions of coroner’s steel tables for me. But that’s just a personal preference. Regardless of the sub-genre, I believe that what makes a good mystery is a good story.
Maybe that is the basic element of any book in any genre, even in non-fiction. The story has to get our attention and make us want to read more. For mystery books, there has to be some element of the unknown that we are promised will be revealed if only we hang around long enough. Or even if we figure out ‘whodunit’, how the perpetrators are brought to justice may be enough to hold us fast to our seats and keep us turning the pages.
How the story is told and the definition of the main characters are close behind in terms of factors that make up a good mystery. Style, pace and plot development are keys to ensuring that we are not just entertained, but engaged along the way. The sub-genres of mystery start diverging here, particularly around style which tends to involve detailed and sometimes flowery descriptions in cozies or technically detailed forensic talk in police procedurals. But they all come back together when it comes to the flow of the story. Good mysteries in all forms have a rhythm that somehow just seems right. Great mystery writers have the ‘Goldilocks’ touch: not too fast, not too slow, just right!
Great characters are another key to great mysteries. We all remember the giants like Poirot or Miss Marple or Rebus or any number of great cozy writers. But I find that it is actually the sub-cast of characters that separate the great from the good. And it’s not usually the person or persons who get killed that are the most interesting. It’s the Corporal under the Sergeant, or the old friend who always shows up with advice or a bottle of scotch at exactly the right time.
What really sets the mystery category aside from all other writing is the added characteristic of surprise. Every mystery book has a few twists and turns but a great mystery book has an absolutely brilliant surprise. It may be that the butler didn’t actually do it, but he was certainly involved in helping the less than legitimate heir bury the bodies. Or an unheard-of relative who surfaced just after the will is read or… you get the picture.
Reading a great mystery book is like having a candle to light the way down a dark and unfamiliar hallway. You don’t know what you are going to find down there, but you just have to go and see for yourself.
About the Author
Newfoundland on the east coast of Canada. These cozy-like books follow
the adventures of Sgt. Winston Windflower, a Cree from Northern Alberta
as he finds a new life and new loves in the tiny village of Grand Bank.
There are crimes and mysteries for the Canadian Mountie to investigate
and solve but the Sgt. Windflower Mysteries are more about family,
friends, good food and good times.The recurring cast of characters include the love of his life, Sheila
Hillier who keeps him well-fed and grounded in reality. There’s also
his fellow Mounties like Corporal Eddie Tizzard and a long list of bad
actors, both local and just visiting, to cause havoc in their sleepy
little town. Windflower brings his native background and traditions with
him and finds ways to use them to help himself and his friends through
difficult times. Rounding out his life are his collie, Lady, who often
has adventures of her own and some new additions to his family that
appear in the latest book, Darkest Before the Dawn.