Monday, August 1, 2011


Ah the August holiday. Canadians seem unclear on exactly what we are celebrating on the first Monday of the month. Well, I know what I’m celebrating: the joy of reading. Of course, we can read all year long and there’s something wonderful about reading inside on a snowy day, or in front of a roaring fire. But nothing beats reading on the deck or on the dock or just by an open window with summer breezes floating by. I’ll even confess to enjoying reading with the hum of the air
conditioner in the background. As they say, it’s all good.
Maybe it’s the sense of freedom that summer brings, although with our ever more connected world while we have more ability to get things done, we’re rarely free of messages or what I sometimes think of as online tyranny. But never mind that, we can still read. I have been choosing to read print, but will soon go over to ‘the other side’ and buy an e-reader. I am very excited as The Ladies Killing Circle has

just issued it’s first e-collection: Little Treasures. We’re proud of our seven stories and think that the format will introduce our work to new readers near and far to our Canadian voices. In the moment of celebration, I think I’ll wait to worry about my potential purchase: say, the first time my e-reader falls in the tub as so many of my paperbacks have. Or tumbles from my hands as I fall asleep and lands on the floor with a …

Well, back to the here and now. I am reading print books at the cottage. Last weekend I read A Brush with Death, by Elizabeth Duncan, a delicious cozy set in Wales. In five minutes I’m going to be curling up with The Witch of Babylon, by D.J. McIntosh. I have been savoring this antiquities mystery, which so far has moved from looting in Iraq to dark doings in New York. Better yet, both the authors are Canadian, although their settings are elsewhere.

I like to have different books for different settings and, even at the cottage, usually have one going on the sofa, by the bed, on the deck and in my suitcase. This may be getting easier with the e-reader. Time will tell. The main thing is the content, I have always loved and will continue to love the work of my Canadian colleagues. I enjoy reading them on a little patch of the great Canadian outdoors. Now if that’s not worth having a holiday for, I don’t know what is! Fireworks anyone?

Mary Jane Maffini rides herd on three (soon to be three and a half) mystery series and a couple of dozen short stories. Her thirteenth mystery novel, The Busy Woman’s Guide to Murder, which hit the bookshelves this spring, is brimming with names, no two the same.


  1. That looks like a gorgeous place to read MJ. If I close my eyes I can hear the breeze in the white pines and the loons crying. All very conducive to losing yourself in a Canadian crime novel.

  2. Speaking of loons, I have news for you!