Every City is Every Other City by John McFetridge

I’d never heard of John McFetridge before reading his entertaining 2021 book …

Every City is Every Other City

He’s about my age and has been publishing since 2003.

He writes Canadian crime fiction unapologetically. The setting of this book is Toronto. Canuck pop culture references are continual.

My first highlight is that Gord Stewart, 40 years old, single, living with his widowed father is almost an anti-hero. More a loser than super sleuth. That’s original.

He’s been working in the movie business as a location scout for years, and when there isn’t much filming, as a private eye for a security company run by ex-cops, OBC.

When a fellow crew member asks him to find her missing uncle, Gord reluctantly takes the job. The police say the uncle walked into some dense woods in Northern Ontario and shot himself, but the man’s wife thinks he’s still alive.

With the help of his movie business and OBC connections, Gord finds a little evidence that the uncle may be alive.

Now Gord has two problems: what to do when he finds a man who doesn’t want to be found, and admitting that he’s getting invested in this job.

For the first time in his life, Gord Stewart is going to have to leave the sidelines and get into the game. Even if it might get him killed.

STFU by Dan Lyons

Dan Lyons was a senior editor at Forbes magazine.

I knew him from the days he was anonymously “Fake Steve Jobs” online. Hilarious.

His new book is STFU: The Power of Keeping Your Mouth Shut in an Endlessly Noisy World.

New York Times bestselling author Dan Lyons is here to tell you – and don’t take this the wrong way – that you really need to shut the f*ck up!

Our noisy world has trained us to think that those who get in the last word win, when in fact it’s those who know how to stay silent who really hold the power. 

… Lyons combines leading behavioral science with actionable advice on how to communicate with intent, think critically, and open your mind and ears to the world around you.

Talk less, get more. That’s what STFU is all about.

Prescriptive, informative, and addictively readable, STFU gives you the tools to become your better self, whether that’s in the office, at home, online, or in your most treasured relationships.

So take a deep breath, turn the page, and quietly change your life.

Research shows that — in groups — men talk more than women, and interrupt more than women.

He named some skillful listeners: Tim Cook, Richard Branson, Barack Obama.

The opposite would be Trump, who doesn’t listen to a word anyone else says.

I’m going to try to be more disciplined in future. Sit still. and LISTEN.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

The Scholar by Dervla McTiernan

Book #2 in the Detective Cormac Reilly series by Irish lawyer, Dervla McTiernan.

I found the story line cleaner and easier to follow than in Book #1 – The Ruin.

When Dr Emma Sweeney stumbles across the victim of a hit and run outside Galway University late one evening, she calls her partner, Detective Cormac Reilly, bringing him first to the scene of a murder that would otherwise never have been assigned to him.

A security card in the dead woman’s pocket identifies her as Carline Darcy, a gifted student and heir apparent to Irish pharmaceutical giant Darcy Therapeutics.

The multi-billion-dollar company, founded by her grandfather, has a finger in every pie, from sponsoring university research facilities to funding political parties to philanthropy – it has funded Emma’s own ground-breaking research.

The enquiry into Carline’s death promises to be high profile and high pressure.

As Cormac investigates, evidence mounts that the death is linked to a Darcy laboratory and, increasingly, to Emma herself. Cormac is sure she couldn’t be involved, but as his running of the case comes under scrutiny from the department and his colleagues, he is forced to question his own objectivity.

Could his loyalty to Emma have led him to overlook evidence? Has it made him a liability?


Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

The Midnight Lock by Jeffery Deaver

The 2021 Lincoln Rhyme book is excellent, as are they all. It’s the most recent, as I post.

Another roller coaster of a plot with multiple surprise endings.

A woman awakes in the morning to find that someone has picked her apartment’s apparently impregnable door lock and, terrifyingly, rearranged personal items, even sitting beside her while she slept.

The intrusion, the police learn, is a message to the entire city of carnage and death to come.

Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs are brought in to investigate and soon learn that the brilliant, sociopathic intruder, who calls himself “The Locksmith,” can break through any lock or security system ever devised. …


The Locksmith is a terrific bad guy. AND there is a second villain in this book — an extreme charismatic blogger who’s somehow connected.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

My Brother’s Connecticut Gumshoe Series

Randy McCharles has a Masters in Computer Science. Spent most of his career in research and development.

One day he quit a good job to see how he liked being a full-time author.

Unsurprisingly, the pay is not nearly as good. 😀

One of his series has a former cop, current private eye — Sam Sparrow — mysteriously transported back to fictional historic United Kingdom.

His 2022 book is A Connecticut Gumshoe in the Cavern of the Weird Sisters.

Yep. Sam is taken back to time to the days of Shakespeare’s “Scottish Play” and General Macbeth’s machinations to become King of Scotland.

With scheming witches on one side and an old friend in peril on the other, Sam finds himself in the unenviable position of having to help Macbeth succeed. That is, if he ever wants to return home.

Worst of all, he hasn’t the first clue of how to manage a nightclub.

I enjoyed this one the most of the three, so far. The books are funny.

Persons of Interest by Peter Grainger

Grainger self-publishes. Kindle and Audio only, as I post.

I highly recommend the DC Smith Investigation Series;

  • Book 1: An Accidental Death: A DC Smith Investigation
  • Book 2: But for the Grace: A DC Smith Investigation
  • Book 3: Luck and Judgement: A DC Smith Investigation
  • Book 4: Persons of Interest: A DC Smith Investigation
  • Book 5: In This Bright Future: A DC Smith Investigation
  • Book 6: The Rags of Time: A DC Smith Investigation

Those are the first six of 10 up to 2023. Grainger recommends you read them in series as the characters evolve. Smith keeps trying to retire.

DC Smith is one of my favourite characters in fiction. Super competent. Very funny. Dry British humour.

These are police procedurals with no profanity, sex, nor much violence.

In the peace and tranquillity of the woods at Pinehills on a Saturday afternoon, a mobile phone begins to ring. The phone belongs to DC Smith and it isn’t unusual that the call is from Kings Lake Central police station; what is unusual is the fact that he seems to be the subject of an investigation rather than taking part in one.

What can the links be between a prisoner’s violent death in another county, the disappearance of two teenagers and the highest profile case in Kings Lake for many years?

As Smith and his team begin to untangle the threads, one thing becomes clear – they are dealing with some of the most dangerous people that they have yet encountered.


The Bat by Jo Nesbø

The Bat (NorwegianFlaggermusmannen, “Bat Man”) is a 1997 crime novel by Norwegian writer Jo Nesbø, the first in the Harry Hole series.

I’ve tried a number of Nesbø books now — but just can’t get into them.

Norwegian police officer Harry Hole — (an alcoholic) — is sent to SydneyAustralia to serve as an attaché for the Australian police’s investigation into the murder of a young female Norwegian girl …

Hole is assisted by Aboriginal colleague Andrew Kensington; together they find out that they are dealing with a serial killer who strangles blonde women. …

The Bat was written eight years before The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson.

As I’m planning to head back to Norway this summer, I thought I’d get into this series.

And the book is quite good, as well.

It does make me wonder what’s going to happen with Harry in future.

Click PLAY or watch an interview with the author on YouTube.

Dead Lions by Mick Herron

Dead Lions (2013) won the Crime Writers’ Association 2013 Gold Dagger award.

It’s #2 of Mick Herron‘s Slough House series, which have been adapted for the Slow Horses TV series.

I’d say the TV show is better than the book — but they are both good.

London’s Slough House is where the washed-up MI5 spies go to while away what’s left of their failed careers.
The “slow horses,” as they’re called, have all disgraced themselves in some way to get relegated here. Maybe they messed up an op badly and can’t be trusted anymore. Maybe they got in the way of an ambitious colleague and had the rug yanked out from under them. …

Now the slow horses have a chance at redemption.

An old Cold War-era spy is found dead on a bus outside Oxford, far from his usual haunts. The despicable, irascible Jackson Lamb is convinced Dickie Bow was murdered.

As the agents dig into their fallen comrade’s circumstances, they uncover a shadowy tangle of ancient Cold War secrets that seem to lead back to a man named Alexander Popov, who is either a Soviet bogeyman or the most dangerous man in the world.

How many more people will have to die to keep those secrets buried?

Good Reads

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

The Cutting Edge by Jeffery Deaver

Another excellent Deaver book (2018). Plenty of surprises.

In the early hours of a quiet, weekend morning in Manhattan’s Diamond District, a brutal triple murder shocks the city. Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs quickly take the case.

Curiously, the killer has left behind a half-million dollars’ worth of gems at the murder scene, a jewelry store on 47th street. As more crimes follow, it becomes clear that the killer’s target is not gems, but engaged couples themselves. …

… the Promiser makes a dangerous mistake: leaving behind an innocent witness, Vimal Lahori, a talented young diamond cutter, who can help Rhyme and Sachs blow the lid off the case.

They must track down Vimal before the killer can correct his fatal error. …


Nightwork by Nora Roberts

The life story of a loveable jewel thief.

… Who is Nora Roberts?

Now 70-years-old and still publishing 4 books every year?

She writes one novel at a time. Eight hours / day, every day.

And most are huge books like Nightwork (2022). Sprawling. Emotional. Well researched.

Yes, this one is a bit of a romance novel. But Roberts’ storytelling is on par with the best: Stephen King, James Michener, John Grisham, Jeffrey Archer. Authors who keep things moving while making you care about the fictional characters.

Harry Booth started stealing at nine to keep a roof over his ailing mother’s head, slipping into luxurious, empty homes at night to find items he could trade for precious cash.

When his mother finally succumbed to cancer, he left Chicago—but kept up his nightwork, developing into a master thief with a code of honor and an expertise in not attracting attention? … Or getting attached.

Until he meets Miranda Emerson, and the powerful bond between them upends all his rules.

But along the way, Booth has made some dangerous associations, including the ruthless Carter LaPorte, who sees Booth as a tool he controls for his own profit. Knowing LaPorte will leverage any personal connection, Booth abandons Miranda for her own safety—cruelly, with no explanation—and disappears.

But the bond between Miranda and Booth is too strong, pulling them inexorably back together. Now Booth must face LaPorte, to truly free himself and Miranda once and for all.