It’s summer and there is nothing better than lounging about and reading a good book. In the following reviews, there are a number of books which contain some connection to Sooke and our wild West Coast.
Twilight is Not Good for Maidens
A Holly Martin Mystery
by Lou Allin
271 pages, paperback
Twilight is Not Good for Maidens is the third in a series of mystery novels by Sooke writer Lou Allin. The main character is Corp. Holly Martin, an RCMP officer stationed in the tiny fictional community of Fossil Bay.
Murder, rape, sexual assaults and accusation rock the small community located on Vancouver Island. Corp. Martin assembled her own clues to solve the case, while still struggling with her own personal dilemma. A personal mystery that continues to haunt Martin through each of the books in the series.
This mystery novel is well written and keeps you opening the book to read just a little more while you can. The descriptions of familiar places in the Sooke area is a treat and Allin captures much of the community and the characters in it, keeping it strangely personal. It is well plotted and like all detective or mystery books it slowly feeds you tidbits rationing them like a special treat.
Allin is the author of two series of mystery novels: the Bell Palmer mysteries set in Ontario (her former home) and now the Holly Martin series, which include And on the Surface Die and She Felt No Pain.
The launch for Twilight is not Good for Maidens, the third Holly Martin mystery, will be set for Aug 1, from 2 to 3 p.m. plus at the Little Vienna Bakery Cafe. Complimentary pastries will be served and the book will have a special launch price. Afterwards, copies may be purchased at the Reading Room Bookstore. Website is www.louallin.com, and she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A New Sensation
By Susan Lundy
220 pages, softcover
An old Irish proverb says, “When the apple is ripe it will fall.” And so it is with this beautifully laid out book, the pages fell onto the press when the words were finished.
Susan Lundy is an apple person and she travelled all over the western end of Canada seeking out those luscious orbs. She found apples come in all colours, flavours and sizes. They are tart, sweet, lemony and tangy.
Well researched, beautifully photographed and an informative read, Heritage Apples speaks to apple lovers everywhere. Recipes using the humble apple are included in the book, along with identification tips on apple varieties.
Lundy provides historical facts on how the glorious apples we now enjoy came to be planted and by whom. Heritage apples have been found in Sooke and thanks to apple expert and enthusiast Clay Whitney many varieties have been salvaged from the bulldozer’s blade.
She was impressed by the heritage apple trees planted at the Sunriver Community Garden and noted a 150-year-old Lemon Pippin tree at Woodside Farm on West Coast Road. The tree was likely planted by early settlers John and Ann Muir and are believed to be some of the oldest apples trees in the province.
Thus it is with this book, it’s a tribute to the noble apple written by an enthusiastic appleholic. It’s an enjoyable read combining history, recipes, photos, harvesting tips, apple facts and anecdotes. More importantly it enforces the notion of growing our own food and embraces the local and slow food movements.
Next week reviews will be on more books with a West Coast flavour and they include:
Unlikely Love Stories
by Mike McCardell
Fishing the Coast
A Life on the Water
by Don Pepper
A Walk with the Rainy Sisters
In Praise of British Columbia’s Places
by Stephen Hume