Toronto Star review of Umbrella Man!

Jack Batten of the Toronto Star reviewed Umbrella Man in today’s paper, and here’s what he had to say: Nice!

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Nice end to a bleak week.

It’s been a rough week in many ways, and so it was nice to have a bit of good news for a change. Margaret Cannon reviewed Umbrella Man  in The Globe and Mail book section today. Here’s what she had to say:

Peggy Blair’s Inspector Ramirez series gets better with every book. An Ottawa lawyer, Blair has a real knack for using her Havana setting, with its eccentricities born of necessity, as both a charming backdrop and a real guide to plot lines. This time out, Ramirez begins with a confrontation with Mama Loa. The witch doctor says people in the sky are going to die. Ramirez isn’t convinced. There hasn’t been a murder in Havana in weeks and who cares about clouds in the sky? When the prophecy kicks in (expertly done) there’s not just one, but several connected killings and yes, the sky is there, too. But this is no local curse or a shot of voodoo. This is plain old-fashioned KGB-CIA hit man-style killing. That makes it political, not personal, and Ramirez knows he’s on borrowed time.

I think I should get her to write my blurbs from now on! Thanks, Margaret!


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Talk about support!

Pretty nice to get a note from the Ontario AG congratulating me on the Ottawa Citizen review of UMBRELLA MAN! Thanks, Yasir!


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Nice Shout-out for UMBRELLA MAN!

My pal, Wayne Arthurson, was interviewed on the Candy Palmater show on CBC Radio and gave UMBRELLA MAN a nice shout-out!

Here’s the interview: give it a listen. And pick up a copy of Wayne’s new book, BLOOD RED SUMMER. It’s going to be a winner; has already hit Edmonton and Calgary’s best seller lists. (Did I mention Wayne is Canada’s only indigenous mystery writer?)



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Best news ever! Umbrella Man’s a Bestseller!


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First Review of #UmbrellaMan! #OttawaCitizen

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More Launch Pics! #Umbrella Man

These shots were taken by Graham Sibthorpe, who writes:

We certainly enjoyed the book launch and look forward to reading  Umbrella Man. The cookies and drinks added to the ambiance. I also met Vernissage photographers that I had not seen for a while and liked seeing their Cuba pictures. The piece de resistance was the arrival of the fully restored Thunderbird (unlike similar cars of the same era in Cuba!).

Those are great photos – thanks for sending them along, Graham!

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Pics from the launch! #UmbrellaMan

Apparently, traffic was terribly snarled tonight (it was taking two hours to get from Riverside to Parkdale via the Queensway) and a number of people who’d hoped to come to the launch simply couldn’t make it. Nonetheless, I’m grateful to those who did – we had a lovely time.

Nick Bachusky


Here are some pictures – these were mostly taken by me before things got busy, so I’m hoping that some of the people who were there will send me theirs as well. And thanks to Bruce Mayo, who parked his 56 Thunderbird out front of the venue. Shades of Havana!



The food was incredible – Michael did an amazing job with the cookies! (There is a small silver pistol in Umbrella Man – look at the detail work!)





(The folks in the above shot by the way, are three local photographers (Janet McGee, Peter Waiser and Rob Huntley) who kindly agreed to exhibit their photos of Cuba to support the book launch. The other two whose work is on display, Bill McCloskey and Bruce Amos, were unable to attend) Gorgeous stuff, and it will be up all month at Cake and Shake. Well worth a visit!)



DSCN1321We had all kinds of cool drinks, from Pina Coladas with (of course) tiny umbrellas, to beer in growlers stamped with my jacket cover, to umbrella and revolution- themed wine!



And of course, we had to have blood spatter!



Many thanks to MacKenzie of Octopus Books for setting up and selling books!




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