Review of the Poisoned Pawn in the Chronicle Herald

Nice review of The Poisoned Pawn in the Halifax Chronicle Herald e-paper, and thanks very much to my pal, Bill Henderson, for bringing it to my attention. The reviewer connects the plot of The Poisoned Pawn to events linked around former Archbishop Raymond Leahey. (And I confess that he provided a certain amount of dark inspiration for the Rey Callendes character, although he’s certainly not alone.) Here are some highlights: you can read the entire review here!


… Blair’s latest work is a continuation of her first novel, The Beggar’s Opera. The Ottawa writer made her fictional debut last year with a work that had Ramirez investigating the death of a young boy.

Newcomers to the series will need a bit of time to meet the characters and catch on to the story, which is largely based on events at the end of the last novel. Meanwhile, Ramirez fans will enjoy seeing the honest Cuban policeman out of his element in a frozen northern climate.

Blair’s prose is darkly funny, with a pathos to her tales about daily life in Cuba as seen through the eyes of the senior policeman and the pathologist. While he’s in Canada, Ramirez marvels at the proliferation of advertising, is shocked at the waste of electricity on Christmas lights and pines for a decent cup of coffee.

A former lawyer and expert in aboriginal law, Blair is a fresh face in crime fiction with her novels that meld Cuban and Canadian themes. This book, for instance, references abuse at residential schools and has a disgraced priest who sounds a lot like Raymond Lahey, former archbishop of Antigonish.

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2 Responses to Review of the Poisoned Pawn in the Chronicle Herald

  1. Sam@ITellStories says:

    Interesting. My father’s family is from the east coast and I know the leahey case well. I assumed a connection based on how timely your books are but didn’t want to call one out in particular.

    Great reviews so far. Must be exciting!


    • Peggy Blair says:

      I think he had just been stopped at the airport by the time I wrote that into the book – the books were all written a good 18 months to 2 years before publication, so I had to do a lot of extrapolation (and of course, whether he would be convicted or not was completely unknown then, and he had no Cuban connection at all). But it certainly gave me food for thought. Yes, the reviews have been surprisingly good – it’s wonderful!


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