You can tell spring is almost here when you arrive at the monthly Whodunit meeting before sunset. Though there is still snow on the ground, our thoughts have turned towards longer days and warmer temperatures. A fairly small group attended this evening's meeting in which we were pleased to welcome some new members.
This evening we discussed the novel "The Walker on the Cape" by Mike Martin. A Newfoundland native, Mike Martin now lives in Ottawa but returns to his home province annually. The cover of the novel is very attractive with a photo of the Grand Bank lighthouse figured prominently.
As is our usual custom, we rated the novel out of a possible 10 points. Of the sixteen voters present, the average vote was 6.5. Opinions were very disparate with some votes as high as 9 and some as low as 3. Detractors found the novel very simplistic and unsophisticated. Many were critical of the way the dialogue did not flow naturally. Most agreed the novel could have done with some more editing and the use of a few vigilant proofreaders. Detractors found the few loose ends in the plot to be tied up too neatly with little effort or discomfort. Even Windflower's corrupt boss was eliminated as a problem early on in the story. If he had stayed longer, Windflower would have had someone to battle against, thus making the plot more interesting. In short, the plot had potential but was under-developed.
Detractors and fans alike all seemed to like the setting of the novel which was for the most part well described. Most liked the RCMP Sgt. Winston Windflower. They enjoyed his upstanding character and his morning ritual adherence to his native 'smudging' ceremony.
Fans of the novel found it to be a nice change of pace. They relished the 'cosy' aspects of the novel. There was no gratuitous violence, no tension or jeopardy, The small community of Grand Bank was a prime example of small communities anywhere. Readers liked Windflower's love interest and appreciated their relationship enough that they would like to read about it in further novels. However, those looking for passion would not find it in this book as the two didn't so much as kiss. It was joked that the mention of Windflower changing his sheets in preparation for her visit was about as steamy as it got...
All in all, "The Walker on the Cape" was considered a 'light' read with the crime coming secondary to the everyday life of the characters.
The winners of this month's book give-away were:
4. Nancy R.
Next month we will discuss the legal thriller "Defending Jacob" by William Landay.