MysterySgt. Windflower is back, untangling another swirling mystery, this
one bringing the meth crisis and biker gangs to the quiet Newfoundland
town of Grand Bank, feeling the sting of their deadly tentacles reaching
all the way from Las Vegas. He’s working with his familiar crew of
RCMP characters – but wait, are some of the faces changing? New
challenges for Jones, an unknown side of Smithson reveals itself, and
what ever happened to Tizzard? In the midst of putting the pieces of
the puzzle together, Windflower and his beloved Sheila also find
themselves navigating sorrows and surprises on the family front.
Come back to Grand Bank for more fun, food and cool, clean, Canadian crime fiction with Sgt. Windflower Mysteries.
Amazon → https://amzn.to/36sHEBz
Eddie Tizzard passed his card over the sensor and pushed the
door open. He flicked on the light. “Holy jumpins,” he said when he saw what
was on the bed in his hotel room— thousands of dollars strewn around like
confetti. When he looked closer, he saw something else. There, right in the
middle of the bed, was a very red, very large bloodstain.
His first instinct was to run. But his years as an RCMP
officer got the best of him, and he had another look around. Soon the source of
the blood became obvious. It was a man in a suit lying face down in the
bathroom with a visible hole in the back of his head. Tizzard should have
trusted his first instinct because when he did decide to leave the room, he
walked directly into the path of who he would later find out was the head of
He was remembering all of this as he sat in a holding cell
with a dozen other men in the Las Vegas
jail. Tizzard had gone to Vegas for private detective training, having decided
on a new career path after leaving the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, or the
Mounties. Technically, he was on leave for the rest of the year, but he doubted
he’d ever return to his old job. He’d applied for and received his firearms license,
but he wanted a certificate to put on the walls of his new office, that is when
he got an office. That seemed very far away right now, about as far as he could
get from his home in Newfoundland
on the eastern tip of Canada.
He’d watched enough police shows on TV to know that he could
make one phone call. But nobody had said when he could do that. The duty
officer kind of smirked when he pushed him into the lock-up with his dozen new
friends and told him, “Yeah, yeah, coming right up.”
Tizzard was confused but tried to look like he fit in with
his fellow cell mates. They, in turn, looked like they were measuring his
clothes to see if they might be a fit. As long as they don’t find out that I
used to be a cop, I’ll be OK, thought Tizzard as he backed up as far as he could
into a corner.
It seemed like he had waited forever, but as several of his
new friends came in for a closer look, he heard his name called, “Tizzard,
“That’s me,” he said and pushed by the two large men who had
got the closest.
The duty cop opened the door, and Tizzard walked along the
hallway to an interview room. He was pushed inside, and the door clicked shut
behind him. It was a small, windowless room with a camera in the ceiling, a
mirror on the wall, a single chair on one side of a table, and two on the
other. Tizzard knew the drill and took a seat on the one-chair side. Then he
waited, again. Feels like home, he thought. Just not my home.
On the other side of the continent Mayor Sheila Hillier was
wrapping up her town council meeting and was on her way to meet Moira Stoodley
who was babysitting her daughter, Amelia Louise. The meeting had been made
unpleasant by a couple of contentious issues, including whether the older
buildings in the downtown core of Grand Bank should be modernized or restored
to maintain their historic character. But Sheila also realized that most of the
tension was really about who would replace her as mayor in the election only a
couple of weeks away.
Jacqueline Wilson was Sheila’s preference, but there was
another candidate, Phil Bennett, who was leading the anti-tax faction of
council. Every meeting, Bennett would try to disrupt things to show how
influential he thought he could be, but Sheila would have none of it and would
put him back in line. Bennett’s behaviour in itself was more than enough reason
for her to want to leave, she thought.
Sheila had decided to go back to school part-time,
eventually do an MBA once she had cleared up her scholastic records and
completed the course load for an old degree program she had started several
years earlier. Politics had never really been her thing, even though she was
very good at it. She had only taken the mayor’s job to try to improve the
town’s economy. And she had succeeded, mostly. The Town of Grand
Bank’s fish plant was now operating on a regular basis with a quota for crab
and the sea urchins considered a delicacy in Japan
and China. The
town also had a recycling factory and a solar panel fabrication plant.
Half of the town’s people wanted to not just preserve the
past but to live in it. The other half wanted to blow it all up and start over.
They had no use for the old and wanted everything to be modern, like the way it
was in St. John’s or even nearby
Marystown. It seemed there was no middle ground for the residents of Grand
Bank, yet Sheila was sure you could have the best of both worlds. Getting
others to agree with her, though, seemed impossible.
Sheila gathered up her things and drove to the Mug-Up, which
was known through much of the province to be the best little café there was in
Grand Bank. That it was the only café in Grand Bank was usually not mentioned.
Sheila had owned the place years ago but gave it up after a horrific car
accident left her with a slight limp and no desire to stand all day. Moira and
her husband, Herb, had taken it over, and it was there that she found Amelia
Louise sitting at a table with her Poppy Herb.
“Mama, mama,” she shrieked as Sheila’s heart melted. “Ook,
“I think she’s got talent,” said Herb Stoodley.
Sheila examined the crayon scrawls on the paper and murmured
her approval. “It’s so nice,” she said. “Is it Lady, your doggie?” she asked,
making a leap of faith based on the fact that there was one small circle on top
of a large mass of scratches.
Amelia Louise smiled and nodded her head up and down
emphatically. She had always been able to somehow say no, but now the
20-month-old toddler was happy to signify yes with a grand gesture.
“Well, thank you,” said Sheila. “And thank you, Herb. And
here’s Moira, too. Thank you, Moira, for looking after her.”
“It’s our pleasure,” said Moira, wiping her hands on her
apron. “I was just finishing off some baking.”
“Em,” said Amelia Louise. “Ook, ook,”
“I can see,” said Moira. “Has Poppy Herb been nice to you?”
“She’s like our baby, too,” said Herb. “It’s easy to be nice
to her. ‘Those that do
teach young babes, do it with gentle means and easy tasks.’”
“Okay, my soon-to-be-famous artist, let’s go,” said Sheila
as she put on Amelia Louise’s jacket. Once outside again, Sheila noticed the
November air had lost any tinge of summer warmth, and the wind was picking up,
making it a bit of an adventure to walk the short distance to their house.
Sheila tried to carry her daughter, but Amelia Louise was determined to walk on
her own, while examining every leaf that blew their way.
When they got home, Molly the cat watched them carefully as
they came up the walkway. The dog, Lady, was more directly affectionate and
showed how much she had missed them both by almost knocking them over in the
hall. The only one missing from the happy family was Sheila’s husband and the
father of Amelia Louise, Sergeant Winston Windflower of the RCMP Grand Bank
Detachment. He was at work, but Sheila expected to hear from him soon because
his stomach would be rumbling any minute now, and he’d want to know what was on
Mike Martin was born in St. John’s, NL on the east coast of Canada
and now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. He is a long-time freelance
writer and his articles and essays have appeared in newspapers,
magazines and online across Canada as well as in the United States and
New Zealand. He is the author of Change the Things You Can: Dealing with
Difficult People and has written a number of short stories that have
been published in various publications across North America.
The Walker on the Cape was his first full fiction book and the
premiere of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series. Other books in the
series include The Body on the T, Beneath the Surface, A Twist of
Fortune, and A Long Ways from Home, followed by A Tangled Web, which was
shortlisted for the 2017 Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award as the best
light mystery of the year, and Darkest Before the Dawn, which won the
2018 Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award. Fire, Fog and Water was the eighth
in the series. He has also published Christmas in Newfoundland:
Memories and Mysteries, a Sgt. Windflower Book of Christmas past and
He is Past Chair of the Board of Crime Writers of Canada, a national
organization promoting Canadian crime and mystery writers and a member
of the Newfoundland Writing Guild and Ottawa Independent Writers.
A Perfect Storm is the latest book in the Sgt. Windflower Mystery series.