Anthony Bidulka

Amuse Bouche

I have to start by saying I think that Tony Bidulka is handsome and charming. But do I let that prejudice my opinion of his books?

Fortunately, that's not a problem, because Amuse Bouche is just as charming as Tony himself is. It's evocative and well-written; it made me want to jump on a plane and head right for France, where his first big case takes rookie private eye Russell Quant.

The mystery is intriguing, and I love that Russell keeps a file he calls "red herrings," which are there to tantalize and mislead the reader as well, yet are cleverly wrapped up by the end of the book.

     Insomniac Press  2005            

 

Flight of Aquavit

No, this isn't about aviation; rather, it refers to the use of the word "flight" to mean a group of wines (or in this case liquors) that all have something in common.

Russell learns more about his enigmatic neighbor Sereena Orion Smith here, and gets a trip to New York. Another fine book!

     Insomniac Press  2004            

Tapas on the Ramblas

I enjoyed this book, the first of the Russell Quant books I read. Russell, a former police officer who is now a private detective, is surprised to be offered a job by the granddaughter of a woman who lives in Victoria, British Columbia. But it turns out the woman, a lesbian and matriarch of a family fortune, wants a gay detective to accompany her family on a gay cruise through the Mediterranean and determine which one wants to kill her.

I'll bet Tony Bidulka had a fabulous time researching this book, and he creates lots of fun places and things along the cruise, run by a line called FOD, or Friends of Dorothy. I finally understood the title by the end of the book-- a tapa was originally a plate used to cover a bottle of wine, and there are lots of secrets for Russell to uncover here.

     Insomniac Press  2005            

Stain of the Berry

This was really an intriguing read. Do you believe in the bogeyman? Do you think someone can be scared-- literally-- to death? That's the heart of Russell's case.

I loved the Canadian settings, including Russell's trip to the far north, and relished the chance to learn more about Sereena and Russell's mysterious uncle, the one whose bequest enabled Russell to change his life and become a private eye.

     Insomniac Press  2007            

Sundowner Ubuntu

I finally got a chance to read this book, and as expected, loved it. A recent widow asks Russell to track down her estranged son, and the quest takes him to some strange places-- an old age home in Saskatoon, a safari in Africa, and the arms of a beautiful woman!

At this point, Russell seems like an old friend, and I'm always delighted to catch up with him. The last line of the book is a real shocker-- but we'll have to wait years to find out what it means.

     Insomniac Press  2008            

Aloha Candy Hearts

Tony and I talked for a while about putting our detectives together somehow. Then one day he emailed to say that he wanted to include Kimo in Russell's newest adventure, which begins in Hawaii. I was delighted, especially because I got a sneak preview of part of the book when Tony sent me the Kimo chapters for review.

Of course, Tony was a sneak, and only sent those chapters, so I had to wait like the rest of the world to see the whole book. It didn't disappoint! Russell spends most of the book in Saskatchewan on a kind of treasure hunt-- and you might be surprised at the ending-- but I wasn't. A wonderful addition to the series.

     Insomniac Press  2009            

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