From: T. Kent Morgan ( tkmorgan@shaw.ca)
Date: 03 Sep 2004

In response to my comments about Steve Hamilton's lack of knowledge about hockey, Kevin wrote:

>I hate to sound like Rick Mercer here, but Hamilton seems to show a
similar dodgy (and occasionally patronizing) knowledge of not just hockey but of Canada in general. The line that got me in BLOOD IS THE SKY was something about how Toronto was a large city "by Canadian standards."

Like, it's one of the largest cities on the continent, easily larger than most American cities last time I checked, but it's only large
"by Canadian standards"?

And fellow Michigan writer Loren Estleman displays a similar iffy knowledge of Canada in a recent western of his, where he has the Mounties roaring into the battle in the 1800s waving the maple leaf flag that first made its appearance in the 1960s.

And his latest Amos walker novel, RETRO, while another solid read, is marred (at least for me) by a similarly cartoonish vision of Canada, with a Toronto detective agency actually calling itself the Loyal Dominion Enquiry Agency and sporting both a maple leaf flag and a Mountie in its Yellow Pages display ad. What, no hockey players or moose?

I dunno -- Detroit isn't that far from the Canadian border. Maybe it's just the Michigan school system.

(Yeah, I know. Some guys get all out of shape over mistakes about guns, I get miffed about errors about Canada. Maybe we can "educate"
>a few of them "foreigners" at Bouchercon this year...)

One writer who does get it right about Canada is Peter Bowen in his series about Montana cattle brand inspector Gabriel Du Pre. Du Pre is a Metis (mixed French/Indian blood) from Manitoba whose ancestors moved to Montana. In his first book, Coyote Wind, Bowen has Du Pre return to Manitoba as part of the plotline while in Specimen Song, book two and my favourite, Du Pre and company follow an old fur trade route by canoe from Saskatchewan to Ontario. Du Pre also is a fiddle player who plays the old Metis tunes and the Metis heritage is a constant part of the series. I am a couple of books behind in the series that I think is now at 11 books. Highly recommended.

As for Bouchercon, I wish I could be in Toronto to help Kevin, Bill, Marianne, etc. "educate" the foreigners about Canada, but an emergency trip to England in August tapped out the travel budget. Those $225 a night hotel rooms certainly scared me off and my one experience at Bouchercon in St. Paul in 1996 convinced me that you have to stay in the convention hotel.

Kent Morgan

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 03 Sep 2004 EDT