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Sunday, 24 March 2013

Review: Crooked Lake, Nelson Brunanski (Canada: Saskatchewan)

Title: Crooked Lake
Author: Nelson Brunanski
Publication: 2006/Caronel Publishing, Canada
ISBN #: 0-9739121-0-3
# of pages: 254
Discovered at
Read in paper format
Link to author’s website:


What could possibly happen in the quiet little prairie town of Crooked Lake, population 1,000? Big enough to have a post office, and a regional park and golf course…and now a murder. When his lifelong friend Nick Taylor is accused of the murder and no other suspects are even considered, John “Bart” Bartowski figures he’ll nose around a bit. His wife Rosie figures he has enough to worry about at home, what with their fly-in fishing lodge at risk of losing its government lease. Bart quietly persists, even when events start to spin out of control, threatening the safety of Bart and his family.

 Although this is a first book, it did not run into too many obvious first book issues. The setting is nicely drawn, with a good portrayal of Saskatchewan, including the decades-old ethnic mix, the lifestyles. You feel the quiet rural life, with the gossiping and longstanding feuds, but without sinking to an unrealistic nasty undercurrent.  This story could happen anywhere. Bart’s life goes on, while he’s doing his snooping. He’s still weeding his garden, worrying about his children, getting his summer bookings lined up. Even the bad guys could be your own neighbours. This was an enjoyable book.        Rating: (°_°)

The author grew up in Wakaw, Saskatchewan, the inspiration for the town of Crooked Lake. He has also written two more in the Bartowski series: “Frost Bite” and “Burnt Out”, as well as two non-series mysteries, “Southern Exposure” and “Victoria Day”. I look forward to reading these.



  1. Debra: Thanks for the review. I think Nelson's strength is his portrayal of life in rural Saskatchewan.

  2. Yes, I really enjoyed the realistic portrayal!

  3. Thank you both Debra and Bill Seines for your reviews of my books. It's much appreciated.

    And Debra I'm impressed with your up-to-date information.

    Nelson Brunanski

  4. You're very welcome, Nelson! I can't wait to read more about Bart's sleuthing.