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Friday, 10 January 2014

Review: The Body on the T, Mike Martin (Canada, Newfoundland)

Title: The Body on the T
Author: Mike Martin
Publication: 2013/Ottawa: Baico Publishing Inc
ISBN #: 978-1-926945-45-5
# of pages: 277
Discovered when the author advised me his second book was out
Read in e-book format
Also available in paper format
Link to author’s website:

One wonders at the resilience of children: they find a body washed up on the beach but RCMP Sergeant Winston Windflower’s suggestion that they deserve an ice cream for all their help puts the bad memory behind them. Windflower and Corporal Eddie Tizzard will have to work harder for their reward though. The body has no I.D. on it, has been in the water for at least a week and no one saw anything. This is just the beginning of a case that will have unexpected twists and turns.

Fortunately Windflower, transplanted in Grand Bank Newfoundland from his Cree birthplace in Alberta, likes his home of three years, especially some of its inhabitants such as the love of his life, local café owner Sheila Hillier. Tizzard still tends to be in a tizzy when he works but he is a reliable second-in-command whom Windflower will especially come to value by the end of this case.

This is the second in the Windflower series (my review of the first book) The approach is police procedural but less the gritty aspects and more “a week in the life of a small town cop”, with a fair amount of personal background and non-investigative aspects. The essence of Newfoundland is captured in the writing, from the moose in the middle of the highway to cod tongues for dinner. The author also captures the unique Newfoundland dialect without overusing it and making the book difficult to read. I enjoyed thinking about the local coroner googling to do his autopsy and learning that the Australian Museum site he googled is real!

Initially, I was pleased to see a low key reference to the previous book and its connection to this one, only to be disappointed a few pages later when the author gave away the ending of the first book. It has always seemed unnecessary and in fact counterproductive for an author to give too much detail from a previous work; it takes away from the current one and leaves little need for the reader to get the prior one. So consider reading them in sequence.     Rating: (°_°) Worth reading

Notable sentence: “Then he had a long and serene bath with Louise Penney and Gamache as his companions.”

Author Mike Martin currently lives in Ottawa, Canada but obviously leverages his Newfoundland upbringing in his work. He is currently a freelance writer, with workplace and social policy issues being his specialty. His foray into fiction includes not only the Windflower series but also a number of short stories. A third book in this series is underway.




  1. Debra: Glad you enjoyed the book. I have never figured out why anyone wants to put the solution to an earlier book in a later book.

  2. Hi Debra. Thanks for the review and for the feedback. I am just figuring out what works and what doesn't when it comes to writing a series. My goal was to connect the books but to allow them to stand alone as well. I am finding out that it is delicate balance and you've given me more insight that will help me as I go along. As a writer you are sometimes more concerned with the story than the readers. Something else to work on!!
    Thank you
    Mike Martin
    Author of the Sgt. Windflower Mysteries