What People Are Saying About "Death on the Dun"
Death on the Dun, by Paul Knowles (Self-published, 185 pages, $15 softcover) — Ed Brighton is a likable newspaper editor in a small Ontario town called Dunford, but he's facing a problem, one that's even more pressing than his non-existent love life. A high school student has been pulled dead from the Dun River and while the local police are convinced it's an accidental death, Brighton is being told the opposite in anonymous notes sent to his office.
Paul Knowles, a longtime writer/editor and author of several non-fiction books, has produced an amusing novella that's set in a town with a winding river — one very much like New Hamburg, where he makes his home.
Reflecting the slow pace of life in Dunford, the plot takes its own time to unfold. But the author's candid observations and playful writing — and yes, stop the press, there's some sex — hold your attention until the action heats up and the story races to a satisfying ending.
You can buy the book at Upper Case Books in New Hamburg, or online at www.paulknowles.ca, where you can also read the first chapter.
Jon Fear, Record staff (www.therecord.com/whatson/books/article/833636--books-death-on-the-dun-by-paul-knowles)
Jon Fear, The Record
"I'm not generally a mystery reader, but this book grabbed me in the same ways good general fiction would: engaging characters and an entertaining portrait of the setting (a slightly kooky little town). It's a quick read, made quicker by good pacing -- holding back to enjoy the town & its denizens at first, then speeding up to a tense finish.
"One of my main complaints about most of the mainstream mysteries I've read (usually when there's nothing else available) is that it's either frustratingly obvious whodunit (making the protagonist look like an idiot) or everything is kept so muddled that when the big reveal happens, it's anticlimactic. Knowles manages to keep everything logical, and portions out the revelations so that there's little lag between Ed's discoveries and their effects. Plus, Ed's a journalist, rather than one of these Most Incredible Investigator Ever, No Really, I Just Told You So characters who can't possibly live up to their hype. What I'm saying is, unlike most mysteries, I never had to throw it across the room. And that's saying something.
"Add all that to some cute vignettes about small-town life (parts of which are laugh-out-loud funny) and a rather sweet romance B plot that doesn't overshadow the A plot, and you've got a strong first novel. Looking forward to the next one!
"Recommended if you've been enjoying Terry Fallis, or wish someone would make you a "just the fun bits" edit of some Robertson Davies."
Erin Bardua, on Goodreads