Mordecai’s Ashes by Arlana Crane #BookReview #LarssonInvestigations1 #BigTreePress #5*

Karl Larsson is an out of work roughneck, home from the oil fields of Alberta and back on the coast for the first time in years.

His wife has left him and his future looks bleak. Becoming a detective is the last thing on his mind, but when Karl learns that he has inherited his estranged grandfather’s agency he decides to take a chance.

He doesn’t expect much action in a city as small as Victoria, BC, but Karl soon finds that Victoria is only the base of operations. His grandfather’s business took him across the length and breadth of Vancouver Island, and the Island is a world unto itself, with a culture all its own.

When a reporter from a national news agency asks him to investigate a drug running operation on the Island, Karl is drawn into a dangerous game.

Finding the truth sounds simple in theory, but as Karl delves deeper he begins to realize that more than his life may be at stake.

A First-Class, Accomplished Debut!

Wow! When this author approached me about reviewing her novel I had no idea what a cracking read this was going to be!

Karl Larsson is out of a job and a home since his wife left him. At a loose end, he finds himself back on home turf and is just as surprised as the rest of the family to discover that he has inherited his grandfather’s detective agency. With no job offers lining up, he decides to give it a go despite his complete lack of experience. Heading for Vancouver Island, Karl expects the work will mainly be small local jobs, but somehow that’s not quite how it works out . . .

This is a first-class read; the writing is polished and accomplished and it’s hard to believe this is the author’s first published novel. As a stand-alone read it’s gripping; as a first in series it is a thrilling introduction and I’m hoping that the second is on it’s way as I can barely wait to get into it! A cleverly plotted story – one I could barely put aside and I read long into the early hours. I adored everything about it. The characters are beautifully crafted; so much so that if I ever travel to Vancouver Island I expect to find them there. There are bursts of humour which made me giggle (hard to do without making a noise or shaking the bed, trust me), but underneath it all is a serious crime story which had me in it’s thrall to the very end. Arlana Crane is most definitely an author to follow – trust me on that. Absolutely earns every one of the five sparkling stars I’m so very happy to give it!

My grateful thanks to the author for my copy of her novel; this is – as always – my honest, original and unbiased review.

Tags: crime mystery thriller

Author Bio


Allow me to introduce myself.

I am a Canadian writer, reader, knitter, ukulele player and theatre lover. Also the arbiter of an ongoing war between books and yarn for the limited shelf space in my home. The ukulele stays aloof from such sordid matters. She is convinced that she is superior to both.

As a Vancouver Islander living on the Prairies I am always longing for my coastal home and I tend to base a great deal of my fiction there so as to visit in imagination whenever I am prevented from visiting in person. During this period of exile I reside in Calgary, with my husband James and a house full of plants, as well as the aforementioned books, yarn, and ukulele.

Social Media


Twitter: @ArlanaCrane


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