Friday, December 20, 2013

Klondike Friday. Juba, South Sudan:

Gold Web is now available, so this will be the last Klondike Friday for this go-round. I hope you've all enjoyed it.  This week I'm reprinting a piece I wrote on my first visit to South Sudan back in 2011. The situation has suddenly become dire in Juba, and I am very concerned. So here is my small wish for hope and peace in a very troubled land.  (Yes, I was writing Gold Web when I was there!)

Kayaking the Nile, outside Juba, South Sudan
Juba, South Sudan: 2011; Dawson City, Yukon: 1898
While I’ve been spending the last few weeks visiting my daughter in Juba, South Sudan, I’ve been working on Gold Web, the fourth Klondike Gold Rush mystery novel.

Seems like Juba would hardly be an inspiration, doesn’t it?

But the two places are surprisingly similar.

Take the streets. In Dawson the town flooded so much in the spring of 1897 that the Mounties needed a canoe to get from one building to another across the parade square. The town was built on a flood plain at the joining to two rivers. When it rained the streets turned into muddy passages so deep that the mud might come up to the top of a waggon wheel or to a horse’s knees. In Juba, the streets are mostly unpaved, and unmaintained. Potholes the size of a small car, open manholes, rocks and garbage and debris. I haven’t been here in the rainy season, but I shudder to contemplate.

The people. People from all over the world poured into the Klondike in search of fortune. Most of them were ill-equipped, to say the least, to live in an arctic mining town. The only ones who really made money were those who ‘mined the miners’: dance hall owners, shop owners, etc.

People from all over the world are here in Juba: aid workers from NGOs and foreign governments; people from other African countries setting up business large and small. Kenyans seem to have a monopoly on the car rental and taxi businesses, Eritreans on water delivery; Turks are building the new road to Umulei; Ugandan and Kenyan women staff restaurants and bars. White 4*4s stamped UN fill the streets along with most of the major NGOs. I have met people from Canada, UK, US, Holland, Botswana, Kenya, Germany, Ethiopia, France, South Africa, Sweden, Australia. Most of whom seem to get along in a joyous muddle.
The City. The Klondike was a rough and tumble mining town carved out of the sub-arctic wilderness. People lived in shacks made out of green wood or in canvas tents (in the winter!) and what buildings there were, were constructed with more speed than skill. This city isn’t much different. It was just a garrison town for the Northern forces for the years of the civil war. Only with the CPA in 2005 and the subsequent independence did the city start to grow. And growing it is. Construction is everywhere. Housing is a problem as people are pouring in, not only from other countries as mentioned above to take advantage of the new economic opportunities, but from the countryside. Most housing is still in tin shacks or traditional mud huts.

Environment. Cough. Hack. In Dawson sawdust covered everything, all the time. They were cutting down the forest as fast as possible and turning all that wood into boats and buildings and firewood. In Juba at this time of year not only is dust everywhere, but the farmers are burning their fields and smoke is thick in town. Neither were places for people with breathing difficulties. In Dawson there was one or two public toilets (depending on my sources) for a city of 30,000. No plumbing, no electricity, no telephone (They got electricity and telephone in 1899). In Juba, I don’t know how many public toilets there are but I’ve learned not to leave home without using one. The ‘western’ style houses have private garbage disposal and sanitation removal: the shanties, nope. What do you do without garbage collection or running water? Think about it.

The Wildlife: Zip. Nada. What else happens when the wilderness is destroyed and the people move in.

The future. There was no future for Dawson City. The gold rush ended abruptly in the summer of 1899 and everyone fled for other prospects. The era of the great gold rushes was over: most mining would be done by companies now, with industrial equipment and scientific innovations. By the early 20th century the city was pretty much a ghost town. It’s revived today, but the population is about 8,000 (it had been 30,000 in summer 1898) and it’s mostly a tourist town, reliving its glory days.

For Juba? There are difficulties to be sure: Crime is on the increase; war with the North still threatens; there are ethic and regional disputes. But everyone is optimistic and the energy is fantastic. I’m looking forward to coming back in a year or two and seeing how it’s progressed.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Klondike Friday – An Armada

It’s well known that the route to the Klondike in 1897-98 was nothing if not difficult. The photographs of a line of men and sometimes women climbing steadily up the Chilkoot trail, carrying a portion of their one ton of goods on their backs, is iconic. So iconic it’s featured on Alaska licence plates. (I’ve always thought it a bit ironic that the Alaska licence plate proudly features people LEAVING Alaska).

But lesser known perhaps is what those would-be prospectors faced once they reached the summit. Could they take a rest and congratulate themselves on making it? Was it smooth sailing the rest of the way? A gentle stroll down the mountainside followed by a leisurely cruise?

Not exactly.

Because once they reached the summit, and were inspected by the Mounties posted there and allowed to go forward, there was, of course, nothing until they got to Dawson City. Eight Hundred kilometres of nothing.
The only way to get to Dawson from here was by water, up the Yukon River. As there wasn’t exactly a port at the lakes, they had to build their own boats – and then navigate a river full of rapids through the wilderness.

And build boats they did, out of green wood they hacked out of the wilderness forest themselves. And not a canoe, but something that would transport all of their party and everyone’s ton of goods. While they waited the winter out on the shores of Lake Bennett for the river ice to break up. One day ice clogged the waterway, the next day it did not. And the armada set off. Just imagine a wilderness river, barely disturbed by so much as a paddle in all the years of its existence. Suddenly tens, then hundreds, of craft arrive. Canoes and rowboats, scows and barges, rafts that were living trees a few days before. Billowing with sails made out of the sides of tents or tarpaulins.

As this was Canada, and not the ‘wild west’ the Mounties kept an eye on the proceedings, they inspected the boats for some minimal degree of seaworthiness, and those they feared not capable of operating their craft were ordered to learn water skills first. At various points where the rapids were strong the police ordered women and children out of the boats to walk around.

Many boats and many possessions and even some lives were lost on the river. Imagine carrying all that stuff up the Chilkoot trail and over the summit only to watch it sink to the bottom of the mighty river.

GOLD WEB, the fourth book in the Klondike Gold Rush series, is now available for pre-order for both paper and ebook versions.  Click for,, Kobo, or remember your favourite independent bookstore.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Klondike Friday: The Beginning of the NWMP

In my research on the North-West Mounted Police for the Klondike Gold Rush series, I recently bought an out of print book titled Dickens of the Mounted by Eric Nicol (who sadly passed away recently at the age of 91). The book is fiction, but based on fact. Francis Dickens, son of Charles, was an Inspector in the NWMP for twelve years. Francis himself died in 1886 just a short while after leaving the police.

The book is very Flashman-esque. It takes what little is known about the real life of Dickens and proposes to be a book of letters he wrote back to England during his time in the NWMP.

His career was, shall we say, less than stellar and apparently his lasting contribution to Canadian history was that from then on the officer corps of the NWMP showed a ‘growing antipathy… towards Englishmen.’

The book is hilarious in places, poignant in others (Francis lived in his father’s shadow his entire life) and most importantly, in my opinion, a darn good historical read.

Francis Dickens joined the NWMP in 1874 (he secured his position as a Sub-Inspector through family connections while still in England – he had never been a police officer). He was slightly too late to take part in the Great March West which left in July. Dickens followed by train. There being at the time no Canadian train route, he had to go through the U.S. to St. Paul and then by stagecoach to Winnipeg.

The March West of the NWMP is one of the key pivotal points in the creation of Canada west of Winnipeg and in the creation of the Canadian identity (the police were sent to bring law and government to Indian lands, not the Army.) It is, naturally, almost completely unknown to any but the keenest follower of Canadian history.

Although Francis Dickens was too late for the March, he soon caught up and spent the remainder of his career in such outposts as Fort Pitt, Fort Walsh, and Fort MacLeod. (In Alberta, where I visited the historical NWMP fort ). He was there for treaty negotiations with the Blackfoot, dealings with Sitting Bull after he and his people came to Canada following the Little Big Horn, met Louis Riel, and fought the rebels in the North West Rebellion.

In the book, he meets and comments on Sam Steele, James Walsh, Sitting Bull, Louis Riel and many other historic characters. Sam Steele, incidentally, was an important player in the Klondike Gold Rush being the NWMP commissioner at that time. One of the towering figures of Canadian history, he is (of course) almost completely unknown.

A laugh out loud incident happens in the book when Dickens meets the Governor General (and son-in-law of Queen Victoria) and the GG wants to speak to him privately once he realizes Francis is the son of Charles Dickens.
“I wonder, Inspector Dickens, whether you can recommend a good publisher back home?”
“A publisher, Your Excellency?”
“Yes. You see, I do a bit of writing myself.”

I have long believed that the best way of teaching history is through historical fiction. Most writers of historical fiction work hard to keep the facts accurate and the setting and tone of the times dead on. But they present the history in a lively, exciting fashion, rather than the boring recitation of facts as it’s presented in most schools. If you want to learn more about the beginnings of the NWMP you could do a lot worse than look for a copy of Dickens of the Mounted.

The book cover shown above is an actual photo of Francis Dickens from the Public Archives of Canada. The Indian is Sitting Bull.

P.S. I am a huge Flashman fan, and the cad himself makes a brief appearance in Dickens of the Mounted, shortly after his adventures with Custer.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Klondike Friday: Mud

I sometime thought that in later years, if I should be so lucky, the thing I would remember most about Dawson, in this summer of 1898, was the mud. The town had been built with no thought for anything other than access to the gold fields. Inconveniences such as being located on a floodplain, on the flats beside one river and at the mouth of another, right at the spot where the rivers would jam during spring break-up, were inconsequential in light of the town’s desperate need to be at the road to the Creeks where lumps of gold waited to be found.
-Fiona MacGillivray, Gold Fever (Dundurn Press).


And a lot of it. Dawson City was built where the Klondike River flows into the Yukon River. A good location for a town, near a waterway, close to the gold fields. But it was also a floodplain. When the ice broke up on the river in May of 1898, the newly arrived townsfolk discovered just what a poor choice of site it was. There are pictures of the Mounties crossing from one building in Fort Herchmer to another in a canoe (sorry can’t find such a picture today, I’ll keep an eye out for it ).

Every tree for miles around had been hacked down for lumber, firewood, and to make room for houses. All that water had nothing stopping it.

The streets were, literally seas of mud. The mud could be as high as a horse’s knees. Duckboards were laid across the streets so people could get across. And mud, as we all know, breeds insects and disease. Never mind what it must have been like trying to keep the floors clean!

GOLD WEB the fourth book in the series, will be released on December 28th.  It is now available for pre-order from all your usual sources including, And don't forget your favourite independent bookstore.  (Pre-orders apply to paperback only. E-books will be available on publication date)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Klondike Friday: Photography

The forth book in the Klondike Gold Rush series, Gold Web, will be released by Dundurn in December, 2013. In this book a photographer arrives in town to set up a business. Angus, being a keen and intelligent young lad, takes a job escorting her around town. Naturally I wanted to be able to describe the equipment and the process of taking a photograph in the day.

I contacted Jared Case at the George Eastman Museum of Photography in Rochester, NY. Jared arranged a tour of the facilities for me and a meeting with a couple of the experts on 19th century photography. It was a fascinating day.

One of the reasons the Klondike Gold Rush is so historically famous, is that it occurred at the beginning of the era of common photography. The camera and all it's equipment was becoming small enough and light enough that it could be taken outside of the studio to photograph people on the street or going about their business. By 1898 there was even a camera for hobbists. It was the Brownie, invented by the abovementioned Mr. Eastman. You took your pictures and mailed the entire camera to the Kodak offices. They developed it and sent back the pictures and a new camera.

Photography was still a clumsy business though, and it was likely my photographer would have used dry plates, rather than film. The dry plate had two sides, so one could snap two photographs before having to change plates. Light was a problem - and most pictures had to be taken in the sunlight or in a very well illuminated room. Otherwise, the photographer required a bowl of magnesium, lit to provide a sudden flash.

In the book, Angus is totally captivated by the new art of photography. What wonders it will show. Corporal Sterling thinks science has a place in the future of policing. Fiona, on the other hand, is most concerned about protecting her privacy. There are still people searching for her, you know.

Here are some pictures I took with my own camera at the museum.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Klondike Friday: Sex and Sin in the Klondike

Dawson City in 1897-98 Yukon might have been a freewheeling town, full of open prostitution, legalized gambling, and saloons that stayed open twenty four hours a day, but somethings remained completely traditional
In the Yukon as in the rest of Europe and North America at the time, there was a very strict social strata, particularly as it affected women.
Married women occupied the top rung of respectability. Some of that respectability varied of course according to the status of their husband. Then came the few businesswomen. Whether wealthy business owners such as Belinda Mulrooney or a dressmaker or the proprietor of a hat shop. Nurses and teachers would have fallen into this category.

Then we hit what was known as the demimonde. And the majority of gold rush women who made their living ‘mining the miners’. The top of those ranks were the headliners in the dancehalls. These women could make a lot of money, but it was an expensive occupation – they provided their own stage costumes and were expected to change them often. The next tier was the chorus dancers. Not headliners but still stage performers. The rung below – percentage girls. These were the women who moved in after the stage show was over to dance with the men for the legendary dollar a dance. One dollar got some lonely sourdough or cheechako a one minute turn around the dance hall and then he could expect his lady to drag him off to the bar to buy a drink – included in the dance price. They got 25 cents out of every dollar dance. Most of these women simply wore their street clothes to work. They would have worked hard too – from midnight to six or eight am six days a week, dancing constantly.

Let’s keep going down. The few independent prostitutes, some of whom ran their business under the guise of a cigar store and the employees of the better class brothels. Below them, the cheaper brothels, and then at the very bottom, the women who worked out of the cribs on Paradise Alley. Many of these poor women didn’t earn much, if anything, at all. First they had to pay for their transportation to the Klondike, then the rent on their cribs, and pay off pimps.

Information on social strata found in Gamblers and Dreamers by Charlene Porsild.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Klondike Friday: Women in the Klondike

With the publication of Gold Web, the fourth book in the Klondike Gold Rush series only two months away, I’m mentally back in the Klondike.

Today, I’m going to recommend some books that I used as research for the history of the time. The definitive book on the subject is Pierre Berton’s Klondike: The Last Great Gold Rush. A highly readable popular-history book, it’s well worth starting your historical investigation with. One thing about Berton though, is that he does gloss over women’s participation. (Hardly the first historical record to do so). It’s estimated that about one-sixth of the people who went to the Klondike were women. And not just prostitutes and dance hall owners either. But businesswomen, shopkeepers, nurses, nuns, newspaper reporters, wives and mothers. They carried their babies up the Chilkoot trail or lugged pregnant bellies and tried to make homes out of the wilderness and created successful (or not-so-successful) businesses. They supported themselves, or they supported their families.

Charlotte Gray’s book: Gold Diggers: Striking it Rich in the Klondike, examines, among others, Belinda Mulrooney, prominent businesswoman.

I’d recommend Also Gamblers and Dreamers: Women, Men, and Community in the Klondike. by Charlene Porsild

And Goodtime Girls of the Alaska-Yukon Gold Rush by Lael Morgan for a peek into the demimonde.

And now, a word from our sponsor: Pre-orders are important to build interest in a book (and usually at a reduced price) Gold Web is available for Pre-Order at a reduced price.

From, From, From Chapters/Indigo. Also your favourite independent bookstore.

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Return of Klondike Friday!

With just two months to go until the release of GOLD WEB, the fourth in the Klondike Gold Rush series from Dundurn Press, it's time for more facts and trivia and tidbits from the Last Great Gold Rush.

I'll be running something about the Klondike every Friday until the end of December, so please check back often.


The Klondike in 1896, when the rush began, was most definitely not the “wild west”.  Please don’t think Deadwood.

Because in this case, the police were there first.

The border between the US and Canada was still in dispute.  Some gold had been discovered at Forty Mile, just inside the Canadian border, and a small settlement set up there. The Canadian government wanted to enforce its claim, so sent a group of North West Mounted Police (NWMP) to the territory in 1894, under the control of Inspector Charles Constantine. On arrival they set up a fort and established the police presence.

Thus the NWMP was firmly in place when tens of thousands of people began pouring into the territory in 1897-98. And what all those miners and dance hall owners, prostitutes and pimps, bartenders and adventurers, and businessmen (respectable and shady) found when they at long last arrived in the promised land, was the long arm of the law waiting for them, in the form of the North West Mounted Police (precursors of the RCMP).

Prostitution and gambling were illegal in all parts of Canada, but the NWMP recognized, wisely in my opinion, that some things were going to happen whether they were legal or not, and the police would be better having some control. 

So prostitution was practiced openly and dance halls all had a gambling room. Police oversight was strict and they could, and did, close down any business stepping over the line. However, there were things the Mounties didn’t bend on – the use of ‘vile language’ was an offence, and Sunday closing was strictly observed. People were jailed for chopping wood for their own homes on a Sunday. Firearms were strictly banned. Every person coming into the Territory was required to have a year’s supply of goods with them: a lesson learned during the winter of 1897-98 when the town nearly starved.

In 1898, the year of the height of the Gold Rush, when the town of Dawson had a population of 40,000, there was not one murder in town. Not one. Reports I have read say that people were comfortable leaving their doors unlocked and their possessions out in the open. In contrast to the nearby town of Skagway, Alaska, where gangsters such as Soapy Smith ruled and crime and corruption were rampant. Soapy himself was killed in a shootout on the Skagway boardwalk in July 1898.

Not one murder.  Well, I’ve had to bend that historical record a bit.  

As you'll see in GOLD WEB. Now available for pre-order.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


I have a story in a just-released anthology of crime stories.  The book is titled Thirteen, because it just happens to have thirteen stories.  The contributors are a group of women writer friends from Southern Ontario, and range from never-before-published, to Canadian-bestsellers.

My story is titled SORE FEET AND GOLD DUST and is set in the Klondike in 1898, during the Great Klondike Gold Rush.  If you are a fan of Fiona MacGillivrary, you'll be delighted to hear that Fiona makes a small appearance in the story.
The book is now available on Kindle, and will be released in paperback (with very limited distribution) some time in October.  So, if you're a fan of short stories, looking for something new and different, why not give it a try?

Here's a sample:

Sore Feet and Gold Dust: A Story of the Klondike

By Vicki Delany
Thirteen, an anthology of Crime Stories
My feet hurt. My boots don’t fit too well, and my feet always hurt at this time of night.

Six a.m. The musicians are packing up their instruments and the men are being shown the door. Sometimes there’s trouble: a drunk wants to keep on dancing or shouts for the band to keep playing, but not often it’s anything bad enough to bother us. The bouncers here are good, and the regular customers know the rules and don’t want any stranger messing up things for everyone.

Mrs. MacGillivray, co-owner of the Savoy Saloon and Dance Hall, smiles at a big spender. I wonder how she keeps that smile on her face, with her ear turned just so towards the man and her chin pointed forward in rapt attention. He’s almost melting under her charm. Here it comes: he’s asking her if she’d like to get a bite of supper. Then he laughs, blushing and pulling at his tattered collar, telling her he’d say breakfast except that sounds so improper. She lets the smile fade slightly and her face fills with regret. “No, thank you,” she says. No excuses, no perhaps another time. Just no.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Podcast Interview with Vicki Delany

Here's the link to an interview I did with Jacqui of What they Said.  I talk about A COLD WHITE SUN, the next Molly Smith book,  UNDER COLD STONE, why I read (and write) crime novels, what I'm reading now, and lots more.

Hope you enjoy it.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013


I am so delighted by the review of A COLD WHITE SUN in the London Free Press, that I want to reproduce it here.

In the latest book by Vicki Delany, a middle-aged and married mother of two heads out on a trail for a healthy, head-clearing hike on the first day of spring — and is then picked off by a sniper.

By Joan Barfoot, Special to QMI Agency
By Vicki Delany
Poisoned Pen Press, $24.95 and $14.95
- - -
Vicki Delany should be better known than she is, as a sterling Canadian crime novelist who has created a world in a British Columbia town and populated it with characters who manage to be not only lively and intriguing, but reassuringly reliable company, as well.
A Cold White Sun is Delany’s sixth novel starring Constable Molly Smith (along with her superior officer Sergeant John Winters) of the police force in the mountain town of Trafalgar B.C.
The place is a sports resort for tourists, but also a town where people actually live, go to school, run businesses, hang out. Molly herself is virtually a lifelong resident, and her mother is a well-known local activist. John Winters’ wife Eliza, an ex-supermodel, meanwhile runs an art shop.
And then there’s Cathy Lindsay, a middle-aged, married mother of two, a high school English teacher and occasional creative writing instructor. This apparently ordinary, inoffensive woman rises early on the first day of school spring break intending a healthy, head-clearing hike with her dog — until on a trail high above town, she is picked off by a sniper.
The question immediately becomes not only who has shot her, but whether she was targeted, or a mistake, or a random victim.
In any unwitnessed murder, those closest to the victim inevitably get looked at first. Cathy’s husband, an Internet developer who evidently was getting breakfast for his kids at the time of her death, is first to be queried by Winters and Smith. Hovering unhappily in the background, too, is their teenaged son, well known to police as a sullen, troubled kid given to petty crimes.
But the case for randomness is also strong — the chances of an armed nutcase, possibly a well-trained, unhinged military veteran roaming the region, aren’t awfully remote, and they’re much scarier than the notion of someone who was only aiming at Cathy. Random targeting would mean anyone at all could be in danger, as would the notion that the gunman mistook her for someone else.
There are, after all, lots of strangers around, as well as dodgy residents. One might be a man determined on a solitary, isolated life; or the fellow who becomes a sad obsession for an employee at Eliza Winters’ art shop.
A reader might even have suspicions of a skier with whom Molly takes up, at least on the slopes, in the absence of her cop boyfriend Adam.
There are, in fact, plenty of options for suspicion and investigation, including some that arise from around-the-town information picked up by Molly’s mother, as well as Eliza Winters.
The course of the plot to its resolution makes a good deal more sense than occurs in a lot of crime fiction, but just as important, getting to it, through various investigative false trails and personal twists, is suspenseful and solid.
The only remaining mystery at the end is why Vicki Delany isn’t yet as famous a crime writer, both nationally and internationally, as such fellow Canadians as Louise Penny or Linwood Barclay. Maybe this is the novel to fix that — and send readers in search of her backlist, as well.
Joan Barfoot is a novelist living in London

Friday, July 26, 2013

It's here! A COLD WHTE SUN

Even after thirteen published books, more than that if you include the different editions, there is little more exciting than receiving the author's copies of a new book.

A COLD WHITE SUN is here.  I think Poisoned Pen Press really outdid themselves with the cover of this one.  In the picture, of course all you can see is the image, but the feel and texture of it is also very appealing.

I also love the quote that Julia Spencer-Fleming was nice enough to provide. "Marvelous storytelling... I love this series!"

A Cold White Sun is the sixth Smith and Winters book.  In order, they are:

Release date is August 6th.  A Cold White Sun is now available for pre-order from your favourite bookstore as well as the usual online sources. E-books can not be pre-ordered ( I don't know why) but they will be ready on August 6.

Want to read the first chapter?  Click here.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Ultimate in Fast Reading

Yesterday, I was the guest blogger at Jungle Red Writers (

I talked about the Crime Writers of Canada and invited people to sign up for our Cool Canadian Crime catalog of new books.  You can pop over and read the blog, or if you are really short of time, here it is in visual format.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

North of Whitehorse

After our events in Whitehorse, Haines Junction, and Skagway, Alaska, Barbara and I drove north, to Pelly Crossing and then on to Dawson City, which is almost at the Arctic Circle.

Dawson City is, of course, best known for being the site of the great Klondike Gold Rush, and thus the location of most of the action in my Klondike books.  it's a great tourist town, with a true frontier flair.  The sidewalks are all wood because the town is built on permafrost, and permafrost has done some interesting things to the old buildings.

We had an appearance at the Dawson City Museum, where I did some of the original research for Gold Digger, and it was just great to be back.

Permafrost affected buildings

View from Midnight Dome

Dance Hall!

Barbara at Bonanza Creek

Enjoying a late night glass of wine. Yes, late night

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Whitehorse and the Yukon

We finished our fabulous visit to Yellowknife and then flew to Whitehorse, the capital of the Yukon Territory.

Whitehorse is still a wilderness city, but much more tourist oriented than Yellowknife.  Almost the first thing you notice, after the mountains, is the plethoria of coffee shops.  Barbara and I instantly fell into the habit of beginning our morning with coffee and scones at Baked.

So far, we've spoken to the Toastmasters, presented at the Whitehorse Library, given a workshop at the library in Haines Junction, driven to Skagway, Alaska for a presentaiton at the Klondike Gold Rush National Park and signed at Skagway News Depot, and also had a signing at the famous bookstore Mac's Fireweed in Whitehorse.  It makes for a lot of driving and action packed days.

Including the flat tire after our event in Haines Junction!
But the excitement never ends and we still have a mystery lovers panel in Whitehorse, an appearance at the MacBride Museum, and another book signing. Plus a trip to Pelly Crossing to speak at the library and then to the Dawson City Museum.

Gosh, I'm tired just typing all that.

But it's been all fun too, and tonight the university students who are staying in our B&B prior to heading out to a dig, had a BBQ in the back yard.  Barbara and I were invited and had a great time.

Enough chat. Here are some pictures.

Sunday, June 2, 2013


I'm in Yellowknife, NWT, with Barbara Fradkin attending the NorthWords Literary Festival. What a wonderful city, and fantastic festival.

As a picture is definitely worth more than a thousand words, here are some pictures.

Houseboats in Yellowknife Bay. Ice still on Great Slave Lake

Mystery Panel at NorthWords. With Barbara Fradkin and Giles Blunt

Refreshment break

The bay

Bullock's Bistro Restaurant. Best fish I've ever had.

Houseboats on the bay

Midnight from hotel window