Saturday, August 15, 2020

Review: Mordecai's Ashes by Arlana Crane

Genre: Crime Fiction


“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.”


“Arlana Crane is a fourth generation Vancouver Islander, currently living in Calgary, Alberta with her husband James. She loves to read, write, knit, play the ukulele and attend the theatre. Summer vacations will find her back on her beloved Island, enjoying the ocean and spoiling her niece and nephews.”

For more, visit Ms Crane’s website.


In a work of crime fiction like this where a detective (whether pro or amateur) is trying to find out who has committed or (as in this case) is committing crimes, the biggest part of the appeal, what keeps you reading, is waiting for the investigator to catch the wrong doer(s). Not to mention wondering how he or she is going to do that, but also who it is going to be. Mordecai’s Ashes has all of that. But it has more.

Part of that “more” are the detectives (Karl who is assisted, much more than he probably anticipated, by his cousin Kelsey) who are completely new to this and still finding their way. As the series progresses, I expect that part will settle down, but it adds to this first installment. Karl has inherited his grandfather’s detective agency, a man he really never knew, nor realized was a private investigator. In fact, with a recent divorce and family who are only looking out for themselves, with the exception of cousin Kelsey, Karl’s non-work life isn’t going so well, so making a go of this new opportunity that just fell in his lap is even more critical than it would be for most people, and as a reader I felt it.

This was a good entertaining read in a new series from a new author. I’m looking forward to future books in the series. A twist near the end has me curious about where things are going to go from here.

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: BigAl

Approximate word count: 90-95,000 words

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