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The Return of Ellis Portal


Rosemary Aubert’s mysteries, featuring disgraced judge Ellis Portal, blew me away when I first started reading them in the late 1990s. Portal was no ordinary sleuth. In Free Reign, the first book in the series, he was living as a vagrant in Toronto’s Don River Valley wilderness preserve.

In the four subsequent novels – The Feast of Stephen, The Ferryman Will Be There, Leave Me By Dying and The Red Mass – he gradually made his way up from the river valley and back into the halls of justice. “A character with great dignity and unusual moral depth,” is how the New York Times described him.

The mysteries explored the concepts of justice and honour, and a variety of social issues. “Aubert has done a fine job…taking on some of the social issues that bedevil a big city,” the Globe and Mail noted.

The writing, of course, was exquisite. “Rosemary Aubert has a touch of a poet,” the

Rosemary HP

And The Feast of Stephen won the Arthur Ellis Award, Canada’s top prize for crime fiction.

Now Ellis Portal is back in Don’t Forget You Love Me, the sixth novel in the series. Portal thinks he’s retired from solving mysteries but he is thrust back into sleuth mode when he makes a rash promise to find a killer.

Don’t Forget You Love Me was released late last year by Carrick Publishing, and Aubert will celebrate its publication TONIGHT at a book launch at Toronto’s Arts and Letters Club. If you’re in Toronto, come down to 14 Elm Street at 7 p.m., and hear Rosemary read from the new book – and sign a copy for you. Admission is free.

I am tickled pink to be part of tonight’s festivities. Rosemary has invited me – along with fellow Mesdames of Mayhem Donna Carrick, Madeleine Harris-Callway and Joan O’Callaghan – to read from our works at her launch. What a thrill that will be!

If you can’t make it to the Arts and Letters Club tonight, you can purchase Don’t Forget You Love Me as a paperback or an ebook at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.

Check out an interview I did with Rosemary Aubert in 2013.

And visit Rosemary’s website.

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