SAFE HARBOUR by Mike Martin - Interview and Excerpt
Updated: Aug 4, 2021
Mike Martin returns with Safe Harbour, the tenth installment in his Sgt. Windflower Mystery series, set against the backdrop of Newfoundland. Time to unravel the mystery!
Welcome back to Sgt. Windflower Mysteries, where there’s always something good cooking and another seat at the table. Sgt. Windflower is on a special assignment in St. John’s and adjusting to life in the big city. He is navigating traffic, a difficult boss at work and what seems like an epidemic of missing girls. He becomes more interested when he discovers that one of the girls is from Grand Bank. Then a girl approaches his RCMP van one night and he is pulled into the underlife of the capital city.
Safe Harbour is a twirling, swirling mystery in the foggy streets of one of the oldest cities in North America. There are outlaw biker gangs and overwhelmed local police officers, who need the sharp eye and keen mind of Sgt. Windflower to help them cut through the haze and find the answers to the riddle of the missing teenagers hiding in plain sight of the authorities. A story of a man and his family growing up together with plenty of good food, old and new friends. Share the joy and heartbreak of living so close to the Atlantic Ocean.
"This is one finely written mystery, complete with all the aspects of mature writing that allow the description to be ‘a cozy mystery’. It has it all. Highly Recommended." —Amazon review
Q&A with Author
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Writing energizes me. I love to write. I feel the most human, the most alive when I write. I believe that when we can express our creativity we are at our absolute best.
Tell us about your newest release!
Safe Harbour is the latest book in the Sgt. Windflower Mystery series. It is a light mystery which means no gore or smut or bad language. It deals with hard subjects but with a lighter touch. And there’s food!!
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I write the story as it comes to me. The only reader considerations are to make sure it is consistent with previous books and stays within the light mystery range.
Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
No. I think the writing would come across as superficial and maybe even unreal. Writing is a creative act and it comes from deep inside and is completely connected to our emotions and maybe even our spirituality.
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
The big difference was that now I knew how long a book of my type should normally be. It’s not a hard and fast rule, but there are some limits when it comes to publishing. Otherwise I hope that my writing has remained true to my core beliefs. Without that I am nothing.
"You’re invited right into the heart of the Sgt. Windflower, into his home and his family routines, getting a sense of what he really is. The mystery part is good and will keep you turning pages up until the end." —Amazon review
Enjoy an Excerpt from
Windflower looked across the lake. Well, he would have if he could have seen anything through the thick blanket of fog that had been sitting on Quidi Vidi Lake for the past seven days. One whole week, he thought. Every day since they had arrived in the port city of St. John’s, it had been the same. Windflower knew the lake was out there because he remembered running around it as his daily exercise when he was temporarily stationed here a few years back.
Sheila Hillier, his wife, knew the lake was out there as well. She’d spent a couple of months doing rehab at the nearby Miller Centre when she was recovering from a serious car accident. If there wasn’t any fog, she could look out her window in May and see the rowers getting their practice in as part of their training for the Royal St. John’s Regatta, an annual event that took place down there in August.
But it was a long way from spring as Windflower gazed out his window at the typical scenery for a January morning. He was the first one up, except for Lady, his collie, and Molly, the cat who never seemed to sleep anyway. She would close her eyes sometimes, but Windflower had never come into a room with her in it when she wasn’t awake and watching him. Windflower liked this time of day when his two children got up. They were Amelia Louise, his soon-to-be two-year-old daughter, and his almost-daughter, Stella, who he and Sheila were fostering.
He liked this house on Forest Road, too. It wasn’t similar to his and Sheila’s in Grand Bank on the southeast coast of Newfoundland, but for a rental it suited them perfectly. It had four bedrooms, two and a half baths and a large backyard for the kids to play in and, if the weather held, for Windflower to barbeque. But the likelihood of the weather staying just simply foggy and damp was not good. There was snow in the forecast and more snow coming after that.
Windflower had been in snowstorms in St. John’s before. It was hard to miss one if you travelled here regularly in the fall, winter or spring. And they didn’t come with a few flakes or a few inches of accumulation. No, snowstorms here often meant feet of snow, sometimes in the double digits, and he had come out some mornings to look for his car, only to find it buried under a virtual mountain of snow. The worst storms came in double or even triple waves. That’s when a storm system would blow through and dump one load of snow and then drift out to the nearby Atlantic Ocean. Unfortunately for the good people of St. John’s, it would blow back in and repeat the damage—sometimes more than once.
Windflower grabbed his anorak and hat and took Lady out to the backyard. He also brought his smudging kit. Inside were small packets of his four sacred medicines: cedar, sage, sweetgrass and tobacco. There was also an abalone shell, a small box of wooden matches and an eagle feather fan that had been gifted to him by his grandfather many years ago.
End of Excerpt
Excerpt © Mike Martin. Shared with permission.
Mike Martin was born in St. John’s, NL on the east coast of Canada and now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. He is a long-time freelance writer and his articles and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines and online across Canada as well as in the United States and New Zealand.
He is the author of the award-winning Sgt. Windflower Mystery series set in beautiful Grand Bank. There are now 10 books in this light mystery series with the publication of Safe Harbour. A Tangled Web was shortlisted in 2017 for the best light mystery of the year, and Darkest Before the Dawn won the 2019 Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award. Mike has also published Christmas in Newfoundland: Memories and Mysteries, a Sgt. Windflower Book of Christmas past and present.
Mike is Past Chair of the Board of Crime Writers of Canada, a national organization promoting Canadian crime and mystery writers and a member of the Newfoundland Writing Guild and Ottawa Independent Writers.
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Release: June 1, 2021
Publisher: Ottawa Press and Publishing
Content Rating: PG (from author: "My book is definitely on the sweet side. A light mystery with lots of family, fun, and food.")
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