|Photo courtesy of Peggy Blair|
"Havana is colourful mimes on stilts, elderly cigar ladies, child beggars, feral cats and homeless dogs," Blair writes on her blog bio, as she describes a trip she made to Cuba in 2006. "It is quite possibly the most interesting place I've ever been. How could I resist writing about it?"
Her debut novel The Beggar’s Opera was shortlisted in 2010 for the Debut Dagger Award of the (UK) Crime Writers Association. In 2012, the novel won the Giller Prize Reader’s Choice in Canada, as well as the CBC Bookie Award for Best Mystery/Thriller.
The second book in the series The Poisoned Pawn was released this past February.
Blair's blog contains updates on her writing career, including references to reviews of her novels, as well as advice for budding authors, such as resisting the urge to use a thesaurus when writing dialogue. She also has guest bloggers who have explained how to build background in a novel, and how to (NOT) submit a work of fiction for publication. A post from early-February, meanwhile, contains reflections from Blair on how she manages her work as a real estate agent with all of her writing commitments.
As a fan of mystery novels I am definitely going to read her two books. I also look forwarding to following Blair's career, who is a proud member of Crime Writers of Canada.