JANICE’S NOTES: My latest mystery, THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER, gets a wildly enthusiastic reception in Puerto Vallarta!
The opening section of my latest Randy Craig Mystery novel, THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER, takes place in beautiful Puerto Vallarta, Jalísco, México. I recently returned to “the scene of the crime” with my husband for a winter holiday, and the new book got a wildly enthusiastic response from some Vallarta locals who were thrilled to see their city used as a story setting. Get all the details, including photos, by reading the latest edition of Janice’s Notes.
Posted March 14, 2019
Back from Mexico — see you in Vancouver at Left Coast Crime 2019!
The last several weeks have been quite a whirlwind. I took a holiday to Puerto Vallarta, Jalísco, México — which many of you will recognize as the setting for the opening chapters of my latest Randy Craig Mystery novel, THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER. While in Vallarta, I revisited some of the sites featured in the novel and experienced a delightful reception by some local folks who were thrilled that their restaurant had been featured in the novel. I will share more details about this trip very soon in a new Note from the Author! I was also thrilled to return home and discover that THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER had spent three recent weeks on the Top 10 fiction chart at Edmonton’s indie legend, Audreys Books — and two of those weeks at #1! Now I aim to keep the momentum rolling, and my next stop is the Left Coast Crime 2019 convention in Vancouver, British Columbia, from March 28-31. I will be participating in readings and other events at the con, but I’m especially excited about moderating a panel on “Keeping a Series Alive” with fellow crime writers Anne Cleeland, Mary Jane Maffini/Victoria Abbott and Marty Wingate. We’ll be doing our thing from 4:00-4:45 PM on Saturday, March 30, so do drop by and ask us some juicy questions. Hope to see you in beautiful Vancouver!
Posted March 11, 2019
VIDEO INTERVIEW: Half-hour crime-fiction chat with mystery novelist Margot Kinberg
Fellow writer Margot Kinberg chatted with me on Skype for a video interview segment of the ongoing “Crime Fiction News Break” series — a regular feature at Margot’s wonderful blog, Confessions of a Mystery Novelist. I was delighted by the wide range of crime-fiction topics we managed to cover in just over half an hour. What a terrific conversation! Thank you, Margot, for the invitation and for being such a fabulous host. My apologies for the vocal antics of my budgies, Perry and Mason, who can be heard quite clearly in the background throughout the video. I think those silly birds really believed they were the ones being interviewed! Mystery readers can now listen to all four of us (Margot, Janice, Perry and Mason) at this link.
Posted February 6, 2019
CBC RADIO: Angie Abdou reviews THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER and discusses the Randy Craig series on Daybreak Alberta
On this morning’s edition of CBC Radio’s Daybreak Alberta, acclaimed Canadian author Angie Abdou reviewed my latest book, THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER, with great enthusiasm, insight and humour. Angie and host Russell Bowers then went on to discuss the whole Randy Craig Mystery series and the importance of supporting local artists, authors and book stores. I was just over the moon, as this was undoubtedly some of the most perceptive coverage of my series I’ve ever seen or heard anywhere — and you can listen in at this link!
Posted February 3, 2019
INTERVIEW: E-mail Q&A with crime-fiction blogger Bill Selnes about visual art and exotic locales in THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER
Bill Selnes of the “Mysteries and More” crime-fiction blog has followed up his wonderful review of THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER with an e-mail interview. Bill was especially taken with the way the visual arts scenes in Edmonton and Puerto Vallarta are woven into the story, so our exchanges included shout-outs to Maria Pace-Wynters, Larry Reese, Verónica Rangel, Jane Ash Poitras and John Wright, among other living artists whom I admire. Thanks to Bill for the lively exchange and lovely post, which you can read in full right here!
NEW PRESS COVERAGE: Randy Craig is in the news just ahead of the “After Hours” author event at the St. Albert Public Library
Scott Hayes of the St. Albert Gazette has written a wonderful article, entitled “One for the books – Edmonton author Janice MacDonald’s reluctant detective rides into the sunset,” to promote the big, exciting author event this weekend at St. Albert Public Library. Scott’s article includes an interview with yours truly about both the Randy Craig Mystery series and Saturday’s “After Hours” night at the library — and I think you’ll be able tell how very excited I am about the upcoming conversation with Alice Major and the Q&A with mystery lovers like YOU! More info about the “After Hours” event can be found on the library’s website, and I hope to see you there! In the meantime, please check out Scott’s full article on the Gazette website. And, as always, you can peruse a whole scrapbook of press and media coverage from years past on the Press Clips/Bio page of this site.
UPDATED: The “After Hours” event with Alice Major was a big success and a wonderful evening — which you can now attend vicariously by clicking on this Photo Gallery.
Posted January 15 and 20, 2019
NEW REVIEW: Terrific write-up by veteran crime-fiction blogger Bill Selnes, who loves THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER
My New Year is off to great start with a terrific review of the latest Randy Craig Mystery novel, THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER, from veteran crime-fiction blogger Bill Selnes. Selnes writes, “MacDonald is clever in creating a murder scene with symbols and clues that are obscure but not too obscure for an intelligent sleuth using her skills to unravel them. I thought it brilliant how MacDonald uses Randy’s talents as an academic researcher…to study and research and reflect in the investigation. The writing has a lyrical quality and the plot was the strongest of the three books in the series I have read.” Check out the full review at Bill’s Mysteries and More blog. What a thrill!
Posted January 3, 2019
Happy New Year — I’m celebrating 2019 by announcing a very special “After Hours” event at on January 19!
Welcome back, mystery lovers! I hope your holidays were warm and wonderful, and I have great news to share about an author appearance during the first month of 2019. I am so excited about the special “After Hours with Janice MacDonald (and Randy Craig)” event on Saturday, January 19, from 7:00-9:00 PM at the St. Albert Public Library. The brilliant Alice Major will lead an interview-style conversation about my 35-year career as a published author — Alice and I will be discussing the journey from my first non-fiction title back in 1983 all the way up to the 2018 publication of the seventh and final novel in my Randy Craig Mystery series, THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER. Books will be available for purchase and signing at the event. This very special night means a great deal to me, and I hope you will join us by reserving a (free!) seat at this link. See you “after hours”!
Posted January 2, 2019
The Randy Craig Mystery series is now live on the Scribd platform!
All seven books in the Randy Craig Mystery series — including the brand-new novel, THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER — are now available on the Scribd platform. For those of you who are new to Scribd, the platform uses Apple and Android apps to provide unlimited monthly reads to subscribers, similar to a music streaming service such as Spotify or Google Music. My books are brand-spanking-new over there, so if you’re a subscriber please consider helping to raise awareness of the series for other Scribd users by leaving some feedback. In the meantime, you can browse through the list of Randy Craig titles at Scribd and see if there are any you still need to read — or would like to read again. Enjoy!
Posted December 11, 2018
Join me at Audreys and enjoy a fun-filled “Authors for Indies” event for a great cause!
I will be one of a whole gang of Edmonton writers to volunteer their time at Audreys Books (10702 Jasper Avenue in downtown Edmonton), starting at 1:00 PM on Saturday, December 8. My fellow authors and I will be serving as “personal shopping elves” for customers, helping them pick out the perfect gifts for all the loved ones on their Christmas shopping lists. Audreys is also providing hot cider, cookies and free gift wrapping and, best of all, the whole event is a fundraiser that will help local children receive a new toy at Christmas through Santa’s Anonymous! As an added bonus, if you buy a copy (or copies) of my brand-new Randy Craig Mystery novel, THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER (or any of my other books), I will cheerfully autograph and personalize them for the crime-fiction fans on your gift list. Get additional info at the Facebook Event Page and make plans to join us for this very special holiday edition of Authors for Indies!
Posted November 27, 2018
NEWS FLASH: Two upcoming author events and a Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale from the publisher of the Randy Craig Mystery series
I will be out and about in Edmonton over the next several days, promoting THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER and communing with fellow mystery lovers! First up is an author signing event at Chapters Books in Old Strathcona, were I will be ensconced from 1:00-4:00 PM on Saturday, November 24, autographing/personalizing copies of the new mystery (they make perfect stocking stuffers, after all!) and chatting with readers. Then on Monday night, November 26, I will be the host for a special crime-fiction edition of Audreys Book Club, where we will be discussing the craft of mystery writing in general and the best-seller Blue Monday in particular. (Of course, I will be happy to sign copies of my new books for participants after the meeting.) As always, further details about events can be found on the APPEARANCES page of this website and on my Facebook Page. Not in Edmonton or able to get out to either event, but still want to snag a great deal on my mystery titles? The lovely folks at Turnstone Press/Ravenstone Books, publishers of the Randy Craig series, are holding Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale and offering 25% off all online purchases between November 23-26. My mysteries and many other fabulous genre titles are included and available for gift-shopping from the comfort of your home at the Ravenstone site. Ho ho ho — what fun!
Posted November 23, 2018
Strong sales continue for THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER in Edmonton, broader availability coming piece by piece
The latest Randy Craig Mystery novel, THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER, was on the local bestseller list from Audreys Books again this week (see the full list of fiction titles here), and the book is now available in paperback and e-book formats from major online vendors in the US and Canada as well as from the publisher’s website. A full list of current purchase options can be found here, and Chapters-Coles-Indigo stores in Canada should now either have copies in stock or be able to order a copy for you to pick up at your favourite location. Thank you for your support, crime-fiction fans, and don’t forget that mystery novels make delightful stocking stuffers!
Posted November 16, 2018
PODCAST: Listen in as Jo-Ann Carson and I discuss crime fiction and genre writing on the latest episode of Blood, Sweat & Words
Jo-Ann Carson, BC author and host of the brilliant Blood, Sweat and Words podcast, has just posted a brand-new edition in which she and I dive into genre fiction and its somewhat misunderstood place in the world of contemporary literature — with lots of good mystery discussion along the way! Jo-Ann and I met at this summer’s Sisters in Crime — Canada West retreat in Victoria and hit it off right away, so recording this episode was a real treat. Click here to listen in to our episode, and be sure to bookmark and/or subscribe to the podcast to follow Jo-Ann’s regular conversations with her fellow authors about all aspects of the writing life.
Posted November 13, 2018
Edmonton crime-fiction fans — join me for a special mystery edition of Audreys Book Club on November 26
Make friends, have refreshments and talk about a great book — a special mystery edition of Audreys Book Club is just around the corner! I will be leading a discussion about Blue Monday, the first book in the internationally bestselling Frieda Klein series written by “Nicci French” — which is actually a nom de plume for the English husband-and-wife writing team of Nicci Gerrard and Sean French! Head over to Audreys Books (10702 Jasper Avenue), grab a copy of Blue Monday, and I’ll see you back there on Monday, November 26 at 7:00 PM to talk about the mystery. Along with the book itself, we can discuss the start of a series, the craft of writing mysteries, writing as a duo, writing with a particular city as a character in the book (hmmm, I might know a little something about that topic) and much more. Naturally, I’ll be more than happy to autograph/personalize copies of my own set-in-Edmonton mystery novels — including the brand-new Randy Craig adventure, THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER — after the discussion (they make great stocking stuffers). What fun! More details are available at the Facebook Event Page and, as always, an up-to-date list of my author events can be found on the APPEARANCES page of this website. Hope to see you at Audreys for this very special night!
Posted November 8, 2018
THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER a local #1 Bestseller in its first week of release!
What a week! Soon after the launch party for THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER at Audreys Books (check out the Photo Gallery from the party in the story just below this one), I was honoured to interview Maureen Jennings for an event at the St. Albert Readers’ Festival, a.k.a. STARfest. It was a lovely night — Maureen is a wonderful storyteller! — and we’ve captured some of the fun in a small STARfest Photo Album. As if that weren’t enough excitement, I was thrilled to learn that my new mystery was a local #1 Bestseller in its first week out in the world (as you can see at the full list of Bestsellers for the week ending October 21, 2018). Here’s hoping that’s a great omen for the continued success of the book! I’m eager to meet with more readers and will be signing copies of the new novel at Chapters Books on Whyte Avenue here in Edmonton from 1:00-4:00 PM on Saturday, November 24. Come by, say hi, talk about crime fiction, and get autographed/personalized books as Christmas gifts for all the mystery lovers on your “nice” list! As always, you can find more details about upcoming events on the APPEARANCES page of this website. Thanks for your support, crime-fiction fans, and I hope to see you at Chapters on the 24th!
Posted October 26 and updated November 2, 2018
Photo gallery fun from the book launch fiesta for THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER — and an upcoming event with fellow crime writer Maureen Jennings!
The book launch party for my new Randy Craig Mystery novel, THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER, took place on October 16 at Audreys Books in downtown Edmonton. This was truly the best fiesta in town, and we’ve captured some of the highlights with books, food, live music, and lots of smiling faces at the Launch Party Photo Gallery. Thank you to everyone who came out and packed the house — what a night that was! And there is another can’t-miss event for mystery fiction fans coming up this Saturday night at the St. Albert Public Library. I will be hosting a crime-writing conversation with the brilliant Maureen Jennings — creator of the Murdoch Mysteries and the Detective Inspector Tom Tyler Mystery Series (as well as the wonderful TV series Bomb Girls). This is a free event, part of the line-up for the 2018 edition of the St. Albert Readers’ Festival, better known as STARfest. After our talk, both Maureen and I will be signing copies of our books for readers and the library will also provide a wine reception! Full details about my conversation with Maureen Jennings are available on the STARfest website, and remember that you can always get a complete list of upcoming author events on the APPEARANCES page of this website. See you Saturday night!
Posted October 18, 2018
Seasonal reminder about my award-winning Hallowe’en book for kids, THE GHOULS’ NIGHT OUT!
It’s the perfect time of year to share THE GHOULS’ NIGHT OUT with the little creatures in your life. Elizabeth Hodgson, writing for the Canadian Literature Quarterly, describes the book as “a story energized by its own playful subversiveness” that “includes both the ridiculous and the sublime — to suit children’s fascination with both.” Copies are available now in the Edmonton area at Audreys Books. Readers and parents from elsewhere will find additional details and online ordering info at the Ghouls Book Page.
Posted October 17, 2018
Author copies of THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER have arrived and launch party time is almost here!
A box containing author copies of the new Randy Craig Mystery novel, THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER, was delivered today — and they are gorgeous! My publishers at Ravenstone (an imprint of Turnstone Press) sure do make beautiful books! The arrival of hot-of-the-presses copies of the new mystery means all is ready for next week’s official launch party at Audreys Books. For an author, this is the very biggest night of the year — a chance to share something that s/he has worked on for ages (in this case, it was about two years from writing the sentence to the book’s official release next week). If you’ve never been to a book launch party, they are free events and lots of geeky fun. In addition to the author reading/Q&A/book signing, there will be prize giveaways, a portrait artist and a live musician playing traditional Mexican songs (tying into the new mystery’s connections with both the visual arts scene here in Edmonton and the huge number of Edmontonians who vacation in Mexico). There will even be some (free) adult libations! The author reading will begin at 7:00 PM, but we’d recommend arriving early to fully enjoy the music and the portrait artist. You can get more details about the launch party at the Facebook Event Page, and remember that you can always get a full list of upcoming author events on the APPEARANCES page of this website. See you all next week at the party!
Posted October 12, 2018
Advance praise for THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER — and an unexpected honour!
Carmen Amato, author of the brilliant Detective Emilia Cruz mystery series set in Acapulco, has this to say about THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER: “A smart, sophisticated and engrossing murder mystery told with lavish details and an appealing dry wit. Randy Craig is the character you want to invite to your next dinner party. Her amateur sleuthing is peppered with smart cultural references and her humour keeps the narration flowing. She’ll bring Steve, of course. The honeymooning couple’s banter is both warm and mature, providing a sharp contrast to the murders and the dangerously clever climax.” As if that weren’t enough to make a writer’s head dizzy with delight, the readers of Vue Weekly magazine voted me onto the list of favourite Edmonton authors for the 2018 edition of their annual “Best of Edmonton” issue. Check out the full list at this link!
Posted September 21, 2018
New Randy Craig Mystery novel, THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER, launches on October 16 at Audreys Books!
Janice MacDonald’s brand-new 2018 mystery novel, THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER, takes reluctant sleuth and sessional university lecturer Miranda “Randy” Craig from Mexico’s Pacific coast to Edmonton’s vibrant visual art scene while retaining the trademark suspense and humour that have made the series so popular with lovers of academic mystery. Randy and Steve have finally tied the knot. With the snow blowing and temperatures dipping well below zero they are looking for an escape from the frigid Edmonton winter. Like so many others, they head south to Puerto Vallarta, Jalísco, Mexico, along with a crush of University of Alberta students, looking for a good time during spring break. When a student is found dead in an elaborately staged scene, Randy’s romantic beach walks and candlelit dinners will have to wait. Instead Randy and Steve will have find meaning in the murder to catch the culprit. If they don’t, the honeymoon just might be over.
What fun! And hey, just check out that beautiful cover art (shown at right). The new mystery gets its official launch at a book party on Tuesday, October 16, and you are invited. Join us at downtown Edmonton’s venerable Audreys Books (10702 Jasper Avenue) beginning at 7:00 PM for an author reading and book signing, as well as a a few other fun surprises for guests. Please make plans to join us and get more info and updates as they are posted at the official Facebook Event Page. See you there!
Posted September 16, 2018
Sneak peek at a new Randy Craig Mystery novel, THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER!
We were delighted to be mentioned in Kerry Clare’s semi-annual round-up of the season’s “Most Anticipated” upcoming Canadian books at The 49th Shelf. Stay tuned for more information about THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER, including the final cover art, information about book launch parties, and much more. In the meantime, be sure to read Kerry’s entire article, Most Anticipated: Our 2018 Fall Fiction Preview.
Posted July 22, 2018
BIG NEWS — Janice to present a workshop at upcoming mystery writers’ retreat with Laurie R. King, S.G. Wong and others!
Janice MacDonald, creator of the Randy Craig Mystery series from Ravenstone Books, will be a featured workshop presenter at the Sisters in Crime – Canada West Summer Writers Retreat in Victoria, BC, on Saturday, August 18. Janice will be appearing along with acclaimed mystery writers Laurie R. King, SG Wong, Linda L. Richards, and Kristina Stanley. Janice’s presentation — “Inclusion Rider: Populating the 21st Century Novel” — will feature timely information and tips for writers at every level. For more details, registration info and the full program schedule, please visit the retreat’s official web pages. This is going to be a fantastic event — make plans now to join us in beautiful Victoria! UPDATE: The retreat is now completely sold out, but the featured authors will appear at an open-to-the-public event, with an author panel and book signings, at Bolen Books on Saturday night, August 18, from 7:00-9:00 PM. Get more info at the Bolen Books events page and we’ll see you there!
Posted May 4 and updated July 22, 2018
That feeling when your Dream Reader discovers your mystery series…!
Reader Elise Briggs Riker got in touch with us over at the Randy Craig Mysteries Facebook Page with the following comment: “I was lent THE ROAR OF THE CROWD by a friend and am enjoying it immensely!” Before long Riker went on to write, “Finished and on to CONDEMNED TO REPEAT. I love that Randy has a full life outside of getting the murderous baddies; she worries about what to wear, loves eating good food, and the beautiful place she lives. I loved her friendship and the relationship she has with Steve; it’s not perfect but she is loyal and that makes it real and she gets a tiny bit insecure but doesn’t let it run her life. I’m learning new Canadian words like pedway, and I appreciate that the book is written to be enjoyed without losing the commitment to the richness of the English language. I appreciate the literary and cultural references. Lastly, the books are the perfect size and length; like pie they should last longer than a day but not too long, or you get bored.” Janice’s reply: “You are my dream reader, and thank you so very much for taking the time to reach out with your thoughts. The context in which Randy finds her adventures is so important to me, because to me the calm and lovely reality of this northwestern city makes the violence stand so starkly in relief. I am so thrilled to know that comes across to someone to whom Edmonton appears slightly exotic. I do hope you continue to enjoy Randy’s world, and your doorway into Canada.” As writers tend to work alone, it’s always a thrill to get this kind of feedback to your books from out of the blue. Thanks so much, Elise!
Posted April 30, 2018
Happy New Year, mystery readers and book lovers!
And here we are in 2018! I hope your holiday was merry and bright, and that your stockings and gift-boxes were filled with books (as mine were). I read 81 books in 2017 and hope to top that number this year! I am also very excited about a forthcoming book of my own, The Eye of the Beholder: A Randy Craig Mystery. We don’t have a publication date to share just yet, but the manuscript is with the publisher and we hope to have more news soon. In the meantime, I wanted to share some of my own thoughts about the coming year: My plan is to remind myself, as often as I can, that each year is a gift that holds the promise of new adventures. May your New Year be filled with exploration, discovery, growth, and lots of love.
Posted January 2, 2018
Merry Christmas to you and your usual suspects!
Thanks for your support in 2017 with CONFEDERATION DRIVE! We’ll be back in the New Year with updates about an all-new Randy Craig Mystery novel. Enjoy the holidays!
Posted December 21, 2017
A timely reminder that books make the very best stocking stuffers!
I don’t know about you, but I am absolutely astonished to find myself in December. The first eleven months of the year shot past in a blur, but according to the calendar it’s time for Christmas parties and concerts, almost time for relaxing with family and friends. In the meantime, however, there are still gifts to buy and stocking stuffers to choose! If you find yourself in the same predicament, books may be the answer you’re seeking. After all, they look lovely wrapped up under the tree, they are flat and can fit easily into a parcel or mailing envelope, and they can even fit into most decorative stockings. And hey, we even have suggestions for you! Ideally you will be able to support an independent book store, such as Audreys here in Edmonton, as they are champions of local authors and depend on holiday sales to see them through the slow months. If you need to mail order, there is info about each of the Randy Craig Mystery novels here on the website, as well as links to order the 2017 memoir, CONFEDERATION DRIVE, or the children’s book, THE GHOULS’ NIGHT OUT (because, hey, why not?). You can even pick specific novels to fit a recipient’s interest: for example, HANG DOWN YOUR HEAD is set in the local music scene and at the Edmonton Folk Music festival; CONDEMNED TO REPEAT explores historical sites; THE ROAR OF THE CROWD finds intrigue in the theatre scene and at Edmonton’s annual Fringe Festival; THE MONITOR delves into the darkest corners of the Internet and online anonymity; both STICKS + STONES and ANOTHER MARGARET are more straightforward academic mysteries. Something for everyone! Ordering info can be found at the bottom of each book page linked above. Have fun browsing the site and decking the halls — all the best of the season to you and yours!
Posted December 1, 2017
Janice and five other acclaimed writers team up for GenrePalooza!
Janice MacDonald will be one of six Edmonton-area authors who join forces for GenrePalooza Edmonton at the Woodrack Cafe (7603 109 Street) on Thursday, November 16 between 7:00 and 9:00 PM. The writers — who also include Kate A. Boorman, Marty Chan, Diana Davidson, Rayanne Haines, and S.G. Wong — cover ten different literary genres between them! All of the writers will participate in readings, book sales, signings and more. There will be delicious food and drink available, making this both a great night out and an excellent opportunity to get ahead of the holiday shopping curve by picking up literary gifts for all ages and tastes! Janice will be signing copies of her Randy Craig Mystery novels as well as her 2017 memoir, CONFEDERATION DRIVE. More info about GenrePalooza is available on the Facebook Event Page.
Posted November 2, 2017
Another Margaret gets a shout-out in THREE new posts by Margot Kinberg!
We were delighted to see a new review of Janice’s most recent Randy Craig adventure, ANOTHER MARGARET as one of THREE posts about the book on author Margot Kinberg‘s excellent crime fiction blog, Confessions of a Mystery Novelist. First, the longest piece looks at the ways that the events in ANOTHER MARGARET — and other books in the series — “open a window” into the world of sessional university lecturers to create unique settings for academic mystery plots. Margot also seems to delight in the novel’s wit and “distinctly Canadian” feel. Quite a few readers are joining in to discuss the book and series in the comment section — and you can join in by clicking right here. Second, ANOTHER MARGARET is also mentioned in an interesting context as part of a follow-up post on “unpardonable sins” that can lead to dastardly deeds in mystery novels, which you can read here. Finally, ANOTHER MARGARET also appears in a post about the ways in which ideas about etiquette can play into mystery plots, which you can enjoy right here. Many thanks to Margot for the thoughtful pieces — we know that Randy Craig Mystery readers will definitely enjoy them!
Posted October 31, 2017
Now hear this — author Angie Abdou discusses CONFEDERATION DRIVE on CBC Radio’s Daybreak Alberta Program!
Author Angie Abdou and host Russell Bowers engaged in a spirited conversation about Janice’s 2017 memoir, CONFEDERATION DRIVE, on the Sunday, October 22 edition of CBC Radio’s Daybreak Alberta program. Angie and Russell’s discussion, which amounts to a rave for the book, delves into the layers of the work — far more than a mere travel memoir, it’s an exploration of motherhood, an evocation of a pivotal moment in Canada’s national myth-making, and a mediation on where we are as a country 50 years on from Expo ’67. Thanks, Angie and Russell! If you missed out on the broadcast, you can get all caught up via this sound file on audioBoom. Or, for a quicker taste, check out interview highlights and lots of photos in a story on the CBC website.
Posted October 22, 2017
Catching up with the busy Janice MacDonald — photo sets of recent events and a new appearance announced!
Janice MacDonald has been a bit of a blur lately, promoting her series of Randy Craig Mystery novels and her 2017 memoir CONFEDERATION DRIVE in a variety settings. On October 4, Janice was the featured author on CJSR Radio’s WORD program with host Michael James, and as you can see from the photo at right, she had a wonderful time talking with Michael about the writing life. On October 12, Janice was honoured to appear as part of the opening night gala for the 2017 edition of LitFest, Edmonton’s non-fiction literature festival, to discuss “road stories” with Eamon McGrath (author of Berlin-Warszawa Express) and moderator Wendy McGrath (an acclaimed poet and author as well as Eamon’s mom!). If you missed this wonderful evening, be sure to check out the event photo set for some highlights. There are also fun photos from Janice’s October 15 book signing at Chapters Books in Edmonton’s Old Strathcona — click here to see her discussing mysteries and memoirs with readers. But she’s not done yet! Janice’s next appearance is in support of her friend and crime writing colleague Garry Ryan as he launches Matanzas, the ninth in his series of Inspector Lane Mystery novels at Edmonton’s Blue Lamp Books on Thursday, October 26. Get more details at the Facebook Event Page and make plans to join us!
Posted October 19, 2017
Janice is gearing up for a busy fall promoting CONFEDERATION DRIVE and the Randy Craig Mystery series!
Author Janice MacDonald is about to become a strong presence on the fall book promo circuit. First up is an October 4 appearance as the featured author on CJSR Radio’s popular WORD program, during which Janice and host Michael James will discuss her 2017 memoir, CONFEDERATION DRIVE, as well as her best-selling series of Edmonton-set Randy Craig Mystery novels. Janice will also be discussing and reading from Confederation Drive at the opening night event for the 2017 edition of Edmonton’s non-fiction festival, LitFest, on Thursday, October 12. The appearance will be part of a program entitled “LitFest On the Road,” in which Janice and Eamon McGrath, author of Berlin-Warszawa Express, will discuss their two very different travel books with moderator Wendy McGrath. Last but not least, Janice will be at Chapters Books on Whyte Avenue for a fall book signing on the afternoon of Sunday, October 15. Come say “hi” and get an autographed copy of the memoir or one of the mysteries — it’s never too early to think about snagging some perfect stocking stuffers! More details (times, addresses, ticket info, etc.) for the LitFest and Chapters events are available on this site’s Appearances page.
Posted September 12, 2017
Janice hosts a Randy Craig Mystery series challenge at Battle for the Limelight 2017
On Saturday, September 9, author Janice MacDonald volunteered for the 4th Annual Battle for the Limelight, a wacky “Amazing Race”-style competition in which Edmonton theatre companies compete against each other while also raising much-needed funds for their upcoming seasons. One of the challenges in this year’s competition brought teams to the Chapters book store in Old Strathcona, where they faced three tasks: 1) Take a short quiz about Canadian authors; 2) Take and post an Instagram photo with Janice; and 3) Arrange the books in Janice’s Randy Craig Mystery series in chronological order of publication! Check out a photo album of the fun event here.
Posted September 9, 2017
CONFEDERATION DRIVE is back on top of the non-fiction bestseller list!
Thank you, Edmonton readers, for putting Confederation Drive back at #1 on the local bestseller list for the week ending August 13. Stay tuned for some exciting literary festival news about Janice and her unconventional memoir, coming soon! In the meantime, you can check out the full list at the Edmonton Bestseller Chart.
Posted August 17, 2017
Two Randy Craig Mystery novels singled out for their realistic depictions of women’s lives as author Janice MacDonald teases the next installment in the series!
Two Randy Craig Mystery novels recently showed up in well-known book blogs for unusual reasons! The UK’s Moira Redmond writes Clothes in Books, a blog that looks at, well, just that — and her take on 2015’s ANOTHER MARGARET not only praises that book’s academic mystery elements but examines the ways that clothes define the power of Dr. Hilary Quinn in the story. Not to be outdone, Bill Selnes devoted a post at his venerable blog Mysteries and More from Saskatchewan (which had previously run a wonderful review of Another Margaret) to looking at the unusually realistic depiction of shopping that figures into the plot of 2011’s HANG DOWN YOUR HEAD. Selnes’ blog post notes that “fewer mysteries than I would expect make clothing stores and the experience of women shopping for clothes a part of the plot. The social implications for women of budget versus luxe shopping have a dynamic of tension… I thought MacDonald beautifully explored the pleasures and frustrations of women shopping for clothes while showing how Randy, a highly educated and confident woman, is beset with insecurities in an upscale shop.” What cool takes on the “real world” elements of the series! And in other exciting news, Janice posted a photo (shown at right) on her social media channels, teasing her new mystery novel in the works for 2018 and showing how she endeavours to “keep a complex plot sorted in a small condo.” Can any eagle-eyed readers spot a clue to the subject of the new book in those sticky notes?
Posted August 16, 2017
Where Edmonton has published a new “Author Spotlight” and review of CONFEDERATION DRIVE
The good folks at Where Edmonton magazine (and its affiliated Info Edmonton website) have published a new “Author Spotlight” about Janice, which includes these lovely words about CONFEDERATION DRIVE: “This memoir is more than just a road-trip story—it’s a touching account of one daughter’s journey to reconnect with her mother. MacDonald will also bring out the patriot in any Canadian. You’ll find no better travel companion and may discover some new facts about our sprawling country—along with many laughs—as you read this epic tribute to a cherished mother and home.” Read the full spotlight and review on the Where/Info website.
Posted July 20, 2017
Janice to read from CONFEDERATION DRIVE at “Meet Monto Books” event on July 18
Janice will be promoting CONFEDERATION DRIVE at an exciting event organized by the book’s publisher, Monto Books. Monto is Edmonton’s newest publisher, and editor Jason Lee Norman has been the force behind publishing projects such as the 40 Below winter anthologies. With Monto Books he is looking to publish the spirit of Edmonton and share it with the rest of the country.
On Tuesday, July 18 at Cafe Blackbird, Edmonton book lovers will have a chance to meet Monto authors Janice MacDonald and Chad Huculak — and also be the first to hear about Project Compass, an upcoming Monto project to be released later this year. For the first time ever, Monto Books will aslo be accepting manuscripts in person. Any author who brings in their manuscript to this event on July 18th will have their manuscript read and responded to by the editor. For more details, please see the Meet Monto Event Page.
Posted July 14, 2017
Happy Canada Day weekend — get in the spirit with a new CONFEDERATION DRIVE article at Gig City Edmonton
On June 1, Canada Day festivities will mark 150 years since confederation. To help celebrate, Gig City Edmonton has published a fantastic interview/article about Janice’s new book, CONFEDERATION DRIVE. Gig City‘s Mike Ross notes that “Confederation Drive isn’t really a book about Canada 150, although the timing was nice. It’s about what the 50 years since the Expo has meant to Canada and whether the promise that was ignited in 1967 has been lived up to.” What do you think — yes or no? For more thoughts on the subject, read “CANADA 150: Two long strange trips” on the Gig City website.
Posted June 30, 2017
Reconciling debate over Canada 150 celebrations with the sense of joyous discovery in CONFEDERATION DRIVE
From Janice: “A recent piece from Maclean’s Magazine, entitled “Canada 150 unhappiness? Blame 1967,” captures much of the impetus behind the writing of my new book, CONFEDERATION DRIVE. Amid all the various adventures I had with my mother, I knew somehow that it was this 1967 great escapade, of driving all the way from Edmonton to PEI, taking in the Expo celebrations and marking the fervour in our own way that made me the Canadian I’ve become. As we roll into Canada Day on this our 50th year since we sprang onto the international stage as a country to reckon with, let’s come together instead of drive a wedge even harder between groups that need to find common ground on this, our common ground.” Be sure to check out the Maclean’s article here.
Posted June 28, 2017
Bring Janice and CONFEDERATION DRIVE to your community in this year of Canada 150 celebrations — funding available!
Janice’s new work of creative non-fiction, CONFEDERATION DRIVE, is a perfect read for Canada’s sesquicentennial year — looking back at the centennial year and Expo ’67, exploring the present day, and pondering the future of our country with warmth and humour. Did you know that there is funding available to bring Janice to your community for readings, presentations, and writing workshops? As a member of the Writers’ Union of Canada, she is eligible for funding from the TWUC/Canada Council for the Arts National Public Readings Program. Janice is a highly skilled reader, speaker and writing teacher, and she has taken part in several well-received literary events and library appearances as a result of the program. Don’t delay — applications for readings taking place between September 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018 are currently being accepted at the National Public Readings Program webpage.
Posted June 12, 2017
CONFEDERATION DRIVE a bestseller again this week!
Thank you, Edmonton readers, for keeping Confederation Drive on the local bestseller list again for the week ending May 14. You can check out the full list at the Edmonton Bestseller List.
Posted May 18, 2017
YOU can be a character in the next Randy Craig Mystery — AND support a great cause at the same time!
How would you like to bid on being a named character in the next Randy Craig Mystery? It’s easy — just head over to the Northern Light Theatre website (see link at the end of this story) and bid on the naming rights to one character in the upcoming novel. This prize has raised big bucks for good causes in the past, and we want to get the same results for our friends at NLT. As part of the package, you will also receive a copy of The Roar of the Crowd (the “theatre mystery” of the Randy Craig series), and author Janice MacDonald will make a BIG fuss over your generosity at the launch of the upcoming book in which you will appear. Please help us to support a wonderful local theatre company — bid now for your chance to become part of the mysterious happenings in the next adventure of Randy Craig by visiting the NLT Online Auction Page.
Posted May 15, 2017
What a thrill — CONFEDERATION DRIVE is a #1 bestseller in its first week!
CONFEDERATION DRIVE hit the top of the non-fiction chart for Edmonton bestsellers on the week ending April 30 — which was before the official launch party! Janice says, “Thank you, Capital Region readers, for embracing something very different from my academic mystery novels. It has been my dream to share this story since childhood, and your continued support means the world to me.” If you don’t have a copy yet, Audreys Books should still have some signed copies in stock, and there is also online ordering information here on the site for you out-of-towners. (PS: It would make a great Mother’s Day gift!) You can also peruse the full list of local bestsellers here.
Posted May 11, 2017
Janice and her new book CONFEDERATION DRIVE featured in the St. Albert Gazette!
Scott Hayes of the St. Albert Gazette has written a terrific story, “Across the Country Twice in 200 Pages,” about CONFEDERATION DRIVE. The story appears in both print and online versions of today’s paper and highlights the “surprises” the new book may hold for Janice MacDonald’s readership. Don’t forget — Janice will be in St. Albert this Saturday, May 13, for a special Mother’s Day program at the St. Albert Public Library (more details in the story below). In the meantime, you can enjoy the Gazette story at this link.
Posted May 10, 2017
CONFEDERATION DRIVE has launched successfully — next stop St. Albert Public Library!
Janice’s new book, CONFEDERATION DRIVE, has officially launched with a wonderful party at Audreys Books on May 4. If you missed the shindig, there are still autographed copies available at Audreys, and you can console yourself by checking out an album of photographs from the event. Even better, you can catch up with Janice at her next appearance, a Mother’s Day event at the St. Albert Public Library. Because CONFEDERATION DRIVE is in many ways a love letter to Janice’s late mother Joyce — and a remembrance of their cross-Canada car trip to Expo ’67 in Montreal — it makes a perfect read for Mother’s Day as well as for #Canada150. For this very special event, Janice will be in conversation with her longtime friend, celebrated Alberta playwright Conni Massing. Conni is herself the author of a wonderful book called Roadtripping, so these two clearly know a thing or two about hitting the highway! The event begins at 3:00 PM on Saturday, May 13. It is free, but we ask that you register to reserve a seat. You can register and get more details at the library’s event page. See you there!
Posted May 5, 2017
The official event page for the CONFEDERATION DRIVE launch party is now live!
We are getting incredibly excited to finally share Confederation Drive with all of you. This book is a passion project for Janice, and you could say that it has been 50 years in the making! That’s a mighty long time, but there’s not much longer to wait for the launch party at Audreys Books on Thursday, May 4. You can now get more details and RSVP at the official Facebook Event Page.
Posted April 21, 2017
Confederation Drive is launching on May 4!
Edmonton author Janice MacDonald has a new book coming out, and it’s a work of creative non-fiction! Confederation Drive is part memoir, part travelogue, part rumination on her beloved Canada as the country approaches its sesquicentennial on June 1, 2017.
“Part meditation and part travel memoir, Confederation Drive is a wholly charming cross-country adventure that explores themes of connection. As might be expected from one of Edmonton’s foremost detective writers, Janice MacDonald also seeks to unravel the mystery of how a childhood road trip in honour of Expo ‘67 shaped her identity. With musings on motherhood, culture and politics and a requisite number of traffic mishaps and lobster dinners, MacDonald brings back the great Canadian road trip in time for Canada’s biggest birthday yet.”
—Ali Bryan, author of Roost
The official launch party is a free event that will be held at Audreys Books (10702 Jasper Avenue in downtown Edmonton) on Thursday, May 4, beginning at 7:00 PM. Janice will read from Confederation Drive and sign copies of the book, and there will be refreshments and some fun surprises for the guests as well. May the fourth be with you and permit you to join us for the celebration — and please stay tuned for more details, coming soon!
Posted April 7, 2017
But wait, there’s more — Janice to appear at GALENTINES DAY event on February 13!
After yesterday’s big updates (see below), you’d think we would be out of exciting news. You’d be wrong! We are thrilled to announce that Janice will be celebrating GALENTINES DAY at Audreys Books (10702 Jasper Avenue in downtown Edmonton) on Monday, February 13, beginning at 7:00 PM. Come on down to hear some amazing writers speak about women, love, and the influences they have on their lives at this FREE event. Featured authors will be JANICE MacDONALD, author of the best-selling Randy Craig mysteries set n Edmonton; Diana Davidson, author of the acclaimed novel Pilgrimage; Laurel Deedrick-Mayne, author of the Alberta Readers’ Choice Award winning novel A Wake for the Dreamland; and Jennifer Snow, award-winning author of sweet and sexy contemporary romance novels. Audreys promises refreshments and snacks plus an awesome door prize draw. Bring all your ladies down for a night of fun and fellowship! For more information, please visit the Facebook Event Page.
Posted February 9, 2017
Janice kicks 2017 into high gear with a SWEET night of crime fiction and exciting news about two upcoming books!
Author Janice MacDonald has just returned to her (and Ms. Randy Craig’s) hometown of Edmonton after two sunny weeks of research in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico — all we can tell you is that the beautiful resort town figures into the plot of an all-new Randy Craig Mystery novel! Elsewhere, the Edmonton Journal recently ran an article highlighting spring releases by local authors, and Janice got a shout-out for her upcoming book of creative non-fiction, Confederation Drive. We can’t wait to tell you more about it, but in the meantime you can read the full article here. And to top it all off, Janice and her Edmonton-area Sisters in Crime Eileen “E.C.” Bell (creator of the Marie Jenner mystery series) and S.G. Wong (mastermind behind the Lola Starke series) will be entertaining crime-fiction fans at a seriously sweet “Death By Chocolate” event on February 23. Please click here for all the delicious details and make plans to join us!
Posted February 8, 2017