'I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.' L.M. Montgomery

'There are no faster or firmer friendships than those formed between people who love the same books.' Irving Stone

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Suspect by L.R. Wright

1 of 9 in the Karl Alberg Mysteries
Published: 1985
Author: L.R. Wright (Laurali Rose Wright) 1939-2001

'In this, L.R. Wright's first mystery novel, we are introduced to RCMP Staff Sergeant Karl Alberg; and so begins the highly-acclaimed series featuring Karl and librarian Cassandra Mitchell.

At eighty, George Wilcox hardly expected to crown his life by committing a murder. It had happened so quickly, so easily, so unexpectedly in the sleepy town on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia:  a near-perfect crime that wraps Wilcox in a web of guilt, honor, and secrets of the past.  An unprovoked act that soon binds him to the warmhearted town librarian, Cassandra Mitchell, and her new romantic interest, zealous Staff Sergeant Alberg.  Together, this troubled trio find themselves caught up in a crime whose solution transcends the logic of pure justice.'

I first heard of this book and series from a review by Tracy @Bitter Tea and Mystery. It sounded so good I ordered it immediately from Paperbackswap and read it in one day! I just ordered book 2 in the series!

This mystery is set on the west coast of Canada along the 'Sunshine Coast'. (There is a link to a map of the area in Tracy's review). Our detective is a Royal Canadian Mounted Policeman. Different for me. Also different, the story opens with the murder and we know who it is from the get go. Question is why and will he turn himself in or will Karl figure it out? 

I couldn't put it down. I loved George and Cassandra. I HAD to find out what happened all those years ago when George was young and why he hated Carlyle so much. The murder changed everything for George. His whole life and what he believed was turned upside down. Had he been wrong all those years? I wanted to go to the 'Sunshine Coast' and go to Cassandra's library. Karl seemed a little offish but the stray cat gives us a clue to what is really at the heart of this tough Mountie. I will tell you, the end had me crying. Maybe I'm just a big softie:) A totally satisfying read.

There are 9 books in the series with Alberg and in the last one he retires and Sgt. Edwina Henderson takes his place and there are two more books featuring her. That's quite different too!

Check out the order of the series here

L.R. Wright has once again written a novel glowing with ­ as Anne Tyler has described it ­ "a special kind of integrity." The Suspect builds with such natural grace and compassion that it transcends the logic of justice. Wilcox, Alberg, and Cassandra will all come to make startling decisions, but Wright's sympathetic affection for these characters infuses their story with reason. So skilled a writer as to make Wilcox's crime seem wholly unremarkable, L.R. Wright transforms the daily course of life into something quite extraordinary.  (from her website)

"Every bit as good as the novels of Ruth Rendell and P.D. James."
- People

"Tight, beautifully written account."
- Publishers Weekly

Peggy Ann


  1. Another new series to me. British Columbia sounds like a lovely setting and the book sounds interesting. I shall look into it.

    1. It is such a gorgeous place! I have a facebook friend that lives on Vancouver Island and her pics are lovely. I want to go here before I die! You'll enjoy the book, Cath!

  2. What a terrific review! I think the book sounds great. Thanks so much.

  3. Nice review Peggy. does the book give you a sense of what BC is like? If so, it would be great if you linked it to Your Favourite Travel Books. Cheers

  4. Peggy, I am very glad you liked it. And I did not know anything about the Sgt. Edwina Henderson books. I am looking forward to continuing the series also.

  5. Wow! Thanks for the trip down memory lane! I ran to my shelf immediately and found the hardcover, signed edition of "Neighbours" - the very first novel Wright published in 1979, under the name of "Laurali." This book had been the winner of the Search-for-a-new-Alberta-Novelist Competition. I was working in a Calgary bookstore at the time and we hosted Wright at a signing and promo when the book was first released. Everyone in Calgary knew of her as "Bunny" and still think of her that way. (When I shared Peggy Ann's post on Facebook a few of my Calgary friends immediately remembered "Bunny Wright," where she lived in the city, and that time when she first published.)

    Unfortunately, L.R. Wright died much too soon and just as she was getting into her stride as a writer. She has been missed by readers and friends. Thank you, Peggy Ann, for introducing her writing to a new group of readers!

    And now I will reread this copy of Neighbours I have kept all these years.


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