Saturday, July 12, 2014


Such sad news. Canadian mystery writer Lou Allin lost her battle with pancreatic cancer this week. She was 69.

Born in Toronto, Canada, Lou Allin grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, where her film-booker father relocated. She received a PhD in English Renaissance Literature for her study of the murdered spy, Christopher Marlowe. With jobs scarce in the US, she returned to Canada, finding herself 250 miles north of Toronto in Sudbury, the Nickel Capital. At Cambrian College as a professor of English, she taught boring but occasionally useful courses to students of business and criminal justice.

With a cottage on a gigantic meteor-crater lake as her inspiration, she began her Belle Palmer series, featuring a realtor and her German shepherd, Freya: Northern Winters Are Murder, Blackflies Are Murder, Bush Poodles Are Murder, Murder, Eh? and Memories Are Murder.

Lou has retired to Canada’s Caribbean, Vancouver Island, and lives with Friday the mini-poodle and Zia and Zodie the border collies in Sooke BC, overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca where the rain forest meets the sea and banana slugs frolic. Continued attacks on the forests by the timber companies have filled in where the mining industry in Northern Ontario left off. The environment is under siege across the country.

Her new series stars RCMP Corporal Holly Martin. And on the Surface Die begins with a drowning near the village of Fossil Bay. She Felt No Pain explores the death of a homeless man. Twilight is not Good for Maidens finds the island beaches stalked by a serial rapist and killer.

A Little Learning is a Murderous Thing, an academic mystery set in the Michigan Upper Peninsula, stars Professor Maddie Temple and Nikon, a GSD pup. Another standalone, Man Corn Murders, takes place in the red-rock country of Utah in the Escalante-Grand Staircase National Monument. The cover art of native pictographs on a sunlit alcove wall won a Covey Award.

Lou’s interest in literacy causes won her a contract with Orca books for That Dog Won’t Hunt, a novella designed to appeal to adults who are reluctant readers. The main characters are a young drifter cowboy, a sixty-year-old alcoholic widow, a 1970 Mustang Mach One, and Bucky, an ancient golden retriever. The second entry, Contingency Plan, concerns a storybook romance that turns into a nightmare.

Lou contributed to the two most recent issues of Mystery Readers Journal: Canadian Mysteries and Extreme Weather. I will be posting those articles on Mystery Fanfare this weekend.

1 comment:

Jeannette Moeschler said...

I really enjoyed Lou's Belle Palmer and Holly Martin series. "Conversed" with her several times via email - very nice and funny lady. Her banana slugs give me nightmares. Will miss her stories and posts on DorothyL.