Sunday 14 November 2021

Six Great Books – Recommendations from the Scribbler.

 Welcome to this weeks post - Book recommendations. 

But first......... 

Before we get start, I just want to say….

Thank you!

Thanks to all you fantastic visitors and readers for supporting the Scribbler – You’re the reason we exist.

I check my stats regularly and on average I have between 170-200 page views per day. Do they all stay for a while and read everything? Probably not.

Some come here via Google or Bing search and discovered it wasn’t what they were looking for and then there is – YOU.

You came here by accident and decided to stay or you came here intentionally. So Thank You, once more.


Here are six books I’ve had the pleasure of reading and enjoyed tremendously.

1. Amid the Splintered Trees by Heather McBriarity.

 I had the opportunity to read this novel in its early development and I was wowed by the story. It was recently launched on November 6th. This is a terrific novel by a New Brunswick author. A great follow up to McBriarity’s debut non-fiction novel – Somewhere in Flanders: Letters from the Front. Read Heather’s interview on the Scribbler HERE.

Review by Darrell Duthie, author of the Malcolm MacPhail series: From the author of Somewhere in Flanders comes a novel of love and loss during the First World War. "Dazzling in its historical details, and written with a spare beauty, "Amid the Splintered Trees" brings to life the First World War and the impossible romance of a young man and a young woman caught up in it." 

From Goodreads: August 1914 - Emma has dreamed of becoming a doctor all her life, not an easy task for a woman. Will wants Emma as his wife, but she is worth waiting for. They both imagine a life together, a family, and a future of happiness - someday.

But suddenly, the conflict in Europe erupts into war, and they are asked to sacrifice everything. Nothing could have prepared Will for the death and devastation he faces in the muddy trenches of the Western Front. As his losses mount, he struggles to remain the man Emma knows and loves. Emma is forced to tackle her own obstacles as a woman in a man’s world of medicine, alone, without his support. From her patients to her classmates, it seems no one truly believes her capable. Just when she thinks things cannot get worse, a devastating explosion levels her city, and Emma is called to her own front line.

From the blood-soaked ground of Ypres, the Somme, and Vimy to the 1917 Halifax explosion, each of them are tested in ways they never could have imagined. Wounded in body and soul, can they find a way back to each other or will their future be destroyed by the Great War?

From the author of Somewhere in Flanders: Letters from the Front comes a sweeping novel of love, loss, and redemption during the First World War.

Buy it HERE.

2. April on Paris Street by Anna Dowdall.

This novel is getting a lot of attention and rightly so. It’s an enjoyable read. Dowdall, a Canadian author from Montreal, is a storyteller you’ll want to add to tour book reading list. Anna has been a guest on the Scribbler – read her interview HERE. She’ll be back on December 4th.

Review by Author Denis Coupal: Author Anna Dowdall gives us a rollicking, cross-genre mystery, featuring smart and irreverent Private Investigator Ashley Smeeton, as she unwinds a bird’s nest of a case. Bubbling with quirky, funny and dangerous characters, April on Paris Street is Sex-in-the-City and Murder-She-Wrote in Paris and Montreal’s Pointe-Sainte-Charles.

From Goodreads: 49th Shelf Fall 2021 Top Ten Recommended Mystery. Your basic damsel-in-distress gig sounds perfect to private investigator Ashley Smeeton, who’s got her own personal and professional struggles in Montreal. Against the backdrop of winter Carnaval, the job first takes her to Paris where she’s drawn into an unsettling world of mirages and masks, not to mention the murderous Bortnik brothers. When she returns to Montreal, a city rife with its own unreasonable facsimiles, the case incomprehensibly picks up again. Convinced she’s being played, Ashley embarks on an even more dangerous journey into duplicity. In a world of masks behind masks, it’s hard to say where the truth lies.

Buy it HERE.

3. Death Between the Tables by Alexa Bowie.

This is Book Two in the Old Manse Mysteries by noted New Brunswick storyteller Chuck Bowie, under the pseudonym Alexa Bowie. This is Chuck’s successful venture into cozy mysteries. Like the first one, it is an entertaining story and you won’t be disappointed. Chuck has been one of our most popular guests. See one of his posts HERE

From Amazon: Book 2 in the Old Manse Mysteries cozy series. Emma Andrews, newly returned from Toronto to her small childhood town, has confirmed her ownership of a Victorian-era Manse, newly converted to an arts and culture center. While hosting a house warming for the town's dignitaries, police and fire station teams, the entire group witnesses a woman dying by poison. Or did she? Of course Emma is viewed by the police with suspicion, but the Creatives at her center: the artists, musicians and chefs all vow to keep her out of jail, or keep her well fed in her cell, at the least. But Emma, with her best friend and aunt-namesake, will get to the bottom of things, no matter what the risk.

Buy it HERE.

4. The Sister’s Tale by Beth Powning.

Powning is one of New Brunswick’s preeminent authors. Her stories are captivating and highly entertaining. I discovered Powning’s writing when I delved into The Sea Captain’s Wife – a spellbinding novel. She carries on the tradition of historical fiction with A Sister’s Tale. You WILL NOT be disappointed. The Scribbler has been most fortunate to have Beth as a guest. read her interview HERE

Review by Genevieve Graham: “The Sister’s Tale” is an impeccably written, mesmerizing tale of loss and betrayal, and of the strength required not only to find hope amid the ashes, but to rise from them. Using pain-staking and what must have been heartbreaking research, Beth Powning’s lyrical style both soothes and disturbs. I found it very difficult to put the book down. Highly recommend!

From Goodreads: With murder dominating the news, the respected wife of a New Brunswick sea captain is drawn into the case of a British home child whose bad luck has turned worse. Mortified that she must purchase the girl in a pauper auction to save her from the lechery of wealthy townsmen, Josephine Galloway finds herself suddenly the proprietor of a boarding house kept afloat by the sweat and tears of a curious and not completely compatible collection of women, including this English teenager, Flora Salford. Flora's place in her new family cannot be complete until she rescues the missing person in her life, the only one who understands the trials she has come through and fresh horrors met since they were separated years before.

Reconnecting with characters of Beth Powning's beloved The Sea Captain's Wife, The Sister's Tale is a story of women finding their way, together, through terrible circumstances they could neither predict nor avoid, but will stop at nothing to overcome.

Buy it HERE.

5. Autumn Paths – An Anthology by Nine Authors.

This has been a wonderful project by a collection of storytellers who are united through the love of writing, with an introduction by James Fisher of The Miramichi Reader. Following the same them of Autumn Paths, each story is unique in its telling and the response has been fantastic. Read the Scribbler post HERE.

Review by Author MJ LaBeff: The short stories in this collection are a mix of genres, including mystery, romance, historical, sci-fi, and adventure. They share a common theme regarding life’s paths either taken or to be taken. Don’t let the turns Autumn Paths mislead you! These snappy, well-written tales are sure to delight no matter the season.

From Goodreads: Nine writers from both sides of the Atlantic, including best-selling and award-winning authors, have created this miscellany of stories.
These tales of family, mystery, intrigue, adventure, and suspense will take you across continents, through time and space in this world and others. With a linking theme of autumn, discover new landscapes, encounter new and intriguing characters, uncover secrets and lies, and witness the resolution of old enmities.
Take the first step on this roller-coaster of an emotional journey, and you won't be disappointed.

Buy it HERE.

6. On Being Welsh by Roger Moore.

An award winning novel by a distinguished award winning New Brunswick author. I truly enjoyed this and if you haven’t read Moore’s stories or poetry, this is a good place to start. Roger has been a welcomed guest on the Scribbler several times. See his interview HERE

Review by LB Sedlacek: Stories that seem true or maybe even memoir make up this winsome and often dark turn of tales in this new offering by Moore. Each story contains stories within the story. They start off in one direction, but you won’t be far into it before it turns in a completely different way. These stories take detours. These stories take moments and turn them into heartbreak and shocking discoveries.
Moore’s writing style is tough, tense, but welcoming. His approach is straightforward leading you right into what he wants to say. These stories go right to the edge, facing each character head on.
You can savor each story in separate readings or all in one sitting. They are brilliant and taut, nicely executed. Moore blends well-directed plots into multi-layered stories. His book offers insights into the trials, pain, and often what seems to be an incomprehensible family history.

From Amazon: No doubt, here in these poems we are impressed by the ease and strength of the rhythm. Several of these poems show the passionate flight of profound imagination. The poems have poignant force of true feeling. All poems are irresistibly powerful.

Buy it HERE.

Thanks for visiting today. What's your all-time favorite book? What would you recommend to our readers? Who's your favorite author?


  1. The South Branch Scribbler wouldn't steer you wrong, Gentle Reader, and doesn't in this case. All of the featured books are great reads, and the two I haven't yet read are on my 'To Buy' list, as we speak. Thank you, Allan.

    1. Thank you for the nice comment, Chuck. I agree - all great reads.


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