Canadian Librarian Gives Thumbs Up to West Indian Murder Mystery!

You may recall that Canadian librarian Judy MacLean of Fredericton, New Brunswick won a copy of Island in the Clouds by author Susan Toy of Calgary, Alberta and Bequia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. (see

Here is her unsolicited review of the book, which I have reprinted with her permission:

Just wanted to report that I received Sue’s book on Thursday and finished it  yesterday (Saturday)! As I sat out in my sun-room enjoying the warm gentle breezes I pretended that I sat in a villa atop a mountain looking down at the incredible scenery that the book spoke about. I enjoyed my adventure, though I’m not sure her description of the windy roads, police or the drug runners did much for my desire to go to her island! ha ha
I did like her book and it made it all the more fun to read knowing that you knew her and the area the book described. I was a little surprised that they didn’t seem at all bothered about the killing of the “pirates” or the tampering with the money or clothing found on the property – especially the gun. It had me guessing though, and that’s the beauty of a “whodunit”.
Please send Sue my thanks and best wishes for the continued success of her book! I was actually thinking that Geoff’s character could get into even more adventures. As a property manager, he could see and hear all kinds of interesting things, and he seems to be better at asking questions and solving mysteries than the authorities. Perhaps he could become a private investigator – which is kind of ironic since he has a history to hide.
As the book cover indicated, this book was part travelogue, and I think it was just the right amount of information. I really enjoyed that. In another book however, she might be able to talk more about the industries – fishing or tourism or whatever – maybe a combination! Some fisherman pulls up something or someone in his nets. Would love to hear more of the local dialect and get a sense of how these people might handle another mystery – or even more about what their daily lives might be like. I suspect there are also many stories in history about pirates or ghost stories or spiritual beliefs that could be incorporated into another exciting story with colourful characters.-  By Judy MacLean   
Gwendominica and Judy MacLean (right) when they last met in Canada in 1997.  They have kept in constant contact and hope to reunite someday soon!
Judy, your feedback is really appreciated.  Thanks for sharing your thoughts about Island in the Clouds with us!

Island in the Clouds – a Bequia novel

Available as an eBook to purchase online from:
Kindle UK
Apple’s iBookstore/iTunes: Apple Canada, Apple US, Apple UK
Print edition is now available!

ISBN 978-0-97879385-2-7 CDN/US $18.95

Discussion about Island in the Clouds on Tripadvisor

Canadian Librarian Wins West Indian Murder Mystery Contest!

Gwendominica and contest winner Judy MacLean last met in 1997, when Gwen was embarking on her Dominican adventure and Judy was working and raising her family.

I am thrilled to announce that Judy MacLean, a librarian in Fredericton, New Brunswick  Canada is the winner of a free copy of Island in the Clouds by  Susan M.Toy of Calgary, Alberta Canada and Bequia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Judy was the only entrant in the contest, and she did attempt to answer the question with logic and reason! (See my Win a Free Copy of a West Indian Murder Mystery! post and my Canary Gal blog.)

Judy and I go back a long way – to November 1984 (!) in fact.  I met her in the Nova Scotia Provincial Library in Halifax Nova Scotia on the first day of my first big job as a professional librarian. She was working there as a library clerk at that time, but within a few years went back to Dalhousie University to obtain her Master of Library and Information Studies degree.  Then she headed home to New Brunswick, got married, raised three boys and continued to work in various capacities within the profession. She is currently the Information Services librarian in the Science Library at  the University of New Brunswick.

Despite her full and active life, Judy does find time to write and recently published a very moving  autobiographical article entitled ‘Nothing Short of a Miracle’ in Canadian Teacher Magazine in September 2011.  She is working on another humorous  and heartfelt piece,  entitled ‘Reflections of the Chicken Lips Lady’ which she hopes will be in print in the near future.

Even though we haven’t seen each other very often over the years, we have always kept in touch.  It means a great deal to me that Judy follows my adventures on Ti Domnik Tales with tremendous interest and curiosity.  I expect to see Judy and her husband Archie on the Nature Isle someday very soon!

Judy and her family at her eldest son’s wedding in May.

In the mean time, some words of my dear friend Jude bring me great comfort, despite the miles and time apart:

“Take care! It’s been great talking to you! And I thought of you when I looked out the window last night on our big and bright moon.”
Congratulations Judy!  I hope you will enjoy ‘Island in the Clouds’ as much as I did!

Island in the Clouds – a Bequia novel

Available as an eBook to purchase online from:
Kindle UK
Apple’s iBookstore/iTunes: Apple Canada, Apple US, Apple UK
Print edition is now available!
ISBN 978-0-97879385-2-7 CDN/US $18.95

Discussion about Island in the Clouds on Tripadvisor

Win a Copy of a Cool New West Indian Murder Mystery!

When I first met Susan Toy of Calgary, Alberta Canada and Bequia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, I had no idea that we would continue to correspond and occasionally meet over the years.  I was amazed that as complete strangers we had so much in common: island life; writing; reading; cooking and cats!
We’ve both been immersed in our mutual interests and I am delighted to announce the release of Susan’s first novel – a murder mystery called Island in the Clouds. It is set in her adopted
country, tiny Bequia, but there’s nothing little about the action in this intriguing plot!
Island in the Clouds by Susan M. Toy

The dead body in the pool is putting a serious dent in Geoff’s morning. An ex-pat property manager on the Caribbean island of Bequia, Geoff doesn’t want a spotlight shone on the secret past he left behind in Canada, but now he’s the suspect in a brutal murder. With no help from the inept local police force, he’s drawn into investigating the murder himself, to clear his name. As Geoff finds out more about the circumstances surrounding the killing, and he and his loved ones find themselves in danger, he begins to see a very dark underbelly of the place some people call paradise…
Part travelogue, part mystery, Island in the Clouds takes a long, hard look at the reality of living in a place that seems perfect — from the outside, anyway.


So here we have a dead body in a swimming pool, a fantastic locale, and a cracking good yarn. Ever dreamed of running away to a Caribbean island? Author Susan Toy entertains while providing the inside scoop on what that might be like. And not to worry. You’ll exit this mystery with your dreams intact.
~ Ken McGoogan, author, How the Scots Invented Canada, Fatal Passage

Island in the Clouds is a wondrous mystery, set on the lush island of Bequia in the Caribbean. A Canadian with a secret past becomes both suspect and investigator for two murders on the island. Along the way, he shares sharp insights into the history and life of this gleaming gem of a place. Susan M. Toy is a keen stylist who never fails to drive her story forward with a sure hand. As in all well-crafted mysteries, the solution to the crimes is both thoroughly surprising and perfectly logical. Toy shows us the sights and lets us hear the rhythms of the islanders and, cunningly, allows us to peek into the lives of a sexy set of expats.
~ Michael Fay was the founder of the Alexandra Writers’ Centre Society

‘Clouds’ Contest: Win a FREE Copy:

If you’d like a chance to WIN a FREE copy of Island in the Clouds, you can do so right here.
It’s easy – all you need to do is correctly tell me what years  I have visited Susan Toy in Bequia, then send me a comment, citing the specific years.  I will not post your comment but I will post your name, indicating whether you are correct.  Then correct respondents will be entered into a draw, to be held  on July 1st (Canada Day!).  I will make the draw with someone else and will post a picture to confirm that it’s been done.  Then the winner will be notified in a subsequent blog.
The deadline for responses is June 30, 2012.  Here’s your only hint:  I have more than one blog now.
Correspondence on ‘Clouds’ between author Susan Toy and Gwendominica:
Susan  in Bequia:
Island in the Clouds – in Dominica!

Soon after moving to Bequia in 1996, we received a message from a fellow Queen’s grad who saw our notice in the university’s Alumni Review about retiring to a Caribbean island. She wanted to pick our brains about our experience of moving to the tropics. That’s how we met Gwen Whitford who came to check out Bequia. She eventually settled on the island of Dominica and still lives there today, where she teaches and writes. I was in contact with her again in January when I announced the ePublication of my new novel. Gwen offered then to read and review it. As well as sending me some very kind words, she also attached pictures to be included in my Where in the World??? promotion. Thanks, Gwen!

Gwen in Dominica:

I finished ‘Clouds” last night and I LOVE IT!  I was spellbound by the development of the plot and the quirky twists that you sprinkled throughout. Sometimes I found I was even holding my breath! I also was laughing to myself about many of the cultural differences that you so cleverly pointed out between foreigners and Bequians – well I would say all West Indians for the most part. As an expat living in Dominica for almost 15 years, I could really identify with so many of Geoff’s remarks about life on Bequia. I also wondered how readers who have not spent much time in the Caribbean (other than as a tourist) would identify with the cultural differences. Don’t Stop the Carnival!

In addition, I was intrigued by the descriptions of Bequia and I could actually place myself in many of the locations (Admiralty Bay, Moonhole, the taxi stand, the Frangi Hotel, the ferry dock, etc), thanks to the two visits I had with you. My slight familiarity with the setting really added to my enjoyment of ‘Clouds’, because I could easily picture the places in my mind. However, your narrative, but very descriptive writing style would make it easy for any reader to ‘picture’ the place.

In my dreams, I can see myself flopped down on one of Bequia’s lovely beaches with ‘Clouds’ on my lap, a cool brew beside me, and between chapters, a dip in the sea as I work my way through it in an afternoon or two.

Thanks again for this wonderful murder mystery. I can’t wait for the next one!

Canadian author Susan Toy on her porch overlooking Admiralty Bay in Bequia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines:

Print edition will be available June 21, 2012!
ISBN 978-0-97879385-2-7 CDN/US $18.95

Discussion about Island in the Clouds on Tripadvisor