Thursday, July 18, 2013

Canadians Are Not So Nice by guest blogger Cathy Astolfo

Canadians Are Not So Nice
By Cathy Astolfo

‘Yahoo! Answers’ says that Canadians are so nice because we feel safer and more comfortable in our country than, say, Americans do. Maybe we’re just not reading the newspapers. Maybe no one else is reading our newspapers either.

Only crime writers would beg to differ about the nicety scale. After all, we make our living penning stories of mayhem and dastardly deeds on Canadian soil, by Canadians, for Canadians. We dislike the polite, pleasant face of Canada because our novels might be dismissed as boring or tame before anyone reads them. Believe us crime writers: Canadians are not so nice.

In my books alone, aside from the murder and mayhem, I have explored animal and child abuse, religious fanaticism, wrongful conviction and psychopathology. All my research was Canadian based. In other words, I found some very not-nice occurrences in our country. I could list a whole bunch more, but I don’t want you to run away scared.

I do have happy endings, which might make me appear to be nice. Love does win out most often. The evildoers do meet with justice. That’s not always the way it happens in real life, but we’re not reading fiction for reality. Otherwise, we’d go back to the newspapers.

My message is this: you won’t find tediously bland, polite people in Canadian crime books. In my Emily Taylor mysteries, even the seemingly normal, lovely school principal-heroine has a dark past. In Jill Edmondson’s Sasha Jackson books, you’ll discover a sassy, witty woman who would step on your foot if you called her a lady. Our mystery and crime books are every bit as salacious and sassy as any Swedish novel. 
In my latest novel, Sweet Karoline, you’re not really sure who is the good and who is the bad. It’s a psychological suspense, with some history and romance thrown in. However, I do start the odyssey in Los Angeles, city of angels and devils. In doing so I’ve introduced the “bad boy/girl” USA into the mix (cue laugh track here). The characters also travel to Italy, where “one the most memorable sex scenes I’ve ever read” (according to one of my reviewers) takes place. 
Canadians, particularly we crime writers, are really not so nice. Come read us and you’ll see what I mean. Start with SweetKaroline if you like! Find her here:

Follow Catherine along on her blog tour! Click on the image below for her latest updates, and follow her on Twitter @cathyastolfo


  1. But we're still polite! Honestly, we'll apologize while we are killing you Great post.

  2. One would need only consider that there are still some 150 unsolved murders in Vancouver as a result of a serial killer who was put away for another 50 women. Not to mention the bizarre case files of the VPD to erase their stench from the case for not investigating earlier and foot dragging because the victims were local First Nation girls. The case has resulted in numerous careers vanishing. No, you can check the assumption of "nice" into the void. This is one police procedural you won't see on television.