• James Parry

Parrywinkle, Nov. 30, 2017


PHOTO BY JAMES PARRY

Adding to the mountain of gifts and donations received at the office of Vaudreuil-Soulanges MP Peter Schiefke last week, all destined for the local women's shelter, Hébergement La Passerelle, and welcomed (left to right) by staffers Jennifer Frezza and Patricia Dota, were local residents Mireille Lemelin and Joseph Eletr.

As a long-time journalist, columnist, and humble wordsmith, believe it or not dear readers, people often ask me why I have never written a novel.

Truth be told, I must have started about six over the years and invariably in the dark winter months when gardening is impossible, skiing or snowshoeing is simply out of the question, and I finger-tap dance on the 'puter inspired by some of my favourite authors. Such as Bernard Cornwell, Lee Child, Stephen King, Ken Follet, Michael Connolly, Harlan Coben, David Baldacchi and John Sanford.

But somehow I've never got past chapter three or four. Just ran out of steam, I guess. Either that or inspiration. Too much editing of my own copy. Something more pressing like doing the groceries or snow-shoveling the steps. Or couldn't figure out how the story was all going to end. Or …

To make a long story short, 'tis the reason why I am in so much admiration of those 'non-professional' writers who - in this age of self-publishing and at their own expense - actually do!

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MURDER MAYHEM - People like Hudsonite Frank Hicks, legendary antiquarian, owner of the late Ye Auld Curiosité Boutique, author of Memoirs Of An Antique Dealer, former Hudson's Irishman of the Year and, being born in Belfast, blessed with the gift of the gab and blarney. In a most positive sense, I hasten to add!

Now to the best of my recollection, there has never been an actual murder committed in our fair burg. Admittedly, there was once an attempted knife murder on Lakeview and then there was the guy who went crazy firing off a shotgun along Main Road without actually hitting anyone. But never a dastardly murder for heaven's sake.

Well, not according to Frank. At least in his new novel, Murder in a Small Town, officially launched with a signing at Hudson Village Theatre last week. Only two-thirds through it but I have to tell you, it's a rollicking romp of a murder mystery with three unsolved deaths so far.

Jam-packed with references to local characters including a certain 'gossip' columnist - their names changed presumably to avoid subsequent law suits - businesses and landmarks, it really does read like a crime novel by Caroline Graham of Midsomer Murders fame or one of Agatha Christie's 12 books featuring Miss Marple with a local twist. Replete with murders, sinister plots, tantalizing text and, perhaps, just enough clues to help you identify some - if not all - of the real-life local personalities or derivatives thereof.

At $15 a copy - a real steal - Murder in a Small Town is available on Amazon or at May's Studio, 459 Main, and Décors & Tissus Sérénity, 67 Cameron. A great read. And a great Christmas gift. Check it out. But, if you do, please don't tell me who dunnit. Or I'll have to kill ya!

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REAL RENAISSANCE MAN - Meanwhile, there's another local author-signing coming up this Saturday, December 2, this time at Gallery Plus, 448 Main, from 2 to 5 p.m. when Clint Ward will launch his eagerly-awaited memoir - On All The Other Days: The Adventures Of A Renaissance Man - described as a “rare glimpse of a life well-lived, interwoven with epic proportions of high-flying adventure, sportsmanship, and world travel.” Can't wait to read it and will keep you posted!

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CHRISTMAS SPIRIT - Still on small towns, torrential rain Saturday failed to dampen Hudson's continuing Christmas spirit as hundreds of residents and visitors alike flocked to both St. James' Church Christmas Bazaar and Hudson Christmas Craft Fair at the Stephen F. Shaar Community Centre to mingle, shop, and chat.

And on what was International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, over at the office of Vaudreuil-Soulanges MP, Peter Schiefke, volunteers were busily giftwrapping the mountain of donations received from throughout the region and all destined for a local women's shelter that provides services and support for women and their youngsters fleeing domestic violence year round.

Together with my beautiful Sunshine, I popped by on Friday with gifts galore for this most worthwhile cause and just happened to bump into Joe Eletr, who ran for mayor in Hudson's recent election and who was doing the very same. Way to go Joe!

For photos of the above events, check out YLJ's Facebook page.

And that's a wrap!

E-mail: creation@videotron.ca

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