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donalee Moulton is a professional writer and editor based in Halifax, N.S.  As a professional journalist, donalee’s byline has appeared in more than 100 print and online publications throughout North America and beyond. These include The National PostChatelaine, Maclean’sThe Lawyers Weekly, and Canadian Business.  She has also written about the cannabis sector, a factor that plays into her mystery.

 

donalee is the author of author of the book The Thong Principle: Saying What You Mean and Meaning What You Say, and she has co-authored Celebrity Court Cases: Trials of the Rich and Famous. donalee’s short story “Swan Song” was one of 21 selected for publication in Cold Canadian Crime, an anthology published by the Crime Writers of Canada.

 

donalee is also a published poet. Her work has appeared in The Dalhousie ReviewThe Antigonish ReviewCarouselFireweed, and Whetstone, among others. She is a former co-editor of The Pottersfield Portfolio literary journal.

 

When not searching for the right word, donalee can be found doing a downward dog in her yoga room or enjoying a steaming bubble bath.

 

You can visit donalee on her personal website by clicking this link:  donaleemoulton.com

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Conflagration

Book 7, Canadian Historical Mysteries - Quebec

On a warm spring day in April 1734, a fire raged through Montreal’s merchant quarters. When the flames finally died, 46 buildings – including the Hôtel-Dieu convent and hospital – had been destroyed. Within hours, rumors ran rampant that Marie-Joseph Angélique, a Black slave fighting for her freedom, had started the fire with her white lover, Claude Thibault. Less than 24 hours later, Angelique was sitting in a prison cell. Her lover was nowhere to be found. More than 20 witnesses appeared before the judge, all claiming Angélique was the arsonist. But no one saw her set the fire.

 It didn’t matter. In an era when lawyers were banned from practising in New France, Angélique was on her own. She denied starting the fire. Philippe Archambeau, a court clerk assigned specifically to document her case, believed Angelique might just be telling the truth. That belief only got stronger after Angélique was tortured – and finally confessed. Her captors used the brodequins to crush Angélique’s leg. Her spirit remained indomitable.

 As Angélique was paraded through the streets of Montreal, Incendiare embroidered across the front of her white chemise, Archambeau finally realized what really happened the night Montreal burned to the ground.

 

    


 

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Meet Riel Brava. Attractive. Razor-sharp. Ambitious. And something much more.

Riel, raised in Santa Barbara, California, has been transplanted to Nova Scotia where he is CEO of the Canadian Cannabis Corporation. It’s business as usual until Riel finds his world hanging by a thread. Actually, several threads. It doesn’t take the police long to determine all is not as it appears – and that includes Riel himself.

 

Pulled into a world not of his making, Riel resists the hunt to catch a killer. Resistance is futile. Detective Lin Raynes draws the reluctant CEO into the investigation, and the seeds of an unexpected and unusual friendship are sown. Raynes and Riel concoct a scheme to draw a confession out of the killer, but that plan is never put into place. Instead, Riel finds himself on the butt end of a rifle in the ribs and a long drive to the middle of Nowhere, Nova Scotia.

 

Why would someone want Norm dead, innocuous Norman Bedwell? A motive for murder is buried somewhere, and self-professed psychopath and cannabis production manager, Riel Brava, works with Detective Lin Raynes, aided by endless exotic coffee blends, to find it. As the noose tightens on an increasingly smaller number of suspects, who knew finding a murderer would be so simple? In the end, of course, it isn’t. It is a chunderfuck. Oh, and, Riel has one helluva wife. Pour yourself a cup of Ethiopian yirgacheffe and savor this often humorous, fast-paced whodunit. – Rand Gaynor, author of New Old Stories