By Joanne Guidoccio
Having grown up in what is often called the “Other Ontario,” I thought it was time to let cozy mystery readers discover the beauty and tranquility of the North. Or maybe not so tranquil. Seven murders have already taken place in the first three books of the Gilda Greco Mystery Series!
Books 1 and 2—A Season for Killing Blondes and Too Many Women in the Room—are based in Sudbury.
Book 3, A Different Kind of Reunion, is based in Parry Sound. Today, I’m providing ten interesting (and not so well-known) facts about this picturesque town on the eastern shores of Georgian Bay.
1. Located 160 km (100 miles) south of Sudbury and 225 km (140 miles) north of Toronto, Parry Sound epitomizes the best of small town life and summer fun. A winter population of 6,500 grows to 35,000 during cottage season.
2. Discovered by Captain Henry Bayfield in the 19th century, the town was named in honor of the Arctic explorer Sir William Edward Parry.
3. During the early part of the 20th century, Tom Thomson and the other members of the Group of Seven painted many of their scenic artworks in this area
4.Parry Sound is part of the 30,000 Islands region, the world’s largest freshwater archipelago.
5. Home to more than 100 “at-risk” species of plants and animals, Parry Sound houses the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve, a globally-important region designated by UNESCO in 2004. GBBR is a non-profit organization that works with dozens of community partners to provide environmental education through conservation, and to create vibrant and sustainable communities.
6. Hikers and campers can visit one or more of the seven provincial parks in the region: Grundy Lake, Sturgeon Bay, Massasauga, Killarney, Killbear, Oastler and Six Mile Lake.
7. A boater’s paradise, Parry Sound can be explored via sailboats, canoes, kayaks, and motorized pleasure crafts. Or you could book a tour on the Island Queen Cruise.
8. Operating from May to October from the downtown waterfront, Georgian Bay Airways offers a bird’s eye view of the area’s remarkable ecosystems.
9. If visiting during the summer, consider taking part in the Festival of the Sound, one of the Top 100 Festivals in Ontario. In its 39th season, this festival of chamber and classical music runs from mid-July to mid-August each year. During the rest of the year, performances of all types (pop, rock, folk, blues, jazz, country) are presented.
10. Former Boston Bruin defenceman Bobby Orr is Parry Sound’s most famous citizen. An interactive hockey museum, aptly named the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame, can be found in the Charles W. Stockey Center for the Performing Arts. Exhibits include Orr’s NHL rings, trophies and awards, and a pictorial history of his career.
Blurb- a different kind of reunion
While not usually a big deal, one overlooked email would haunt teacher Gilda Greco. Had she read it, former student Sarah McHenry might still be alive.
Suspecting foul play, Constable Leo Mulligan plays on Gilda’s guilt and persuades her to participate in a séance facilitated by one of Canada’s best-known psychics. Six former students also agree to participate. At first cooperative and willing, their camaraderie is short-lived as old grudges and rivalries emerge. The séance is a bust.
Determined to solve Sarah’s murder, Gilda launches her own investigation and uncovers shocking revelations that could put several lives—including her own—in danger. Can Gilda and the psychic solve this case before the killer strikes again?
“Gilda, could you drop by tomorrow?” Constable Mulligan said, his voice cracking. “I’d like to wrap up this investigation as soon as possible. Give her parents some closure.”
Did he think he could wrap it up in a day? And what on earth could I contribute to the investigation? It didn’t make any sense at all. “Uh…I’m sorry. I’m having trouble with all of this. I don’t know—”
He cleared his throat. “We could meet for lunch at Trapper’s Choice Restaurant. They have fresh pickerel on Fridays.”
“I have clients scheduled for appointments all afternoon.” Or most of the afternoon. I liked to close the ReCareering office early on Friday afternoons.
“You’re still working?” he asked, surprise overtaking his previous gruffness. “I didn’t think you’d need to…I mean, you should be okay…”
He knew about my lottery win. Not surprising, since the lottery people had plastered my name and face everywhere when I won nineteen million dollars in Lotto 649. A quick Google search would have revealed my four-year-old lottery win. Old news, but still there on the second and third pages.
Tempted to end the conversation, I realized I couldn’t turn my back on Sarah or any of the others who might still be in danger. I mentally scanned my calendar. I had a two o’clock appointment and would be free to leave around three. I calculated the distance and figured I could drive to Parry Sound in ninety minutes or so. I added an extra hour and shared my plans.
“Great! You’ll have a couple of hours before the séance.”
“What séance?” Were Friday night séances a regular occurrence in Parry Sound? And why would someone like Constable Mulligan, who didn’t sound like a touchy-feely type of guy, attend one?
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