The Color Red: Release Day, March 20, 2023

The Color Red is now available. Click here for sales information.

“Impressive series launch. Fans of intelligent procedurals will hope for a long series run.” ~ Publishers Weekly

The Color Red brings the twisted Balkans to Boston and Cape Cod. A Slovenian-born billionaire and his second wife are found dead, hanging side-by-side at their pool. Some say the man was giving away his fortune; others say he was once an oligarch. Who’s the killer? Old Soviet operatives? His butler, his son? His first wife or Balkan relatives? Detective Ivy Bourque and her team encounter many suspects, but none of them have a motive. Why would someone kill a benevolent rich man without an apparent enemy in the world?

To preview THE COLOR RED, download the free teaser below.

Kudos for The Color Red

Kudos are coming in for The Color Red (Release Date: March 20, 2023). The Color Red brings the twisted Balkans to Boston and Cape Cod.

What critics and advance readers are saying:

“A smart, fast-paced mystery by a master craftsman of the genre who weaves complex ideas into a riveting storyline. Detective Bourque is one unique officer of the law, willing to ‘dance with the devil’ when need be.” ~ Lesley Choyce, author of The Unlikely Redemption of John Alexander MacNeil

“Potter is writing at the top of his form with the launch of his new detective series set in Cape Cod. Ancient Balkan grudges collide with no-nonsense Yankee detectives in this exceptionally well-written mystery.” ~ Caroline Woodward, author of Alaska Highway Two-Step

The Color Red is a captivating eddy of old world and new, east and west, masculine and feminine, fed on a healthy menu of well-cooked dishes of revenge. Potter’s language is accurate and elegant, and his characters are on point. A superb read.” ~ S.M. Collins, author of To Be Human Again

The Color Red opens with Detective Ivy Bourque encountering mysteries within a mystery. Is the case a double murder or murder suicide? What is the significance of the two dark neckties from which the victims are hanging? A maze of personal relationships complicates the investigation. But Bourque’s unquenchable curiosity helps her discover exactly what happened and the reasons behind it.” ~ Jim Poling Sr., author of Tecumseh: Shooting Star, Crouching Panther

“A winning read with fascinating suspects. Detective Bourque is wry, intelligent, and sympatico. What a great main character for a series.” ~ P. W. Tilley, Former RCMP Detective

The Color Red stands out as a gripping, intelligent, and well-written detective story. An excellent start to what promises to be a must-read series.” ~ Jane Bwye, author of Breath of Africa

“A. M. Potter confirms his mastery of page-turner crime fiction. Detective Lieutenant Ivy Bourque arrives on a baffling Cape Cod scene that would ‘scare the scales off a salmon.’ Was it murder? Suicide? Both? Through multiple interlocking scenarios Bourque deploys her skills in connecting life in coastal and urban settings, complex individual and professional personalities, history, and culture to expose the perpetrators of the grim scene. The Color Red foretells a captivating new series.” ~ Bertrum MacDonald, Information Management Professor, Dalhousie University.

NB: Full reviews will be posted in the Kudos & Press section in late March 2023.

Purchase The Color Red: Click here for information.

Publishers Weekly Review of The Color Red

The Color Red, Stark House. ISBN 979-8-88601-021-3

Review Text: Early in this impressive series launch from Potter, Ivy Bourque, of the Massachusetts State Police’s Cape & Islands Detective Unit, is called to the mansion of businessman Rollo Novak, originally from Slovenia. Novak, who made his billions funding startups, became a celebrity from his appearance on the popular reality show Angels or Devils; in the program, affluent entrepreneurs assess new ventures and decide whether to support them or take them over. His major-domo, a fellow Slav, called 911 after finding the naked bodies of Novak and his wife, Katrina Hayden, a former Miss USA, hanging from a stair rail by their swimming pool. The complex investigation includes many possible suspects, from disgruntled Angels or Devils contestants to someone connected to the Balkans’ bloody past. Potter makes Bourque, who gave up a career in organic chemistry to hunt killers, a credible lead readers will root for. Fans of intelligent procedurals will hope for a long series run.

Purchase The Color Red: Click here for information.

Shepherding a Flock of Words

A few weeks ago, Ben Fox of asked for a curated list of books for his new site. The site was created to link readers to books, not just any books, but books recommended by authors as opposed to algorithms (which are used extensively by sites like Amazon).

Ben asked for a focused theme. I chose “the best Canadian detective and mystery novels.” My top five 📚 recommendations are:

A Siege of Bitterns by Steve Burrows

The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood

Until the Night by Giles Blunt

The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny

The Calling by Inger Ash Wolfe

Click the link below to see the full recommendations and a review of each title.

Broken Man on a Halifax Pier: A Personal Review

Broken Man on a Halifax Pier by Lesley Choyce, 2019. Dundurn.

Book reviews are supposed to be objective and largely impersonal. Caveat: This one is personal. Tune out if you wish.

Broken Man on a Halifax Pier swirls around Stewart Harbour, Nova Scotia, a fictionalized fishing post close to the real Sheet Harbour on the Eastern Shore, where I grew up. Although I left the shore at 17, I still feel it in my bones.

Some followers of this blog have been asking me to broaden my introduction. At the risk of boring others, here we go. [You can skip ahead to the review. See the last paragraph.] Shortly after leaving the shore, I headed to OZ, taking in the whole Red Continent, after which I kept goin’ down the road. Over a 20-year span, I “paused” to work many times – in Australia again and again, central and western Canada, the USA, England, and New Zealand – to fill my pockets and keep travelling, which I managed to do, seeing every continent except Antarctica. I only stopped because my pack was worn out. Just kidding.

But enough of my wanderlust. Back to the Halifax pier.

It could be that I’m prewired to like this book. Broken man on a Halifax pier happens to be a lyric from one of my favourite Stan Rogers songs: ‘Barrett’s Privateers.’

Now, the book review. To me, Broken Man on a Halifax Pier is an honest feelgood novel, not soppy but uplifting. I won’t recap the plot (I rarely do). Suffice to say, it’s a story of redemption and love. True love often comes across as unbelievable; I felt occasionally at sea as I read, but I didn’t mind. A beguiling woman (smart, sexy, and rich) falls for a completely down-and-out man. I fell for them and the setting. Choyce knows and loves the Eastern Shore. He brings it to life like no author has. For that, I am eternally grateful.