Kudos & Press

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KUDOS for Bay of Blood (click here to see full reviews)

Bay of Blood is a vivid page-turner, one that promises more from both its writer, A.M. Potter, and its feisty protagonist, Sergeant Eva Naslund.” Steve Heighton, Governor General’s Award Winner | Author of The Nightingale Won’t Let You Sleep, The Dead Are More Visible and more.

“Potter has written the quintessential Canadian murder mystery with a literary flourish and all the elements of a riveting read.” Lesley Choyce. Author of The Republic of Nothing, Sea of Tranquility, The Book of Michael, and more.

“There are many clever details in Potter’s Bay of Blood with close parallels to Tom Thomson’s life and death (1917). However, Potter takes his readers on a fascinating 21st-century chase, with bells and whistles never dreamt of one hundred years ago: cell phones, female detectives, Russian operatives, and shady Toronto art dealers.” Dr. Sherrill Grace. University Killam Professor Emerita, University of British Columbia | Author of Landscapes of War and Memory, Inventing Tom Thomson, and more.

“An excellent beginning to a new detective series. Bay of Blood explores the confluence between making art and its commerce, leading to deadly results. Potter’s spare writing style and in-depth knowledge of police procedures as well as the art world make this novel a great read.” Richard Stuecker. Pushcart Prize Nominee, Author of Vibrant Emeritus: The Elder in the Twenty-First, and more.

“In Eva Naslund, we discover a sleuth who is sympathetic, vulnerable, and smart. Bay of Blood is an exciting new entry in the world of detective fiction. I look forward to volume two.” Ken Haigh. Author of Under The Holy Lake

“I was hooked from the get-go. I couldn’t put Bay of Blood down. We get a baffling forensic puzzle. We get sailing twists. We get gorgeous descriptions of Georgian Bay, Ontario. Think Snow Falling On Cedars set in Canada. Enjoyed it immensely!” D. Gries. Formerly of McClelland & Steward, The Canadian Publisher, and Penguin/Bantam

“Detective fiction that keeps you guessing to the final pages. DS Eva Naslund’s dogged pursuit of the Bay of Blood killer will leave readers wanting more Naslund cases.” Jim Poling Sr. Author of Tom Thomson: The Life and Mysterious Death of the Famous Canadian Painter

“A modern detective story set in the timelessness of a small town. Layered like paint, the details and characters create a complex picture. This candid vista of human nature is laid bare against the Canadian landscape.” S.M. Collins. Author of To Be Human Again

Bay of Blood is a fast-paced contemporary mystery set in and around Wiarton and based loosely on the Tom Thomson mystery. The victim in Bay of Blood is a famous painter murdered on July 8, 2017; Tom Thomson died on July 8, 1917. There are other similarities, but the painter in the novel is not Thomson, and he’s not the main character. The novel’s main character is OPP Detective Sergeant Eva Naslund …. Potter wouldn’t elaborate on the suspects, but he will be on hand (June 20, 2019) to talk about his book and sign copies.” Grey Bruce Mosaic, June 2019, Vol. 26 No. 9

“A genuine page-turner! Detective Eva Naslund grapples with few clues and many suspects, all of whom seem guilty of the murder of her friend, an internationally famous painter. Page after page, Potter reveals captivating character twists and Naslund’s creative forensic skills.” Dr. Bertrum MacDonald. Information Management Professor, Dalhousie University

“This elegant, insightful murder mystery unfolds with an homage to the magnificent landscapes that inspired Canada’s Group of Seven. Bay of Blood is an expertly-crafted novel, the first from journalist and foreign correspondent A.M. Potter. Fortunately, he has more up his sleeve.” Suzanne Barcza. Litbrowser.com | Author of Likely Stories

“Fast-paced and loaded with insight, Bay of Blood delivers a riveting plot, intriguing characters, and excellent dialogue. The novel expertly entwines police procedure, boating, the art world, and, of course, mystery.” Mike Potter. Publisher, Luminous Compositions | Author of Central Rockies Wildflowers, Hiking Lake Louise, and more.

Bay of Blood is a detective novel with soul. Detective Eva Naslund is a gem. She’s both logical and intuitive, both tough and approachable.” Patrick Tilley. Retired RCMP Detective

“I thoroughly enjoyed Bay of Blood. I love detective fiction, and it was right up my street. Looking forward to the next in the series!” Jane Bwye. Author of Breath of Africa, Grass Shoots, Going It Alone

“Are you a whodunit fan? Noir aficionado? Art lover? Looking for a good read? Look no further. Bay of Blood gives you what you want: a noir mystery with a famous painter at its core.” J.R. Harrison. English Professor, Prince Mohammad University

PRESS for Bay of Blood

Press Releases or Reviews for Bay of Blood have appeared in numerous publications, among them OrilliaMatters, BarrieToday, CollingwoodToday, NewmarketToday, and BradfordToday.

CBC RADIO Interview

I joined ‘Ontario Morning‘ to talk about North Noir and Bay of Blood. Apologies. The interview is no longer available on the CBC site.

Full Reviews of Bay of Blood

Reviewed by Sherrill Grace: Thom Tyler, a famous Canadian painter, turns up dead in an Ontario lake on a hot July day. The circumstances are very suspicious, just as they were when a real-life famous Canadian painter died in 1917 (Tom Thomson).

Sergeant Naslund, a gorgeous brunette, was a friend of Tyler’s and she’s sure he was murdered. There are many clever details in Potter’s version of events with close parallels to Tom Thomson’s life and death. However, Potter takes his detective and his readers on a fascinating 21st-century chase, with bells and whistles never dreamt of one hundred years ago: cell phones, female detectives, Russian operatives, and shady Toronto art dealers.

Whether or not you follow the Thomson saga, you’ll relish Potter’s take on events. Who killed Tom Tyler? Read Bay of Blood to find out. Enjoy the twists! * Dr. Sherrill Grace. University Killam Professor Emerita, University of British Columbia | Author of Landscapes of War and Memory, Inventing Tom Thomson, and more

Reviewed by Ken Haigh: A highly successful Canadian landscape artist is killed under mysterious circumstances while sailing on Georgian Bay. Murder is not something the small local police detachment is used to dealing with in this remote part of Ontario. The killing is brutal, but is the motive anger, jealousy, or money? Young OPP detective Eva Naslund is assigned the case. In Naslund, A.M. Potter has created a sympathetic protagonist, a young female detective carefully navigating a male world.  She is intelligent and ambitious, but with an appealing vulnerability. The setting on Ontario’s Bruce Peninsula is also evoked to great effect. Both the stark beauty of the limestone escarpment and the unsettled nature of Georgian Bay’s often stormy inland sea contribute to the atmosphere. The tone and setting is somewhat reminiscent of Scandinavian detective fiction, but the characters and setting remain uniquely Canadian and help set this story apart from its competition. Bay of Blood is an exciting new entry into the world of detective fiction. I look forward to the next book in the series. * Ken Haigh. Author of Under The Holy Lake

Reviewed by S.M. Collins: An intriguing read for detective novel enthusiasts and art lovers alike. The story is layered atop the underpainting of the Canadian landscape to create a gorgeous picture. Like landscape paintings, the story appears simple — even too simple — but closer inspection reveals the brushstrokes and a hundred shades and hues. The gory minutiae of the murder investigation are sketched plainly enough for the layperson to understand. Small-town characters, from the femme fatale to the Shakespearean fool, flesh out the harshness of the subject matter. Detective Eva Naslund unwaveringly fills the role of the cool, critical, modern detective who prefers to work “old school” but declines to take direction from the patriarchy. This book is a dangling carrot leading to the rest of the series. * S.M. Collins. Author of To Be Human Again

Reviewed by James White: A.M. Potter’s murder mystery, Bay of Blood, takes the reader to a magnificent setting of woodlands and water. A baffling murder has left no clues behind. The battered corpse of a world-famous artist, Thom Tyler, is lifted from the bottom of Colpoys Bay, his skiff beached nearby, its bilge filled with blood. “The good news,” says Sergeant Chu at the murder investigation meeting, “We’re farther ahead than we were two days ago. The bad news? We’re not very far ahead.”

Detective Eva Naslund knows the land, she knows the community and she knew the victim, but the high-profile case quickly spins out of her hands when hard-driving Detective Inspector Lewis Moore is assigned to lead the investigation. Naslund follows Moore’s lead as the professional she is, but her local connections take her in directions of her own as she tries to connect the dots.

Hold on to your hats. Potter delivers a fast-paced plot that holds the reader’s attention with chilling forensic detail and a perplexing lineup of persons of interest, all of whom seem to be prime suspects. Then the twists begin when the case goes cold. An important witness is murdered, and all Naslund has to go on is a hunch. Potter keeps us wondering as the investigation finds more characters and vague motives that point both murders toward an uncertain link to Thom Tyler’s background.

Balancing captivating descriptions of a close-knit, waterside community full of eccentric characters with blow-by-blow scenes of violence, grief and careful police work, Potter keeps us in the story right to the end with his excellent writing and research skills. If you love feeling the danger of murder lurking behind every page, Bay of Blood will keep you reading well into the night. * James White. Author of Borders in Paradise and Carp Cafe (Summer 2019 Release).

Reviewed by Jane Bwye: Bay of Blood is a fast-moving, compulsive read. The author deploys vivid descriptions and tight dialogue that draw you into the story from the first page. And I enjoyed the occasional lyrical touches which soften the harsh reality of this tragic, multi-crime story: “the sky was salted with stars…”

Detective Sergeant Naslund knows the first victim, renowned artist Thom Tyler, and his connections in their small home town. Her involvement in the investigation provides interesting behind-the-scene glimmers into police work.

I appreciate that this is fiction, and all I’ve learned about crime and its solution is through the medium of fiction. The personal involvement of Naslund – a key detective in the story – with the victim and his friends makes me wonder. Would she, even in fiction, be allowed to remain on the team?

But her professional approach and inner struggles are well-portrayed, and I appreciate the technique of using her viewpoint to highlight the subtle goings on in a police investigation. The value of her insider community knowledge and the trust she has gained among suspects and colleagues combined makes an intriguing story.

Fascinated, I read this book twice in the space of a few weeks. If you’re not in the habit of re-reading, I recommend taking your time to savor the quality of the writing and development of the characters and the intricate plot.

A highly recommended, satisfying read. Each new deviation in this multiple-murder story gradually reveals the character of the original victim, leading to a clever, well-rounded and totally plausible solution. I look forward to more revelations in the future. * Jane Bwye. Author of Breath of Africa, Grass Shoots, Going It Alone

Reviewed by Sabina Gabrielle Carrara: If you want to feel like you’re inside one of the best TV crime dramas, Bay of Blood is your read. A well-developed plot keeps you guessing the identity of the culprit until the last pages. The setting is magnificent and will delight your imagination, but the thing I appreciated most is the masterly way Potter created his main characters: Sergeant Naslund and Inspector Moore.

The novel doesn’t need drama or personal issues. The detectives’ professionalism and skills carry the story. Money, love, trust, and betrayal are all leads in their investigation. Before the murderer is uncovered, you’ll explore the world of art and the difficult dynamics inside the non-conventional Tyler family. * Sabina Gabrielle Carrara. Author of Fields of Lies


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