History and mystery

Paul Herridge
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Grand Bank serves as backdrop for author’s fictional crime novel

Welcome to Grand Bank, ‘Sgt. Winston Windflower’. Hope the locals don’t keep you too busy!


Grand Bank serves as the backdrop for Ottawa-via-St. John’s author Mike Martin’s first fiction book, ‘Walker on the Cape’, featuring protagonist RCMP Sgt. Winston Windflower.

Who is this Windflower, you ask?

Well, he’s the protagonist is Ottawa-via-St. John’s author Mike Martin’s first foray into fiction writing, ‘Walker on the Cape’, released recently by Baico Publishing.

The fictional Sgt. Windflower is a Cree from northern Alberta who has been stationed in Grand Bank. As for the author, Mr. Martin is a regular summer visitor to the community with his partner, Joan Riggs, who bought her grandfather’s old home in the town a number of years ago and is fixing it up.

“I don’t know where the characters came from. I mean, I think that’s just the creative process, but the setting of both Grand Bank and the Burin Peninsula is ideal for a mystery of any kind and that’s what this book is about.”

According to an excerpt from the back cover of the book, Sgt. Windflower is called to duty “when a body is found on the Cape overlooking Grand Bank … At first everyone thinks it’s a heart attack or stroke. But then it is discovered that he was poisoned.”

Mr. Martin explained he just started writing and it all made sense.

He suggested the town’s history, as well as that of the region, with the French islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon so close nearby, serves the genre well.

“For me, it’s about making a connection with Newfoundland, with the sort of people and food and customs, and what it’s like for an outsider to go in there.”

When he arrives, Mr. Martin said Sgt. Windflower is like “a fish out of water” in Grand Bank.

“What happens is he starts to like the place, and of course, he gets a girl, and so there’s the crime story, the mystery, and then there’s the relationship between Windflower and the community, and the new love of his life.”

A long-time freelance writer, Mr. Martin said he has written a number of short stories, along with a non-fiction book, ‘Change the Thing You Can: Dealing with Difficult People’.

If all goes well, he has more plans for Sgt. Windflower – he’s hoping to write a series based on the character and his various adventures in the Grand Bank and Marystown area.

In addition to future books, he’s exploring the idea of a television series based on the character.

“I’ve got a little bit of interest from some producers about that, so we’ll see where that goes.”

Mr. Martin said he’s planning his annual visit to the peninsula for early August and is hoping to host a book signing in the area, so if interested, keep an eye out.

Meanwhile, ‘Walker on the Cape’ can be ordered online through ‘www.walkeronthecape.com’ or at ‘Chapters.ca’.

Geographic location: Grand Bank, Ottawa, Northern Alberta French islands St. Pierre and Miquelon Newfoundland Marystown

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