Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The Dirty Dozen, with Peggy Blair

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Peggy Blair

In Peggy Blair's Hungry Ghosts (Simon & Schuster Canada), Inspector Ricardo Ramirez's only cold case is re-opened when ghost appears at his side, predicting a grisly murder. Someone is killing prostitutes from Cuba to Canada and the inspector has to team up with Detective Charlie Pike, of Northern Ontario, in order to track a killer whose reach seems to know no bounds. Hungry Ghosts is an irresistibly page-turning addition a series that combines tension, mystery and unexpected humour in the form of the clever Inspector Ramirez.

Today we speak with Peggy as part of our Dirty Dozen series, an unconventional interview that invites writers to share twelve unexpected facts about themselves. She tells us about a hot air balloon adventure, a submission record that will encourage any aspiring writer and a serendipitous British meeting.

  1. I have a form of dyslexia that makes it impossible for me to tell left from right or east from west. I have to read a map upside to make sense of it.
  2. I was one of the first two female Auxiliary RCMP constables in Alberta in the late 1970s.
  3. I raised pacers (standard bred horses that pull carts) when I was a law student in Edmonton.
  4. I spent four years in France as a child; my father was with the NATO forces stationed in Metz, France and in Germany.
  5. I was an election observer during the Ukraine Orange Revolution.
  6. I was in a hot air balloon that crashed.
  7. I have a doctorate in law. These are most often awarded to politicians honorarily; I was the twit who earned one. (It's in Aboriginal law and legal history.)
  8. I am working on a historical fiction novel set in 1600s New France and what is now New York. It's called Famine Bay.
  9. The Beggar's Opera, which was shortlisted for The Debut Dagger and the Arthur Ellis Best First Novel, was rejected by 156 agents and publishers.
  10. I very briefly met Ian Rankin a bar in Harrogate UK and told him how many times I'd been rejected; he told me to use his name and contact his Canadian publisher. I forgot to introduce myself; he didn't even know my name.
  11. I am a visual artist and designer.
  12. After 30 years as a lawyer, I work as a realtor in Ottawa and write a monthly column for REM Magazine on real estate bloopers.

Peggy Blair was a lawyer for more than thirty years. She is the author of the award-winning and critically acclaimed Inspector Ramirez mysteries The Beggar’s Opera and The Poisoned Pawn. She lives in Ottawa.

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