New Books by Miramichi Authors

by James M. Fisher

Within the past year, there have been two significant book releases by local Miramichi authors, and both have something for young and old alike.

Death Between the Walls: An Old Manse Mystery by Alexa Bowie
Newcomer Alexa Bowie is the alter ego of Chuck Bowie, an author that is well-known in these parts. He has decided to try his hand at writing a cozy mystery series, a departure from his Sean Donovan: Thief for Hire series. Here, Alexa uses a female protagonist, Emma Andrews (34), a great location (Newcastle, New Brunswick) and a wonderful old manse that she has inherited from her late father.

Emma has been living in Toronto, working as a freelance wine writer for lifestyle magazines when she gets notice that she needs to return to her birthplace to reclaim the Old Manse from the town. She doesn’t intend to stay in the sleepy little town, which she and her mother left eighteen years earlier, just clear up some legalities of ownership, then return home. Of course, things are not that simple for the stories’ purposes and many wrenches (and a few corpses) are thrown into Emma’s plans to get back to life in the big city.

Curious by nature, and making many friends in the short time she is back in town, she intends to look into the mysterious death of the Town Manager since she was the last one to see him alive after he threatened her to leave the Old Manse in the town’s hands.

Saying anymore might spoil a good little cozy mystery, with the requisite abundance of friendly and unfriendly people, handsome men to keep Emma’s interest, her kindly Aunt Emma and a ton of secrets swirling around. I think Alexa/Chuck is onto a good thing, and while cozy mysteries are generally not of great interest to me, these Old Manse mysteries, written by an excellent author established in a related genre (mystery/suspense/thriller) is bound to be a popular series. I just hope that by the end of them, all the inhabitants of the Miramichi are not killed off!

The Rise and Fall of Derek Cowell by Valerie Sherrard
Ah, the high-school years. Especially the Junior grades when you are still finding your way around a new academic setting, while at the same time discovering your own way in life. When the opposite sex gets thrown into the mix, and it can be a very confusing time for a young thirteen-year-old lad like Derek Cowell. Valerie Sherrard’s latest Young Adult (YA) title takes a humorous look at an otherwise average self-described “see-through” teen as he becomes quite popular after unintentionally photo-bombing a group selfie of his sister and her friends. How will Derek keep the interest of his female classmates piqued once fame at the high school level is achieved? His good friend Steve has an idea. That’s where the trouble really begins.

Overall, an entertaining read with fun and lessons learned along the way. For young (and young at heart) readers.

These books (and others of local interest) can be purchased locally at Mill Cove Coffee in downtown Newcastle.

James M. Fisher is the owner and chief editor of The Miramichi Reader which strives to promote Canadian books, authors and poets, coast to coast. He works and resides in Miramichi with his wife and fur babies. Visit his website at

The article first appeared in the Fall Issue 2020 of Giv’er Miramichi Magazine

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