About Don Graves

Most of my life has been spent in music and I ended up pursing voice and conducting as a career while harbouring a passion for painting and writing. I eventually came equipped with a McGill University degree in music (voice and conducting) but managed to talk my way into several absorbing English courses with the likes of Irving Layton, Louis Dudek and Robertson Davies while working my way into the music theatre orchestra pit and discovering English mystery writers.

Over the years my library has grown, not surprising given that I read close to 100 mysteries a year. A passion grew into a cause: Canadian mysteries are as good and in many cases, better than the famed British and American canon. Along with that, my belief that good mystery writing is good story-telling with mystery as the feature, led me to the Books editor of The Hamilton Spectator and for a decade, I’ve wrote reviews called, Canadian Mysteries by Don Graves.

Now, aided and abetted by A Different Drummer Books and webmaster Alison Bruce, Canadian Mystery Reviews has a new home here on the web. I do this as my pay-back to a genre that has given me pleasure, interest and the companionship of a good book for many years.

For the past 20 years I have been a professional landscape artist in oils. Singing, conducting, writing and painting are not as disparate as you might think. There is rhythm on a canvas: colour on a page, water reacts to rocks, fields to trees and the land to the sky. This is storytelling: write a good story, paint a good story, take people somewhere they might not have been before, engage their desire to enter the painting and you’ve triggered their pursuit for more.

You can see my paintings at dongraves.org.

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