Sunday 27 November 2016

Book review : A Long Ways From Home - Mike Martin

When author Mike Martin got in touch and asked if I'd like to review the latest instalment in his Sgt. Windflower series, I was delighted. Not only do I have a soft spot for the mild-mannered Mountie and his feisty fiancĂ©e Sheila, I also always know I'm going to get some tasty dinners out of it, thanks to the #readcookeat challenge over at Chez Maximka. Winston Windflower is a man who likes his food just as much as maintaining law and order in the peaceful backwaters of his native Newfoundland. 

Things aren't quite so peaceful in this latest book, the fifth in the series, though. A group of outlaw bikers are wreaking havoc all over the Newfoundland island, and Sgt Windflower has his work cut out trying to keep things under control, at home and further afield. Facing ruthless murders, drug lords, missing persons and Sheila's wayward cousin putting in an appearance, Windflower still manages to find time to enjoy the natural beauty of his surroundings and enjoy numerous slices of his favourite peanut butter cheesecake !

I recently read one of Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache novels, which ironically has a similar name to the latest Sgt. Windflower novel: The Long Way Home. That's not the only similarity between the two books though. Both feature a humble, homely, solid lead character, who knows how to appreciate the pleasures of small-town life in a sleepy Canadian province, while being confronted with challenging mysteries and brutal crimes to solve. Unlike much modern crime fiction, they are not full of gore and grisly details and the descriptions of the crime scenes are understated and inoffensive. 

In the Sgt. Windflower series, we are always on tenterhooks as the criminal investigations and police work are underway, but the homely side of the endearing Mountie is just as important - walks with his dog, catching up with his friends, enjoying good food, partaking in his daily smudging rituals (his Cree heritage, including the smudging and dream sequences, has always fascinated me) and his lively relationship with Sheila. Whenever I finish a Sgt. Windflower novel, I always feel like I've just had a good catch-up with an old friend, finding out all about what he's been up to lately in his professional and private life. The final page has left me desperate to find out what Winston and Sheila will get up to in their new life as a married couple but, in the meantime, I have at least a week's worth of bookmarked recipes to work through - I think I might do a complete Sgt. Windflower-themed menu plan next week !

You might also like to check out my reviews for the previous novels in the series : The Walker On The Cape (the only one that I haven't read), The Body On The T, Beneath The Surface and A Twist Of Fortune.

star rating : 4.5/5

  • Paperback: 378 pages
  • Publisher: FriesenPress (22 Aug. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1460292006
  • ISBN-13: 978-1460292006

Disclosure : I received the book  in order to write an honest review.


  1. It's wonderful that you get to preview the books from one of your fave series. Peanut butter cheesecake sounds like a perfect contender for a good recipe. Thank you for your kind mention!

  2. The writing is solid and there are plenty of plot twists to keep readers guessing. All in all A Long Ways from Home is a well thought-out appealing read. I am looking forward to more of Sgt. Windflower's adventures.


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