Pen with spilled ink. Mystery Ink Logo

About Mystery Ink

You are here!
Menu: Authors
Menu: Events
Menu: Foreword

An introduction to Mystery Ink, by anthology editors Jake Doherty (Owen Sound, Ontario) and
Therese Greenwood (Kingston, Ontario).

Every reporter who has spilled ink at a small-city newspaper knows there is always one story that will bust the town wide open.

Mystery Ink ($24.95, 180 pages, ISBN Number 978-0-921773-11-0) is published by The Ginger Press, 848 2nd Ave East, Owen Sound, Ontario. For ordering information, call the Ginger Press Order Desk at: 1-800-463-9937.

That story has a domestic setting bound by the town limits. The cast of characters includes a wacky cross-section of local society, folks who have shared the same fishbowl for too long. Add in the local rumour mill, the road to hell and good intentions, unintentional comedy, unlucky romance, long memories and a secret that can't be kept forever.

It's not just a recipe for a page one headline. It's the perfect setting for mystery story.

In 2003, the senior executives of the Osprey Media newspaper chain celebrated that rich story-telling potential by deciding to publish the annual Osprey Summer Mystery Series. Six Canadian crime authors would pen an original short crime story set in one of the 21 Ontario cities and towns where Osprey has a daily newspaper. For the first time, an Ontario newspaper group would treat its readers to a series of specially commissioned mystery stories showcasing the province's quirky personality in tight writing and twisty plots. Each author was limited to 3,000 words, roughly the amount of text that can be contained in one newspaper page — a good read over the morning cup of coffee.

In many ways the series is unique, still offered for six weeks each summer to almost 350,000 homes and about half a million readers. In traditional literary markets, these are best-selling numbers, far more than most international mystery magazines offer each month. And, as far as we know, no other newspaper group offers its readers this special summer treat. Now, in Mystery Ink, we are delighted to gather 18 stories in one volume.

As co-founders and editors of both the newspapers series and this anthology, we relish stories of a province where life is lived intimately along quiet streets but often tested in the darker shadows of both mind and place. We have also enjoyed getting to know the colourful characters that populate our authors' province: Cabbies and cops, ex-cons and future prime ministers, artists and bird watchers, mixed-up kids and crooked senior citizens.

On behalf of all of the authors, we would like to thank Osprey Media for giving us the chance to spin our tales, particularly Michael Sifton, Osprey president and founder, and Lou Clancy, Osprey's editorial vice-president and a fan of good yarns with twist endings.

"The Osprey Mystery Series is a thoroughly entertaining collection of stories by some of Canada's best mystery writers," says Clancy. "They were written for Osprey Media's newspapers with the sole intent of helping people while away a summer's afternoon with a delightful read. And they have been singly successful in that quest. Enjoy, and look for the next series in Osprey newspaper this coming summer."

We are also grateful to the individual publishers and editors of these Osprey papers: Barrie Examiner; Belleville Intelligencer; Brantford Expositor; Chatham Daily News; Coburg Daily Star; Collingwood Enterprise Bulletin; Cornwall Standard-Freeholder; Kingston Whig-Standard; Lindsay Post; Niagara Falls Review; North Bay Nugget; Orillia Packet and Times; Owen Sound Sun Times; Peterborough Examiner; Pembroke Daily Observer; Port Hope Evening Guide; St. Catherines Standard; Sault Ste. Marie Star; Sarnia Observer; Sudbury Star; Timmins Daily News;and the Welland Tribune.

Eddie Greenspan, widely recognized as one of Canada's preeminent criminal lawyers, has honored Mystery Ink's writers and editors, with his incisive forward and generous contribution of time. Thanks, Eddie.

We are grateful, too, for the support and guidance of Maryann Thomas, proprietor and publisher of The Ginger Press in Owen Sound. She is an independent and visionary person who believes that smaller towns have great stories to tell, and she knows how to get them told.