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Belleville mystery author launches newest book at Loyalist College

By Jenna Leslie [5]

BELLEVILLE – Former Loyalist professor and mystery author Hilary MacLeod [6] visited Loyalist College on Wednesday for the local launch of her latest novel, Cod Only Knows.

MacLeod, a CBC Bookie award winner, was a media studies and radio broadcast professor at Loyalist for 22 years before retiring in 2012.

The book launch included readings from three of her Loyalist colleagues – former broadcast student Lynn MacKenzie, former broadcast journalism professor Len Arminio and  former radio broadcast professor John Henderson – as well as MacLeod herself.

Afterward she signed copies of the novel and chatted with her guests.

For many years the Belleville resident has spent her summers in Sea View, P.E.I., a small seaside town from which she draws a lot of the material for her series, The Shores, according to her biography [7].

Asked where she finds inspiration for her writing, MacLeod said, “Everything you’ve done or that happens gets somewhere into the book.”

Her favourite character in the novel is Gus, an elderly woman who is based on one of her longtime friends, she said.

The novel is about Abel Mack, an elderly man who may be suffering from dementia. One day, Abel goes chasing after a giant codfish that got away from him 30 years ago. When the old man goes missing, the whole village goes out to look for him but cannot find him anywhere. Meanwhile, two men are also on Abel’s trail in search of the same giant fish.

MacLeod said she hopes readers get a laugh out of her work, which she classifies as “humorous mystery.”

Her series of books includes Revenge of the Lobster Lover, Mind Over Mussels, All is Clam, Something Fishy and Bodies and Sole as well as the new Cod Only Knows.

It was first launched at the Sea View Community Hall on Aug. 30. For each of her novels MacLeod does two book launches, one in Prince Edward Island and one in Ontario.

As for what is next, MacLeod said she has started working on the seventh book in the series.