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Flight of Aquavit: A Russell Quant Mystery (Russell Quant Mysteries) Paperback – November 14, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"...there is sincerity and just a hint of sage world-weariness about the self-questioning lifestyle and relationships the author draws from his charming, vulnerable detective."
--Canadian Book Review Annual

"Bidulka treats the reader to enough red herrings with which to open a fishmarket and more than one writer's fair share of keen observations and appealing bons mots."
--Outlooks (Calgary)

"There's plenty of action here, and Bidulka spreads it out with witty dialogue, smart commentary and plenty of good, sharp writing."
--Globe & Mail (Toronto)

"Bidulka manages to spin a compelling detective story with colourful characters, hilarious situations, and touching relationships."
--Midwest Book Review

"...Bidulka takes off and runs with it into a fast, compelling plot..."
--The Free Press (London)

"Bidulka manages to spin a compelling detective story with colourful characters, hilarious situations, and touching relationships." — Midwest Book Review"Bidulka touches on a variety of serious issues ... while neatly weaving these strands into an engaging mystery." — Quill & Quire

About the Author

Anthony Bidulka is an award-winning writer who, like his protagonist, lives a big life in a small city on the Canadian prairies. Please visit his website at www.anthony bidulka.com.
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Product Details

  • Series: Russell Quant Mysteries
  • Paperback: 434 pages
  • Publisher: Insomniac Press (November 14, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1897178093
  • ISBN-13: 978-1897178096
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 4.5 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,820,149 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I am the author of the long-running Russell Quant mystery series and the new thriller series featuring Disaster Recovery Agent Adam Saint.

I was raised on a farm near the small town of Prud'homme, Saskatchewan. I attended the University of Saskatchewan (UofS), and received a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree (with distinction), a Bachelor of Education (BEd) and a Bachelor of Commerce (BComm) (with distinction)

I was hired by the international audit and accounting firm of Ernst & Young, then wrote and passed the grueling four-day Uniform Final Exam (UFE). I qualified for the Chartered Accountant (CA) designation in 1993.

After a decade-long career, I left accounting to pursue my childhood dream of becoming a writer.

In 2003, Insomniac Press, Toronto, ON, published my first book, Amuse Bouche: A Russell Quant Mystery. With the very first book, the series became an instant success with book reviewers and readers, provincially, nationally, and internationally:

"Bidulka's Amuse Bouche is an effervescent first novel that is much like the tasty French hors d'oeuvres from which it takes its name...It's an amusing, entertaining, and sometimes titillating story with a lively supporting cast of characters...What really stands out here is the subtle way that Bidulka comments on the ordinary lives in Russell's world. Bidulka touches on a variety of serious issues...while neatly weaving these strands into an engaging mystery." - Quill & Quire (Toronto)

Sold in Canada, the United States, Europe and Australia, the mystery series tells the story of a world-travelling, wine-swilling, wise-cracking, Saskatchewan, gay, ex-farm boy, ex-cop, half-Ukrainian, half-Irish, prairie private eye, living a big life in a small city--Saskatoon.

The Russell Quant series is now a multi-award nominee including for the Crime Writers of Canada Arthur Ellis Award, Re-Lit Award, and Saskatchewan Book Award. The second book in the series, Flight of Aquavit, was awarded the Lambda Literary Award for Best Men's Mystery, making me the first Canadian to win in that category. The American Library Association GLBT Round Table listed two of the Russell Quant books to its inaugural list of Best Reads in the mystery category (out of only nine titles).

An avid world traveller, I have also toured extensively throughout Canada and the United States for speaking engagements and book tours. A great believer in community involvement, I have sat on boards and committees of Persephone Theatre, The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Saskatchewan, AIDS Saskatoon, The Saskatchewan Writer's Guild, The Saskatchewan Writer's Guild Foundation, Crime Writers of Canada, the International Association of Crime Writers, and I am a co-founder of Camp fYrefly-Saskatchewan (a life skills camp for LGBT youth).

One of my favourite sayings is "Life is short, but it can be wide". Proof of the same can be found at my website at: www.anthonybidulka.com.


Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 32 customer reviews
Anthony Bidulka has a unique voice.
Otter
First of all a very well written mystery, interesting characters and well plotted.
Chris Hawke
I read it over a weekend and will now recommend to my book club.
Andy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Steve Gauthier on May 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
I walked into After Stonewall, a gay owned/operated bookstore in Ottawa this weekend and was looking for a good book to read. The owner recommended Flight of Aquavit. I bought it and finished it in about a day and a half. When I was half way through, I went back to the store and bought Amuse Bouche and they're both awesome. I don't often read gay fiction, mostly cause I'm pretty much into Dean Koontz, John Grisham and Peter Watts mainly. But I fell in love with Russell Quant and Saskatoon, makes me want to visit it someday, just to see if I can spot some of the places mentioned in the books, and maybe get a Schnauzer too. Now I can't wait for Anthony Bidulka's next book to come out later this year. Bidulka makes you care about what happens to his characters, makes you want to find out more about them. Superb writing. I haven't read such good mysteries in a long time. As long as Bidulka keeps writting such good novels, he can rest assured knowing that I'll keep buying his books and recommend them too all my friends, both gay and not.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Frank Berkeley on March 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
I picked up this book at a bookstore and had no expectations other than the back cover description. WOW! First there is the setting. I've never before read anything set in Saskatoon. What a refreshing and creative change. (To my surprise, they evidently have Starbucks and Pier 1 there and the locals are really into American TV re-runs.) Then there are the characters. Likeable, loveable, especially the mother and her charming dialect. Then there is the plot. Taut, realistic, interesting. Then there is the writing. Bidulka describes winter clouds as "overfull bags of grimy laundry." Delicious! This guy is a serious talent who has me filling my Amazon shopping cart with his other novel, "Amuse Bouche", even as I write this.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Charles Govner on January 17, 2005
Format: Paperback
All the reviews I've been reading about Flight of Aquavit and author Anthony Bidulka have it right.....We've a great new detective and a marvelous new mystery writer in our midst. Just give in to it and enjoy.
Russell Quant is a wonderful character who over a scant two books in this series thus far (hopefully the beginning of many more)manages to reach out and touch the reader with his humanness, his wit, candour, smart aleck remarks, those fabulous wonderpants and not least of all the people with whom he surrounds himself.
And, in the same scant two books, Bidulka has grown as an author. No lazy writer here. Where others might use a tried and true phraseology or genre standbys, he often tries for something new and different and almost always succeeds. At times I forgot I was reading a mystery novel and, written in the first person as the RQ novels are, I was immersed in a most entertaining autobiography. He never resists an good opportunity to talk about his locales, the smells, what someone was wearing and, most beguiling, what they were drinking and eating. A full, well-rounded and tasty life is set out before the reader. Go ahead and take a bite.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Chris Hawke on December 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
I read the first of the Russell Quant mysteries and was pleasantly surprised. First of all a very well written mystery, interesting characters and well plotted. When I saw Anthony Bidulka had a second novel published, I immediately ordered it and was VERY pleased. It is better than the first, and Anthony shows real growth as a mystery writer. The characters are becomming more full and complex and we meet Russell's mother (Don't we all know someone like her). It isn't necessary to be gay to enjoy these stories. They are such well written mysteries, they truly stand on their own. But as a Gay reader, it so nice to find a writer who puts the gay aspects of his lead secondary to the mystery. My only suggestion is Russell needs a boyfriend, and anthony as I said in my head, PLEASE WRITE FASTER, I can't wait for the next book. (And by the way it is so nice learning about Saskatoon!)
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jody on December 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
If you're looking for a good book to pair with a relaxing evening, soft couch, fire, wine or cocoa, this is it. I read the whole thing in two sittings. And will rush out tomorrow to find the first one in the series.
Russell Quant is a human, real character who is a regular guy and just happens to be a PI and gay and lives on the Canadian prairie. What's curious is that what makes him "regular" also makes him a very interesting and compelling character. Sure the mystery and friends and family who surround him are wonderful...and try awful hard to overshadow Mr. Quant, but in the end, you really just want to know how Russell fares through it all.
Bring it on, Mr. Bidulka. We are ready for MORE. (And thanks for the wonderful weekend of reading ...and the red apple martini recipe)
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Steven on October 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
I just read Flight of Aquavit and rushed out to find a copy of the first in the series, Amuse Bouche. In both the hero is tracking down a criminal...murderer, blackmailer...and in both he must travel to do so...France, New York City. Sounds like standard fare, but it isn't. Far from it. Russell Quant is a funny, independant, young, gay, Canadian, ex-cop doing his bit to play the pseudo-tough PI guy. Certainly the story lines circulate around the gay world, but not exclusively, and even when it does, I am filled with curiosity to learn about stuff I don't know a lot about. What's it like to go onto a chat room and hook up with someone (not only a gay thing I know)?; what's it like in a Saskatchewan gay club?; What's it like when mom comes to visit for two weeks?
This story isn't LA hot, NYC chic, Boston tough or anything other than Canadian, right down to Quant's Ukrainian mother, aboriginal restaurant owner friend, the wild winter weather, the quirky senses of humour, etc etc.
With Bidulka's Russell Quant series, you will find a twisting and turning mystery, interesting characters who grow with every page, some romance, some comedy, some pause to think and some pretty darn good, easy to read writing from a new writer in Canada. This isn't hard, or edgy or dark or brooding - which I like too - but rather a lot of fun.
Loved it.
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