Dead & Living

by Jane Bow

(see purchase details below)

Dead and AliveDead And Living is a novel based on the true story of a man who did not know, for 25 years, whether he was a murderer. Finally he went to court to find out. A psychological ‘whodunit,’ Dead And Living is also an adventure story about the creative power of the human spirit, about memory, passion and duty, and about the dance between truth and justice in Canada.

Shortlisted for an Arthur Ellis Award in 1994, Dead And Living was selected for a Carleton University literature and law course reading list in 2002.

Published in 1993 by Mercury Press, Toronto, ON, Canada
ISBN 1-55128-007-8


“Bow can write.” Toronto Globe and Mail

“Dead And Living’s excellent pacing and intriguing characters kept this reviewer turning the pages.” Thunder Bay Post

“A gripping novel and a fascinating story, an intriguing portrait of  guilt and love.”
Scene Magazine

“The real strength of Jane Bow’s book is what distinguishes it from the bulk of such novels, its refusal to yield the simple solution, to equate a mere trial verdict with something so elusive as the truth.” Halifax Daily News

Available for Purchase at the Following Location

Purchase Paperback

Watch Out, Oak Island Treasure Hunters!

Beware, Marty and Rick Lagina, Oak Island treasure hunting brothers from Michigan! Brigit has just escaped from The Oak Island Affair and she’s sailing towards you. 

Brigit: Hi guys. Remember your first starry-eyed,     wet-behind-the-ears summer on Oak Island? I was there. Me and Vanessa sailed right into Joudrey’s Cove. Not that you noticed, being tied up in meetings, deciding when and where to sink yet another fortune into this tiny Nova Scotia island.

Oak Island. White structure is major dig site, Borehole 10X

Brigit:  We walked the beach–

Me: Shsh, Brigit!

Brigit: No! Damn it Jane, six people have already died on Oak Island, and you know what happened to Vanessa down that sinkhole. What nearly happened to me. Do you think the Michigan brothers’ new History Channel series is going to talk about that? 

One of many shafts leading deep into the island’s heart.
Me: What happened to you was your own fault, Brigit. And why should the Lagina brothers care? You know the Oak Island history, how team after team of men, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, have been pouring millions into the search for gold ever since 1795, because clearly something lies hidden–

Brigit: Beyond the reach of greed! If they would just talk to Vanessa–! 

Me: Talk to a character in a book? Yeah, right.

Brigit: Why not? Fiction is all about the real truths, isn’t it? And obviously they talk to their dreams. So what’s the difference? 

Me: Hmmm. 😀

New print or ebook here or here.

 Want to talk to Brigit while she’s here? Send her a comment, and thanks for visiting!

Coming About!

Some of English’s most colorful expressions originated in the mouths of British Royal Navy sailors. I learned about some of the power behind them near Oak Island, off the coast of Canada’s Nova Scotia, while doing atmospheric research for my novel The Oak Island Affair (which has just been re-released in print and as an ebook by Iguana Books.)

To buy it click here (Iguana) or here (Amazon)

Oak Island was closed to the public, but Vanessa, the novel’s main character, and her friend Brigit sailed there. I hired a shoestring-budget sailor to take me on the same trip

We landed at Joudrey’s Cove (straight ahead in the picture.) No one was around so I walked the beach, smelled the air, listened to the wind in the rigging, watched the cormorants. It was early June and chilly, but we were dressed in waterproof pants and jackets. All was well. Until we pushed off again.

The wind had picked up so much that my skipper decided to sail on only the small jib sail.

“Prepare to come about!” The skipper calls this to warn all hands of a change in tack. When the boat’s bow comes up into the wind and then through it, the sails will catch the wind on the other side. I uncleated the jib sheet.

“Coming about!” 

I crossed the cockpit as the boat turned. Mahone Bay‘s spring winds are capricious however, and our twenty-foot boat was too little. No sooner had we come about than a gust blew in from a different direction, catching the sail at the wrong moment, heeling us over too far. The sail caught the water, and the next thing I knew I was in the Very Cold Atlantic. Ropes swirled around my head. My running shoes and waterproof rain gear pulled me under.

Fortunately I am a strong swimmer. I have also been a writer since the age of thirteen. What I thought, with excitement, as I kicked towards the surface was:

“I can use this!” And I did. (See more Oak Island pictures on My Books & Plays page. Sample The Oak Island Affair at Amazon.)

Here are some other expressions the Royal Navy has given us:

Let the cat out of the bag: when a seaman broke the rules he was tied to the mast and flogged with a knotted rope called a cat of nine tails, which was kept in a bag.

Loose cannon: the most dangerous thing on a wooden warship rolling and pitching at sea was a loose cannon.

Learning the ropes: the network of sheets and lines on a British navy sailing ship was complicated. In a strong wind, your life could depend on knowing what to pull, what to loosen, how to make the right knot.

Touch and go: when ships met at sea, sometimes they came close together to exchange people or goods. Their hulls would touch and then move apart, a delicate and precarious moment. (CBC Sunday Morning)

May all your verbal hands be on deck, your English expressions rich and varied — even if it sometimes means sailing too close to the wind!
Thanks for visiting,