‘Murders and Mysteries of the Manitoulin District’ book reprinted

Dr. Len Piché displays the highly popular book, ‘Murders and Mysteries of the Manitoulin District,’ and a map that is now included in the book that shows the location of each of the featured incidents.

Book now includes map detailing murders and mysteries

LONDON – Thanks to the efforts and coaxing of Gore Bay author Willis John/Jack McQuarrie, the highly popular and sought after book ‘Murders and Mysteries of the Manitoulin District’ is again available for purchase by book lovers. The reprinted book not only includes stories on the murders and mysteries; the book, which was originally printed in 2010 and was reprinted for the fourth time in 2014, now includes a fold-out map detailing and highlighting the location where each of the murders and mysteries took place. Readers will be able to read one of the stories, and then look at precisely where each took place on Manitoulin Island.

The map and copyright permission to use the map was provided by The Expositor and Manitoulin Publishing Co. Ltd. “The book has a map at the back of the book, 11×17 inches in size, which shows where the murders and mysteries took place, and it follows in chronological order to each of the stories in the book,” said Dr. Len Piche, of London, Ontario. 

“I was up to Manitoulin a while back on vacation,” said Dr. Piche, a professor emeritus at the University of Western Ontario. “I understand Jack McQuarrie used to run The Manitoulin Recorder out of Gore Bay,” he said, pointing out, “I used to live in Whitefish and am a property owner on Manitoulin, as is my brother. Years ago we met another gentleman in Gore Bay with the last name McQuarrie and his son sold us property on the Island (in the Gore Bay and Spring Bay areas).”

“When I bought the property on the Island I was quite interested in its history,” said Dr. Piche. “One of the books I inquired about was this one, ‘Murders and Mysteries of the Manitoulin District’, which had been reprinted in 2014.” 

“I talked to Mr. (Jack) McQuarrie and he said he wasn’t going to update the book; at the time he was working on another book,” said Dr. Piche, noting this was several years ago. He explained, “we were chatting and I was telling him that in the 1970s when I first bought property on the Island, I stopped at a little local store and bought the book ‘Manitoulin, the Isle of the Ottawas,’ which had a lot of the local history in there and had been published by John Major who had also run the Recorder for a while and was the local magistrate. I had misplaced the book and so I called the Gore Bay Union Public Library and the librarian I talked to didn’t seem to know anything about the book. But she knew John (McQuarrie’s) books. She told me I would have to come to the library and look at the books there, that I couldn’t take them out of the library.”

“She sent me information on some of Mr. McQuarrie’s books and he being Mr. Manitoulin, I called him. He told me he had a couple of copies of the Isle of the Ottawas and would send me a copy. From there I got further interested in the Island history and asked him about his book (‘Murders and Mysteries’) as I had heard from a lot of people in the Sudbury area about the Daniel Dodge story. He gave me a copy of this book and after reading it I said to Jack, ‘this is a great book…you should put a map in it of the locations of the murders and mysteries.’ He said ‘no way,’ because he was working on another book about rum runners on Manitoulin and the area.” 

“So he said to me, ‘why don’t you reprint the book with a map included,’ and I said ‘I’d be thrilled to do this’,” stated Dr. Piche. “I wanted the map to include Cockburn Island but couldn’t get copyright permission for a big enough map but Dave (Patterson) was telling me The Expositor had one that I could use.” 

“I then hired a young lady, Nicky (Newman), who helped me put a list together of where the murders and mysteries took place on the map, to correspond with the stories,” continued Dr. Piche. “Red stars are outlined on the map for the murders and yellow shows where the mysteries took place. There is a total of 14 murders listed and 64 mysteries detailed in the book.”

“Dave (Patterson) was telling me The Expositor and the Recorder keep getting calls about the book and if they know where they may be available,” said Dr. Piche. “I left 150 copies with Dave at the Expositor, and asked Jack for permission to produce 200 and he said go ahead. Everyone I’ve talked to so far says that it is really nice to have a map in the book as well.” 

The book is available at the Manitoulin West Recorder in Gore Bay and at The Expositor bookstore Print Shop Books in Little Current. The book sells for $24.95 plus HST.