Below are some links to sites you may find interesting -- assuming you like the same sorts of things that I do. There are sites of colleagues (writers and musicians), friends and people I've worked with. Enjoy! By the way, the links are in no apparent order; it just happened that way!

THE BOOK BIZ:
RendezVous Crime A publisher of discerning taste and class, they have a terrific "Canuck" crime line and Rick is part of it. Check out their website. Some terrific writers are published by RendezVous and you should get to know their work. Mary Jane Maffini (listed below) is just one of them.
Robert J. Sawyer The finest writer of science fiction around. Period. Read this man's books! By the way, his book Hominids just won the Hugo Award. That's the SciFi equivalent of snagging the Academy Award for Best Picture.
Peter Robinson Peter is most famous for his Inspector Banks series. My favourite is In a Dry Season, although Aftermath, comes a close second. Whenever Peter releases at new book, it goes right on top of my "must read" pile -- along with the latest Rob Sawyer. His 2005 novel, Strange Affair, comes with two huge thumbs WAY up!
William Deverell I had the honour of doing a reading at the Ottawa Writers Festival with Bill and promptly purchased his most recent (at that time), The Laughing Falcon, enjoying it thoroughly on the train trip back to Toronto. It's witty, the plot ingenious and the characters extremely well-drawn. Deverell also created the popular "Street Legal" series, and if his writing is any indication of the show, maybe I should have a TV. His website is also extremely nice. I'm envious...
Mary Jane Maffini Mary Jane is a terrific author (and person!) with a crime series that is set in Ottawa -- a hotbed of crime if there ever was one.
Lyn Hamilton Lyn's onto a good thing. Her crime series "stars" an antiques dealer who travels the world searching out wares for her shop and getting involved in nefarious deeds. Each mystery has a different archeological backdrop. Of course poor Lyn is also forced to go to these locales to thoroughly research her stories. Who says a writer's lot is to freeze in a lonely garret? Highly recommended.
Simon Wood I met Simon at the 2002 Bouchercon in Austin, Texas. His first novel, Accidents Waiting to Happen recently came out with another following hot on its heels. This is a young writer who deserves to be read.
Charles Benoit You're going to pronounce Charles Benoit's name differently, depending on which side of the 49th parallel you call home. I think his name has a much classier sound here in Canada ("Charl Ben-'wa"). It just sounds, I don't know, more suave. As for his writing, it's a knockout. If you like to travel, if reading about exotic places turns your crank, you must read his books! They're clever, funny and tense. I don't know how he does it.
Vicki Delany Vicki's novels just keep on getting better and better. She's currently living out in BC (although she never seems to stay anywhere very long) and her current book starts a series set in Nelson, BC. It's gotten great reviews, but then all of her books do.
Pat Brown Pat, a fellow CWC member, is the author of LA Heat, the first book in a series featuring Chris Bellamere and David Eric Laine: "A killer is stalking and brutally murdering the young lovers of Christopher Bellamere and the cops are convinced that Chris is responsible."
Crime Writers of Canada The best resource if you're interested in Canadian mysteries and true crime books.
Sleuth of Baker Street Bookstore If you're looking for crime fiction in Toronto, this is the only place to go. Highly recommended.
Prime Crime Bookstore Another terrific mystery bookstore -- this one in Ottawa. It you're ever in Canada's capitol, head to Bank Street in the Glebe. Don't know what that is? Ask anyone. The answer is worth knowing -- and so is Prime Crime. Owned by the redoubtable Linda Wiken, it's a favourite hangout for mystery nuts and (so I've heard) politicians who want to know what pitfalls to avoid...
James Dubro Books James Dubro's online store specializes in used and rare books. Drop James a line if you're on the hunt for something special.
Canadian Booksellers Association These are the people who help make the Canadian book industry go. You have to love books to be in the bookselling business -- and the members of this organization do. Please support them!
THE MUSIC BIZ:
Toronto Flute School Run by my darling wife, Vicki Blechta. If you live in or near Toronto and want absolutely the best flute instruction, this is the place to go. She specializes in teaching children you would think are too young to even hold a flute.It's amazing what her students accomplish under her tutelage.
Coll Audio Canada's largest (and best) backline musical instrument rentals. If they don't have it, they know where to get it. They even rent (dare I say it?) mellotrons.
Streetly Electronics The Mellotron Repair Gods (they pay me a generous annual stipend to say these things). Also a great page with lots of historical information on the damn things. "Strawberry Fields" anyone?
Mellotron Sound Library For those interested in what sounds are available. (There's even one of Rick playing French horn!) Mike Dickson is the person responsible for all the foolishness and was eagerly aided and abetted by Martinge Smith of Streetly. All compliants should be directed to them or your local authorities.
Nash the Slash's Gravesite Nash the Slash is a Toronto musical institution -- (if a person can ever be thought of as an institution). His site, like his music, is quite singular and well worth a visit. Do you remember the bandaged violinist in the '70s band, FM? That was our Nash. After FM, he toured as a solo act -- meaning just Nash and his electronic gadgets. It was a pretty neat show. He continues to make great music.
Fritz Doddy Fritz is an exceptionally talented musician who makes his living writing jingles and such sorts of "commercial music". When he gets home, though, the REAL music happens. Visit his website. It's as quirky as he is, and I guarantee you'll buy his new CD, "Feeling of Far". Fritz is also a terrific dancer.
Ken Leonard Ken is very active in the mellotron community and has excellent coverage of all the workshops to date. Lots of links to other places, too. An interesting site -- and person!
Ken Merbler The "other" Ken of the mellotron world, Merbler inhabits a dangerous section of our planet known as the Merbler Triangle. Enter his website with care! Who knows where you may be swept off to? Here you'll find lots of examples of what these rare and arcane instruments sound like. Definitely worth a visit.
Candor Chasma David C's absolutely fabulous, beautifully designed site. There's information on mellotrons and other interesting vintage keyboards. Well worth a visit. David is French but his newly renovated site is now in English, too!
FRIENDS AND
PLACES OF INTEREST
The Dancing Silk Company Owned and operated by my talented younger sibling, Lynette and her equally talented husband Scott, Dancing Silk makes the most gorgeous hand painted silk clothing you've ever seen! (Theirs are the only ties I'll wear). The colors and designs are incredible and second only to the workmanship. Custom orders are their specialty, so let them know what you'd like. Very interesting stuff here.
Andre Leduc Andre has shot more photos of musicians (and other performing artists) than anyone I know. He's also one of the best people on the entire planet -- or off it, for that matter.
Mysteriously Yours
Mystery Dinner Theatre
For a VERY entertaining evening, this is a great place to visit in Toronto. Brian and Lili Caws specialize in "interactive murder mysteries" with a terrific cast of professional actors (you could wind up sitting next to one at dinner and not know it). The result is great fun and extremely well done. Another plus: the food is fabulous, not your typical dinner theatre buffet here! Very highly recommended -- two, even three thumbs up and all that.
K&T Boardinghouse in Vienna Need a place to stay in Vienna? Tina & Kaled have a most excellent pension. A great excuse to visit this great city! Expect the warmest of welcomes and, from Tina, all the tourist help you could possibly expect -- in 5 or 6 languages! These are very special people. Watch out for Ines. She'll steal your heart.
winexpress.ca The online sibling to Frank Baldock's Wine Express, a terrific newsletter that comes out quarterly here in Toronto. Frank is a very knowledgeable expert and his WE has tons of information on wines, not only those that are available Ontario's LCBO outlets, but all around the world. If you're interested in vino, why not check it out?
Musical Instrument Jokes I

Musical Instrument Jokes II

If you're a musician (or like to laugh at them), either of these sites is a good place to visit.

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