Author Doug Hall.
Murder at Lake Madison is Doug Hall's 20th book.
Doug Hall isn’t the youngest writer around, at age 83, but he keeps churning out books.
The latest, his 20th, is Murder at Lake Madison which, like many of his recent novels, is all about motive, mixed messages, mystery and murder.
The main town featured in the book is also fashioned after Renfrew, where he attended Renfrew Collegiate Institute in the 1940s.
“It was a fun book to write, partly because it brought back a lot of memories,” says Hall from his home in Pickering, Ont.
Having last visited Renfrew and area about three years ago, Hall added, “I was able to visualize Jeffrey’s Lake at Haley’s and Madison as Renfrew.”
In fact, there’s a reference to the local train, in keeping with Hall’s high school history of taking the 8 a.m. train, from Haley Station into Renfrew, and returning by 6 p.m., on the same train. He’d then pick up his bike at nearby Aunt Eva Scobie’s place, and cycle back home along Queensline.
Hall says some of the main characters in his latest book are borrowed from decades ago, including an RCI student who fancied himself as quite a ladies’ man.
The plot in Murder at Lake Madison circles around teenager Billy Anderson’s boast that he would seduce the beautiful Nancy Madison after her 16th birthday.
The boast earns him the nickname, The Madison Stud, but a lot more trouble when her dead body is found floating in the nearby lake.
Anderson is arrested and charged with her rape and murder, as families are split over whether the boy is innocent or not. Swayed by the testimony of Anderson’s sworn enemy, the jury produces a not-guilty verdict.
The killer remains undetermined for 30 years, until the son of the acquitted pleads with the police to re-open the case. The son says his father, who’s dying of cancer, wants the persistent cloud of suspicion to be removed.
Enter a disgraced Baptist minister, a mysterious stranger, and Detective-Sgt. William Grant and Const. Kelly Rogers who are assigned the case, and a trail to justice proceeds.
This is the ninth mystery novel written by Hall. He retired from a career in media relations, radio and television in the late 1990s, but has kept a busy journalistic profile since then.
His books have included biographies of several entertainers, including TV bios of Paul Anka, Englebert Humperdinck and Gordon Lightfoot, and print biographies of Patsy Cline and The Mamas & The Papas.
The latest of his 20 books, in order, are Speak Up! It’s Murder; Murder & The Minden Star; The $cam Murder; The Chilian Murder(s); and Briton’s Pride.
His 21st book, which is in the works, will be Deadly Premiums.
Like his recent books, it will be available from Amazon, Google, Yahoo, Indigo/Chapters, Barns and Noble, and Amazon’s Kindle e-books.
Prior to accelerating his career as a novelist, Hall hosted nationally syndicated show, Anatomy of Living, on the Life Channel. He also hosted The Doug Hall Show and Bestsellers on CHCH-TV in Hamilton.
Years later, Hall uses two family members, who are retired police officers, for feedback on the details and sense of realism in describing police-related matters.
Check out www.publishamerica.ca or www.amazon.com to learn more about Hall’s book.
• Hall was the adopted son of Phil Hall and Mary Jane Edmunds, who worked as a linotype operator at The Renfrew Mercury. He moved to the Toronto area in 1945.