Giles Blunt was born in 1952 in
Windsor, Ontario, and grew up in
North Bay, Ontario. He describes
his parents as being "so English
that the space on their
passports for citizenship could
only be filled in" British
Beyond Belief". He spent most of
his education at a Catholic
boys' school called Scollard
Hall, moving to a "regular
school", Algonquin Composite,
for his last two years.
His career started with poetry which was published in various publications including Grain and Poetry Canada. Then he fell in love with movies and decided to write screenplays and, in 1980, moved to New York, where he lived for the next 22 years. He says, "living in New York gave me enough distance from northern Ontario to see it through a very long lens. I now visit North Bay and it seems exotic. It is exotic. It's ridiculous that anybody should live there, really, in the land of ice and snow. I mean, what kind of person comes to a hunk of rock surrounded by ice and pine trees and figures it's a good bet to settle down there? Okay, fur traders. But as soon as they have enough money fur traders head for Florida just like everyone else."
He worked in various restaurants and bars in New York before getting a two-year contract with Grosso-Jacobson, who co-produced Night Heat. In addition to working on Night Heat he wrote the pilot for Diamonds, a detective show that ran for a couple of years; and also wrote episodes for Law & Order and Street Legal.
His first novel, Cold Eye, was published in 1989 and was made into a French movie, Les Couleurs du diable (1997). He wrote the first in his John Cardinal series, Forty Words For Sorrow, in 2000. This was followed by The Delicate Story (2002); Blackfly Season (2005); and The Fields of Grief (2006), published in the USA as By the Time You Read This. The series, which has won both the British Crime Writers Silver Dagger and the Crime Writers of Canada Arthur Ellis awards, is set in Algonquin Bay - a thinly disguised version of the city of North Bay, Ontario (about 200 miles from Toronto on the Ottawa River and Lake Lake Nipissing).
Blunt is currently taking a break from the John Cardinal series. Two stand-alone novels are scheduled for publication in Canada in the coming months (no dates yet known for the USA): No Such Creature (Oct 2008) and Breaking Lorca (February 2009).
This article was originally published in February 2007, and has been updated for the
July 2008 paperback release.
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