La Sirena Gordita – Tapas Bar on Coco Beach

Where can you find one of the most amazing views in Mexico , specialty cocktails, friendly service, and amazing food at great prices? Get out your maps because this place is off the grid, kind of on the border between the states of Jalisco and Colima, on Coco Beach (Pacific Ocean), on the Isla de Navidad. Confused yet? Just drive east from Melaque or Barra de Navidad, towards Manzanillo and exit on the road to the Grand Bay Resort and Golf Course. Easy peasy.

La Sirena Gordita, or the Chubby Mermaid to us Gringos, has become a favorite spot for Cathryn and I to visit, while we’re in Melaque. Granted, it took us two attempts to find the place, but it was well worth our time and fun exploring the surrounding countryside. The unique tapas bar is actually part of the Villa Star of the Sea Spa Boutique Suites, but caters to wayward tourists looking for a cool drink and good grub.

The menu includes free sea breezes, and is Mexican-North American fusion, including unique salads, a meat & cheese tray, burgers and seafood. Drinks include ice cold beer, wine, and delicious cocktails – the pina colada was the best I’ve ever had. So far, Cathryn and I have sampled the Chile Relleno, Cheeseburger, Caesar Salad with Shrimp (amazing), and the Portobello Quesadilla, none of which disappointed us.

Portions are healthy and prices are a steal by Canadian standards. Servers are friendly and the owners are from Canada’s west coast. They cater to locals and Gringos alike, but ask for a heads up phone call or reservation if you have a group or want a guaranteed table. There are shady seats near the bar or beach chairs and umbrellas if you want to get a bit closer to the ocean, all offering an amazing unobstructed view.

Cathryn and I have been the the Chubby Mermaid twice now and will do our best to go back again before heading home. It gets a 9 our of 10 from us.

Pop Goes The Weasel – M. J. Arlidge

Pop Goes the Weasel (Helen Grace, #2)
by M.J. Arlidge

Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Feb 27, 2022  

First off, after reading this book, I have no idea where the title comes from. There’s also a book of the same title by James Patterson.
One of the reviews says that M.J. Arlidge is the the next Jo Nesbo. I disagree.
I found the book a choppy read with a bit too much touchy-feely stuff for my liking, where we were told how the characters ‘felt’ at each and every turn. Perhaps that comes from the voice of female authors, since I find it more often than not.
I also think the author went overboard on female characters…the protagonist, antagonist, and most other characters, with the exception of two males. In any policing organization that I am aware of, that is just not the norm.
Other than those quirks, the story is a good read.

The Vanished Man – Jeffrey Deaver

The Vanished Man (Lincoln Rhyme, #5)
by Jeffery Deaver (Goodreads Author)

Edmond Gagnon‘s review Feb 18, 2022  

I haven’t read much of Jeffrey Deaver but like his Lincoln Rhyme character. I’ve also see The Bone Collector movie. I wasn’t sure at first that I liked how the antagonist narrated his part in the story, but it was an important part of the plot and went to understanding the character’s motives.
The Vanished Man is the name of a particular illusion, performed by illusionists or magicians. And this story is all about magic and illusions – it has more surprises, twists an turns, than watching a motocross race on a dirt track.
The story is good and characters believable. I can promise that you’ll be fooled more than once reading this book and Deaver will keep you guessing right up until the end.

Edmond Gagnon Author in Melaque, Mexico

Greetings to my fellow Readers, visiting or living in the Costalegre, Mexico.

I’m currently staying in Melaque and will be selling my latest titles in the Norm Strom Crime Fiction series, ‘Border City Chronicles’ ‘Moon Mask’ and ‘Trafficking Chen’ at the Sunday (Feb 20th) Morning Market @ Viva Maria 1910, near Tito’s in West Melaque.

The Crafters Market starts at 10am…ish and runs through the morning. There are various crafts like jewellery and pottery, and homemade goodies like clam chowder and cabbage rolls to be had.

I have a limited number of books available so be sure to get your personally autographed copy before I sell out. Feel free to check my website for details on the crime series: www.edmondgagnon.com

Reacher – The TV Series on Prime Video

This is a shout to all you Lee Child and Jack Reacher fans. There is a new series on Amazon Prime, simply called, “Reacher”. And fear not Reacher fans, Tom Cruise is NOT playing the lead. As we all know, little Tommy is about half the size of the main character depicted in the thriller novels.

Alan Ritchson (formerly of Aquaman) fills the role of Reacher, literally. The man is huge, perhaps a bit too buff in my opinion, when you see his six-pack abs and bulging muscles. Reacher, after all, travels the country by bus, eating copious amounts of diner food, and yet we never see him working out. Unless it’s when he’s beating up someone.

The whole first season (8 episodes) is based on Child’s Killing Floor novel, and in my opinion, moves a lot quicker than some of the author’s sometimes excruciatingly over described narrative. There’s a little bit of nudity, both male and female, some profanity, and a fair amount of violence that doesn’t go over the top with gory details.

Cathryn and I both enjoyed the series and give it a 9 out of 10.

Two Kinds of Truth – Michael Connelly

Two Kinds of Truth (Harry Bosch, #20; Harry Bosch Universe, #30)
by Michael Connelly (Goodreads Author)
Edmond Gagnon‘s review Jan 27, 2022  


This was one of three Bosch novels I traded for while in Sayulita, Mexico. All are out of order, something that happens when you pick up cheap second-hand books to read while you’re away. If that’s not confusing enough, I’ve made it worse by watching all seasons and episodes of the Bosch TV series.
So, where it was nice to read the more in-depth literary versions of certain stories, it also had me confused at times where certain characters, partners and cases have been changed or condensed for the theatrical version. Either way, it’s all Bosch and it’s all good.
This story is typical Harry, where he won’t rest until he brings a killer to justice. Throw in an old case that comes back to haunt him, worry about his daughter, the usual politics that comes with police work, and you have another good Bosch novel.

The Night Fire – Michael Connelly

The Night Fire (Harry Bosch, #22; Renée Ballard, #3; Harry Bosch Universe, #32)
by Michael Connelly (Goodreads Author)
Edmond Gagnon‘s review Jan 25, 2022  

When will Harry Bosch be old enough to fully retire? It mentions in this book that he’s almost 70! That means he’s been chasing killers for over 40 years. That would be way more than enough for me to want something more out of life. But then who could we count on to fight for all those lost souls…the one’s that matter because they all matter.
Even though Harry is retired from policing it doesn’t stop him from teaming up with one of his old partners (Renee Ballard) to hunt down killers. And Bosch’s brother from a different mother (Mickey Haller) gets a bit of ink in this book, now that the two of them have found some common ground to get along.
I enjoyed The Night Fire but the Ballard character just doesn’t do it for me. As usual, Bosch is the anchor that holds Connelly’s ship fast.
Hopefully the author can get a few more stories out of our favorite cop character before he gets stuck in the mud at the bottom of the ocean.

The Footprints of God – Greg Iles

The Footprints of God
by Greg Iles (Goodreads Author)
Edmond Gagnon‘s review Jan 20, 2022 


They say not to judge a book by it’s cover (and page count) but that’s exactly what I did with this novel, leaving it to linger on my ‘to read’ shelf at home for quite a while.
Now I’m glad I’ve read it and happily rate it five stars.
The intro had a bit puzzled as to plot and content but once I started flipping pages I was hooked. Greg Iles deserves kudos for keeping me interested for the whole 546 pages – the quick pace of the story never lagged throughout.
The story gets a bit complicated and deep at certain points but it was thought-provoking for me and I enjoyed the challenge.
Even the title was weird, I thought, but The Footprints of God is a good read that I highly recommend.