Roast ‘N Toast Family Diner

My favorite memories of breakfast are when I ate at my grandparent’s house, where almost every meal was cooked in bacon grease or lard, on the stovetop in an old cast iron skillet. Bad for you, some would say, but my Pepe lived to 84. And he smoked. One of his specialties was something you rarely see in a restaurant these days – corned beef hash. I love the stuff.

I discovered a place called the MCM Restaurant many years ago, while working the Drouillard/Walker Road beat with an old war horse we affectionately called Hammer. At 2005 Ottawa Street, across from Juniper Books, it was a typical diner that served the type of good meals you’d get at home, for reasonable prices. I loved going there for breakfast, cooked on a grill that was directly behind the counter.

At some time in the not too distant past, the MCM closed and was replaced by Roast ‘N Toast. I smiled when I walked in the front door and recognized the same old bar stools at the counter, and cozy atmosphere of days past. The smell of bacon frying on the grill gives me great great pleasure, but when I saw corned beef hash on the menu I was ecstatic. It wasn’t quite the same as grandpa’s, probably because the grease wasn’t a month old.

Roast ‘N Toast is my kind of diner – they serve breakfast all day. Who says you can’t have bacon and eggs for lunch? My new favorite there is the Meat Lovers Skillet, piled high with ham, sausage and hamburger meat, eggs, cheese, and home fries. It easily fills me up, leaving no room for their sinful homemade butter tarts that stare at you from behind the counter.

The restaurant has suffered through Covid like the rest of us, but they added unique wooden partitions for privacy and social distancing. They also added outdoor seating. Each and every time I’ve been to Roast ‘N Toast, my meal has been perfectly cooked and delivered to my table by courteous and friendly staff who aren’t afraid to tweak your order to your liking. And if you’re a reader, be sure to keep your receipt for a 15% discount across the street at Juniper Books.

A Monte Christo special that I’ll be trying to order next time I’m there.

Shadow of the Sun

Shadow of the Sun
by Marney Blom (Goodreads Author)
Edmond Gagnon‘s review Nov 02, 2021 

A gift from my wife, I was a bit apprehensive about reading this book since I’ve read a few stories and seen many movies about POW camps during the war, and didn’t expect this tale to be any different. But the one big difference was that the protagonist was a preacher, who expected God to take care of him and watch over his family.

I had to skip the quotes from the holy bible, and even the love notes he wrote to his wife while imprisoned – they were of no use to me – I got the picture. But don’t get me wrong, this book was very well thought out and written by the grand daughter of the missionaries.

If you want to learn how average folk were ripped from their homes, imprisoned, tortured and treated worse than caged animals by Japanese soldiers, then this book is for you. I did enjoy references to the Burma railway and bridge over the River Kwai since I’ve seen the movie and travelled in the area.

Put This Book Site On Your Radar

Have you ever gone to the books store to look for you favorite author, spotted what you think is their latest work and purchased a copy, only to find out later that it’s not the latest or the cover has been changed and the book re-issued? I have. Even when you look inside the cover and try to decipher the publication dates, it can still be confusing.

Booksradar.com has come to our rescue. The website was created specifically to clear up any confusion you might have when searching for a particular book by a certain author. Authors or book titles can be easily searched by name, title or genre. If you search an author, say Dan Brown, his book titles are shown by series and publication dates.

Popular authors like Lee Child, Vince Flynn, Tom Clancy, John Sanford, Nicholas Sparks, and now myself, Edmond Gagnon, are easily searchable, with direct links to their websites. Check it out now.

The Black Ice – A Bosch Novel

The Black Ice (Harry Bosch, #2; Harry Bosch Universe, #2)
by Michael Connelly (Goodreads Author)
Edmond Gagnon‘s review Oct 08, 2021 


For me, reading a Harry Bosch novel is like inviting an old friend to dinner and catching up over beers. The Black Ice is the 2nd installment in Michael Connelly’s Bosch series, published back in 1993, but recently re-released as a paperback.

Whether it’s an old book or a new one, I can’t get enough of Harry Bosch. There’s still a few stories I haven’t read yet, but the television series has filled in a lot of the blanks. I think I’ve seen each episode at least five times now.

The Black Ice is a good story, about a Robbery/Homicide case that should have been assigned to Bosch, but he inserts himself into it anyway. The plot moves well and kept me interested throughout. And, if you’re a really sharp detective, you might pick up on a couple clues as to the major twist at the end.

I’ve rated this book five stars because it lacks nothing and is a great read.

Fair Warning – Michael Connelly

Fair Warning (Jack McEvoy, #3; Harry Bosch Universe, #33)
by Michael Connelly (Goodreads Author)
Edmond Gagnon‘s review Oct 03, 2021 


Something tells me that Michael Connelly enjoys writing novels like Fair Warning, reliving his past as an investigative journalist, something we don’t see much of these days.
Jack McEvoy is likeable character who tells us a great crime story about an elusive serial killer who keeps reporters and police stumped while his list of victims grows longer.
The plot has good momentum and held my interest throughout the book.
Although in my opinion it’s not as good as a Bosch novel, I definitely recommend you add this Connelly book to your reading list.

Reviews for Trafficking Chen

If you haven’t snagged a copy of my latest novel in the Norm Strom Crime Series, Trafficking Chen, check out these reviews and see what you’re missing. The book is available locally at Storytellers Book Store in Windsor and River Book Shop in Amherstburg or come see me at the Downtown Windsor Market on September 11th or 25th. You can also purchase the book online at your favorite retail site.

“Trafficking Chen is a story that dares you to turn the page – but you can’t look away from this engaging narrative of dark events that are written from a whiskey-tinged razor-sharp voice of experience. Real cops, real victims, real bad guys intertwined in a race that will keep you powering through.” Kay T.

“Part detective novel, part thriller, Trafficking Chen with its overlapping plots, Strom’s humor, and satisfying conclusion will leave new fans seeking out previous mysteries for future reading!” John Schlarbaum, Author of “Abandoned – A Jennifer Malone Mystery”

“Another fabulous read! Get working on your next one. I always look forward to reading Edmond Gagnon’s books. Dawn St. Louis

“Just finished Trafficking Chen and I personally think this book is Gagnon’s best writing so far. An interesting and chilling story on trafficking, while turning each page.” Beverly Miller

“This book was insane and an eye opener to what can happen under everyone’s noses and you would have no clue!! I highly recommend this book!!!” Emily Conran

“These books are great cover to cover.” Gord Kerr

The Judge – Steve Martini

The Judge (Paul Madriani #4)
by Steve Martini
Edmond Gagnon‘s review Jun 21, 2021  


This is the first Steve Martini novel I’ve read and I’d have no problem reading more. Comparable to John Grisham when it comes to courtroom drama – but not quite as good, the author tells a good story with believable characters.


I thought the story dragged a bit, mostly because Martini goes into excruciating detail about every little clue or piece of evidence introduced, slowing the story down. Having said that, I enjoyed the plot and was surprised when the truth about the real killer was revealed at the very end.


For Grisham fans out there, Martini is worth checking out.

Renters Beware – Read the Cancellation Policy

Cathryn and I have learned from personal experience that not all hotel or vacation property rentals are fully refundable upon cancellation. Some are partially refundable, depending on how much in advance you cancel your reservation. Please read the fine print or look for the Cancellation Policy before you book your next weekend getaway or family vacation.

This was copied from an Air Bnb listing:

Many of us are now aware at how fickle the Airline industry can be when it comes to cancelling flights, although we lucked out and eventually received cash refunds on international flights we had to cancel because of the global pandemic. We weren’t so fortunate with AirBnb. Where we were able to recoup funds on our hotel room bookings through Hotels.com, we lost most of our money deposited with AirBnb.

The policy below is from Hotels.com:

VRBO (Vacation Rentals by Owner) and other companies have cancellation policies similar to AirBnb, you have to read the fine print to see what your different options are. Some give a full refund up to a certain date and partial after another date, minus the up front service fees, where others offer no refund at all.

The list below is from VRBO:

So be sure to read the fine print before you make your next booking.

Story Tellers Books is Reopening!

Come on out and see me and fellow local Author Jack Bennett Sr. to get one of our new books personally autographed. We’ll be at Storytellers tomorrow (June 11th) from noon until 2pm. The store will be open for other shopping – they have a great selection of books and puzzles and other unique items.
My latest Norm Strom Crime Novel – Trafficking Chen – A tale of kidnapping and human trafficking.