My mother Joan (Nash) Bruce introduced me to Hercule Poirot, Nero Wolfe and Lord Peter Whimsey. She talked shop around the dinner table, sharing insurance tales of decapitations, arson and dealing with 'legitimate businessmen.' And she gave me the motive for this murder. For all that, and in loving memory, I dedicate this book to my Mum. (Dedication from Deadly Legacy)
|Joan Nash 1952|
So far as I can tell, she must have brought at at least a couple of boxes with her. Cheaply-bound hardcover copies of Georgette Heyer's historical romances, her collection of John Buchan novels, original pocketbook editions of Dorothy Sayers and Agatha Christie provided the core of a library she would add to right up to her death in 1999.
Mum worked for the Phoenix Insurance Company in England and was able to transfer to the Toronto office when she emigrated. A feminist to the core, Mum broke a few glass ceilings in her day. She was the first woman claims adjuster in England, then was the first woman claims examiner. In Canada, she got to be the first in each field all over again. (She met my father over the phone dealing with broken windshield claims.) Yet, when she was pregnant with me, she left the field to be a stay-at-home mother.
|Joan Bruce 1964|
Kate's mother in Deadly Legacy is partly modeled on Mum. Her fashion-sense and relationship with her daughter is drawn from life... with a few significant differences. My parents' marriage remained intact, though my father (like Kate's) was a workaholic. My mother went back to school when I was twelve because she had no desire to live her life through her husband and children.
|Joan Bruce 1980's|
So, happy birthday Mum. Thank you for making me a reader and allowing me to be a dreamer. I wish you could have been around to see me become a published author -- but I like to think that you, Dad, Joey, Aunty Yang and Aunt Ruth are rooting for me somewhere, as the rest of our family are rooting for me here.