A renowned professor of forensic geology throws himself off a ferry into the frigid waters of Lake Ontario. In his wake, he leaves a historic mystery – the hypothesis that a sports arena is about to be built on the remains of a Victorian boat where there is a strongbox filled with never before seen photographs of Toronto, filling a gap in the city’s history. However, there is scandal in academia, and his colleagues believe he faked his research. But his widow is not prepared to give up on her husband’s legacy and sits vigil over the construction site. As we wait for treasure to be unearthed, we hear the story of a young apothecary in 1850 struggling to make a living who, along with two other down-on-their-luck Torontonians, turn to photography to capture the fledgling city where penny nails hold together wooden sidewalks, and the occasional bear strolls down Main Street.
Michael Redhill is this year’s guest at the Friends of the Haliburton County Public Library Book Gala. He also writes the Hazel Micallef series as Inger Ash Wolfe. Consolation is available to reserve at the Haliburton County Public Library.
*Originally published in the Haliburton Echo/Minden Times.