Berzins announces next mystery novel

The death of the pastor of a Latvian congregation in Ottawa is the focus of the latest mystery novel by Latvian-Canadian writer Ilze Berzins.

Titled Ghosts & Shadows, the novel is due for publication Nov. 15, Berzins announced in an e-mail.

The novel takes place in present-day Ottawa and Rīga. Berzins described Pastor Māris Lapiņš as an “irresistible heartthrob” who “hides his snake oil charm under his clerical collar.” When he turns up dead, his elderly parishioners become suspects, as does Stacy Karsubova, a 40-something woman who began attending the senior citizens’ coffee klatches to hear about Rīga.

Cost of the book is USD 22 for air mail delivery in North America (CAD 22 for residents of Canada) or USD 25 for orders outside North America. To order, contact Berzins via e-mail at

Ghosts & Shadows will be Berzins’ seventh mystery novel and her eighth book overall. In 1997, she published Happy Girl, an autobiography about her attempted repatriation to Latvia. The mystery novels, with covers designed by Berzins, frequently feature Ottawa and Rīga. Last November, Berzins released Kolka.

Ghosts & Shadows

Ilze Berzins’ latest novel, Ghosts & Shadows, is due out in November.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

9 thoughts on “Berzins announces next mystery novel

  1. Hurrah! another mystery novel by Ilze Berzins – I can hardly wait to get it. Ilze told me it would have something about the ship the Wilhelm Gustloff – I’m very curious what it will say – because I’m a survivor of that sea tragedy of January 30, 1945. What a beautiful cover – reminds me when another survivor, also in Ontario now, just visited the Baltic Sea again last month with a couple of other survivors and tossed some flowers onto the sea in memory of those who perished within an hour and never had a proper grave. Irene

  2. Thanks, Irene. Yes the story about the Wilhelm Gustloff is central in the novel. At the same time Pastor Lapins and his Fate is too. I hope I have been able to marry these two themes into a cohesive whole.

  3. Oh my! I just got a bit of a lecture from my aged uncle who doesn’t like anything bad being said about a pastor. A man of God can do no wrong.
    Dear uncle, check out the Christian Brothers here in Canada and the abuse in Boston.

  4. Finally another Berzins Novel for us Expats in Riga to enjoy in English. I read all the former novels of Berzins’ and I can’t wait to get stsrted on this new one. Sometimes I even feel like I am one of her (male) characters – no pastor though, especially not the dead one.

    Jacob Lalander in a rainy dark October Riga night.

  5. Another thriller by Ilze Berzins. Where does she get all these ideas ? Hope to read it soon. Have enjoyed all her books so far. My favourites are when the action happens in Riga. Then this old “ridzniekes” ,who has not seen his hometown for sixty-six years, can follow the action on streets and places that were very familiar to him when he was a little boy.
    ” Happy Girl” is still my favourite ,although not a thriller.
    Keep on writing those thrillers.


  6. HI ilze.
    Your books certainly become increasingly more interesting. An excellent pastime when on long flights, but also for us seniors a remedy for sore hips and back as the book relaxes you and you wonder where the pain has gone. Go on writing
    Elderly uncle

  7. I am interested in reading what Ilze writes about the ship Wilhelm Gustloff because I am also a survivor of that sea tradgedy. Besides my brother I know no other Latvians who were on that ship and survived and though it happened almost 61 years ago, the events of that night are still etched in my memory.

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