Lions Bay Community News

Deadly-Switch-thumbnailFriday, 21 March 2014 00:00 Written by Rod Baker
Deadly Switch: A Stone Suspense written by Karen Dodd

We moved to Lions bay one year ago because we loved the view and heard it was a  friendly community. We met Karen and Glen Dodd at the Periwinkle Place Canada Day party. As I chatted to Karen, I was excited to find out she was writing a book. I mentioned I was writing my memoirs. However, unlike myself and others who claim to write, Karen was actually about to publish her book. I write my memoirs when I can’t sleep at night. Karen, who is currently working on the sequel, writes for six hours per day. As we chatted about writing, Karen suddenly popped the question.

“Would you help me out and be a beta reader for my new book?”

I replied, “Sure, be glad to help.”

Karen was obviously very professional and organized. I didn’t even know what a beta reader was until I looked it up on Google. I found it was kind of like proofreading, so I was ready to zip through her book and suggest changes. It was the first murder mystery I had ever read. I breezed along, almost speed reading, skipping through, clinically incising and excising, maybe a comma here, a different word there, perhaps adding a stronger adjective. But something was happening. I was slowing down. The story was seeping into me. It was starting to stick to my insides. The characters were becoming real.

I felt for the protagonist, Alexis—what a nightmare to find a dead body in your father’s house. No wonder she was freaked. Why did Alexis’ estranged father, Gavin call her to his house in West Vancouver; was he involved? I didn’t think so. He seemed like a straight shooter just trying to survive a loveless marriage. And, it was all happening just down the road in West Van. No, wait. Alexis was being pulled to Italy in her relentless quest for answers. An unexpected Italian connection had emerged that she needed to follow up: a former business partner of the father’s appeared to have been very shady. Alexis was resentful about her dad but didn’t believe he was a criminal. That’s good. Blood is still thicker than water. I have a daughter her age.

I once lived in Italy and Karen’s description of Amalfi rang so true. I was whisked  back there, circulating with her characters, Giancarlo and Angelina, through the boutique coffee shops, with their charming gigolos and stylish women. Hold on, it looked like there was a Mafia connection. I was becoming engrossed and forgetting to proof read. I was hooked as the plot skilfully dragged me helter skelter towards the thrilling conclusion; I would proof read later. I had to know what happened, what happened, what happened—and couldn’t put the book down. Sometimes, even instant gratification is too slow! The characters hijacked me from Italy to Carmel, California, and finally back to Vancouver. And that self assured, stupid detective, I could have killed him. Where is the respect for people? Where?

So, I lost two days of my life being a beta reader. Funny, it didn’t mention anything about losing time on Google but, it was a delightful distraction. If you want to be delightfully distracted for two days—or more, if you are less manic than I am— the book is available on Amazon for only $3.99

Print copies are available at Black Bond Books, Lynn Valley and Pharmasave Gift Shop in Caulfeild. Or, you can purchase directly from Karen. She lives here in Kelvin Grove and she would be happy to autograph it for you. Her website is:

Click here for printable PDF of article:

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Memoirist JJ Lee and local novelist Karen Dodd

Feb. 5th, 7-8:30pm

watch this talk on Youtube


Karen DoddKaren Dodd is a first-time novelist, who has recently broken into the literary scene with her highly acclaimed romantic suspense. She has published hundreds of articles, and teaches new and emerging fiction authors how to build their author platform while writing their books. She calls it “building the plane while flying it.” Karen will be reading from her new novel, Deadly Switch: A Stone Suspense.



JJ’s book The Measure of a Man: The Story of a Father, a Son, and a Suit, was shortlisted for the 2011 Governor-General’s jjlee.ashxLiterary Award for Non-Fiction, the 2012 Charles Taylor Prize for Non-Fiction, the 2012 BC Book Prizes Hubert Evans Prize for Non-Fiction, and the 2012 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize. His fashion and personal essays are published in ELLE Canada. His memoir piece, “ELLE First: You are beautiful,” tied for GOLD at the 2011 National Magazine Award for Best Short Feature.


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