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Jack Batten Books In Order

Publication Order of Crang Books

Crang Plays the Ace (1987) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Straight No Chaser (1989) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Riviera Blues (1991) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Blood Count (1991) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Take Five (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Keeper of the Flame (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Booking In (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Inside Story of Conn Smythe's Hockey Dynasty (1969) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Champions (1971) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Honest Ed's Story (1972) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Leafs in Autumn (1975) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Complete Jogger (1977) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Canada Moves Westward (1977) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Lawyers (1980) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
In Court (1982) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Robinette (1984) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Judges (1986) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Everyday Law (1987) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
On Trial (1988) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Rosedale (1993) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Maple Leafs (1994) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Hoopla (1996) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Canada At the Olympics (1996) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mind Over Murder (1997) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A History of Bennett Jones Verchere (1997) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Man Who Ran Faster Than Everyone (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Hockey Dynasties (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Annex (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Brilliant and Appalling Life (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Learned Friends (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Silent in an Evil Time (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The War to End All Wars (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Oscar Peterson (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Jack Batten is an acclaimed author that has written books on everything from sports to the law.

+Biography

Jack Batten has been writing since the 1970s; though, back then the author was most producing non-fiction. It wasn’t until the late 1980s that Batten finally found his stride as a fiction author, producing a variety of novels under the umbrella of the Crang series.

Jack Batten worked as a lawyer in Toronto for four years. And he will be the first to tell you that those were very unhappy years, which is why his stay in the field of law was so brief.

It didn’t take long for Batten to finally stumble upon his calling in the literary arena, initially working as a freelance writer for many years before finding more solid footing in fiction.

Jack Batten has a pretty extensive bibliography. He used to write non-fiction books about the law; the books delved into the lives of actual judges, lawyers and court cases in Canada.

Along with writing biographies about individuals like John Robinette, Batten has written about everything from Canadian history to sports. The author had an opportunity to delve into his knowledge about music when he reviewed Jazz for The Globe and Mail.

His understanding of entertainment also came in handy when he reviewed movies for CBC radio, though it is his work with the Toronto Star where he reviewed Crime Fiction that probably impacted him the most, considering the popularity Jack Batten has achieved writing his own books in the crime fiction genre.

While the experience of most writers begins and ends with the novels they have produced, Jack Batten is a truly well-rounded author. He has written for Magazines like Macleans Magazine, Rolling stone, and Chatelaine, not to mention Toronto Life.

He also had a brief stint at the Star Weekly. And while he isn’t the biggest name in literature, the author’s work has earned him a lot of recognition over the years, this including winning the Norma Fleck Award for Nonfiction. This is the biggest accolade in Canadian Children’s Literature.

If you know Jack Batten well enough, it isn’t hard to spot all the influences and experiences of his career in his crime fiction works.

+Movies

Jack Batten wrote the biography of Tom Longboat. Not only did his efforts earn him a Norma Fleck Award for best children’s nonfiction (2002) but plans were made to turn the book into a feature film.

+Silent in an Evil Time: The Brave War of Edith Cavell

Edith Cavell was a lot of things, from a dutiful nurse to a courageous resistance fighter and so much more. By the time World War I broke out, the 48-year-old British Citizen was matron at an institute for nurses in the suburbs of Brussels.

The institute underwent several notable changes, becoming a leading training center because of Edith Cavell’s intelligence and dutiful sensibilities. 1914 brought several complications to the fro this including the capture of Belgium by the Germans, with Edith Cavell being among the many that volunteered to help British and French soldiers trapped behind German lines.

Edith was among those who hid soldiers in her hospital. Along with assisting in the crafting of secret pathways to Holland and England, Edith took great personal risk to make sure that soldiers snuck successfully through German lines.

Along with the other members of her institute, Edith Cavell saved a thousand soldiers, making it possible for them to return home.

However, Edith’s actions did not go unnoticed. Once discovered, the German army tried her in Brussels and sentenced her to death. Edith became a martyr in 1915, facing the firing squad in her nurse’s uniform.

Her fate was a rallying point for the British in their war against Germany. Jack Batten brings this brave woman’s account to life.

People who have never heard of Edith Cavell, which is the majority of readers, will find that the name is burned into their minds after reading Jack Batten’s account of her actions.

Batten proves in this book just how effective he can be when it comes to telling good stories. And that is what people get here, a story rather than a lecture on history. The book is filled with historical details that never get too distracting or overwhelming. And readers can expect to be treated to a vivid landscape that makes it that much easier to position characters within the annals of history.

So much insight is provided into the courage of the men and women that strived to save lives in the World War. Telling a story based on actual facts is very difficult to do; you need to tell a story that delivers the facts without turning the whole thing into a boring lecture.

Batten makes it look easy.

+Straight No Chaser

Crang is an unconventional criminal lawyer with a nose for trouble who is hired by his friend Dave Goddard. The sax player from the fifties is involved in a complex coke-smuggling ring, and Crang offers to help him out.

In trying to figure out who is tailing Dave, Crang encounters a series of unlikely occurrences even as he delves into the goings-on of a gang’s inner sanctum. Crang is no superhero, but his naïve enthusiasm for bringing villains to justice makes the lawyer Dave’s last hope of salvation.

Jack Batten knows how to tell stories, and this book proves as much. There is nothing special here. The book is mostly okay. There isn’t as much suspense as one might expect from a crime fiction novel. The villain of the story talks too much, and Batten just couldn’t make him threatening enough to be interesting. But the author definitely succeeds in bringing Toronto to life.

Batten has very impressive prose. His writing flows pretty well and this book might actually prove educational for those readers with little understanding of Jazz and movies. The novel benefits from Jack Batten’s interesting approach to humor.

The novel should have been far better, especially considering what Batten has shown he can do in previous novels. However, Batten can rest easy knowing that most people do not think this book is terrible.

An average crime fiction book, especially one written by Jack Batten, is better than a terrible novel in this genre.

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