Blunt, Giles 1952–

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BLUNT, Giles 1952–


Born February 2, 1952, in Windsor, Ontario, Canada; son of Philip (a social worker) and Gwen (a teacher) Blunt; married Janna Eggebeen (a college administrator), October 14, 1994. Education: University of Toronto, B.A., 1975. Hobbies and other interests: Guitar.


Agent—Helen Heller, Helen Heller Agency, 32 Bayhampton Ct., Toronto, Ontario M3H5L6, Canada. E-mail[email protected].


Novelist and scriptwriter. Previously worked as a bartender and room service waiter.


Writers Guild of America, Writers Guild of Canada.


Macallan Silver Dagger, Crime Writers' Association of Great Britain, 2001, for Forty Words for Sorrow.



Cold Eye, Arbor House (New York, NY), 1989.

Forty Words for Sorrow, Random House Canada (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2000, Putnam (New York, NY), 2001.

The Delicate Storm, Putnam (New York, NY), 2003.

Black Fly Season, Putnam (New York, NY) 2005.


Author of scripts for television series, including Night Heat, Diamonds, Street Legal, The French Connection, and Law & Order. Contributor of poems to Grain and Poetry Canada.


Cold Eye was adapted as the French film Les Couleurs du diable, directed by Alain Jessua.


Giles Blunt is the author of mystery novels as well as several scripts for television drama series. His second novel, Forty Words for Sorrow, has received much praise as a thriller with substance. Tom Walker commented in the Denver Post: "Blunt has come up with a thinking person's thriller, one that deserves attention."

Forty Words for Sorrow follows police officer John Cardinal on his hunt for a serial killer or killers in a remote town in northern Ontario, Canada. Cardinal and his partner, Lise Delorme, eventually discover who the killers are: two sadistic characters who are primarily murdering runaway teens. "While an exciting crime story," wrote Wilda Williams in Library Journal, "the book is also a novel of place … and a meditation on sorrow." The book's title derives from the idea that Eskimos have forty words for snow: "What people really need," comments Cardinal in the book, "is forty words for sorrow."

Cardinal has a hospitalized, mentally-ill wife and a daughter who is studying at Yale University. Meanwhile, Delorme is secretly investigating him for a possible drug-running connection. "The characters achieve dimension slowly, like figures in a developing Polaroid, and then become vivid," observed a Publishers Weekly reviewer. Similarly, in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Helen Verongos called the scenes "richly described." In Booklist Connie Fletcher called the thriller a "completely absorbing series debut," while T.J. Binyon praised Forty Words for Sorrow in the Evening Standard as "a highly professional tour-de-force: excellently plotted, with fleshed-out characters and a well-portrayed, interesting setting."

Cardinal and Delorme return to investigate more apparent serial killers in several subsequent books, including The Delicate Storm and Black Fly Season. As in Forty Words for Sorrow, the focus in these books is as much on Cardinal's personal struggles as it is on the mysteries, which are conspiracies drawn from true-life crimes. Readers learn about Cardinal's relationship with his father in The Delicate Storm, in which Cardinal investigates the murder of one of his father's doctors. His attempts to cope with his wife's depression continue in Black Fly Season. These books, too, were praised by reviewers. Blunt "leaves the reader not so much with a story as a glimpse into a perfectly realized world," Connie Fletcher wrote in a Booklist review of Black Fly Season. A Kirkus Reviews contributor described that book as a "searing portrait of a cop unable to prevent his wife's self-destruction." "In a genre where writers often compete to create vile, loathsome villains," a Publishers Weekly writer concluded in a review of The Delicate Storm, "Blunt stands as a master craftsman who shows us not only darkness, but also decency."



Blunt, Giles, Forty Words for Sorrow, Putnam (New York, NY), 2001.


Booklist, May 1, 2001, Connie Fletcher, review of Forty Words for Sorrow, p. 1622; May 1, 2005, Connie Fletcher, review of Black Fly Season, p. 1516.

Denver Post, July 15, 2001, Tom Walker, review of Forty Words for Sorrow, p. F2.

Evening Standard (London, England), August 6, 2001, T.J. Binyon, review of Forty Words for Sorrow, p. 43.

Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2003, review of The Delicate Storm, p. 428; May 1, 2005, review of Black Fly Season, p. 510.

Library Journal, June 15, 2001, Wilda Williams, review of Forty Words for Sorrow, p. 101; July, 2003, Fred M. Gervat, review of The Delicate Storm, p. 119.

Publishers Weekly, May 21, 2001, review of Forty Words for Sorrow, p. 80; April 21, 2003, review of The Delicate Storm, p. 36; May 9, 2005, review of Black Fly Season, p. 44.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 15, 2001, Helen Verongos, review of Forty Words for Sorrow, p. E6.


Giles Blunt Home Page, (April 14, 2006).*