Mechanic’s Wife, The

28 July 2021

The Mechanic’s Wife
by Marion Mutala
Published by Millennium Marketing
Review by Toby A. Welch
$14.95 ISBN 9781777371302

The cover of The Mechanic’s Wife is what initially drew me in. Illustrated by Olha Tkachenko, it is a vibrant illustration of two women with an older model blue GTO between them. Things get even better once you crack the book open. We immediately delve into the life of DD, a Ukrainian detective based in Saskatoon. Her backstory is fully fleshed out in a way that makes it impossible to do anything but continue reading.

The meat of this book is the story of Dwayne and Marianne. Married almost two decades, one of them isn’t thrilled with the life they have built together. Let’s just say some things happen, bringing DD, the leading criminal investigator in Canada at the time of the story, and Raunchy, her associate, into their lives. The two tackle the case of what really took place between Dwayne and Marianne. 

On a side note, it’s hard not to like DD’s quirky sidekick, Raunchy. He is endlessly entertaining and provides another level to the story. Fun characters like Raunchy make any book a better read. 

Author Marion Mutala is a resident of Saskatoon. She has penned seven children’s books, one young adult work, one book of poetry, and two works of adult fiction including The Mechanic’s Wife. Several of her children’s books have won awards. Her late grandparents emigrated from Ukraine to Canada in 1912 and her Ukrainian heritage plays a big role in most of her books. That is certainly the case in The Mechanic’s Wife with its numerous Ukrainian references.   

As a Saskatchewanian, I thoroughly enjoyed how familiar all the locations in this book felt. The book is set in Saskatoon and while the author is clear that this is a work of fiction, it is clear how many of the locales are true places in Saskatchewan. That is so cool, like watching a movie with scenes that were shot in places you have visited. There is even a mention of Gerry Zerbecky, a Saskatoon artist.

While The Mechanic’s Wife could’ve used a heavier hand by the editor, at its core it has all the essential elements of a great book – characters you grow to care about and a story that draws you in and keeps you there. It’s a quick, fun read you can finish in one sitting. Two thumbs up!


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