Top News

Author inspired by the North; makes her part-time home in St. Lunaire-Griquet

Bernadette Calonego has released an English translation of her newest novel “The Stranger on the Ice.”
Bernadette Calonego has released an English translation of her newest novel “The Stranger on the Ice.” - Contributed




A foreign correspondent and internationally-published author who spends part of the year in St. Lunaire-Griquet has released an English translation of her mystery novel “The Stranger on the Ice.”

Born and raised in Switzerland, Bernadette Calonego writes for newspapers in Switzerland, Germany and Austria.

She first came to Newfoundland about eight years ago on an assignment to cover the cod fishery and to write about Gros Morne.

“I met a fisherman and we fell in love. So, I spend the summer and the fall here in Newfoundland and the winters I go back to British Columbia... I have the best of both worlds,” Calonego said during a recent phone interview.

“The Stranger on the Ice” is set in the Canadian Arctic.

Calonego introduces readers to the book on her website.

The novel is about a tour guide named Valerie Blaine who has always been haunted by the tragic death of her mother during an Arctic expedition 30 years ago.

The death was unsolved, hushed up and, for the daughter, an unsettled part of a past she’s never been able to escape.

Blaine gets hired to lead a tourist group across the same desolate terrain where her mother died – from Whitehorse to Inuvik.

Enter a woman’s frozen corpse found outside a quiet Inuit village and a man named Clem Hardeven. A man of adventure and roughneck charisma, Hardeven is drawn to the novel’s main character – however, knows nothing about the mysteries that consume her.

When asked where she got the inspiration for the story, Calonego said a few years ago she made a trip with a tour group and drove up the Dempster Highway to Inuvik and then travelled on the ice road to Tuktoyaktuk on the Arctic Ocean.

The trip took place in April, she said.

“It was still winter and it inspired me to write a mystery novel in such a location.”

Calonego enjoys putting the spotlight on areas in Canada that aren’t well known such as the setting for her latest novel.

Northern Canada is a great area in which to set a mystery novel, she said.

The environment is a fascinating one.

People who live in such regions are adventurous as well as interesting, Calonego said.

They are people who like their freedom and who thrive in an environment where not everything is comfortable, she said.

They prefer adventure and excitement – an existence of living on the edge, Calonego said.

“It’s so barren and it’s very cold... it’s wide open space where you can let your imagination run wild in what could happen in such a region,” she said.


Calonego has published six books including two German thrillers.

“The Stranger on the Ice” is her fourth book to be translated into English.

Her other English titles are “Stormy Cove” (2016), “Under Dark Waters” (2015) and “The Zurich Conspiracy” (2012).

“Stormy Cove” is set in Northern Newfoundland.

“The Stranger on the Ice” is available both in hard copy, and in e-book. There is also an audio version.

The book is available in some bookstores, through the publisher (AmazonCrossing) and through a link on Calonego’s website (

Readers can also reach the author through her Facebook page at Bernadette Calonego Author.

“I hope it will be successful so I can write my next book, which will probably be set in Labrador,” she said of her latest release.

Recent Stories