Arthur Ellis Award-winning author
Grand Master Award of Crime Writers of Canada (2018)
The “queen of Canadian crime fiction” (Winnipeg Free Press) returns with a new installment in the Joanne Kilbourn series that is perfect for readers of Louise Penny, Ruth Rendell, and Peter Robinson.
On a Saturday bright with harbingers of spring, Joanne Kilbourn-Shreve, her husband, Zack, and their family prepare to celebrate the season. Joanne’s life is full, and at 60, she has been given the chance to understand a part of her history that for years was shrouded in secrecy.
Living Skies is producing Sisters and Strangers, a six-part TV series about the tangled relationships between the families of Douglas Ellard, the father who raised Joanne, and Desmond Love, her biological father. Joanne is working on the script with Roy Brodnitz, a brilliant writer and friend. The project’s future seems assured, but before the script is completed, Brodnitz disappears while scouting locations in northern Saskatchewan. Hours later, he’s found — sweat-drenched, clawing at the ground, and muttering gibberish. He dies in a state of mortal terror.
Heartsick and perplexed, Joanne resolves to learn what happened in the last hours of Roy’s life. What Joanne discovers threatens Brodnitz’s legacy, and the decision about whether or not to reveal the truth is hers to make. The Unlocking Season is another deeply satisfying and thought-provoking novel from one of Canada’s finest crime writers.
Arthur Ellis Award winner Bowen's appealing 19th mystery featuring Regina, Saskatchewan, political science professor Joanne Kilbourn-Shreve (after 2018's A Darkness of the Heart) finds Joanne producing Sisters and Strangers, "a six-part TV series based on the tangled relationships" of her family. In particular, the series focuses on Douglas Ellard, who raised Joanne, and his lifelong friend, artist Desmond Love, who was Joanne's biological father. Outdoor shots are being filmed at Emma Lake, where scriptwriter Roy Brodnitz goes missing and is later found in "a state of mortal terror." Much of the action centers on the difficulty in completing the script after Roy dies of a suspected heart attack. Speculation builds that Roy was murdered to sabotage the production, and then a fire breaks out at the production studio. Amid the mayhem, Joanne finds time to enjoy the company of her extended family and friends. Bowen creates fully rounded characters to serve her well-crafted plot. This long-running series shows no sign of losing steam.
Every book in this series is excellent. I have lived in many of the places/cities that Bowen mentions. This, for me, makes the stories very close. Wonderful memories.