The thirteenth in Gail Bowen's beloved and award-winning Joanne Kilbourn mystery series promises to be the best of them all: some very bad things happen very, very close to home, and Joanne may never be quite the same again.
"Security for any one of us lies in greater abundance for all of us." For many years, this was the core of Joanne's political beliefs, but for a number of reasons, she has drifted away from it. But on the day Joanne retires from her university teaching post, she has a dream about her first husband (murdered many years ago), and this line comes back vividly in it.
Soon, she is forced to experience the truth of what, for most of her life, had just been a good closing line for a political speech. The night after Jo and Zack have dinner with Zack's colleague Margot and one of his law firm's biggest clients, the developer Leland Hunter, Jo and Zack's house is blown up. They're at the lake with daughter Taylor and their dogs, but the house is destroyed. And that is only the first of several terrible incidents. It isn't long before Joanne is witness to events far more distressing than even a destroyed home. She begins to understand what it's like to live in a world where she can count on nothing.
Complicated family difficulties overshadow the crime solving in Bowen's 13th mystery starring retired academic Joanne Kilbourn (after 2010's The Nesting Dolls). A controversial building project, known as the Village, has ratcheted up the tensions in Regina, Saskatchewan. The developer, Leland Hunter, whose attorney is Kilbourn's husband, believes he's just clearing out a slum to create a model neighborhood that would rejuvenate downtown Regina. Since the death of the development's project manager, Danny Racette, in a demolition accident, rumors have circulated that it was no accident that the explosives went off while he was still inside an old factory. Word on the street is that Red Rage, a radical group opposed to Hunter's plan, murdered Racette to stop the Village. Meanwhile, Kilbourn's connection to Hunter puts her family in jeopardy. The slow pace and less than satisfying ending make this one of the weaker installments.
Kaleidoscope by Gail Bowen
I found my first Joanne Kilbourne books by Canadian author Gail Bowen in a Taos, New Mexico bookstore several years ago, and have been greedily tracking them down and reading this smart, creative series over the last four. To call them Canadian cozys does not truly do them justice. The strong female characters, sharp twists and turns (with nary a country Priest in sight), and Bowen's singularly clever arcs and insightful narratives are much more in line with the characters and coversations that inhabit the world of Alexander McCall Smith. You will enjoy each and every one!