Monday, October 12, 2015

BOOKS: Canadian mystery series

Couple of Canadian mystery series that are very good. Both on Audio.

The Taken by Inger Ash Wolfe, book 2 (audiobook, 11h 10 min)

This is the second book with Det. Insp. Hazel Micallef of a small Ontario town. Poor Hazel is recovering from her back injury, living with her ex-husband and his new wife, trying to get back to work, but struggling with pain, and pretty much everything else in her life. She has a small loyal team helping her solve a mystery that is being written about in the paper as she attempts to investigate. Meanwhile, there is a live feed on the internet planning to kill someone, and taunting Hazel as she goes.

The characters are done very well, very real with conflicting behaviours. Sixty-two year old Hazel is still battling with her mother.  This was a great mystery, not too convoluted but intriguing and gritty. I'm looking forward to the next, and as of now, last book, A Door in the River.

The Nature of the Beast - Louise Penny, book 11, audiobook (12h 40 min)

First audiobook after the death of the original narrator, Ralph Cosham. Robert Bathurst does an admirable job and embodies Gamauche just as Cosham did. Slight British accent seems odd in Quebec, but c'est la vie!

Gamauche is still retired in Three Pines. The little boy in the village who cries wolf is eventually found murdered. A large weapon is found in the woods, the kind Saddam Hussein might commission in his quest to destroy. So, the police and CSIS are called in. (Slight quibble. In Canada, we say C-sis but Bathurst spelled out the acronym, like you might for FBI, every time. Threw me every time) Although not in charge, Gamauche, the Patron, is still in charge of his former team, and they rely on him.
I like these stories, but I find the reliance on Art and its Significance to be odd. Assuming that an image on a gun holds the same symbolism that an English teacher reads into a short story strains my credibility. Just because there are artists and poets (Clara and Ruth, delightful as always) in the village, doesn't mean everything is a symbol. But here it is, and Gamauche uses them solve the mystery.