Brenda Chapman’s first Stonechild and Rouleau novel, Cold Mourning, was nominated for the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Crime Novel, 2015. Midwest Book Review highly recommends the series, calling it “outstanding.” Brenda is a former teacher and senior communications advisor and lives in Ottawa.
Nominated for the 2015 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel
When murder stalks a family over Christmas, Kala Stonechild trusts her intuition to get results.
It’s a week before Christmas when wealthy businessman Tom Underwood disappears into thin air — with more than enough people wanting him dead.
New police recruit Kala Stonechild, who has left her northern Ontario detachment to join a specialized Ottawa crime unit, is tasked with returning Underwood home in time for the holidays. Stonechild, who is from a First Nations reserve, is a lone wolf who is used to surviving on her wits. Her new boss, Detective Jacques Rouleau, has his hands full controlling her, his team, and an investigation that keeps threatening to go off track.
Old betrayals and complicated family relationships brutally collide when love turns to hate and murder stalks a family.
What makes this mystery most interesting are the tightly knit details. Chapman never tips her hand as she presents readers with a wide-open field of suspects. For the majority of the novel, the list of potential culprits is lengthy, and the author skillfully deploys twists and decoys to misdirect us, while also dropping tiny clues to help make the final reveal seem perfectly logical.
Cold Mourning maintains its low-key feel just long enough to sneak up on you with its grit and promise.
What's unusual about Cold Mourning is the multiple viewpoints which at times allow the reader to have more information than Stonechild. Chapman handles this style smoothly and it's very effective in moving the story along. She is a skilled writer with nine books already under her belt.
Brenda Chapman has written an interesting and intriguing story in Cold Mourning that keeps the reader guessing throughout.
Cold Mourning marks the promising beginning of a new series of stories built around complex, yet engaging, characters.