Brenda Chapmanâ€™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 â€śoutstanding.â€ť Brenda is a former teacher and senior communications advisor and lives in Ottawa.
A missing child. A dead mother. Kala Stonechild is about to discover what one betrayal can lead to.
When Adele Delaney and her daughter, Violet, go missing, Jacques Rouleau is called upon to investigate. However, struggling with the impending death of his ill ex-wife, he sends Kala Stonechild and Paul Gundersund instead. Stonechild has been trying to adapt to life as her young cousin Dawnâ€™s guardian, and even though Gundersund has offered support, Stonechild is at risk of losing custody.
On the second day of the investigation, Adeleâ€™s body turns up, dumped on the shoulder of the highway with no sign of her daughter. Her husband, Ivo, denies any involvement with either his wifeâ€™s death or their childâ€™s disappearance, but not everyone is convinced. As the investigation unfolds, Stonechild learns that Adele was once entangled with a Montreal biker gang and heads to Quebec to investigate further.
As Stonechild and Gundersund juggle personal troubles and a complicated, dangerous case, they find themselves piecing together a chain of disasters leading back to a single betrayal.
Brenda Chapman knows her way around a mystery. Tightly written and cleverly plotted, Tumbled Graves begins with the disappearance of a mother and child. The book drives toward the surprise ending with a fine storyteller at the wheel. I highly recommend the series. Chapman is an author to watch.
Richly drawn characters enhance this well-constructed, thoroughly enjoyable whodunit that will leave readers eager for the next installment.
A deft balance of character, story, and setting.
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.
A terrific read from beginning to end.
Chapman wrings every bit of suspense out of this tightly plotted novel.
At the end of the day, Chapmanâ€™s series is one worth following.