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Death's Golden Whisper: A Meg Harris Mystery [Paperback]

R.J. Harlick
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Nov. 1 2004 A Meg Harris Mystery (Book 1)

In the remote wilderness of West Quebec, where trees outnumber people a million to one and lakes a thousand to one, Death's Golden Whisper opens with the sudden arrival of float planes bringing what Meg Harris believes are fishermen to the isolated northern lake she lives on. Within hours, she discovers that these men have come to develop a gold mine. She combines forces with Eric Odjik, chief of the neighbouring Migiskan reserve, to fight the mining company. The mine splits the Migiskan band into two opposing forces and ignites events that threaten Meg and lead to the mysterious disappearance of her friend Marie. As the search for Marie becomes more frustrating, another story unfolds and Meg discovers the mystery behind the intense feelings that bound her great-aunt to this lonely land until the day she died.

This is the first book in the Meg Harris Mystery series. The next book is Red Ice for a Shroud.

Watch for Silver Totem of Shame, coming in May 2014.


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Review

"Death's Golden Whisper blends greed,[and] native spirituality...within a gripping murder mystery." -- Montreal Review of Books

About the Author

R.J. Harlick's love for Canada's untamed wilds is the inspiration for the six-book Meg Harris series. The fourth in the series, Arctic Blue Death, was shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Award for best crime novel. She lives in Ottawa.


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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer Poetry in the Quebec Wilderness Sept. 28 2005
Format:Paperback
Ottawa author R.J. Harlick has moved from the established foundation of her renowned short stories to the larger stage of novels with DEATH'S GOLDEN WHISPER, and the transition is a sweet one. Still smarting from a bitter divorce, pushing forty, Meg Harris escapes Toronto to find serenity in her great-grandfather's quaint Victorian cabin in the wilds of West Quebec. Yet one morning her peace is invaded by the roar of float planes. Apparently a motherlode of gold has been discovered on mysterious Whispers Island, and development is not far behind. Standing by her side against the interlopers in an effort to preserve the environment is her good friend Eric, the local band chief of the neighbouring Migiskan Reserve. When her wheeling-and-dealing ex-husband Gareth arrives to make a speciously disguised offer on her property, she knows that the roots of greed run deep. Then her friend Marie Whiteduck disappears and Marie's drunken husband is found murdered. Why does Marie's lawyer son seem so hostile to Meg?
Harlick's characters are full-featured, bearing all-too-human faults. Whether she is describing the abused Marie, proud but stubborn, or the stoic Eric, facing a revolt within the band, or well-meaning but flawed Meg, facing her battles with the vodka bottle and taking her standard poodle for granted, Harlick never stints at the truth. Traditional themes run true in the book, the everpresent tensions among the three founding races trying to share the land, English Canadian, Quebecois, and First Nations. Will the environment pay the price in a war about resources? Or is it about jobs? Who can judge? Parallel to the plot weaves an old family secret that takes Meg back over eighty years into the dusty pages of letters in the attic.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Golden Beginnings Nov. 28 2004
By Lou Allin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Ottawa author R.J. Harlick has moved from the established foundation of her renowned short stories to the larger stage of novels with DEATH'S GOLDEN WHISPER, and the transition is a sweet one. Still smarting from a bitter divorce, pushing forty, Meg Harris escapes Toronto to find serenity in her great-grandfather's quaint Victorian cabin in the wilds of West Quebec. Yet one morning her peace is invaded by the roar of float planes. Apparently a motherlode of gold has been discovered on mysterious Whispers Island, and development is not far behind. Standing by her side against the interlopers in an effort to preserve the environment is her good friend Eric, the local band chief of the neighbouring Migiskan Reserve. When her wheeling-and-dealing ex-husband Gareth arrives to make a speciously disguised offer on her property, she knows that the roots of greed run deep. Then her friend Marie Whiteduck disappears and Marie's drunken husband is found murdered. Why does Marie's lawyer son seem so hostile to Meg?

Harlick's characters are full-featured, bearing all-too-human faults. Whether she is describing the abused Marie, proud but stubborn, or the stoic Eric, facing a revolt within the band, or well-meaning but flawed Meg, facing her battles with the vodka bottle and taking her standard poodle for granted, Harlick never stints at the truth. Traditional themes run true in the book, the everpresent tensions among the three founding races trying to share the land, English Canadian, Quebecois, and First Nations. Will the environment pay the price in a war about resources? Or is it about jobs? Who can judge? Parallel to the plot weaves an old family secret that takes Meg back over eighty years into the dusty pages of letters in the attic. What made her maiden Great-Aunt Agatha so reclusive that she shut herself away in the cottage? And who is the handsome man in the picture hidden from prying eyes? What happened in the mists of legend to link her family with the Migiskans? The glorious fall setting is a character in itself, and Harlick paints with the talented brush of an ambassador for the pristine but amoral bush. The pines sing a symphony, and the shy stag comes to the lick as evening falls. Even the ominous landing of the first plane which threatens her privacy poeticizes the landscape: "With their wing tips shimmering in the autumn sun, the planes circled over the gold-drenched hills and back down towards the lake like giant ospreys, talons extended, zeroing in for the kill." She has laid the groundwork for a fascinating series.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Death's Golden Whisper May 22 2005
By Anne K. Edwards - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Have you ever wanted to be alone to lick your wounds from a broken marriage? Have you ever hidden out in a cabin waiting for the pieces of you life to fit together again? That's what Meg Harris did. She fled to the isolation of a cabin inherited from an aunt in the wilds of Canada where her only neighbors were Algonquins. But life intruded here in the form of gold hunters on Whisper Island and they were a threat to more than Meg's peace of mind. Echo Lake was threatened with contamination from mind runoff, Meg's ex-husband, Gareth, was brought back into her life by the mining company, a double murder is committed, and a mystery from her dead aunt's past involves itself in the murders. The aunt is very much a character in the story. Can Meg and her friend from the Fishing Camp, Eric, save the lake? Who owns Whisper Island? How did her aunt's hidden secret come to involve Meg in murder? These are a few of the many questions that need answers while the search for a murderer goes on. Talented R. J. harlick invites us into the beautiful wilderness of Canada to take part in a hunt for a murderer and the unraveling of an intriguing secret from the past that affects the present. Bring your hiking boots and life preserver as you'll be venturing onto the surface of Echo Lake while low flying planes threaten you. Highly recommended as a read to hold your attention with characters you will either love or hate and want to know more about their lives. You'll be looking for other books by this creative author. Lots of action and mystery.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Debut March 29 2005
By Tania Hutchison - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a wonderful story with various subplots that are all interwoven superbly with the main (mystery) storyline. We learn about Meg's family history, the Algonquin way of life, and even a bit of the trials and tribulations with living with a dog! The author manages to paint a wonderful picture of life in the wilderness of West Quebec. This book made me smile, cheer, and think.

This was a much too brief introduction to a wonderful group of characters and setting. I can't wait to learn more in the second instalment in the series.
4.0 out of 5 stars deaths golden whisper Nov. 6 2013
By Rhea Pollock - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
this is a well crafted series. the author includes plot and theme as well as a commendable representation of the geography and the people who live there. very well done
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