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Stain of the Berry [Paperback]

Anthony Bidulka
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sept. 1 2006 Russell Quant Mysteries
Everyone has their Boogeyman. But who — or what — is scaring Saskatoon locals to death? Private detective Russell Quant is roused from sleep only to fall into a nightmare case when the family of a suicide victim hires him to uncover the real cause of death. But what is real and what is imaginary? Quant works to narrow his list of suspects only to find the number of victims growing. Russell is mystified as the trail of fear connects him to a vast landscape of people, including an elegant potash miner, dubious trailer park denizens, reticent farm folk, the Pink Gopher choir, and a gaseous psychiatrist.

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Product Description

About the Author

Anthony Bidulka is an award-winning writer who, like his protagonist, lives a big life in a small city on the Canadian prairies. Please visit his website at www.anthony bidulka.com.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By BrentC
From the spooky cover featuring the contradictory images of a fairground ferris wheel against the rusty-hued backdrop of a prairie sky stained by an approaching storm, Anthony Bidulka's newest Russell Quant mystery takes hold of the reader and never lets go.

After just discovering this series earlier this year, I had my name in at the local bookstore to call me as soon as this book arrived - last night! It is a page turner that kept me going until hunger or thirst or sleep could no longer be denied. It started off slowly, refamiliarizing the reader with the characters that series regulars have now come to love, reminding us of the cliff-hanger that the last book, Tapas on the Ramblas, left us with. And then, like dunking yourself in cold water, the story plunges head first into a mystery that is at the same time complex yet very personal and private and frightening.

The book jacket says Russell Quant finds himself on a perilous bridge between idyllic childhood and grown up violence. At first I did not know what that meant. But I do now - and I couldn't have said it better myself - so kudos to whoever writes Mr. Bidulka's jacket copy.

Stain of the Berry is about a woman who commits suicide - or did she? Enter the boogeyman. At the same time, Russell is searching for his friend Sereena who mysteriously disappeared. He could have really written a whole book just about this adventure.

A wholly satisfying reading experience. My only complaint is that its now over. Will a fifth Russell Quant be far off?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bump in The Night !! Nov. 6 2006
Have you ever believed in the boogyman? You will. With this chilling story Anthony Bidulka delivers a truly unsettling murder mystery. Russell Quant is asked to investigate the suicide or possible murder of a woman who was literally scared to death. As he digs further into the matter, the threads of the plot weave into a story of a twisted nature preying on many victims. At the same time Quant is haunted by the loss of a close friend who has dropped off the face of the earth. Both elements leading to a satisfying conclusion.

With each book in this fine series, Anthony Bidulka's nuances of character development for Russell and his friends continue to make the reader care about and wonder what the future holds for all of them. And best of all, he tells a walloping good tale.

Well done.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars real progression Aug. 8 2007
Anthony's writing is getting better all the time. He's created an almost real person with his Mr. Russell Quant character, flaws and all. I look forward to the next title in the series and hope there will be many more. Anthony Bidulka is a gifted author and I am so glad a friend recommended his books to me. Read them and enjoy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent series just got better! Dec 25 2006
By Dan
In Stain of the Berry, author Anthony Bidulka shows what can be done with a mystery series to make it so much more than a sum of its parts. There are bits of this story that have popped into my head long after I was done reading. The most obvious is the boogeyman storyline which, instead of the expected horror/slasher treatment, Bidulka weaves gently and subtly into a tale of fear and misunderstanding that ends up having dire circumstances not only for Russell Quant's clients, but for Russell Quant himself.

In other parts of the book, Russell is drinking chilled Rose on a sweltering hot day at an outdoor restaurant, being chased down Davie Street in Vancouver, considering a dip in an Artic pool, eating fresh peas from a garden, battling his fears in a trailer park, confronting death in a hospital waiting room, watching fairground fireworks with his mother, celebrating a birthday luau. All in one book.

But the best of it all, this is a true page turner of a mystery, with solid writing, undeniable humour, it was created by a scribe striving for his best. I'm betting Bidulka loves what he does. It shows.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and Frightening Dec 5 2006
By Janet
Stain of the Berry by Anthony Bidulka is indeed a tale of mystery and suspense, but beneath its Mystery veil is a story of great beauty and great tension. Imagine investigating a suicide where the victim hides a bat under her bed and regularly pushes heavy furniture against her apartment door which is scarred with the marks of animal scratches. Imagine getting on a plane heading for somewhere unknown to you with a man you've never met before as your host. Imagine walking alongside sparklingly clear Arctic river pathways, chewing on a crisp apple and talking with a ghost. Imagine finding yourself in the muck below the Three Billy Goats Gruff bridge in the middle of the night. Imagine finding yourself helpless. Imagine yourself in the blush of love. Imagine yourself doubting the reality of danger - and being wrong. It's all here.

I began to follow this series for its hero, Russell Quant, who reminds me of my brother. But more and more I grew fascinated with his neighbour, Sereena. It is in Stain of the Berry that she truly became one of my favourite modern genre fiction characters. To avoid a spoiler I won't say why, but its not what you might think.

The Russell Quant mysteries are a joy to read, to anticipate, to lose yourself in.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Readable, Loveable, Enjoyable - Want More! Dec 5 2006
By JeffC
Russell Quant has quite the case on his hands. He's hunting down someone we all know (whether we admit it or not): The BOOGEYMAN!

This latest caper starts off with the apparent suicide of a rather unremarkable young woman, but leads Quant into adventures that are anything but unremarkable. The author does a wonderful job of subtlely introducing the concept of the boogeyman then, before we know it, he/she/it is not only a very big part of his case (and really, his personal life as well) but also scurrying around the brain of the reader as well.

I am not a skittish person by nature, but after the first half of the book was done, I most definitely found myself listening more closely to the sounds that go bump in the night. The way the author creeps up on his reader with a quiet but slowly overwhelming sense of creepiness is one of the things I most appreciated about this Russell Quant mystery.

This is an author who tries something new with each book (while keeping a firm hold on all the aspects that have made this series so popular so quickly).

For those of you who haven't tried this mystery series with more than one unexpected quirk - give it a go. You just may fall in love - and now you have four books to keep you going. Whereas for me, I'm sadly stuck with waiting another year for the next one.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Most Lovely Stain
Stain of the Berry tackles some serious concepts and issues, none more so than a harrowing scene involved the hero, Russell Quant, at his most defenceless, face down in a dark... Read more
Published on Jan. 18 2008 by Jerry
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book I'll Read More Than Once
Stain of the Berry is like a mythology text on all that is Russell Quant. I've loved the other books, and this once just gave me that little bit more background. Read more
Published on Dec 13 2007 by Alia
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderous Discovery
Russell Quant mysteries are something different - a cut above the rest. I love series mysteries. But I often lose interest. After three or four or five of the same thing .... Read more
Published on June 8 2007 by Leonardo
5.0 out of 5 stars Hands-Down a Favourite Series
Anthony Bidulka's Prairie PI is a character you can't help but love and follow through the series. This latest Russell Quant novel is no exception, and the author does a fantastic... Read more
Published on April 21 2007 by MagicMan
5.0 out of 5 stars Read It - You'll Love It
Seldom have I read a fiction book where I truly felt as if I was being told the story of a real person. Read more
Published on March 24 2007 by Gerard
5.0 out of 5 stars Stain of the Berry is My New Favourite - Emotionally Evocative
At the risk of sounding like a broken record in regards to this series, I am being truthful when I say "Stain of the Berry is my new favourite". Read more
Published on Jan. 28 2007 by KenLawyer
4.0 out of 5 stars Explanations
Bidulka has created a PI with wit and real charm. Problem is he has surrounded him with people and events that take away from the story. Read more
Published on Jan. 22 2007 by Dave and Joe
5.0 out of 5 stars Bidulka gets better and better!
Couldn't read Stain of the Berry fast enough! Great plot, memorable characters, as usual...though it isn't necessary to read all four of the author's novels, it certainly makes... Read more
Published on Dec 22 2006 by W. Shawn Bursey
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent work in the series
Anthony Bidulka just keeps getting better and better and I look forward to every novel. I couldn't wait till this was released in the states so I ordered as soon as it was... Read more
Published on Nov. 23 2006 by Mark Long
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