on October 2, 2005
Social historian Hollis Grant knows that her short marriage to Reverend Paul Robertson is on the rocks. Though living at the manse, they occupy two different worlds. It's just a matter of time before the final paperwork separates them in divorce. Then at the start of her first marathon in Ottawa, she stumbles over Paul's body, an ugly knife in his back. As events unfold, she wonders if she really knew the man at all. He was active in many causes, from helping refugees to integrating gays into the church. Yet not only had he been having torrid affairs with several woman in his parish, but he had been collecting sensitive information for another controversial book. As Hollis struggles to arrange for his funeral and memorial, she finds herself threatened by a person in the shadows who will stop at nothing to hide a deadly secret. Ace short-story writer Joan Boswell shows that she can go the distance with this nifty first novel. She sets a fast pace and never slows, working in tandem with a bright new detective, Rhona Simpson. One by one, they unearth the suspects, usual and unusual. Boswell has an intimate knowledge of the organization, both official and non-official, that runs a church struggling to grow with the new century. She deals with heavy contemporary issues with a clear sense of fairness and justice, revealing the personalities of her two leads layer by layer while giving the reader a fascinating tour of Canada's capital city. Let's see more of Hollis and this tough, quarter-Cree detective. They're both keepers.