Martine LeDuc, the publicity director for the city of Montreal and a wonderfully likable narrator, partners with offbeat police detective Julian Fletcher in this absorbing mystery from de Beauvoir (Murder Most Academic). As Martine and Julian look into the murders of four women found posed on park benches throughout the city over a period of months, they begin to suspect that the killings are linked to one of Montreal’s most shameful scandals, the Duplessis Orphans. In the 1950s, children separated from mostly unwed mothers in the very Catholic province of Quebec were transferred from orphanages to mental hospitals as a means to secure greater funding. Inhabitants of these hellholes served as guinea pigs for experiments performed for pharmaceutical companies. Now someone is willing to kill in order to avoid opening old wounds. De Beauvoir does a fine job of evoking the ambiance of Montreal, with its fascinating neighborhoods, bilingualism, and political tensions.
– Publisher’s Weekly
It’s how the story from then progresses forward while the story from now works to uncover more and more of the past, until they meet, that is so compelling. Readers are left to question characters motives, to reexamine plot points and wonder how it will all come together. Asylum is a well done murder mystery, but is really one not to miss for the details surrounding what happened to the orphans and the intricate, well pieced together puzzle that involves numerous characters, locations, organizations and comes together over years.
February 18, 2:00 pm: Provincetown Public Library, Provincetown, MA: book launch party for Our Lady of the Dunes
January 30, 2:30 pm: Mont-Tremblant, QC: presentation at book club anniversary event
From the Blog