Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Armchair Novel Review: Kaleidoscope by Gail Bowen

by Gail Bowen

Hardcover, 336 pages
Also available as an eBook

This is the thirteenth book in the Joanne Kilbourn series, and the most personal. 

Joanne and Zach have settled nicely into married life and are working on plans to fix up North Central, Regina, a notoriously bad neighbourhood, along with their friend and colleague Leland Hunter. Nothing is as easy as it seems and Joanne is ambivalent about the work they are doing and how they are going about it. Pressure against them is high, especially from local gangs and activists. 

As tensions mount, their house is bombed - just hours after the family headed to the lake for the weekend. Joanne finds her sense of security rocked and begins to question her own philosophies of life as events heat up and continue to hit far too close to home for comfort. 

Gail Bowen has won numerous awards for her Joanne Kilbourn series and in June 2008, Reader’s Digest named her ‘Canada’s Best Mystery Novelist’.

Her protagonist is genteel, intelligent and compassionate while remaining down to earth. I find the books read almost like autobiographical mysteries, and it is a pleasure to be part of Joanne's life.

You don't need to read the books in order - I didn't, but once you read one you'll want to read the rest.

The Joanne Kilbourn series

Deadly Appearances [1990]
Murder at the Mendel (alternately titled as Love and Murder) [1991]
The Wandering Soul Murders [1992]
A Colder Kind of Death [1994]
A Killing Spring [1996]
Verdict in Blood [1998]
Burying Ariel [2000]
The Glass Coffin [2002]
The Last Good Day [2004]
The Endless Knot [2006]
The Brutal Heart [2008]
The Nesting Dolls [2010]
Kaleidoscope [2012]

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