An old friend from childhood has shown up again in Joanne's life, and Joanne is not quite sure how to take her reappearance. The friend, Sally, is estranged from her mother and her husband and child, and has shocked some citizens of Saskatoon with her latest works of art, a group of paintings titled "Erotobiography." She was also involved in a very tragic event in Joanne's life when both women were in their teens. This book is a story of relationships, family, and trust. It is very different from the first book in the series but does explore similar themes.
As in the first book in the series, the story is told in first person and Joanne is not really doing any sleuthing. But there are murders and the reader (at least this one) is interested in figuring out who the culprit is and what the motives might be. Joanne is not the best judge of anyone's actions or motives in this case, because of her deep involvement with Sally and her family.
I enjoyed the book very much. The story of Joanne and her family and friends and how they cope with the deaths was as interesting as the investigation of the crime, which is almost in the background.
I enjoyed it so much that I went out and bought the next two books in the series before I had finished this one. I want to see how the series develops. And, the fourth book, A Colder Kind of Death, won the Arthur Ellis award for best novel.
I am not overly fond of amateur detectives in mystery novels, so I was just as glad that Joanne was not actively involved in trying to aid in discovering the murder. I am enjoying reading about real locales in Canada, and Gail Bowen does a great job of describing Saskatoon and its people.
It was also fun to read a reference to a landmark in California. Sally is describing a trip with an older man who was her mentor. The motel referenced is The Madonna Inn.
"... Once he did a class in San Luis Obispo for a month or so." She smiled at the memory. "Oh, Jo, we stayed at this motel that had fantasy rooms -- a real fifties place -- the court of Louis, jungle land, the wild west, that kind of thing."I read this mystery for the Canadian Book Challenge 6. This is my twelfth Canadian book that I have read for that challenge.