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BLACKFLIES ARE MURDER
by Lou Allin
Rendezvous Crime, March 2002
288 pages
$10.95
ISBN: 092914192X


Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

The bears are out of hibernation, the blueberries are ripening, and the blackflies are biting. It's spring in Northern Ontario and Belle Palmer and her German shepherd, Freya, are out for a walk in the woods near her home when she comes across a baiting spot nearby. She meets her activist widowed almost 70 year old neighbor walking with her dogs and tells her about the spot. Anni has plans to go in and destroy the trap.

The next day, Belle goes into Sudbury to her real estate office, past the lunar landscape left by the removal of uncounted tons of nickel from the region. A delightful older man comes in and buys the property next to Belle, moves in and quietly goes about renovating the cabin. Belle finds Charles Sullivan quite urbane, and enjoys his company. But during that summer, Anni is killed. Belle is sure that the poachers killed her, but Anni had been living on a small pension, so where did she get the money to buy the beautiful new van parked in her front yard. As Belle investigates, she becomes more convinced that the seeds of the crime lay in the distant past, before Anni and her late husband moved to the north.

Allin has a fine hand in both describing the beauties of the region and in character formation. We all know people like Belle and her father, who taught her to love old movies; Charles Sullivan, the new neighbor; Steve, the policeman; her friends, Helene, who always has good things cooking, and her husband, Ed, and even many of the minor characters, are people we've met before. There's no second book syndrome here. The book is worth seeking out from a Canadian bookseller. The cover art is by Christopher Chuckry.

Reviewed by Barbara Franchi, May 2002

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)


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