Cold Mourning in Ottawa


Cold Mourning is the first book in a new series by author Brenda Chapman – a well known and well respected mystery writer

Set in Ottawa, Canada, the plot is as chilling as the cold, snowy setting

Native American Kala Stonechild moves to Ottawa for her job and for something else as well. She lands herself a job in a special unit of the Ottawa Police Department headed up by detective Jacques Rouleau.

Both Stonechild and Rouleau have a past and this is one of the novels strengths -we get to know them on a much deeper level and start to care for them early on in the story.

They have a case to investigate and so must work together – business man Tom Underwood has gone missing and Rouleau’s team is charged with finding what has happened.

When the case later turns to a murder investigation, family, friends, and business colleagues are all under suspicion. Everyone could have had a motive and the twists and turns through out the book made it hard to guess which makes the end a nice treat. There might be so many motives but no real evidence. Each character is flawed, and the subplots and background set up a perfect backdrop to this first in  a series of novels.

You see, Tom is not your ordinary business man – he has a very disfunctional family and questionable friends. Not to mention the character of the man himself –

 Tom Underwood looked across the room at his wife and wondered how it would feel to place his hands around her slender neck and throttle the life out of her

Meanwhile, Kala has her own mystery to solve – she needs to find her cousin, with whom she once shared a horrific nightmare of brutality and murder.

A cold winter in Ottawa
A cold winter in Ottawa

A multilayered novel with a unique premise made all the more chilling by the frosty cold environment of an Ottawa winter

The snow there was soft and deep, but years in the bush made her sure-footed and quicker than most in the shadowy darkness

If you haven’t read any Canadian fiction, you would not go wrong starting with Brenda Chapman – an Ottawa gem

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