The Birds That Stay (A Russell and Leduc Mystery #1) by Ann Lambert

I have been busy today! I spent all day reading to stay on top of releases in the week to come. I am trying to keep a delicate balance between making it seem like work and actually getting it done. It all seemed much more fun to fill into tiny little calendars than the actual action. Since no one is breathing down my neck, I should be able to stop myself from going berserk (or so I tell myself).

I fully intend to do some other constructive things before the weekend, but what they will be remains to be seen.


I was lucky with my choices the last two days. First up was this book, an advance review copy which is set to release on the 19th of this month. I do not know what initially drove me towards it but I am glad I gave it a shot.

This book is set in Quebec (I have read a few Bones books set here before). This story gave me a very leisurely tour of the cultural backdrop of the place as well as the current mix of lifestyles within the different communities. To those of us who learn about the western world vicariously through the books and TV shows, such books will always be a draw. An old woman is found dead in her home and the local police is put on the case. There seem to be many small niggling things that bother the Chief Inspector enough to put a well deserved holiday on hold (or even cancelled) to delve deeper into the case. Next door to the woman (almost) lives Marie Russell who keeps popping random bird (and a few animal) facts as she is writing a rough draft in her head for a children’s book. She has lived in Montreal since she was a child and is now old enough to crave grandchildren. Her thoughts are the main source of cultural information for us as she navigates the reality of her mother’s illness, her past, her kids and ex-husband. They are a constant train and chug along as and when the scenery changes. Some of these recollections got a little repetitive and a few could have been avoided as they do not add to the story at large but then again we normally do not have control over nostalgia once given a free rein. Her entry into the investigation is more gradual.

Chief Inspector Roméo, is following up all leads with help from his team. He has family issues as well and it is more fleeting than Marie’s but provide us with more fuel to paint a picture of that part of the world going back all the way to 1970s. The ending cannot be completely guessed since there are too many pieces but one of the main reason I give this book four stars is its unique setting and the lead characters are not the usual dashing winners who just snap their fingers for their happily ever after. This is heavier than your average mystery book but worth reading!

I received a copy of the book thanks to the publishers and NetGalley but the review is all my own and unbiased.

Affiliated link for purchase:Book Depository

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