Cold Mourning is the first in a new series featuring Kala Stonechild and Jacques Rouleau. The novel is set in Ottawa, and Chapman joins Louise Penny, Vicki Delany, and Inger Ashe Wolfe as my favorite Canadian mystery writers.
Although Chapman has also written other mysteries, Cold Mourning is the first in a new series. Native American Kala Stonechild joins the Ottawa Police Department with a past that she carries with her even as she tries to leave it behind. Detective Jacque Rouleau also has a past, a more recent one, from which he is recovering.
Stonechild, the newest member of Rouleau's team, has only recently arrived in Ottawa and is staying at the YMCA/YWCA. As a Native American and a woman, Stonechild has her work cut out for her; there are prejudices to overcome. Rouleau's acceptance goes a long way.
When wealthy, influential businessman Tom Underwood goes missing and is later found murdered, Rouleau's team begins a thorough investigation with plenty of suspects.
An exceptional mystery, Cold Mourning kept me guessing. Some suspects are unlikable, some are detestable, and a few are sympathetic; a variety of possible motives and no decisive evidence. Yes, I had suspicions about the actual killer, but I suspected almost everyone at some point! So...no points for me there. By the time I was certain, it was only because Kala Stonechild unexpectedly uncovered the information. I knew when she did.
I most certainly look forward to more from Brenda Chapman, Kala Stonechild, and Jacques Rouleau.
Read in Sept.; review scheduled for February.
Mystery/Police Procedural. March 1, 2014.