The Dead of Winter

What a lucky find!… a new Montreal writer, Peter Kirby, who sets his book, The Dead of Winter, over Christmastime, and I get to read it while visiting the kids during the holidays. For me, timing is everything. Call me weird if you want, but snow and Christmas certainly wouldn’t appeal to me if I was looking for a book to read at the beach. Luckily I spotted a review of Kirby’s book a few weeks prior to Christmas and I knew I’d have to tuck it away to read while waiting for Santa and his team to appear. 5 homeless people have been discovered dead at various locations in snowy downtown Montreal, and although all deaths seem to be natural, Inspector Luc Vanier of Montreal’s finest, is called upon to investigate. Autopsies soon reveal that all did not die a natural death and clues, including a suspicious Santa, lead him into the shelters, soup kitchens, and back alleys of Montreal, as well as the back rooms and boardrooms of the Catholic Church and the business elite. Kirby’s descriptions of the city are bang-on. Especially the snow removal, it filled my mind with vivid images from my past. He even rants a bit about social issues like the treatment of the homeless, and the Church as well, giving the book more depth than your average cosy murder mystery. He’s a talented writer, and I’m totally impressed with his first book. And I loved the cover. I hope he intends to continue this as a series and Luc Vanier shows up over and over again. I’m hooked! What Robert Rotenberg does for Toronto, Peter Kirby does for Montreal. Read it and see for yourself. It’s the perfect start to your New Year’s reading.

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