As a reviewer I like to find an opener: ‘A sinister voice among the innocent snow is soon to be marked by death.’
An author with careers in social work, teaching, counselling, and with a mother who was a wartime spy, Iona Whishaw’s 8th novel celebrates a life rich with experience of writing mystery novels and telling stories.
Returned from their honeymoon with Inspector Darling, Lane prepares for the small community Christmas life, trading recipes, shovelling never ending snow, driving on back roads best left to a plough and a rescue mission at the local one room school when the departing teacher and her replacement disappear. Is Lethal Lesson a cozy? If it is then call it an award winning cozy with a razor edge that reveals bodies under the snow and grim events that force a young woman to run again from a life she so desperately needs to escape.
Dialogue puts you at the table by a roaring fireplace. Desperate
searches in winter storms with a small gang of kids who so want to become partners in Lane’s search for their teacher. The sense of place in Lethel Lesson is white snow, warm evenings before a fire, and tracks in the snow mixed with and traces of blood. Life
in King’s Cove, is caught up in a plot that continues to show Whishaw as a top of the shelf author. I hope that number 9 is somewhere in her creative mind.
By; Iona Whishaw. Touchwood. $16.95
Don Graves. Canadian mystery reviews. The Bay Observer.