Short-listed for the 2011 Shamus AwardsDeadly nightshade – the poison plant par excellence – and in historic Quebec City at an important scientific conference concerning the genetic manipulation of trees it means murder!Police, RCMP, and a mysterious FBI agent from Washington converge on the scene. But the sharpest eye belongs to Sam Montcalm, a despised "bedroom snooper"Short-listed for the 2011 Shamus AwardsDeadly nightshade – the poison plant par excellence – and in historic Quebec City at an important scientific conference concerning the genetic manipulation of trees it means murder!Police, RCMP, and a mysterious FBI agent from Washington converge on the scene. But the sharpest eye belongs to Sam Montcalm, a despised "bedroom snooper" from Ottawa whose primary concern is to clear a First Nations activist of the crime. Sam is middle-aged, tough, and sophisticated, yet he's also a lone wolf who feels displaced nearly everywhere, and his relations with his colleagues, the police – and with women – are always complicated."You're a psychic wound without a health card," a friend commentsThe story moves to its surprising climax as Montcalm follows the trail of murder back to Canada's capital and into the Gatineau Hills, his deep sense of cynicism about human nature confirmed as he closes in on the killer and struggles to come to terms with himself....
|Title||:||Nightshade: A Sam Montcalm Mystery|
|Number of Pages||:||336 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Nightshade: A Sam Montcalm Mystery Reviews
Was not very impressed by this book, but for an aspiring writer, there was still something to learn from it. Check out my full review on my blog: https://ozmosisbookmarked.blogspot.co...
"Nightshade," by Ottawa author Tom Henighan is a satisfying, fast-paced mystery story. I also found it an enjoyable romp, with its middle-aged protagonist, Ottawa private eye Sam Montcalm, who lately deals mainly with "bedroom cases" and has a fondness for older women and classical music. Sam's no slouch himself when it comes to the bedroom.The story begins with Sam on vacation in Quebec City, staying with friends Inspector Paul Berthelet, a Quebec City cop, and his wife. At the same time, a scientific conference about the genetic manipulation of trees is taking place in the city and in Ottawa. When a scientist from the Arbor Vitae group attending the conference is found dead, poisoned by bella donna (the deadly nightshade), Paul asks Sam to help him in the investigation.One of Sam's previous lovers, Clara Kincaid, shows up with a new partner, the First Nations artist and activist Daniel Summerhays. Part of an eco-protest group aimed at Arbor Vitae, Daniel is also exhibiting one of his paintings, titled "Bella Donna," which leads him to becoming a suspect in the murder-by-poison investigation. Sam believes in Daniel's innocence and agrees to help Clara prove it. The large cast of well-drawn characters in the book include Sam's eccentric tenant, who lifts weights to the Goldberg Variations; a mysterious FBI agent, who antagonizes Sam at every turn; a shady man with possible Mafia connections, who is eager to buy into Arbor Vitae and who happens to cultivate rare plants; and the seductive Arbor Vitae research scientist, Dr. Annie Sergeant. There's plenty of local flavour of Vieux Quebec, the neighbourhoods of Ottawa, and the rugged beauty of the Gatineau Hills. Having experienced these locales myself, I enjoyed revisiting them. Now I look forward to the next Sam Montcalm mystery.
Nightshade is the first novel in a projected series by Tom Henighan, featuring Ottawa-based private detective Sam Montcalm, whose most frequent jobs involve the sordid little affairs of the rich and famous. On vacation in Quebec City, he is asked by an old girlfriend, Clara, to help their mutual friend, police officer Paul Berthelet, discover the facts behind the mysterious murder of a genetic scientist, poisoned with deadly nightshade. The police already suspect Clara's partner Daniel, an Indian activist and artist, but Sam soon learns that there are far more suspects than that.... As someone living in Montreal, I've of course visited both Ottawa and Quebec City many times, which is why I was curious about this book. Unfortunately, I was not impressed with either the main character or the settings in which he finds himself; there's an attempt to give Sam a sad and difficult back-story which rings fairly hollow, and incidents placed in Quebec are marred by the author's decision to use English abbreviations for French institutions: calling the SQ (surete du Quebec) by the abbreviation QPP, apparently patterned after Ontario's Provincial Police, just threw me completely out of the story. Those readers who don't live in this Province won't have that problem, obviously, but they may not find much else to admire in the book either. I spotted the murderer very early on, too, which is disappointing in a mystery. I won't be searching for the second book in this series, and wouldn't recommend that anybody else bother, either.
Although enjoyed the Canadian themes and the setting in Quebec City then Ottawa (and environs), did not really like the story nor the style of writing. Found it "pulpy". (Fitting, since one of the themes was trees.)