I was looking for something like a police procedural, and was drawn to Cold Mourning by Brenda Chapman because I recognized the audio narrator as an actress / producer / director who also had a cameo in one of my favorite movies ever – Smoke Signals.
Unfortunately, despite the premise and excitement, Michelle St. John ruined the book for me. I can appreciate her native storytelling cadence but maybe one needs an ear for it? She mostly monotoned with little to no inflection, emotion, voice changes, sentence breaks, and she gasped loudly and frequently. I rarely dnf an audio but it was just too hard to listen to.
About the book:
- Title: Cold Mourning
- Series: Stonechild and Rouleau Mystery, #1
- Author: Brenda Chapman
- Publisher & Release: Dundurn Press – March, 2014
- Length: 392 pgs
- Rate & Recommend: 🌟🌟✨ for fans of police procedurals and those looking for Indigenous characters. The Audio might be a good experience to hear a native voice
Audio: approximately 9 hours, narrated by Michelle St. John
When murder stalks a family over Christmas, Kala Stonechild trusts her intuition to get results.
It’s a week before Christmas when wealthy businessman Tom Underwood disappears into thin air ― with more than enough people wanting him dead.
New police recruit Kala Stonechild, who has left her northern Ontario detachment to join a specialized Ottawa crime unit, is tasked with returning Underwood home in time for the holidays. Stonechild, who is from a First Nations reserve, is a lone wolf who is used to surviving on her wits. Her new boss, Detective Jacques Rouleau, has his hands full controlling her, his team, and an investigation that keeps threatening to go off track.
Old betrayals and complicated family relationships brutally collide when love turns to hate and murder stalks a family.
It could have been residual boredom but the book didn’t quite do it for me either, although the series 100% definitely has potential. Kala Stonechild is a First Nations detective on a reservation in northern Canada, and she moves to Ottawa to try her hand in a major crimes unit. While there she looks for an old friend. I don’t read many books set in Canada either and I did like how the cold climate factored into the story.
The crime & mystery was a decent story, and Kala had to navigate the boy’s club detective force and follow her instincts, despite being picked on and dealing with racism. The major giveaways of the case were much more luck than skill, although I think the point was to introduce Kala and Rouleau more than set them apart as amazing detectives.
They felt more like real people with real failures.
Some story lines were not relevant to the central plot and others were just poorly presented, like it took forever to figure out who Stonechild was searching for in Ottawa, and I never understood the whole Jordan thing back home.
Overall- I would like to read another in the series to see how Chapman improves, and how the detectives get on together
Audio: DNF / 1 star