A detective duo probes a very cold case, the disappearance of a rising singer/songwriter more than half a century ago.
Feb. 28, 1965. Ellie Foster is smoking a cigarette in an alley outside a folk club called The Depression. As she waits between sets, hoping her friend Joni Anderson—who will later become Joni Mitchell—will arrive in time to see her perform, she's punched, and her world goes black. Then she disappears, and her family has no idea if she's alive or dead. Fifty-plus years later, laid-back Calgary investigators Adam Cullen and Mike Cobb (Dead Air, 2017, etc.) are visited by Ellie’s granddaughter, Monica Brill, who’s looking for answers. Not wanting to waste Monica’s money, the duo agree to work for a week and let her know whether they find anything warranting further investigation. Their questioning of Ellie’s old friends and fellow musicians is an evocative dive into a bygone era, but it yields no results for several days. Then Cullen and Cobb hit pay dirt with writer Lois Beeston, who spent years working on a book about The Depression. Her research notes point the duo in the right direction, providing them with a whole new list of suspects and potential witnesses. A club called The Tumbling Mustard and the folk singer Paula Pendergast, who performed with Ellie, put the detective duo on a path to learning the truth.
Poulsen’s third installment, short on plot but long on engaging character portraits, brims with nostalgia for a fondly remembered era set forth in a relaxed, amiable style.