Murder follows a charge of sexual abuse, prompting a curious amateur sleuth back into action.
Kate Carpenter, the house manager of Calgary’s largest theater (House Report, 2004), is settling into shaky cohabitation with her handyman boyfriend Cam when her meddling mother abruptly announces a visit. Mom’s minatory attitude toward Kate’s amour loses some sting when she arrives with her own affectionate new beau. But a greater threat to Kate’s new relationship concerns her theater, which has just been chosen as the site of a prestigious music festival. Suave Stephan Bouchard, Kate’s mentor and lover of a decade ago, when she nearly became a professional musician, arrives with his bitchy wife Carole and pianist daughter Nicole, a former prodigy Kate had baby-sat during her affair with Stephan. Now Cam is jealous about Stephan, who’s trying to rekindle the old flame. On the eve of her performance in the festival, Nicole triggers a feeding frenzy in the press by claiming that Stephan has sexually abused her since she was a little girl. She’s championed by family friend Dr. Joelle Bergere, who may have ulterior motives. Kate is skeptical. The furor surrounding the accusation has barely subsided when Kate discovers Joelle’s body swinging on a rope from the second balcony. Intuition and an anonymous diary help her beat the police to a solution.
Kate’s breezy first-person narrative piques interest in her sophomore entry and smooths over the joints of the awkwardly constructed plot.