Death on Darby's Island
by Alice Walsh
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 31 Aug 2021 | Archive Date 25 Oct 2021
Nimbus Publishing, Nimbus Publishing Limited
Nothing exciting ever happens on Darby's Island, Newfoundland. That is until one summer afternoon in 1975 when a Chevy towing a trailer drives off the ferry. The Great Prospero, Hypnotist and Magician is printed in large red letters across the side. People on the island are thrilled that the renowned Prospero is going to perform at the community hall. However, after the hypnotist suggests his subjects are seagulls, Jake Pickford, with arms flapping, leaves the building and does not return to the stage. That same evening, the archbishop is found stabbed to death on the beach. Hours later, Jake becomes the number-one suspect. The only problem: he can't remember anything.
When RCMP officer Blanche Ste Croix is called back to her hometown, she's girded herself for the inevitable confrontation with her mother-in-law. But when a storm prevents the forensics team from reaching Darby's Island, Blanche finds herself instead leading her first murder investigation. Over the course of one rainy weekend, she questions family, friends, and the cast of oddballs camped on the beach. At the same time as she's working to prove herself as a police officer, Blanche is forced to face the traumatic events of a decade earlier that took her away from the island in the first place.
As she conducts interviews and proceeds with the investigation, she uncovers secrets, coverups, and no shortage of suspects. Even the archbishop has his share of skeletons in his closet. But when the truth comes to light, it is more sinister than anyone could have imagined.
In her follow-up to Last Lullaby, Alice Walsh gives us another tightly plotted mystery whose small-town charm is just the tip of the iceberg.
“A slick, short and highly readable book.”
–The Globe & Mail
“Summertime is a good time for a murder mystery; the perfect kind of story to take to the cottage, beach, or camp for a light, entertaining read. Death on Darby’s Island by award-winning author Alice Walsh fits the bill perfectly…. A good start to a series, if there is to be one.”
–The Miramichi Reader
“Death on Darby Island is a masterclass in East Coast mystery writing. More Tempest than teapot, Alice Walsh’s novel brings secrets and murder to small-town Newfoundland in rich, authentic detail. With immense skill that includes a dash of humour, Walsh lures us into a storm-tossed land where we feel we could live and reveals it as a place where anyone could die. Darby’s Island is a place you won’t want to leave, but you probably should.”
–Gerard Collins, author of The Hush Sisters
“I didn’t see it coming. In Death on Darby’s Island, Alice Walsh provides a surprise perpetrator and deftly ties a string of disparate events into a shocking but satisfying resolution. But the book is more than a mystery. Walsh takes readers to Newfoundland in the 1960s and ’70s and tells a tale rooted deep in that culture and time, a grim story of an outport island with bloody murders, past and present, at its core.”
–Hilary MacLeod, author of the Shores mystery series
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 3 members
A compelling and entertaining mystery, full of twists. It kept me hooked and guessing till the end. I liked the style of writing, the attention to the details, the good storytelling and character development. I hope to read other books by this author. Recommended. Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine