Book Review: Kaleidoscope

The  two most dangerous years occur during the first year of life and the year immediately following retirement.

Nothing could be truer for Joanne Kilbourn, the familiar protagonist in the latest Gail Bowen mystery. As Joanne retires from her position as political science professor at the  University of Regina, she looks forward to spending the summer at her cottage on Lawyer’s Bay and gently easing into her new life. After barely a day of leisure, she and her husband Zack Shreve receive a call informing them that a bomb has exploded in the garage of their Regina home.

Forced to move into a renovated loft with her husband and adopted 14-year-old daughter, Joanne faces an unsettled future and has little time to reflect upon retirement. Her new neighborhood is a battle zone for the wealthy developer, Leland Hunter, and a group calling themselves the “Warriors,” who are fighting the gentrification of their community. To complicate things further, Joanne’s older daughter Mieka becomes romantically involved with agitator Riel Delorme and Leland is killed while jogging.

The thirteenth of Gail Bowen’s books, Kaleidoscope is one of the best in the series. Since 1990, I have looked forward to each new addition in the character-driven mystery series. In a recent interview, the septuagenarian assured her readers that she has no immediate plans to write a stand-alone book or terminate the Joanne Kilbourn saga.


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