Thursday, July 02, 2009

'The Delicate Storm'

by Giles Blunt
Fiction/Crime, 2003
Seal Books, mm pb, 393 p.
Detective John Cardinal series, Book 2
When the dismembered corpse of an American tourist turns up half-eaten by bears near Algonquin Bay, Detective John Cardinal is assigned to the case. Without a solid lead, and with the RCMP and CSIS involved, Cardinal is forced to band together with his nemesis, Sergeant Malcolm Musgrave, to untangle the deceit and cover-ups surrounding the case. Then a well-respected local woman is found frozen under a glaze of ice in the woods, and Cardinal realizes that the two very different murders may well be connected.

Working closely with his trusted colleague, Detective Lise Delorme, to whom he feels a dangerous attraction, Cardinal fights his emotions and a relentless ice storm only to uncover a knot of lies and conspiracies that go back more than thirty years and extend to the highest reaches of Canadian intelligence.
A mystery was a great choice to read during the chaotic days just before and after moving day, and this proved to be a good one. When I got into bed each night it was engaging enough to distract me from all the boxes and the countless things I still needed to do, but also fun and easy to read since I doubt I would’ve been able to handle anything too deep at the time.

I’d really enjoyed the first book in the series, Forty Words for Sorrow, when I read it a couple of years ago, and The Delicate Storm didn’t disappoint. It was nice to revisit Algonquin Bay and to catch up with Detectives Cardinal and Delorme, along with some of the other characters that are a part of their lives, both old and new.

I don’t think I’m giving too much away by saying that I didn’t know anything about the October Crisis that took place in Quebec in 1970 and so found it interesting to read a little bit about this event in Canadian history, when it was referred to in the story. The author has changed names and tweaked some details, but apparently he relates the incident quite accurately, so says Peter Rozovsky of Detectives Beyond Borders.

I’ll definitely be continuing with the series and getting the third book, Black Fly Season, when I’m next in Canada.

Final verdict: Likeable characters and so far a very enjoyable series.

Interview with Giles Blunt (Crime Factory)
Video interview with Giles Blunt (The Poisoned Pen)
For more on the author and his books, visit Giles Blunt's website.

First sentence: First came the warmth.

Buy this book at Amazon | | | The Book Depository

My Rating: 4/5
(2nd Canadian Book Challenge)

If you've read and reviewed this title, let me know and I'll link to it here.


  1. My son and I both read every one of his books and loved them. I'm so glad you found these, they are all enjoyable. His last two books have been departures, No Such Creature (not his best I thought)and one about Lorca which I definitely will read. We're hoping he writes more John Cardinal books, some of them won awards. Enjoy the stories.

  2. I'm always happy when a series continues to deliver with each book. Sounds like a good one to pick up!

  3. The first time I heard of Blunt it was after he'd published Black Fly Season, so I always assumed that when I finally made it to him, I'd start there. I had no idea it was the third in a series!

    In unrelated news, my family and I are planning a trip to Japan in the spring of next year. Any recommendations of things to see/do?

  4. I've been meaning to check out one of his books for a while now. Glad to hear the series is turning out to be a good one!

  5. The review sounds good.... I don't take time to sit down and read a good mystery often enough. I think I miss that.... :)

  6. I keep meaning to read Forty Words of Sorrow. I hear it's excellent. This one sounds really good too. Thanks for the review, Nat!

  7. Thanks for the mention. I read Black Fly Season and liked it even better than The Delicate Storm. Like John, I think I first heard of Blunt in connection with Black Fly Season.
    Detectives Beyond Borders
    “Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home”

  8. Sandra - I've really enjoyed these first two in his John Cardinal series and I'm definitely looking forward to reading more by Blunt.

    Joy - I hope you enjoy it!

    Staci - It's always disappointing if a series starts off great but then loses steam, isn't it? I've only read 2 so far in this one but they've both been fun to read, and the next one sounds good too.

    John - How fun that you're planning a trip to Japan. I guess it depends how long you'll be here but at the very least you must visit Kyoto! Lots of temples and shrines, geisha, good food, and so on. It's impossible to see everything so if you'd like, I'd be happy to give you more details on some of the highlights. Just let me know.

    Iliana - Like you need another mystery series to start, right? ;)
    But if you do get a chance to try one, I hope you enjoy it.

    Sheila - I never used to read many mysteries but have started to more lately and it's nice sometimes to just read something quick and fun.

    Wendy - I really enjoyed Forty Words for Sorrow. From what I remember it was more thrilling than this one but they were both good in their own way.

    Peter - That's good to hear, that you liked Black Fly Season even more than The Delicate Storm. I'll definitely be picking it up the next time I'm 'home'.


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