A gripping contemporary murder mystery set in rural Newfoundland from the author of Last Lullaby
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.
About the author
Alice Walsh was born and raised in Newfoundland, Canada. An alumnus of St. Mary’s University and Acadia University, Walsh has degrees in both English and criminology, and a master’s degree in English literature with a focus on children’s literature. She is the award- winning author of several children’s books and young adult novels, including Pomiuk, Prince of the North, A Sky Black with Crows, and her latest book, A Long Way from Home. Walsh has received the Canadian Children’s Book Centre “Our Choice” Award, the Ann Connor Brimer Book Award, and was shortlisted for the Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award. A former preschool teacher, probation officer, and creative writing instructor, Walsh currently lives and writes in Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia.
"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's 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