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Fiction Traditional British

Postmark Berlin

A Mystery

by (author) Anne Emery

ECW Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2022
Traditional British, International Mystery & Crime, Historical
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2020
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    May 2020
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2022
    List Price

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From two-time winner of the Arthur Ellis Award comes a new mystery that will keep readers guessing along with Collins and Burke. From Halifax, Nova Scotia, all the way to Berlin, Germany, Father Brennan Burke searches for answers in the murder of a parishioner and finds that she was a woman with many secrets in her past.

Now in paperback!

Father Brennan Burke is coming off a rough stint in Belfast and he’s been trying to obliterate those memories with drink ever since. His troubles intensify when the body of one of his parishioners washes up on the beach in Halifax. Meika Keller came to Canada after escaping through the Berlin Wall. Now a Canadian military officer is charged with her murder. Defense lawyer Monty Collins argues that her death was suicide. That’s the last thing Father Burke wants to hear. Guilty of neglecting his duties as a priest when Meika needed him most, Brennan feels compelled to uncover whatever prompted her cry for help and led to her death.

He suspects that the answer lies overseas. But nothing could have prepared him for the events that unfold when he flies to Germany to investigate the case. In the midst of all this, Brennan and Monty must deal with conflicts between the two of them, which arose out of their time in Belfast and have yet to be resolved.

About the Collins-Burke Mysteries

This multi-award-winning series is centered on two main characters who have been described as endearingly flawed: Monty Collins, a criminal defense lawyer who has seen and heard it all, and Father Brennan Burke, a worldly, hard-drinking Irish-born priest. The priest and the lawyer solve mysteries together but sometimes find themselves at cross-purposes, with secrets they cannot share: secrets of the confessional and matters covered by solicitor-client confidentiality. The books are notable for their wit and humor and their depiction of the darker side of human nature ― characteristics that are sometimes combined in the same person, be it a lawyer, a witness on the stand, or an Irish ballad singer who doubles as a guerrilla fighter in the Troubles in war-torn Belfast. In addition to their memorable characters, the books have been credited with a strong sense of place and culture, meticulous research, crisp and authentic dialogue, and intriguing plots. The novels are set in Nova Scotia, Ireland, England, Italy, New York, and Germany. The series begins with Sign of the Cross (2006) and continues to the most recent installment, Postmark Berlin (2020).

About the author

Contributor Notes

Anne Emery is a lawyer and the author of the Collins-Burke mystery series, set in Halifax, Cape Breton, Ireland, London, and New York. She has won two Arthur Ellis Awards, an Independent Publisher Book Awards silver medal, and the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction. She lives in Halifax, NS.

Excerpt: Postmark Berlin: A Mystery (by (author) Anne Emery)

“And so, because you drank yourself senseless, you weren’t here for our parishioner Meika Keller. She came looking for you here at ten o’clock last night. Said you had agreed to see her.”

What? What was he saying? Meika Keller? Had she been talking to Brennan recently? Yes, of course. It was just . . . when? Yesterday, wasn’t it? He tried to clear his head.

“What did she say to you?” the bishop asked now.

“Say to me? When?”

“For the love of God, Brennan, wise up here. What did she want to talk to you about?”

“I don’t ….” It was coming back to him through the haze now. The woman had been chatting with him at Saint Mary’s University, where she was a professor and Brennan a part-time lecturer. As Meika was leaving the campus, she asked if she could come and speak with him. Could she meet him that night after a charity event of some kind that she had to attend. That would have been last night.

“What time is it?” Brennan asked now.

“It’s too late, Brennan. That’s what time it is.”

“No, no, I’ll see her. Just let me . . .”

“Was it a confession she asked for, Brennan? At least, tell me that.”

He tried to reconstruct the conversation with Meika Keller. She was usually cheerful, witty, full of personality. She had always struck him as unflappable. Yesterday, though, her manner was different. There was something on her mind and it must have been serious, if she wanted to meet Father Burke at ten o’clock at night.

“I’m thinking yes, Dennis, she may have wanted to see me in the confessional. Well, I’ll track her down now and apologize and hear what she has to say. Maybe help put her mind at rest.”

“No, you won’t, Brennan.”

Something in Cronin’s manner gave Brennan a chill. “What is it, Dennis?”

“At seven thirty-five this morning, Meika Keller’s body washed up on the beach at Point Pleasant Park.”

Editorial Reviews

“Emery has twice won the Arthur Ellis Award (both for earlier installments in this series), and readers who have not yet sampled her tough-edged crime fiction are advised to rectify that immediately. A fine entry in a consistently strong series.” — Booklist

“The roller-coaster ride to learn who Meika was and what led to her death will keep the reader guessing along with Burke and Collins. Fans of analytic detective stories will be pleased.” — Publishers Weekly

“It’s a search that becomes an intricate piece of sleuthing through Halifax’s military community and deep into the murdered woman’s old connections in the former communist East Germany. As in the earlier novels, this one relies on two particular strengths — immaculate research and moral worthiness — and along the way, it slides expertly around a whole slew of narrative conundrums.” — Toronto Star

Postmark Berlin is a fine addition to an already very strong series of novels by multiple award-winning author Anne Emery. Featuring a gripping plot supported by nuanced and believable characters, and informed by the author’s firm knowledge of history and the community of Halifax, the layered story of a complex woman and her equally convoluted past carries the reader along effortlessly to its satisfying conclusion … Postmark Berlin cements Anne Emery’s position among the top half-dozen crime writers in Canada.” — Ottawa Review of Books

“Very entertaining … Set largely in Halifax, the Collins-Burke Mystery series is an exceptional one with outstanding stories and fascinating characters. Highly recommended!” — Metroland News

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