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Fiction Women Sleuths

The Birds That Stay: A Russell and Leduc Mystery

by (author) Ann Lambert

Second Story Press
Initial publish date
Feb 2019
Women Sleuths, Amateur Sleuth
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2019
    List Price

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"Ten Thrillers That Will Keep You on the Edge of Your Seat Until Summertime" - The Globe and Mail. In a small village in the Laurentians, north of Montreal, a reclusive older woman is found strangled outside her home. Roméo Leduc, Chief Inspector for Homicide, is one day away from his first vacation in years but reluctantly answers the call on the case. Marie Russell lives in the same small community. She did not know her elderly neighbour, and she does not expect to become embroiled in solving her murder. But when a startling new clue emerges, Marie becomes an inadvertent detective. As Marie and Roméo combine wits to find the killer, they are forced to face demons from their own pasts as they confront a case where no one and nothing is really as it seems.

About the author

Ann Lambert has been writing and directing for the stage for thirty-five years. Several of her plays, including The Wall, Parallel Lines, Very Heaven, The Mary Project and Two Short Women have been performed in theatres in Canada, the United States, Europe and Australia. She has been a teacher of English literature at Dawson College for almost twenty-eight years in Montreal, Quebec, where she makes her home.

Ann Lambert's profile page


  • Unknown, The Globe and Mail's List of "Ten crime novels to add a thrill to your spring"
  • Commended, Book Riot's List of "33 Highly Anticipated Crime Novels", January-March 2019
  • Short-listed, Quebec Writers' Federation - Concordia University First Book Prize 2019

Editorial Reviews

With many references to Quebec that will be familiar to those who know the province, the book may also appeal to fans of Louise Penny's Chief Inspector Gamache series.


The Birds That Stay is populated with complex characters, not one of whom has been untouched by some form of trauma, be it divorce, addiction, abuse, abandonment, or betrayal. The skillful way in which these characters are rendered is part of what makes the book so engaging.

Montreal Review of Books

Lambert will scratch your murder-mystery itch, rest assured, but she resists the common tendency to place the action in a sealed-off world where murder is normalized. The Birds That Stay is fully engaged with life.

The Montreal Gazette

The setting is the Laurentians, north of Montreal. That leads one to inevitably think of Louise Penny’s Three Pines, but let the comparison stop there. Yes, both are rural and very Quebec, but Lambert is telling a very different story in a very different way.

The Globe and Mail

Ten Thrillers That Will Keep You on the Edge of Your Seat Until Summertime (List)

The Globe and Mail

Lambert’s craft is honed by years of playwriting, teaching literature, and observing the human condition. She depicts believable characters whose worlds collide when history, in its insidious way, encroaches on the present, and affects future generations.

The Senior Times

p times="" new="" roman",="" serif;"="">Quebec Writers' Federation - Concordia First Book Prize 2019
Juror comments (full text) p times="" new="" roman",="" serif;"="">Lambert’s prose captures the spirit(s) of Quebec, the push and pull of modernity, particularly in the communities far from the cities, and the beauty that is sometimes forgotten in discussions of provincial politics... Amidst a cast of sympathetic characters who span social classes and carry with them burdens of diverse, often painful personal histories, Lambert interweaves the stories of two winning protagonists who meet via the mystery to be solved... p times="" new="" roman",="" serif;"="">Lambert’s confidence in her characters, her intelligent plot, and digressions that both instruct and delight make The Birds that Stay an engaging and un-put-down-able read.

"...a fascinating and gripping tale of suspense, and there’s even a hint of romance here."

New York Journal of Books

In her debut murder mystery, Ann Lambert manages to elevate an escapist genre into a meditation on the repercussions of horrendous crimes on generations to come.

The Canadian Jewish News

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