Joanne Kilbourn is as feisty as ever in the 14th book of the series that bears her name. This time, Jo and Zack's young daughter Taylor's precocious talent as a painter has drawn the attention of people who may not be at all what they seem . . .
Jo and Zack are both proud and a little concerned when their youngest daughter Taylor -- whose birth mother was a brilliant but notoriously promiscuous artist -- has two paintings chosen for a high-level fund-raising auction. One they've seen; the other, a portrait of a young male artist's model, Taylor has carefully guarded in her studio. Their concern grows when it becomes clear (and quite public) that the young man is the lover of the older socialite who organized the fund-raiser -- and whose husband is Zack's old friend.
Soon, an ugly web of infidelity, addiction, and manipulation seems to be weaving itself around the Kilbourn-Shreve family. Jo and Zack are doing their best to keep everyone safe, but when one of the principal players in the drama is found murdered, events begin to spiral, Taylor seems to be drifting further away, and their very darkest fears seem about to be realized.
The Gifted reconfirms Gail Bowen's incomparable ability to interweave the domestic and the dramatic, and to explore the dark side of human nature while ensuring that the life-affirming pillars of family and friendship remain standing.
GAIL BOWEN's first Joanne Kilbourn mystery, Deadly Appearances (1990), was nominated for the W.H. Smith/Books in Canada Best First Novel Award, and A Colder Kind of Death (1995) won the Arthur Ellis Award for best crime novel; all 13 books in the series have been enthusiastically reviewed. In 2008 Reader's Digest named Bowen Canada's Best Mystery Novelist; in 2009 she received the Derrick Murdoch Award from the Crime Writers of Canada. Bowen has also written plays that have been produced across Canada and on CBC Radio. Now retired from teaching at the First Nations University, Bowen lives in Regina. www.gailbowen.com.
“The Gifted offers all the reliable Bowen virtues – deftly drawn characters, unusual twists and turns of plot, plenty of authentic details about contemporary Canadian life, and, of course, the irrepressible and genteel upper-middle class sleuth, Joanne Kilbourn. The Gifted can fairly be said to confirm Bowen’s growing reputation as ‘the queen of Canadian crime fiction.’ . . . [It] will undoubtedly invite a fresh wave of new readers into the wonderfully crafted world of Gail Bowen’s mystery fiction.”
—Winnipeg Free Press
“[Joanne’s husband Zack’s] legal advice, and his contacts, come in handy through the novel’s eruptions of theft, murder, blackmail and surprise. He’s a handy family support for Joanne as she juggles the needs of not only a community, but more immediately of the friends – and most immediately of the family members – she wants to keep safe for their own full, happy lives. As usual, this is no small trick, for even the most experienced protagonist – of whom in all of Canadian crime, Joanne and her creator are among the most dependably enduring.”
—Joan Barfoot, London Free Press
“It’s [Joanne and Zack’s daughter] Taylor who innocently sets off the chain of action that leads to murder [and] becomes the girl readers can’t help cheering on. . . . [She’s] an adorable heroine.”
— Jack Batten, the Toronto Star
“Bowen’s prose is straight-forward, and the essential set-up — an amateur drawn into a murder investigation — fairly conventional, but Bowen uses these sturdy building blocks with skill and inspiration. The result is less a murder mystery and more a character study sketched out with blunt objects and gray matter.”
— Publishers Weekly