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Fiction Police Procedural

Turning Secrets

A Stonechild and Rouleau Mystery

by (author) Brenda Chapman

Dundurn Press
Initial publish date
May 2019
Police Procedural, Women Sleuths
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    May 2019
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2019
    List Price

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Keeping secrets is a very bad idea.

Former teenage runaway and new single mother Nadia Armstrong moves to Kingston to turn her life around. But six months after she rents a low-end apartment, her body is found at an isolated construction site. Major Crimes begins piecing together her last days, uncertain if it is a case of suicide or murder. To make matters more difficult, a member of the team is leaking information, putting Staff Sergeant Rouleau in a precarious position.

Meanwhile, Officer Kala Stonechild’s niece, Dawn, is secretly corresponding with her father, who’s out on early parole and turns up in town uninvited.Dawn’s friend Vanessa is also keeping a dangerous secret — her relationship with an older man named Leo, who preys on young girls. And it’s not long before he has Dawn in his sights.

About the author

Brenda Chapman grew up in Terrace Bay, Ontario, near the border of Minnesota. She has a BA in English from Lakehead University and a B.Ed from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Brenda taught reading and language arts to children and adults for nearly fifteen years before entering the federal government to work as a writer/editor. She is currently working as a senior communications advisor in Ottawa, Ontario. Chapman began her fiction career with children’s fiction. Running Scared (Napoleon, 2004) was her first YA novel featuring Jennifer Bannon. She then went on to pen three more in the series. Hiding in Hawk’s Creek (2006) was shortlisted for the 2007 Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children. Where Trouble Leads, set in the Georgian Bay wilderness, was published in 2007. Trail of Secrets (2009) was the final instalment in the series. In Winter’s Grip is her first mystery for adults.

Brenda Chapman's profile page

Excerpt: Turning Secrets: A Stonechild and Rouleau Mystery (by (author) Brenda Chapman)

Chapter One

Fisher Dumont stopped in front of the window on his way to the kitchen with one last tray full of dirty dishes. He gazed out at the grey April day now sinking into a cool Toronto evening, where on the street, the shift change was well underway. Office workers in power suits were hurrying past on their way to the subway, oblivious to their nighttime replacements. Misha the Amazon transwoman swayed by on stiletto heels heading to her usual corner while Flip, a panhandler who could have been forty or seventy, squatted on the sidewalk next to a hot air grate. Two college girls crossed to the opposite side of the street, their faces flushed and animated. Fisher imagined they were meeting up with friends at the Firkin, set for a night of beer and fried finger food. The sight of the girls was like a stoner’s fix; they made him want … want something clean and soft to make him forget the empty hours that made up his life — but he wouldn’t let his dreams go there. Not now. He turned away from the street dance and shifted the heavy tray.

Fisher hated this time of the afternoon. The shadows and thinning sunlight brought on the loneliness.

The dying hour.

“Your buddies are waiting for you out front,” said Nico, interrupting his thoughts with the noise of clinking glass as he pushed aside the strings of red beads in the doorway. Nico’s greased-back hair momentarily caught a shaft of sunlight on his way past the window. “Raff just arrived if you wanna split a few minutes early. He can do that load.”

Fisher looked down at the tray of dishes and hurried ahead of Nico into the steamy kitchen. He set the tray on the counter next to the dishwasher and slipped off his apron, hanging it on the hook near the fridge. Gina waved a spoon coated in tomato sauce at him from where she stood at the stove. Rhonda was chopping carrots near the sink and ignored him, as per usual. Bitch thought she was above the job because she’d had a year of university. He’d like to tell her to wipe that stuck-up look off her pointy face, but she was the vindictive kind who’d make sure they put him back inside if she could make up a reason. He wouldn’t put it past her.

He glanced back down the long hallway toward the ruby beads and the two men he knew were waiting for him. Luckily, his coat was hanging in the corridor; he grabbed it on his way to the rear exit. The alarm was busted and he made it outside without alerting anybody. He ran past the garbage bins in the alleyway, calling hello to the stray cat chewing on something it had dragged out of a bag dumped at the end of the lane. The cat’s green eyes locked onto him as it picked up the treasure with sharp teeth and scuttled deeper into the shadow of the building.

He didn’t know how long he’d be able to keep avoiding Loot and Ronnie, and he shivered at the thought of what they’d do when they finally caught up to him. Maybe he’d have some of their money by then and could talk his way into a reprieve for the rest. Maybe they’d give him more time to make good on what he owed and wouldn’t beat him to a pulp. And maybe a flying pot-bellied pig would land on the blue moon.

At the corner, he stopped and looked back. He was glad now for the shadows and coming darkness. It was getting tougher to stay away from all his old haunts but he had a few safe places they hadn’t figured out yet. Marie had said he could crash at her dump another night. He turned left onto Dalhousie to take the back streets north to Gerrard. He’d buy a twenty-sixer of rye on his way as payment for another night on her mattress. With any luck, she’d pass out before she pressed her bony hips onto his and he was forced again to return her hospitality in another way.

Editorial Reviews

With a satisfying ending and a clever twist or two, Chapman ensures that her fans will look forward to the next installment

Kirkus Reviews

Brenda Chapman is a superb suspense writer that knows how to masterfully weave multiple story lines into one cohesive novel.

Raging Book Reviews blog

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