Barrington Street Blues

Hard Cover


Publisher: ECW Press
Price: $24.95
ISBN: 9781550228137
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Anne Emery at ECWPress

Paperback


Publisher: ECW Press
Price: $14.95
ISBN: 9781550229066
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Kobo


Publisher: ECW Press
Price: $8.69
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Summary

A rich man and a poor man are found dead of gunshot wounds outside a seedy bar on Barrington Street in Halifax. The police declare it a murder-suicide, but bluesman/lawyer Monty Collins—hired to represent the victims’ families—suspects it’s a double murder. Everybody agrees on one thing: there is no known connection between the two victims. The case gets complicated when the police link the gun to the suspicious death of a high-flying lawyer named Dice Campbell.

 

Monty explores the dark side of Halifax society: hookers, drug addicts, boozers, gamblers and people desperate to cover up a series of parties that got way out of hand. Monty’s investigations lead him to a ruthless businessman with street connections, a preacher who’s been seen cruising for young people, and an oddball psychotherapist who may have overstepped the boundaries of therapy with more than one person in the case. As the story unfolds, Monty finds himself returning again and again to trade barbs with Dice Campbell’s hard-drinking wife, Mavis, whose motives are not as clear as they initially seem to be. But the murder isn’t the only thing on Monty’s mind. A threat of blackmail, and turmoil with his estranged wife Maura, have Monty singing the blues, lashing out at his closest friends, and spending far too much time in the bars of Halifax.

 

Reviews

Arthur Ellis Award-winning author Emery ... is a master at creating a sense of place (in this case, her hometown of Halifax, N.S.) and developing characters - talents that place her in the same rarified circle as Margaret Maron, Marcia Muller, and Sara Paretsky. ... A smashing ending that ties up all the loose ends. Highly recommended.

Library Journal (starred review)



Monty is no archetypal hero, just a highly flawed and endearing human being. ... He also continues to build on his unlikely friendship with hard-drinking and irascible priest Brennan Burke, first forged in Emery's Arthur Ellis Award-winning debut, Sign of the Cross. ... The yin-yang of Monty and Maura, from cruel barbs to tender moments, is rendered in occasionally hilarious but mostly heartbreaking fashion. Emery makes it easy to root for Monty, who solves not only the mystery that pays the bills, but also the one that tugs at his heart.

Quill & Quire




... a solid story of suspense long on mystery and short on excess. ... the writing is lean, linear and concise. ... As well, her understated treatment of setting gives credence to the theory that less detail can often mean more mood, as subtle sketches of Halifax's sickly underbelly slowly draw readers into the shady world of drug addiction, alcoholism, gambling, prostitution, and blackmail. However,it is perhaps Emery's use of character dialogue that gives the book its weight, masterfully chronicling Collins's slow descent into his own personal underworld. It is here that the heaviness of the tale unfolds, as readers are forced to confront the demons that drive the dark side of our humanity

Atlantic Books Today



...a compelling tale of crime and punishment involving characters of real substance and believability ... the natural flow of Emery's writing and the likeability of the novel's central characters make this a mystery worth solving.

Scene Magazine



Monty's shoot-from-the-lip wife ... has the sharpest tongue this side of Gillette and is the source of wicked repartee that will cause you to laugh out loud. ... This is not your average mystery. ... This is a wonderful yarn, full of amazingly colourful characters, dialogue that sweeps across the pages like a tsunami, a story that will keep you reading late into the night, and a plot as devious as a lawyer's mind.

Waterloo Region Record



Anne Emery has once again proven why she is one of Canada's most up and coming authors. Her previous novels, Sign of the Cross and Obit, were heralded as excellent works, and with good reason. They were great reads, and now Emery builds on the strength of her first two novels, to create another memorable tale. ... The strange scenarios keep piling up ... All the characters mesh together well, to create a readable book that will have you guessing right along with Monty as to the key unlocking the complex riddles. Barrington Street Blues will not have you singing the blues, rather singing the praises of Anne Emery, and the way she neatly resolves the novel.

Shelf Life



Anne Emery has given readers so much to feast upon in her latest novel Barrington Street Blues. The core of characters, common to all three of her novels, has become almost as important to the reader as the plots. She is becoming known for her complexity and subtlety in her story construction. She dares to challenge those readers who are so fond of anticipating the outcome of the plot. Emery also places her characters in situations where life-changing decisions must be made and somehow she is able to edge the thoughtful reader into speculating how they would handle such a situation. ... Barrington Street Blues should earn Anne Emery the right to fly first class from this point on.

Chronicle Herald



One of the ten best mysteries of 2008.

Chronicle Herald