Official Synopsis from Goodreads: In the fifth book of the series that the Globe and Mail calls “terrific,” Lane Winslow investigates the murder of an unidentified man she found adrift in a boat near King’s Cove.
Lane Winslow is enjoying a perfect, sunny day at the lake when she spots a gravely injured young man drifting in a sinking rowboat. Hypothermic, bleeding, and soaked in icy, bloody water, he is unable to speak, leaving Lane at a loss. What series of events brought him to this grisly fate?
Darling and Ames are quick to pick up the case, but leads are few until Angela’s young son finds an unsettling clue on the beach–a bright red swastika lapel pin–that points to the National Unity Party of Canada. When the anonymous man succumbs to his injuries, Darling and Lane are thrown headlong into a murder investigation with ties to the old country.
Fans of Maisie Dobbs, Bess Crawford, and the ever-popular Kopp Sisters will be enchanted by Lane Winslow, a clever, no-nonsense sleuth based on the author’s own mother, who was a wartime spy.
Genre: Historical mystery
Setting: 1947 British Columbia
***I received an eARC copy of A Sorrowful Sanctuary from the publisher, Touchwood Editions ***
*** this post contains affiliate links ***
Review: A fast-paced and smart mystery. Iona Whishaw does it again! A Sorrowful Sanctuary by Iona Whishaw is the fifth entry in the Lane Winslow mystery series, and this one was heavy on the mystery, and also focused a bit more on the romance between Lane and Inspector Darling. No complaints about that here!
Our main mystery involves Lane discovering an injured man in a boat, and the question of who is he? Did he try to commit suicide or was it attempted murder? Darling and Ames investigate the case, along with another case of a missing man, and many antique burglaries, and no surprise here, the cases do intersect, but not how you would expect.
As no one in our small town recognizes the mystery man, many of the townspeople join in on the mystery, and I really love reading the characters in this town! There’s almost a joyous response from the townspeople to the mysteries in this series, from the people all wanting to be involved and hear about the mystery, to kids peering out the window of a car at the crime scene. There’s a sense of curiosity and wonder here, which is nice to read. Yes, there’s murder and bad people, but the main group of characters are delightful and fun, and I feel like I’m a part of their community when I read these books.
The mystery here brings in themes of racism, nationalism, and treatment of refugees that feels like it could be set in today’s time as well. The mystery of who the injured man is, and also where the missing man is and stopping the antique thieves are all intriguing, and we meet some really slimy characters here and are anxious for the mysteries to be solved, and solved in a satisfactory manner.
There is also a focus on the romance between Lane and Darling, and a side plot with Ames’s love life, and I thought these sections helped tie this entry in with the other books in the series, and will help propel the series forward.
All in all, this was a great addition to the series, and I enjoyed the mystery parts of the story, but I also enjoyed all of the character growth as well. I’m looking forward to the next adventure with Lane, Darling, and Ames!
Bottom Line: Great mystery and great characters. Another winner!