Stain of the Berry
Stain of the Berry sounds fleshy and sweet; this title sums up the beauty of Anthony Bidulka's most recent mystery involving detective Russell Quant. Occurring during summer, the main character travels through the gorgeous Canadian countryside while investigating his newest case. Delightful and a bit awkward, the quirky private detective is hired to find out if a young woman committed suicide or if she was killed. Clues lead the reader to believe perhaps a “bogeyman” is running loose through the lower Canadian landscape.
Bidulka allows to the reader to feel like he or she is joining in on the pursuit. Interspersing points of contemporary culture into the storyline brings a smile as pages turn with gorgeous images and smells of summer in Canada emanating. With well-written flair, Bidulka puts the reader in the curious mind of Quant. As he meets suspects, Quant sizes up the characters with good sense, both professionally and personally. Parallel to the mystery, the detective struggles with turning 35 and the loss of a dear friend. While seeking information to solve his case, he discovers answers to his personal questions as well. Driven and intelligent, Quant solves his case being in the right place at the right time. By the end of the novel, Bidulka ties all the running stories together with both a funny and matter of fact method. I imagine Quant to be similar to Magnum P.I. in the '80s – attractive, charismatic, fun and always guessing as this mystery keeps the reader doing until the absolute end.