Murder at the Mendel: A Joanne Kilbourn Mystery


213 pages
ISBN 0-88894-732-1
DDC C813'.54






Reviewed by Susan Perks

Susan Perks, formerly a teacher and librarian, is a travel agent in
Thompson, Manitoba.


Bowen was born in Toronto. She is now an assistant professor of English
at the University of Regina. Her first murder mystery, Deadly
Appearances, was a finalist for the Books in Canada/W.H. Smith First
Novel Award. This is her second novel; her heroine, Joanne Kilbourn,
investigates murder at the Mendel Art Gallery in Saskatoon.

Artist Sally Love returns home to Saskatoon for the opening of her show
at the Mendel Gallery. The highlight of the show is a mural depicting
the private parts of her sexual partners. Audience reaction is mixed:
shock, horror, uneasy laughter, and smiles all make an appearance. When
Kilbourn attends the show, she and Sally resume the friendship they had
enjoyed as teenagers. Joanne is swept up into Sally’s life as
controversy over the show erupts. As threats become more menacing and
personal, Joanne is drawn deeper and deeper into Sally’s private
world, where she discovers complicated interrelationships among
Sally’s art-world friends, former lovers, and estranged relatives.

This is a gripping, fast-paced book. Bowen has skillfully, and
appropriately, interwoven themes of greed, passion, and sex, and has
presented an excellently written novel. I greatly admire her writing
skill, and I look forward to her next novel.


Bowen, Gail., “Murder at the Mendel: A Joanne Kilbourn Mystery,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 21, 2024,