Miss September


179 pages
ISBN 1-896951-11-2
DDC C843'.54





Translated by Sheila Fischman
Reviewed by Sarah Robertson

Sarah Robertson is the trade, scholarly, and reference editor of the
Canadian Book Review Annual.


“Intelligent bank robberies [have] become as rare as happy
marriages.” So muses Lieutenant Brodeur as he drives to the scene of a
bank heist in the Laurentians. But the young detective’s jaded outlook
gives way to admiration when he learns the details of what turns out to
have been a masterfully executed crime. Its perpetrator, a 22-year-old
exotic dancer named Geneviиve, launders the stolen money by purchasing,
appropriately enough, a dry-cleaning business.

With the same methodical care she lavished on the bank robbery,
Geneviиve sets about revitalizing the languishing business and
preparing herself for the inevitable confrontation with police. When
Brodeur finally shows up, it is he, not Geneviиve, who behaves like a
flustered suspect. Thus begins their unique courtship: a mutually
satisfying cat-and-mouse game. The novel’s tension derives from the
question of where Brodeur’s loyalties ultimately lie. Cop or
suitor—which of his roles will prevail? Among the ambitious cast of
secondary characters are Geneviиve’s father and ex-boyfriend, who are
as determined as Brodeur is to ferret out her secrets.

There isn’t a wasted word in this exquisitely crafted tale.
Gracefully written, filled with subtle insights, and featuring concisely
drawn but fully realized characters, it moves toward a resolution that
is as satisfying as the journey that precedes it. Geneviиve, a woman
whose natural inclination is to shy away from “the tyranny of
relationships,” is an elusive but fascinating heroine. She finds a
soulmate in the nonjudgmental detective, who is more interested in the
intricacies of her mind than in her sexual charms.

A press release issued by the publisher states that “Miss September
has been optioned for film treatment.” If the movie is anything like
the novel, audiences are in for a stylish and sophisticated treat.


Gravel, François., “Miss September,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 17, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/2856.