Strange Things Done & Not A Sound


Both of these were library books that I saw mentioned in blogs and requested.  Strange Things Done by Elle Wild is set in an isolated town in the Yukon.  During the winter freeze the tourists and some of the residents leave  before the town is completely cut off.  Jo Silver, a journalist, arrives to take over the local paper, fresh on the heels of a career and personal disaster.  Then, the dying begins.

This is a complex and tension filled novel.  The environment alone can kill you, much less a human with a motive.  The sense of place here is marvelously done, the isolation, the cold, the pack mentality of the humans living in such conditions, and the beauty that exists is all here.  The characters are fully fleshed out and in some cases quirky, reminding me of the TV show Northern Exposure.  The mystery itself is engaging with red herrings and plenty of suspects to keep the reader guessing.

Great dark and suspenseful mystery.  An example of Canadian Noir!

Not a Sound by Heather Gudenkauf is my first book by this author.  The protagonist, Amelia Winn, is profoundly deaf after a hit run driver ran her and a patient down.  She was a nurse working with sexual assault and domestic violence victims.  Unable to work now and feeling overwhelmed by the isolation of her deafness, she turned to alcohol and lost everything else, her husband, step daughter and home.  Now sober she spends her time paddle boarding, hiking, and running to keep her addiction at bay until she stumbles over the body of a woman she worked with at the hospital.  Amelia finds herself in the middle of a murder case that she cannot let go.  With her service dog, Stitch at her side, Amelia digs into the victim’s life and death and soon doesn’t know who to trust or where to turn.

The character of Amelia was so well portrayed here.  The feelings of being at the top of your career and having it all snatched from you.  The onset of her alcoholism and the daily battle to keep it at bay are superbly done.  The mystery was suspenseful and maintained the sense of tension even once you knew what was happening.  I will definitely read more from this author.

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