The awaited third mystery novel in the Russell and Leduc series from Ann Lambert

Book Launch: Dynamic Book Readings and Q&A

Whale Fall, a new novel by Ann Lambert

Hosted by playwright Alice Abracen

Paragraphe Bookstore, Sunday, October 23, 2 pm

Join awarded novelist and playwright Ann Lambert for book readings and an insightful Q & A at the launch of her third hot topic mystery novel, Whale Fall (Second Story Press). This latest book follows the success of The Birds That Stay and The Dogs of Winter; books one and two in the award-nominated Russell and Leduc mystery series. Lambert’s series has been included on Book Riot‘s list of ‘Highly Anticipated Crime Novels’ and The Globe and Mail‘s ‘Ten Thrillers That Will Keep You on the Edge of Your Seat until Summertime.’ The launch is hosted by playwright Alice Abracen at Paragraphe Bookstore on Sunday, October 23 at 2 pm.  Expect a lively, warm and thoughtful evening from this creative mother/daughter duo.

There’s blood in the water…

In the heat of a lush Laurentian summer, Marie Russell and Detective Roméo Leduc are finally getting married, but the joyous occasion is overshadowed by the arrival of Magnus Sorenson, Marie’s first love. This celebrity eco-warrior is planning a dramatic protest against a local development project, but his actions take a dark turn with unexpected consequences. Roméo and Marie are forced to abandon their honeymoon and go on the hunt for a killer, unearthing long-buried secrets along the way. Meanwhile, an elderly couple from the local seniors’ residence has gone missing, and Marie and Roméo are in a race to find them before it’s too late. Fast-paced and chilling, Whale Fall is a riveting tale of love, vengeance and climate justice.

As a playwright and novelist, Lambert is driven to write about social and political issues and how they intersect with real life, “In Whale Fall, I wanted to look at how humans exploit and devour this planet like it was an endless source of material for our personal consumption, with no regard to the future.  We are in a way, committing collective murder—so a murder mystery is an appropriate forum to explore this,” she said. Quebec is once again a central character, examining its political history through the eyes of both Francophone and Anglophone characters. 

Whale Fall is a story of love and revenge by animals of the human and non-human kind. Whales are like canaries in a coal mine; when they fall, so will life, as they provide half the oxygen breathed. The term whale fall describes an extraordinary occurrence. When the carcass of a whale falls to the ocean floor at a depth greater than 1,000 metres, it creates an ecosystem that provides a bounty of nutrients for deep sea creatures for decades.

The novel is relevant, topical and universal. Lambert tied ecological issues in with the related concern of how some of the most vulnerable in society are treated, the elderly. “I wrote Whale Fall during the height of the Covid pandemic. At that time horror stories were emerging about our elders dying in unimaginable conditions in seniors’ homes,” said Lambert. “I think many of us saw Covid as a metaphor; we humans are destroying this planet—and Mother Nature is getting her revenge.” The characters in the book share people’s ongoing struggles: family dysfunction, anxiety about the environment/climate justice and the future, while trying to live a meaningful life.

For Margie Wolfe, Second Story Press publisher, Lambert has once again created an enticing mystery that also hits home on a moral level, “Whale Fall, like the two Russell and Leduc mysteries before it, gives a compelling take on some big issues, all the while keeping us on the edge of our seats until the very end, as every great whodunit should,” she said.

Lambert writes the kind of books she likes to read, “I like complex, flawed and vulnerable characters that struggle with ethical questions and try to navigate the world with a sense of purpose, and most importantly, a sense of humour. I like books that create a rich, textured geographical, political and historical landscape that I want to know more about.”

Book launch for Ann Lambert’s book three of the Russell and Leduc mystery series’ crime fiction

Whale Fall by Ann Lambert

Readings and Q & A hosted by Alice Abracen

Wednesday, October 23, 2 pm

Paragraphe Books— 2220 McGill College Avenue, free admission, refreshments

ISBN: 978-1-77260-268-5          344 pages           $22.95