Kaleidoscope by Gail Bowen


12 Critic Reviews

...she shines best, as she has in the past, when Joanne is in the thick of the small dramas that affect her and those she loves best, her husband and children.
-National Post arts


The thirteenth in Gail Bowen's beloved and award-winning Joanne Kilbourn mystery series promises to be the best of them all: some very bad things happen very, very close to home, and Joanne may never be quite the same again.
"Security for any one of us lies in greater abundance for all of us." For many years, this was the core of Joanne's political beliefs, but for a number of reasons, she has drifted away from it. But on the day Joanne retires from her university teaching post, she has a dream about her first husband (murdered many years ago), and this line comes back vividly in it.
Soon, she is forced to experience the truth of what, for most of her life, had just been a good closing line for a political speech. The night after Jo and Zack have dinner with Zack's colleague Margot and one of his law firm's biggest clients, the developer Leland Hunter, Jo and Zack's house is blown up. They're at the lake with daughter Taylor and their dogs, but the house is destroyed. And that is only the first of several terrible incidents. It isn't long before Joanne is witness to events far more distressing than even a destroyed home. She begins to understand what it's like to live in a world where she can count on nothing.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Gail Bowen

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Winner of both the Arthur Ellis Best Novel Award and the Derrick Murdoch Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Crime Writers of Canada, in 2008 Bowen was named Canada’s Best Mystery Novelist by Reader’s Digest. She was selected as one of The 100 Most Popular Contemporary Mystery Authors for a Library Unlimited reference book.
Published April 24, 2012 by McClelland & Stewart. 338 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Kaleidoscope
All: 12 | Positive: 9 | Negative: 3


Below average
Apr 01 2012

As usual in Joanne’s world...vicissitudes of the plot are less memorable than the celebrations of ongoing life: two weddings, a child birth, several parties and a great deal of civilized but enthusiastic connubial sex.

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Publishers Weekly

Below average
Feb 27 2012

Complicated family difficulties overshadow the crime solving...The slow pace and less than satisfying ending make this one of the weaker installments.

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Globe and Mail

Reviewed by Margaret Cannon on May 18 2012

...in her first marriage and years ago, Joanne was a committed socialist. This book brings her back to her conscience and her past, and Bowen does it all with panache.

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National Post arts

Reviewed by Sarah Weinman on May 11 2012

...she shines best, as she has in the past, when Joanne is in the thick of the small dramas that affect her and those she loves best, her husband and children.

Read Full Review of Kaleidoscope | See more reviews from National Post arts


Below average
Reviewed by Yvonne Klein on Apr 30 2012

The solution to the various crimes that punctuate this novel takes second place to the moral reflection...In short, Gail Bowen has done better, much better, in the past.

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The Chronicle Herald

Reviewed by Joann Alberstat on Jun 24 2012

Bowen offers up a complex, gritty tale, one in which Kilbourn’s rich family life helps soften some of the book’s harder edges.

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Reviewed by Joan Barfoot on May 12 2012

...Joanne remains set not only on sorting out some frightening crimes, but on acknowledging her good fortune along with her part, however minor, in her community's complicated injustices.

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The Spec.com

Reviewed by Don Graves on Apr 28 2012

It’s as fresh and compelling as the first one...When that happens you know you’ve read an author who knows how to write.

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Mysteries and More from Saskatchean

Reviewed by Bill Selnes on May 29 2012

With great skill Gail brings together the threads of Joanne’s family, marriage, friends and mystery. I enjoyed the mystery but I loved the continuing development of Joanne’s life.

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Pop Goes Fiction

Reviewed by Laura Bruggeman on Mar 31 2012

Kaliedoscope is the latest book in the long-running Joanne Kilbourn series and it's always a pleasure to catch up with Joanne and her family.

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Mystery Maven Canada

Reviewed by Linda Wiken on Jun 16 2012

I can unequivocally say that Kaleidoscope, book #13 in the Joanne Kilbourn series, is every bit as excellent as you’d expect!

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Pages and Patches

Jun 11 2012

Sure, for marketing sake, Kaleidoscope is a mystery – a good one too. But more so, Bowen is a pundit and socially conscious artist.

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