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The Nesting Dolls (A Joanne Kilbourn Mystery #12)

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  266 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
Just hours before her body is found in a car in a parking lot, a young woman hands her baby to a perfect stranger and disappears. The stranger is the daughter of Delia Wainberg, a lawyer in the same firm as Joanne Kilbourn's husband. One close look at the child suggests that there might be a family relationship, and soon the truth about the child Delia gave up for adoption ...more
ebook, 336 pages
Published July 12th 2011 by McClelland & Stewart (first published August 17th 2010)
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Tara (Fiction Folio)
When I first chose this book, I didn’t realize that it was part of a series. When I found out afterwards, I was a little nervous that I would be totally lost and not know enough of the back story to be able to understand the storyline. Thankfully, this was not the case at all.

The story begins with Joanne and Zack, a couple that is thrown into a situation involving Zack’s close friend and business partner. I immediately fell in love with the couple because they have such a strong, understanding,
Mar 13, 2011 Lori rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
Good story. Appreciate the setting: Regina at Christmas. All the family "Kodak" moments do get a bit tiresome. Would have liked to see more time spent fleshing out the mystery and less on the "perfect" and somewhat unbelievable Joanna's family life is.
Sep 21, 2011 Lyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-own, 5-canada
Christmas in Regina, Saskatchewan. Great setting for Gail Bowen latest book. If you want to read an excellent mystery series, this is it.

Christmas in Regina, Saskatchewan, takes a sinister turn that involves academic Joanne Kilbourn (married to successful lawyer Zach Shreve) in a mystery surrounding a baby and his missing mother.

Delia Wainberg, one Zack's law partners, gave up a child for adoption at the beginning of her career. When her adopted parents die, Delia's daughter Abigail, a new mothe
Aug 11, 2015 Sheila rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Easy read and rather predictable but non the less enjoyable. A baby is thrust into the arms of a student during a school concert, the baby's mother first making sure that isobel was Delia's daughter. Abby, the baby's mother had been born to Delia many years ago and was given up for adoption to a Port Hope couple. The father was unknown. After Jacob (the baby) is cared for by Delia's husband and investigations ensue to find the father so their adoption could be legalised. Long story short, Zack a ...more
Feb 10, 2013 Bobbi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I read this book for a book club and thoroughly enjoyed it!
We didn't realize it was part of a series when we chose and and although it read as a good stand alone novel, I think that reading the other books in the series first would have built onto the characterization, especially of Jo.
I found it very hard not to steam roll through this book and try to keep to our chapter reading each week and a few of the others in our group felt the same way. I must have changed my theory on who-dun-it a milli
Craig M
Nov 11, 2016 Craig M rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Abby Michaels gives her baby, Jacob, over to Delia Wainberg (one of Zach’s associate lawyers). Abby is Delia’s Joanne is being pressured to include Theo Brokaw, a retired judge, as a part of a TV program on the Supreme Court.

I am just trying to read a couple of Bowen’s earlier books that I had not read. I am not enjoying them like I used to. The Zack/Joanne relationship is too perfect, and there is no character development. Bowen’s plots do not seem to be as interesting as they once were. The c
Wow - my favourite in this series. I couldn't put it down, and had to hold myself back to not peek at the end to see if my guess was correct (it was nearly - but not exactly!).

Joanne Kilbourn and her extended family are great, they're flawed, funny, quirky, grumpy, sexy, and just so real. I want a picture painted by Taylor, and to recommend my daughter work for Mieka! I even am tempted to visit Regina - and for a born and bred west coast Canadian - that is amazing.

Jennifer Eagle
I found the relationship between Joanne Killbourn and her husband somehow too precious- there were serious ethical dilemmas between them and I wondered if a couple would truly breeze through them so easily. I found the wonderful tension that was created at the beginning of the book over the duelling custody of the mystery child kind of fizzed out into this melting pot of agreeableness. Haha! I suppose I am a reader that needs sustained tension rather than mediation in a murder novel.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cynthia Naden
Aug 13, 2011 Cynthia Naden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my pick for the Vroman's Mystery Reading Group and I did enjoy it. Well written, good character development and not just about the "murder mystery." Bowen develops her characters and the Canadian setting lends itself well - of course Bowen is a Canadian and her books take place there. I would probably read another one of Bowen's books.
David W.
May 19, 2015 David W. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So am wondering what happens next book
Does Joanne's daughter Mieka marry the new lawyer in the firm, go back to her ex, or go after the hunk physiotherapist who is looking after Zack?
And what happens to Zack. Does the progression of the sore lead to his death.
And I have to wait until the library gets it for me.
Jun 24, 2013 Peggy rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, canadian
An enjoyable series with likeable characters and interesting issues. In this one, the emphasis is on one of Joanne's husband's law partners, Delia Wainberg, who has been a character in previous books. Her long lost daughter (given up for adoption at birth) suddenly appears, but is just as suddenly murdered.
Leslie Smith
Jan 31, 2015 Leslie Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bowen invests each of her novels with the extraordinariness of the ordinary and an eye for the complexity of family dynamics. She never shows us evil wholly prevailing because she has created a central character who carries within her the goodness of humanity. Bowen's mysteries are full of the tiny details of life and capture her subjects with a jeweller's eye.
Christal Lee
Jan 05, 2014 Christal Lee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gail Bowen's books are a true delight. Every new book develops Zack's character in more detail and adds more layers to his relationship with Joanne. An unexpected twist at the end wraps the story up nicely.
Jan 01, 2016 Deb rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice read, characters fitting to the story. I was most pleased by the portrayal of Joanne and Zack. Being a paraplegic, the character of Zack was defined more by his intelligence and kindness than his disability. I truly enjoyed that aspect of the story.
Jun 08, 2012 Debbie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Yeah, not one of my favourites of hers. Spent more time on her personal life than the actual mystery which I figured out in the first 50 pages. Also didn't like how she made everything politically correct at the end. Had a chance for edginess and blew it.
Feb 10, 2011 Penny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Needed an easy read after Jacob de Zoet and this fit the bill. I do enjoy this series but Gail Bowen is becoming so politically correct it makes my teeth hurt and so culturally snobbish it makes me laugh a bit.
I thought this was a pretty good entry into the series. I did not see the ending coming - unlike some of the other books in this series.

Quick, entertaining read.
Mona Harrison
Sep 13, 2013 Mona Harrison rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Heather Anderson
This series is always a pleasant, easy read - a Canadian cosy, maybe a little too much sugar.
Aug 03, 2010 Clare rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another winner. I love tucking in with Joanne and Zack and kids and going along for the ride as they solve the crimes that come their way.
Sylvia McNicoll
Dec 19, 2012 Sylvia McNicoll rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in Regina at Christmas time, The Nesting Dolls is a gentle mystery full of the family life, concerts and parties of the well to do. A comfortable fast paced read.
Mary Shelton
Snow. Candles. Good food. Canada. A loving couple. A cute baby. Some funny dogs. A murder victim. What's not to like?
Aug 29, 2011 Lester rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did like this book..good story..covered the bases..happy, sad, bit of mystery. One of the most noticable things..CANADIAN spelling!! Words such as honour and colour 'jumped' off the pages!! Yay!
Bev Goldfarb
Sep 10, 2014 Bev Goldfarb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
great to read a book based in Regina, Saskatchewan, where I lived for three years
Dec 05, 2010 Nicole marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
cbcreads 2010 book
Oct 28, 2010 Vionna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gail Bowen continues to write good, fast-paced mysteries with an usual twist. Like her characters.
May 31, 2015 Clkay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
comfortable read with interesting characters but easily solved
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Gail Dianne Bowen (née Bartholomew) is a Canadian playwright and writer of mystery novels. Born in Toronto, Ontario, Bowen was educated at the University of Toronto, the University of Waterloo and the University of Saskatchewan. She subsequently taught English in Saskatchewan, and is currently a professor of English at First Nations University of Canada. Bowen's mystery novels feature Joanne Kilbo ...more
More about Gail Bowen...

Other Books in the Series

A Joanne Kilbourn Mystery (1 - 10 of 17 books)
  • Deadly Appearances (A Joanne Kilbourn Mystery #1)
  • Murder at the Mendel (A Joanne Kilbourn Mystery #2)
  • The Wandering Soul Murders (A Joanne Kilbourn Mystery #3)
  • A Colder Kind of Death (A Joanne Kilbourn Mystery #4)
  • A Killing Spring (A Joanne Kilbourn Mystery #5)
  • Verdict in Blood (A Joanne Kilbourn Mystery #6)
  • Burying Ariel (A Joanne Kilbourn Mystery #7)
  • The Glass Coffin (A Joanne Kilbourn Mystery #8)
  • The Last Good Day (A Joanne Kilbourn Mystery #9)
  • The Endless Knot (A Joanne Kilbourn Mystery #10)

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