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Kaleidoscope (A Joanne Kilbourn Mystery #13)

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  238 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
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 numbe
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published April 24th 2012 by McClelland & Stewart
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Jun 24, 2012 Carolyn rated it it was ok
Not my favorite Gail Bowen mystery. Is it just my imagination or is Joanne drinking a lot more these days? Martinis in the afternoon, drinks before dinner, with dinner, before does she solve any mysteries?
Feb 28, 2015 Lori rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
3.5 stars actually and a better novel than the last couple in this series. I have become disappointed in how far Joanne had come from her old, amazing self in the earlier books. Since her marriage to Zack, I have disliked the person she's become: rich, privileged, leading the perfect life with her "perfect" but rather ickedly-portrayed marriage, rich and mostly annoying friends and her unbelievable children. In this story the friction between the have and the have-nots hits close to home, remark ...more
Toni Osborne
Oct 31, 2012 Toni Osborne rated it liked it
Book 13, in the Joanne Kilbourn mystery series

From time to time I like to pick up one of the books in this series. I admit I have not been reading them in order, however I feel each one can be equally enjoyed on its own. With great skill of the pen, Ms. Bowen brings us up to date and gives another thread of Joanne’ life, her family and friends.

In this latest installment, the political science professor Joanne Kilbourn is looking forward to retirement and spending the summer with her husband Zac
Beth Mills
Apr 27, 2012 Beth Mills rated it really liked it
In Bowen's newest mystery Joanne Kilbourn's growing friendship with a controversial real estate mogul and her lawyer husband's defense of a sleazy slumlord accused of murder are causing friction with family and friends as well as public outcry. When Joanne's home is bombed her life is turned upside down. Was Joanne the target? Her husband? Are there clues buried in the past? Forced into urgent soul-searching--has she drifted away from what is most important over the years?--Joanne trieds to keep ...more
Annette Bower
May 16, 2012 Annette Bower rated it it was amazing
Gail Bowen explores the vast differences between those who have and those who don't in Kaleidoscope.
There are two opposing views in this novel, one black and one white. If both of the issues remain separate nothing will change but with the blending of the two grey can become the new order.

Joanne has always been on the other side of poor but she has an empathetic approach when she helps the less fortunate. Throughout her life she helped one person at a time. In Kaleidoscope she hopes to influenc
Jul 12, 2012 Roberta rated it liked it
Another good, solid Joanne Kilbourne mystery. I like the reality of this series and the Saskatchewan setting. I particularly like the way Joanne's life, and the people in it, evolves with each new installment and I like what seems to be a growing focus on community activism. The mystery was easy to solve very early on but that didn't detract from the story and the motivation was a surprise. One quibble I do have is that everyone in the story is connected in some way and it started to feel too pa ...more
Sep 26, 2012 Debbie rated it liked it
One of the better ones in this series. Although I still don't care for the main character, Joanne. And her daughter is getting on my nerves too. In fact most of the regulars in these books are unrelatable to me. And I am sick of Joanne and her husband having sex on every other chapter. They are in their late 50's, busy careers and he is a parapalegic and they have more sex than I had in my 20's! But maybe I am just jealous! Anyways, the social and economic tensions between the haves and have not ...more
Dec 06, 2012 Penny rated it liked it
Enjoyed the local setting as always, and this entry into the series is much better than the last. However, Bowen seems to be veering quite far from the mystery format - yes, there's a murder but Joanne has pretty much nothing to do with solving it. That's because she's too busy having sex and drinking minutely described cocktails. No time for sleuthing!
Kelly B
Sep 20, 2012 Kelly B rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 20, 2013 Gordon rated it it was ok
I have read a few of Bowen's mysteries. They are entertaining with decent characters but I find them and Kaleidoscope in particular to lack the polish and depth of real top notch mysteries.

I was born in Saskatchewan and have lived here my whole life so I am very familiar with the culture and geography. I have been in Regina many times but have never found myself in the area this story is centred in. Most Saskies stay away from it because it has a reputation as being dangerous. One only need att
May 24, 2012 PrairieReader rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2012
I read the first few Joanne Kilbourn books years ago, then picked up again with "The Nesting Dolls". I really disliked all the acquaintance coincidences going on in "Kaleidoscope". It seemed everyone, even subplot characters, were interconnected, which seemed entirely implausible. The developer is marrying Joanne's husband's law partner; the developer's adversary is dating Joanne's daughter; the developer's son has a relationship with Joanne's other daughter; the ex-wife of the developer's careg ...more
Jul 09, 2012 Chantale rated it it was amazing
Joanne Kilbourne's family is displaced when their family's is too close to a community re-development project in the downtown core "North Central". Joanne and her husband Zack find themselves trying to protect their family from further harm and needing to move into their friend's Downtown condo which is the first part of "The Village" re-vitalization project for Downtown Regina.

Death threats, a murder trial, a mysterious file, two weddings and a funeral, this book doesn't skip a beat in the dra
Sherry Monger
Mar 26, 2016 Sherry Monger rated it liked it

This is the first Gail Bowen book I have read and I really enjoyed it. Joanne's relationship with her second husband Zack, and the strong ties she has with each of her children make for great comfort reading as she gets involved in trying to bring hope and opportunity to inner city families in Regina. In this mystery, a construction worker is killed on the job and Joanne's house is bombed, creating fear and wonder at what will happen next. Disparate groups are trying to work together for affo
Sep 04, 2011 Tina rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
I was completely blown away by this book. Horrific life events give Joanne the time to consider what has long been her political philosophy: "Security for any one of us lies in greater abundance for all of us." I thought this book went far beyond the mystery genre, in that the spotlight of victim is turned upon Joanne and her family, and she is forced to rethink what she has long held to be true. This is a series that improves with each book. The only bad thing about it was that it ended too soo ...more
Apr 28, 2012 Gwen rated it really liked it

This book in the series marks a big change for Joanne and her family. By the end of the book, the reader can see that future books in the series have the main characters changing up their lives - its a good direction so that the series does not become stale. Really enjoyed Kaleidoscope. I will bring my copy to the next meeting so someone else can read it before the September mtg.
Jan 31, 2015 Christie rated it it was amazing
Gail Bowen is my Favourite Canadian Author. I love reading her books as they make me feel like I am at home, especially the Joanne Kilbourn series, as they all take place in Saskatchewan. It is so amazing to read a book that is set in the province you grew up in. I love the way Gail develops her characters, you feel like they are old friends.
Nov 26, 2013 Laura rated it it was amazing
This is an outstanding novel. The main character is authentic and a breath of fresh air. In this novel she has just retired, which contrasts with most novels I read these days. Most heroines are young with less depth. I love this series and am sad that the next book will be my last ... at least until there is a new one.
Feb 17, 2013 Nancy rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction-canadian
The 13th instalment In the Joanne Kilbourn series. Things change quickly in this fast paced novel where "6 degrees of separation" takes on new meaning. All is not what it seems in Regina's North Central area.
Aug 06, 2015 Robyn rated it really liked it
Contrary to my usual practice of reading a series in order from the start, this was my 1st Gail Bowen. Great story, well written, characters have depth. Now will go back and read the earlier ones in the series. A+
Lynn Kearney
Jun 18, 2012 Lynn Kearney rated it liked it
Not her best, but I've grown quite attached to the Kilbourn family over the years so will keep reading them as long as she keeps writing them. Who knew Regina, Saskatchewan was such a hotbed of vice! I lked the earlier ones when Joanne was a lefty political activist.
Sep 13, 2015 Hayden rated it liked it
I can only complain so much about a book set in Saskatchewan that is a murder mystery, but that's as much complaining as I would want to do about this particular book (that is, the maximum). I'll leave it at that, though.
This book was a bit disappointing for me as I felt that the main character did not do any "sleuthing" (it is billed as "Joanne Kilborn mystery"). I also found the predictability of the novel a little frustrating and I thought the characters were one-dimensional.
Feb 16, 2013 Zosia rated it it was ok
I do like all the family life details and the descriptions of daily life in Canada, but the mystery plot took a long time to develop and seemed hurriedly tied up at the end by main characters summarizing the story.
Jan 04, 2014 Joy rated it really liked it
A better installment than the last few books have been. The charmed existence of Joanne and Zack has been tempered by some tragedy, and this time they behaved a little less like paragons. I'm anxious for the next in the series now.
Nov 29, 2013 Bev rated it really liked it
Thirteenth in this series featuring Joanne Kilbourn, Kaleidoscope is one of the best. It has gripping and sad moments, with lots of soap opera stuff in between, and yet I plan to read the subsequent book in the near future. It is a comfortable Canadian who-dunnit.
Natashya KitchenPuppies
Apr 13, 2012 Natashya KitchenPuppies rated it really liked it
This is the thirteenth book in the Joanne Kilbourn series, and the most personal.

See my full review here - http://livinginthekitchenwithpuppies....
May 04, 2013 Peggy rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, canadian
I find the characters in this series quite likeable, and this novel had a heavy emphasis on their home and work lives. I also like the Canadian prairie setting. I didn't figure out the murderer, which is always the mark of a good mystery for me.
Jun 15, 2012 Pat rated it it was amazing
I love this series...the characters, the Canadian setting, the stories. I have read them all, but I think this is the best one yet!!
Kelly Pratt
Sep 08, 2012 Kelly Pratt rated it really liked it
Well written and enjoyed the Canadian flavour to it. Will be adding Ms. Bowen's books to my 'need to read' list.
Apr 25, 2012 Janet rated it it was amazing
Amazing book. I love everything about this series. I can't wait for the next one. Gail Bowen is excellent.
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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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