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The Birds That Stay

(Russell and Leduc mysteries #1)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  241 ratings  ·  98 reviews
A chilling mystery set deep in the heart of the Laurentian Mountains of Quebec where the sins of the past come back to wreak devastating consequences on the present.

In a small village in the Laurentians north of Montreal, a reclusive older woman is found strangled and frozen outside her home. Roméo Leduc, the enigmatic Chief Inspector for Homicide, is one day away from hi
Paperback, 224 pages
Published February 19th 2019 by Second Story Press
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David There are definitely some historical and important themes that can be illuminated to those in high school, specifically regarding World War 2 and the …moreThere are definitely some historical and important themes that can be illuminated to those in high school, specifically regarding World War 2 and the Nazi era and its repercussions even felt today. These themes are often not addressed and the lessons learned are important to be passed down to younger generations. In addition to poignant character studies and a stirring plot driven mystery, this book would be a valued addition to any high school library.(less)
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Sumit RK
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
It’s hard to describe a book like The Birds That Stay. Though classified as a mystery, it’s so much more than a usual murder mystery or a police procedural.

Set In a small village in Quebec, Canada, a reclusive older woman is found strangled and frozen outside her home. Roméo Leduc, the chief Inspector suspects a local biker gang is involved in what appears to be a robbery gone awry.

Marie Russell, who lives next door to the victim becomes an inadvertent detective when she discovers a start
Linda Strong
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it

Chief Inspector for Homicide, Romeo Leduc, is called to investigate when an elderly woman is found strangled and frozen in her yard.

Leduc s scheduled to start his vacation the next day, so he's reluctant to take on a new case .. but he reluctantly does his job. There have been a series of robberies, maybe this s a robbery gone bad. Or it could be a violent hate crime.

Mary Russell lives next door to the victim and her Alzheimer-suffering mother unintentionally says something out of the blue .. so
Without much fanfare, Canada has been producing some real top quality fiction lately. “The Birds That Stay” is a superbly well-crafted novel that brings to life the quiet mountain villages of the Laurentian Mountains outside of Montreal.

Each character is fleshed out in revealing memories, recalling often how things were so different growing up. It's a pleasure to read this and so enveloping even though, at least on the surface, it doesn't seem like there's a whole lot happening, but Detective R
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Sometimes it’s hard to know whether I like a book because of its qualities or because it covers delightfully familiar terrain. I really enjoyed reading Anne Lamber’s The Birds That Stay, and I know it’s largely because it takes place in contemporary Quebec — but I also found this to be one of those thoughtful mysteries that delves below the surface. An older woman is murdered north of Montreal in the Laurentians. As the story unfolds, it focuses on one of the neighbours Marie Russel, on Detectiv ...more
♥ Sandi ❣
3 stars Thank you to NetGalley and Second Story Press for allowing me to read and review this ARC. Published February 19th 2019

I had high hopes for this book, but it just did not pull me in like I had hoped. It started out really well with a murder in the Laurentian Mountains of Quebec, just north of Montreal, pulling in the Chief Inspector of Homicide, Roméo Leduc and then engaging Marie Russell, next door neighbor to the victim.

However, as the book continued it felt, not especially disorganiz
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is such a wonderfully written book and so much more than just a mystery story, it’s so full of descriptions about the cast of characters, gorgeous scenery and depictions of nature it makes it a joy to read. The book starts off slowly and you gradually feel yourself being drawn into the lives lives of the people wanting to know more and more and trying to get to the heart of the mystery and this makes it a book that is different from the norm. An engrossing book and not what I was expecting ...more
Penny (Literary Hoarders)
A very enjoyable start to a new Canadian mystery series! I'm definitely looking forward to reading #2 already.

A well-written murder mystery that takes place in a small Canadian town. What looks like a murder with a robbery as a motive at the beginning proves to be erroneous and much more complicated as one thinks. There are many different characters and different story-lines that seem to have nothing in common but turn out to be connected as the plot unfolds. I like the Canadian flair and elaborately delivered the atmosphere of a small Canadian town. It was interesting to get to know the history of the
Toni Osborne
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
This complex novel spins a beautifully laid out mystery set in the heart of the Laurentian Mountains where its inhabitants will play out a collection of events that shaped their lives. Each player reveals memories recalling how life was growing up. While the enigmatic Chief Inspector Romeo Leduc reluctantly answers the call when a reclusive older woman is found strangled in her home….seems the investigation will weave the sins of the past with today’s devastating consequences.

Ms. Lambert’s words
CD {Boulder Blvd}
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
These were some of my thoughts as I progressed through the book:

22.32% - So far we're getting a lot of backstory that is kind of just downloaded to the point it's numbing. Too early to tell if anything or anyone is important and it all blends together in a sea of boring.

33.48% - Still slow, boring background. The book is 3rd POV past tense except there's been a few "Marie remembers..." sentences in present tense.

83.93% - Finally the book looks like it may be getting better. The only problem
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a really well done mystery. If you are looking for a pure police procedural, look elsewhere as this book delivers much, much more. This book dives deep into the characters with in-depth looks into their backgrounds and their motivations. There is also quite a lot of Canadian post WWII history which was very fascinating. All in all, this was an interesting read and I enjoyed the relationship the two main characters forged and definitely look forward to where their next mystery takes them. ...more
Sep 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, mystery
A great read! I'm usually not a big reader of mysteries, but I found this book to be completely enthralling and engaging. The characters were vivid, the plot engrossing, and I just thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
Jan 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Birds That Stay is a mystery leaning toward literary. It's not written like a typical mystery. The language is lyrical and very descriptive about the area in Canada where the book is set. It's obviously an enchanting place. The story is told from multiple perspectives in the present and the 1970s. It unfolds almost naturally and has a few surprises in store. The characters are dynamic and complex. I recommend if you want a different kind of mystery that's almost literary. Thanks to NetGalley ...more
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I got this as a arc e book from Net Galley. I enjoyed reading it. It had a good story to it. I liked the variety of characters in it. It is my first book read by this author. It was so good that I read it in a few reading sessions in one day. I hope to read more books by this author.
Kristin Madeleine
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this read. Detailed, emotion-filled, thought-provoking and kept me guessing to the very end. Being Canadian, I loved the references to places, stores, and the language close to where I live. Its rare I find all this in one book.
Courtney (courtneyjo_reads)
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
“It was then that Louis realized the pile of rags was a person, and as he hobbled closer, he saw it was Madame Newman, lying face down in an empty flower bed.”

Romeo Leduc, the Chief Inspector for Homicide is called to a case where an older woman is found strangled and frozen outside of her home. Local biker gangs are potential persons of interest, however with this crime, there is a little more to the story than meets the eye. Marie Russell is a writer and divorced mother of two who lives next d
Hannelore Cheney
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you NetGalley, Second Story Press and Ann Lambert for the eARC of this wonderful book.
I absolutely loved this book, I can't say enough about it...sooo good!
The characters, the setting, the story and also the fun facts about animals blew me away. Having lived in Montreal it was a great to spend mental hours in Quebec, I actually got quite homesick and have told my daughter, married to a French Canadian and living in Ottawa, this is a 'must read'.
This is so much more than a mystery, it's a l
Linda Rice
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A refreshing new voice has emerged in the world of mystery novels and thank goodness. This thoughtful debut transcends the traditional confines of the genre with an elegant and evocative homage to the Laurentian mountains, one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world, and the wildlife contained within them. I mention this because the sense of place is important on so many levels to why the book works so well. It is a tautly-plotted tale that centers upon the death of an elderly recluse and how ...more
Alyssa Smith
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thank you to the author, the publisher and Netgalley for the ARC.

Though I am not usually a fan of detectives mysteries, this beautifully written book was too hard to not enjoy. It was a slow spun and beautifully laid out mystery. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it a million times, there is something so ethereal about books written in a European setting. So different from my own mundane home town. Full of rich characters and wonderful descriptions, this is a fantastic book. Highly recommend.
Guylou (Two Dogs and a Book)
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Birds That Stay

QOTD: Would you live alone in a remote area? Tell me why you would or would not.

My Review:
This complex novel captured me right from the beginning. The author weaves an intelligent plot of several characters and brings them all together to produce an incredible novel. Ann Lambert is a Canadian author who lives and works in Montreal, Québec. The Birds That Stay is her second novel.

Anna Newman is an eighty-six-year-old woman who lives on her own in the remote community of Sainte-Lucie in the provin
Siân Plummer (plumreads__s)
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you to NetGalley, Ann Lambert and Second Story Press for an ARC of this book, in exchange for an honest review.

A beautifully written novel, set in the Laurentian Mountains of Quebec, where a reclusive older woman is found strangled and frozen outside her home. Roméo Leduc, the Chief Inspector for Homicide, answers the call on the case.

Marie Russell, a 58-year old writer and divorced mother of two, lives next door to the victim. When Marie's mother, Claire, who is suffering from dementia,
Feb 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I had mixed feelings about this book, and i was hesitating between 2 and 3 Stars.
The first half was really slow, two many sides stories were included, and i didn't feel that interested in the story. The last 30% percent of the book made the whole story much better and it was at that point that i started enjoying it, hence the 3 stars.

An old recluse woman was found dead in her garden. Was it an accident, or murder? No next of kin were located, and nothing about her past was discovered.
There was
Lel Budge
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This is set in Quebec and has some lovely descriptions of the culture and history of Quebec, which really adds to the weight of the story.

An elderly woman is found dead at home and so the local police begin their investigation. Something doesn’t feel quite right to the Chief Inspector somhe cancels everything to concentrate on this case, even a Holliday.

Chief Inspector Roméo, has his own family issues as well those of the old woman’s neighbour, Marie….all building a picture of the people and the
Lelaina Vogel
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
A gorgeous portrait of the Laurentians, with a beautiful understanding of what it means to carry a dark secret with you. Every character has their own.

The mystery itself kept me riveted to the page: who would kill an elderly woman with no family and no money in the mountains of Quebec? The last pages hold the answer, and it is both surprising and inevitable.

I'm looking forward to the next book!
Luke M
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant book... rich with detail and packed to the brim with fascinating characters. Particularly fascinating in its location- the history of Quebec and the intricacies of its politics offer fertile ground for a mystery setting. Mysteries aren't usually my cup of tea but I was snared by the characters and the worlds they inhabit. Highly recommended!
Kathleen Gray
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the rare and wonderful mystery that actually expands near the conclusion as you learn the true back story. Romeo Leduc is a classic world weary detective- overworked and without a personal life (well, there's a selfish daughter). When an elderly woman is found dead in her home, his first thought is that he's going to miss his long planned vacation but then things quickly change when he realizes it's a murder. Who was Madame Newman and why would someone kill her? At the same time, her nei ...more
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The beginning of what looks like a fabulous new series!! Such a fine read! I almost wish I hadn't read it so I could savor it again. Thanks to the publisher and to NetGalley for the ARC.
Jacquelyn Taylor
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to Net Galley and Second Story Press for the Arc of The Birds that Stay in exchange for an honest review.

Usually, as a rule, books billed as mysteries are not complex literary stories, “The Birds that Stay” is the exception. This is so much more than a mystery with its meandering storyline full of interesting Canadian history and well-drawn characters that felt true rather than the typically flat character tropes so common in mystery novels. Lambert’s knowledge of language and craft was
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Marie Russell finds herself in a bittersweet time of life, with an aging mother whom she is single-handedly moving from the long-held family home into an Assisted Living facility. Marie's children have grown and her husband has divorced her. As she reminisces about her youth, Marie bewilderingly finds herself in the middle of this mystery set in a small village (Ste. Lucie) north of Montreal. Marie is a marine biologist and an author of Nature Books, and her appreciation of nature is made appare ...more
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is set in Quebec (I have read a few Bones books set here before). This story gave me a very leisurely tour of the cultural backdrop of the place as well as the current mix of lifestyles within the different communities. To those of us who learn about the western world vicariously through the books and TV shows, such books will always be a draw. An old woman is found dead in her home and the local police is put on the case. There seem to be many small niggling things that bother the Chi ...more
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Ann Lambert has been writing and directing for the stage for thirty-five years. Several of her plays, including The Wall, Parallel Lines, Very Heaven, The Mary Project and Two Short Women have been performed in theatres in Canada, the United States, Europe and Australia.

She has been a teacher of English literature at Dawson College for almost twenty-eight years in Montreal, Quebec, where she make

Other books in the series

Russell and Leduc mysteries (2 books)
  • The Dogs of Winter

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