Globe & Mail bestselling Lesley Crewe’s new novel brings readers to 1960s Montreal & features a nosy would-be child detective searching for the truth about her mother.
It’s 1967 in Montreal, the Expo is in full swing, and Audrey Parker has just moved with her dad to Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, a whole new neighbourhood full of different kinds of people to spy on. Audrey is a lot of things: articulate, disarming, forthright. And, as her father reminds her often, indecently nosy.
Audrey scribbles every observation down in her notebooks — from which foods her new teacher eats for lunch, to how blue the water is in Greece, to what time the one-legged man across the street gets home. She is certain she will soon root out a murderer or uncover a mystery. But there’s only one mystery that really matters to her: her mother. Who was she? How did she die? Why won’t her father ever talk about her?
Over a year of Audrey’s life, we bike with her through the streets of NDG, encountering stray animals, free-range kids, and adults both viciously cruel and wonderful. And we walk with Audrey across the threshold from childhood to adolescence, where she will discover the truth about her mother.
Balancing humour and sadness as expertly as ever, author Lesley Crewe — who has so often captured Cape Breton perfectly on the page — turns her incisive observations for the first time to the NDG of the 1960s, where she grew up.