After dealing with the grizzly murder of a sexual assault victim near her cottage in Huntsville, Ontario, Robin MacFarland, the feisty Home and Garden reporter for a major Toronto paper, feels she must go elsewhere for a peaceful family holiday. She, her cop boyfriend Ralph, and her adult kids, travel to the beautiful long sand beaches on the South Shore of Nova Scotia for a few weeks in August. She continues to tussle hilariously with her weight, drinking, feelings towards her boyfriend, and spiritually while coping with a dry well in the cottage she’s rented, systemic racism issues in the local population, and escalating anger towards the fish farms dotted along the shore which are destroying the lobster industry. A sensational murder of a local politician coupled with the “accidental” death of the owner of the fish farms captures her interest. When she mentions the situation to her editor at the Toronto Express, her best friend Cindy, a crime reporter at the paper, is dispatched to cover the story. Again, Robin finds herself in the position of convincing everyone that the accidental death was no accident, that the two deaths are intertwined, and that the murder weapon is extremely ironic.
“What a treat to read Traps, another Robin MacFarland mystery. I love the way Sky Curtis once again interweaves social issues and suspense with insight, humour and irony. Robin, a hilariously self-deprecating journalist, is also intelligent, determined, a concerned parent and a passionate lover, albeit shy of the “love” word. I chuckle when she mulls things over in her head. And delight when she solves another whodunit, one that contributes to our understanding of important social, racial and environmental issues.”
—Mary Lou Dickinson, author of Would I Lie to You? and The White Ribbon Man
“Robin MacFarland is a quirky, middle-aged heroine whose critical assessments of herself, her friends, and others can’t help but elicit smiles, chuckles, and outright laughs. A Home & Garden journalist for The Toronto Express, Robin plans a relaxing beach holiday for her partner Ralph and family in Nova Scotia, and ends up inviting her often embarrassingly outspoken friend and colleague Cindy, a crime reporter who clashes with Ralph, a senior detective for the Toronto Police Department. As in her previous adventures, Robin can’t stop herself from sleuthing when two prominent townspeople die after a community lobster dinner, one of the deaths a gruesome murder. Digging into the murky waters of the fish farming industry and its negative effects on the ocean and lobster population, and infuriated at discovering the lingering racism in the area, Robin’s social conscience is fired up, spurring her to connect these environmental and social issues with the two deaths. Mingling family time with mystery-solving, Robin makes some surprising self-discoveries over the course of this trip. Colourful and believable characters, snappy dialogue, an intriguing mystery, and a refreshingly real and feisty heroine propel the reader through this entertaining and enlightening book by Sky Curtis.”
—Rosanna Battigelli, author of La Brigantessa
Renée Knapp –
Traps: A Robin MacFarland Mystery by Sky Curtis
reviewed by The Minerva Reader – December 15, 2019
I always look forward to Robin MacFarland books so much! Her self-deprecating humour is absolutely hilarious! She’s one of the most original sleuth-by-mistake heroines to come along in a long time. And, as always, Sky Curtis weaves a fabulous plot, this time on the east coast. And if you haven’t yet read the others in series, you can read this book as a standalone – but since it’s the holiday season, why not treat yourself to the series?