Maple syrup is serious business in Québec. In fact, it can be worth killing for. At least it is in the recently released crime novel, Mort sucrée.
In this fast-moving whodunit, inspector Melchior Perrot pursues the truth behind the death of a well-known maple mogul, Gaston Demers. Found dead in a remote region of the province, Demers has dubious connections not only within the maple syrup industry, but also within the provincial government, the sovereignist party, and the Québec City underworld. Who killed Gaston Demers? How will Perrot ferret out the guilty party? You’ll have to read the book to find out.
Readers who are passionate about the region will delight in the vicarious tour of Québec City, as inspector Perrot’s investigation takes them through both the splendid and the seedy parts of town. They will take a relaxing stroll on the Terrasse Dufferin and visit a tawdry boulevard Wilfrid-Hamel.
Although the cover of the book tells us that inspector Perrot himself is its author, those in the know know that the true author is Pierrot Métrailler, a recent transplant to the Québec City region. M. Métrailler hails from the Swiss canton of Valais, where grape vines rather than maple trees grow abundantly. Aside from this botanical difference, he sees great similarities between his native Valais and his adopted Québec: both places have a harsh climate, both places cleave to their rural origins, both places are home to a people who are proud of their heritage.
In fact, Mort sucrée is more than just a crime novel. It is also a sort of ethnographic essay that can help European francophones better understand la Belle Province. It even comes with a glossary to help the uninitiated navigate the terms and notions that are particular to this part of North America.
To get a copy, check out M. Métrailler’s website.