Gillian Adams Mystery, No. 4

By Nora Kelly
Poisoned Pen Press – Nov 1999 
ISBN: 1890208256

Mystery / Amateur Sleuth


Reviewed by: Brenda Weeaks, MyShelf.Com
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Old Wounds has won the Arthur Ellis Best Novel Award.


Those who know Gillian Adams will learn more about her in this, the fourth novel, because Gillian Adams has come home. And while she’s home she meets up with old friends and old wounds. Gillian is lecturing at Stanton College near by and living with her mother Estelle and a cat named Rumpole.  A student from her class is found dead and the result is murder. When an old acquaintance is arrested as a suspect Gillian doubts his guilt and goes in search of the truth.  Her mother who has a weak heart can’t help but put in her two cents and later Gillian receives a visitor who also can’t help but get involved.


I enjoyed Old Wounds it was well done. Suspects are pointed out one by one as the twists and turns take us through this academic whodunit.

I think readers will identify with Gillian as she remembers her past, deals with forgotten emotions and makes plans for the future. I found her relationship with her mother interesting.  In Chapter 12, there is a scene where they discuss something they do have in common, solving the mystery, and Gillian has come home boasting of a clue and Estelle becomes indignant and reminds her that she is playing the part of Watson, not Holmes. To me, that moment was very poignant as to how we try to hold on to the parent role no matter the age of our children.

Poisoned Pen Press will publish Gillian Adams first three mysteries: In the Shadow of King's, Bad, My Sister's Keeper -- a very good mystery series.

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