Lane Winslow has a knack for finding bodies. She’s spending a delightful summer afternoon fishing with her neighbors and their children. They did nothing so cliche as snag a body and reel it in, but they did see a boat drifting, pull it to shore, and discover a young man laying a bloody water, hypothermic, gutshot, but still hanging on. His identity is a mystery that compounds a few other mysteries bedeviling Lane’s beloved Inspector Darling and his assistant Ames.

First, a very worried mother reports her son is missing, though giving her acerbic personality, Darling and Ames consider it possible he has simply escaped. There’s also a string of break-ins carried out by an unusually discerning burglar who only takes the antiques and collectibles. Darling wishes there were some way they could all be connected just to make his life easier.

Lane and Darling are in love, but it’s not smooth sailing. Let’s say they have “issues.” Ames has his own romantic entanglement, too, with a young woman who he’s been dating for a year and is not thinking may be incompatible. The combination of mystery and romance in post-World War 2 Canada is delightful even though the story deals with white nationalists and refugees from Nazism.

A Sorrowful Sanctuary is the fifth book in a series. It’s the first I have read and I am pleased that it is effectively self-contained. Certainly, events from the first four book are referenced off and on but they are not required to enjoy or follow the story. I like the people, the mystery is fully-fledged and makes sense. It would be a stronger mystery, though, if the solution were not so obvious. We don’t have time to try to figure out what’s going on because it’s obvious. Still, I enjoyed the story and look forward to reading more in the series.

I received a copy of A Sorrowful Sanctuary from the publisher through Shelf Awareness.

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