Asylum (Hardcover)

A Mystery

By Jeannette de Beauvoir

Minotaur Books, 9781250045393, 320pp.

Publication Date: March 10, 2015

List Price: 25.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Martine LeDuc is the director of PR for the mayor's office in Montreal. When four women are found brutally murdered and shockingly posed on park benches throughout the city over several months, Martine's boss fears a PR disaster for the still busy tourist season, and Martine is now also tasked with acting as liaison between the mayor and the police department. The women were of varying ages, backgrounds and bodytypes and seemed to have nothing in common. Yet the macabre presentation of their bodies hints at a connection. Martine is paired with a young detective, Julian Fletcher, and together they dig deep into the city's and the country's past, only to uncover a dark secret dating back to the 1950s, when orphanages in Montreal and elsewhere were converted to asylums in order to gain more funding. The children were subjected to horrific experiments such as lobotomies, electroshock therapy, and psychotropic medication, and many of them died in the process. The survivors were supposedly compensated for their trauma by the government and the cases seem to have been settled. So who is bearing a grudge now, and why did these four women have to die?

Not until Martine finds herself imprisoned in the terrifying steam tunnels underneath the old asylum does she put the pieces together. And it is almost too late for Jeannette de Beauvoir's Asylum.

About the Author

Jeannette de Beauvoir is an award-winning author, novelist, and poet whose work has been translated into 12 languages and has appeared in 15 countries. She explores personal and moral questions through historical fiction, mysteries, and mainstream fiction. Home is an old sea captain's house on the tip of Cape Cod, although she spends some part of every year in Montréal and in Great Britain.

Praise For Asylum: A Mystery

“Martine LeDuc, the publicity director for the city of Montreal and a wonderfully likable narrator, partners with offbeat police detective Julian Fletcher in this absorbing mystery. De Beauvoir does a fine job of evoking the ambiance of Montreal, with its fascinating neighborhoods, bilingualism, and political tensions.” —Publishers Weekly

“Convincing and disturbing.” —Toronto Star

“[The] plot has real forward-moving energy, making Asylum a quick and satisfying read. Martine LeDuc-a troubled Catholic, an uncomfortable stepmother, and committed to her job and city-makes for an engaging lead character, and I hope de Beauvoir writes her again.” —National Post

“What is truly impressive about de Beauvoir's writing is that she is able to smoothly weave fiction with true events bringing the past to life with evocative settings and passionate characters whom we care deeply as they capture the memories of this dreadful dark era of Québec's past.” —Bookpleasures