Barrington Street Blues


Author: Anne Emery

Published: 2008

Genre: Mystery

About Barrington Street Blues: A rich man and a poor man are found shot to death outside of a strip club. On the surface, it looks like a murder-suicide but Halifax lawyer Monty Collins isn't convinced. The third book in the Monty Collins series.

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Review of Barrington Street Blues

Monty Collins and another lawyer at his firm are given the job of suing an addiction treatment centre after a former patient and another man are found dead in what appears to be a murder-suicide.

I watched Amber drag her son out the door and thought about her case. Corey Leaman, her common-law husband, and another man, named Graham Scott, were found dead of gunshot wounds at five o'clock in the morning of January 12, 1991, in the parking lot of the Fore-And-Aft. This was a nautically themed strip joint situated across from the Wallace Rennie Baird Addiction Treatment Centre. The two buildings are the last structures at the bottom end of Barrington Street, which runs along the eastern edge of the Halifax Peninsula, from Bedford Basin in the north to the train tracks that traverse the south end of the city. The street had seen better days, and would again, I knew. But that was neither here nor there for the two men who had been found sprawled on the pavement at the end of the road.

...from page 3

While researching the case, Monty discovers that there is a very dark side to Halifax and that this case may be tied to a lawyer's suicide years ago.

Meanwhile, Monty is hopeful that a reconciliation with Maura is close. Hopeful, that is, until a startling revelation brings his world crashing down.

The case in this book was complicated, maybe a little too complicated for my taste. However, I find Monty's friendship with Father Brennan Burke to be endlessly fascinating. Although Burke played a minor role in this book, their relationship took a few interesting (and perhaps inevitable) turns. Those alone made the book worth reading, if you've been following along from the beginning of the series.

And then there was Monty and Maura's love-hate story. Just when I thought there was hope that all would be well, things came to a screeching halt and Monty went pretty much off the rails. I wanted to hug him and shake him at the same time.

Of course, the case was solved in the end, although not quite the way I (or Monty) expected. One of Burke's brothers had a cameo and the addition of Ed, another lawyer and musician, was a nice touch. Maybe not my favourite book in the series in terms of the mystery but, so far, my favourite for the personal aspect.

Reviewed by Lynn Bornath from the hardcover version.

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More Reviews

Stephen Patrick Clare, Scenes of the Crime, 26 February 2008
“...Emery has begun to realize her potential for narrative with a solid story of suspense that is long on mystery and short on excess.”
Sarah Weinman, Quill & Quire, April 2008
“As Emery envisions him, however, Monty is no archetypal hero, just a highly flawed and endearing human being.”


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Added 18 January 2010.
Updated 23 August 2013.