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Deadly Slipper: A Novel download ebook

by Michelle Wan

Deadly Slipper: A Novel download ebook
Michelle Wan
Doubleday Canada; First Edition edition (July 19, 2005)
320 pages
1157 kb
1709 kb
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World Literature

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FREE shipping on qualifying offers. Nearly twenty years have passed since Mara Dunn’s sister Bedie, an orchid enthusiast, disappeared while on a hiking holiday in southwestern France. Mara remains determined to find out what happened-but her only real clue is a sequence of wild orchids.

A Novel of Death in the Dordogne. About Deadly Slipper. Nearly twenty years have passed since Mara Dunn’s sister Bedie, an orchid enthusiast, disappeared while on a hiking holiday in southwestern France

A Novel of Death in the Dordogne. Mara remains determined to find out what happened-but her only real clue is a sequence of wild orchids, including a mysterious, previously unknown Lady’s Slipper, captured on a roll of film found in Bedie’s long-lost camera. stumbling into decades’ worth of local secrets and putting herself in danger.

It’s a great collection of the first three Bernie Gunther detective novels, which I recommend wholeheartedly.

She had wanted a tropical look. The walls dripped with hanging baskets of fuchsia and bougainvillea

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Michelle Wan. Gina Lopez is twenty-six, a postal worker during the week, a mud wrestler on weekends. She's also a recent widow, though she is not exactly mourning the death of her abusive husband Chico. Instead, she's anxiously awaiting the life-insurance settlement that will pay off his gambling debts. After that she's hoping to take her mud-wrestling skills out of small-town-Ontario bars and down to the more lucrative US circuit.

by. Publication date. Books for People with Print Disabilities. Internet Archive Books. Delaware County District Library (Ohio). Women photographers - Fiction, Missing persons - Fiction, Orchids - Fiction, Sisters - Fiction, Hiking - Fiction, Twins - Fiction, Dordogne (France) - Fiction. Uploaded by Alethea Bowser on February 13, 2012. SIMILAR ITEMS (based on metadata).

The first in a new mystery series that has it all — a tragic puzzle, fabulous French food, and a peek into the fascinating world of wild orchids.In 1984, a young Canadian woman vanished while on a hiking holiday in the Dordogne region of France. Was Bedie Dunn the victim of an accident? Or could she have been murdered? Haunted for years by the disappearance of her twin sister, Mara Dunn has moved to France to try to answer these questions.Mara’s amateur investigations finally begin to show progress when she discovers a camera she is convinced belonged to Bedie in a second-hand store. In it is an old roll of film, whose exposures turn out to be mostly of wild terrestial orchids. Mara turns to Julian Wood, an expatriate English orchidologist, for help with the impossible: can they use two-decade-old photos of flowers to trace Bedie’s last route, and find the end of her journey? Julian is reluctant to get drawn into this seemingly hopeless quest, but the last exposure on the film is irresistible to him — an unknown species of Lady’s Slipper Orchid. If discovered, it might be the key to botanical fame — or it could be the marker to a shallow grave.
  • BeatHoWin
Mara has been haunted by her twin sister's unexplained disappearance in France. For nineteen years, she had a recurring dream in which she is following Bedie through a forest, only to find that it is not she doing the following but is the person being stalked. When she turns to confront the man, she wakes up." After many such experiences and no word from the French authorities as to the whereabouts of Bedie, she decides to search on her own for clues as to the route taken and what could possibility have happened in May, 1984.

After finding the area where Bedie met her fate, Mara finds her camera in a secondhand shop with the last roll of film still intact. It contained thirty-four pictures, so Mara enlist the assistance of an Englishman who lives there to follow the trail of the photos. Julian wants only to locate the unusual flower in the last frame. He tells her, "Although you have the sequence of exposures, there's no way of telling" when your sister took them. Most of the flowers are pretty widespread through the area. "Even the 'Bird's nest' could potentially grow in any forested glade. This makes pinning down an exact location pretty hard."

Everything suggests that the photos were taken at different times, on different days, in different locations. She looked at the backgrounds and noticed many stone pigeon coops ('pigeonnier'), also called dovecots. Pigeons were a profitable possession, for economic reasons, for this Dordogne area. I'm glad to know that a population somewhere appreciates pigeons. The GSA officer here told me that their mess can cause blindness, if the person rubs his eyes after touching it. How absurd!

"you're hoping to follow your sister's footsteps using floral landmarks of almost twenty years ago." She had found the camera in Villereal, a short distance from Julian's business. "You could be looking for something which no longer exists." For two centuries, European and American orchid hunters had trekked into the jungles of the Amazon, Borneo, Sumatra in search of new, undiscovered spedies. Bedie had been a wild-orchid fancier and took snaps from different views, such as that of the Man Orchid )'Aceras anthropophorum'), so called because the labellum is haped like a little man. "Orchids have three petals, surround by three sepals, which are like a kind of cup holding the petals in place. One of the distinctive features of orchids is that the middle petal, the labellum or lip, is specialized in fantastic ways."

The last picture to be taken by Bedie was of a Venus's Shoe ("Cypriepedium'); in English, it is called 'Lady's Slipper.' That had been her final look through the viewfinder, it seems. And so they go on the excursion to find this treasure and finds, instead, Alain whose parents are elderly aristocrats. He is associated with several missing persons and is either a stalker or serial murderer. He even confesses that he killed his only brother in the farm pond when they were children. Mara is saved from the same fate of her sister by Julian.

This is the first novel by Michelle Wan who, with her horticulturalist husband, makes an annual pilgrimage to this area in France to photgraph and chart wild orchids. I always said that debut novels are autobiographical. She gives beautiful descriptions of the Dordogne countryside (complete with map), culture and people. Along the way, you see medieval castles, small villages, and many pigeonniers.
  • Bine
Wan does a great job with setting and bringing the Dordogne to life. Even though I've never traveled to that part of France, I now feel as though I've hiked its trails, eaten in its restaurants and driven on its country roads.

Characters are nicely drawn. I like that one of the main characters is French-Canadian, speaking French with an odd accent. A nice little twist.

From a plot standpoint, although I learned a lot about orchids, I felt as though Wan didn't quite hold it all together and it broke down about 2/3 of the way through.

All-in-all, I would recommend this book--it was like an armchair vacation to the Dordogne.
  • heart of sky
I didn't finish this book, which is unusual for me. I was really looking forward to reading this because of the setting and the use of orchids as a plot device. However, the plot became unnecessarily convoluted and began to drag about a third way into the book. I had intended to read the next book but decided to pass.
  • Anayajurus
Quick entertaining read. Set in SW France where we will be travelling soon, which is why I chose this book. A little too much botany, but if you are into orchids and missing person mysteries, then you'll love it.
  • Modar
Fairly well written tale in an interesting setting, but the ending was too easily predictable. Characters were not well developed.
  • ????????????????????????
Bought this because I was holidaying in the Dordogne and know the region well. Enjoyed the book and found it satisfying on a variety of levels, story line, setting etc. Well written.
  • Fordregelv
I'm not sure where I came across this author, though it might have been in my local paper since Ms. Wan lives in Guelph, Ontario, which is the next town east from here. As I was sending an email to a friend who loves orchids, I thought that if I am willing to suggest this book and author to her, then I should be willing to read it myself. I requested it immediately. I'm glad I did, at it was a very enjoyable and informative read.

The story is set in the Dordogne region in the south west of France, where Mara Dunn is trying to find out what happened to her twin sister, Bedie, who disappreared nineteen years earlier. While it is definitely a long shot, Mara needs to get on with her life, and knowing what really happened to her sister will let her do that.

Recently, she found a loaded camera that she is convinced was owned by her sister, and has had the deteriorated film processed and prints made. She has travelled to the Dordogne area to consult with orchid expert Julian Wood to see if he is able to identify the locations shown in the photos. The police have already told Mara that there is not enough identifying features in the photos, but she is determined to learn the truth.

Julian feels there is no chance of finding where these photos were taken, let alone finding Bedie, but he is fascinated with the final photo. The extremely rare Cyripedium, Lady's Slipper, could not be growing in this area, yet there it is, clearly photographed. If only he could find it....

The descriptions of the Dordogne are were so vivid, I almost felt as though I had been there. It's not an area I knew anything about, but now would be happy to travel there and search for wild orchid, walking the same trails as Mara and Bedie(skip the death part though). That is, after I get back from the shop where I want to buy myself some potted orchids. Since reading this novel, I have been looking in the stores for a colour and shape of orchid that appeals to me.

Food is a significant part of this book. Several times, the main characters meet in pubs/cafes to discuss how to find the locations in the photos. The descriptions of the other diners and Julian's mates are quite realistic. Dog lovers are not left out of this story. There are few that recur in the story and further the plot.

Early on, I thought that I had figured out who killed Bedie, but subsequent evidence was presented, that had me doubting myself. I was ready to convict the wrong party. Then sure enough, further activities brought me back around to my original suspicions, though for different reasons. I was totally caught off guard by some of the revelations in the conclusion.

Deadly Slipper is the first book in a four part series. I do plan to read more about orchids in the Dordogne region of France.