Slanderous Tongue: A Sumach Mystery Review

Slanderous Tongue: A Sumach Mystery
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Slanderous Tongue: A Sumach Mystery ReviewJill Culiner is a photographer and published author of FINDING HOME: IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE JEWISH FUSGEYERS, which was published by Sumach Press in 2004. She lives both in Canada and France.
This character driven mystery takes place in the village of Epineux-le-Rainsouin, France. A Canadian woman lives in the village and the tale takes place through her point-of-view. The village isn't particularly interesting or noteworthy, but the undercurrents represent a microcosm of the world. The town begins to take on a life of its own when Didier Blot, the "garde champetre" is found dead in his bathtub. The local vet, who is carrying on an affair with our Canadian ethnologist, asks her to "ask around," as he is worried that he might be a suspect in the murder:
"'No,' I say calmly. 'But you told me you were worried that they'd find Chantal's letters, so I was just wondering. I mean, Didier really did do a lot of sleeping around. Chantal was just one of a lot.' Jean-Paul's mouth twists bitterly. He reaches up, rubs his jaw with his right hand. As if he's got a bad toothache, suddenly. 'Which other women did he sleep with?'"
Jill Culiner has fabricated a world where everyone has something to hide, where no one really tells the truth to anyone else. Yet every inhabitant of this small village knows the deep dark secrets, even the older women who spend their days watching the activity within the village. But the world that Culiner presents is mostly dark...there doesn't seem to be any real good, and the intensive farms surrounding the village hide hideous secrets of horrendous torture to animals. It represents something that is hidden to the world at large by the rich and greedy.
SLANDEROUS TONGUE is a peek at what is happening to change the world we know into an evil place. As people toss the "old ways" to the wind and embrace the change without questioning the results, we find our world diminishing. Culiner doesn't make us happy, but she certainly is a wizard at making us think. A stunning tale.
Shelley Glodowski
Senior ReviewerSlanderous Tongue: A Sumach Mystery Overview
Epineux-le-Rainsouin is a sleepy litle village in France, where the local gossips have little more to get excte over than the spectacle of a resident amateur historian from Canada washing her windows. But that's before Didier Blot, Epineeux's garde-champetre and all-round dogsbody, disappears without a word. When rumours start to collect about Didier's sexual excapades and environmental activism, our Canadian narrator sets herself to storting out lies from truth. But how many questions can she ask before th town square ladies start wagging their tongues about her?

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