Three for Trinity, the third installment in Kevin Major’s Sebastian Synard Mystery series, finds our intrepid hero operating his boutique Newfoundland tour business in the days of Covid-19. After months of enforced inactivity, the establishment of the Atlantic Bubble means he can offer tours for small local groups, and it turns out there is sufficient interest in his services within the Atlantic region to justify going ahead. He decides to focus the tour on the scenic and historic Bonivista Peninsula and takes the group north, out of St. John’s, to the village of Trinity. Sebastian is serious about his responsibilities as guide. He’s not seeking distractions. But despite some doubts, he finds himself striking up a tentative romance with tour group member Ailsa Bowmore, a recently divorced inspector with the RCMP. As part of the tour of Trinity, the group attend a play at Rising Tide Theatre. But during the performance, one of the actors, a young man named Lyle Mercer, collapses on stage. Ailsa, assuming a first-responder’s role, and Sebastian attend to the stricken actor and see him rushed off to the hospital. But by next morning Mercer is dead. Speculation leans toward a drug overdose, but the toxicology analysis finds traces of poison. This is murder.
From this intriguing setup Major’s novel takes off. Acting on his own, Sebastian, a registered private investigator, goes undercover within Rising Tide to see what he can find out about Lyle and his relationships with the other actors. Ailsa leads the official investigation. Sebastian’s inquiry takes him beyond the theatre, into the community, where he meets local folks with whom Lyle came into contact, and ultimately deep into the past, where secrets and lies abound. Inevitably, he finds himself butting heads with the RCMP, and Ailsa in particular, who seems stubbornly disinclined to pursue the leads that Sebastian’s uncovered, and whose distant manner and overly decorous conduct leave Sebastian wondering if their evening of intimate disclosures actually happened.
Kevin Major keeps the reader guessing in this propulsive narrative that features abundant twists and turns along with plenty of quirky humour and briny Newfoundland atmosphere. Once again Sebastian’s family life comes into play: his delicate balancing act with ex-wife Samantha, the worry and second-guessing that go along with helping to raise their smart, curious teenage son Nick. Three novels in, Sebastian Synard (“rhymes with innard”) remains an attractive protagonist, a shrewdly observant and empathetic pragmatist whose voice is peppered with snarky asides and cheeky observations on family, love, scotch, and the challenge of making ends meet in Newfoundland at any time but especially during a pandemic. Readers on the hunt for an engaging, fast-paced entertainment will not be disappointed.
Governor General Award winner Kevin Major is the author of twenty-one books—fiction, literary non-fiction, poetry, and plays. His first novel, Hold Fast, is considered a classic of Canadian young adult fiction, and was recently released as a feature film. As Near To Heaven By Sea: A History of Newfoundland and Labrador was a Canadian bestseller. Land Beyond the Sea is the final book in Major’s Newfoundland trilogy of historical fiction, which also includes New Under the Sun and Found Far and Wide. One for the Rock, Two for the Tablelands, and Three for Trinity are the first three books in Major’s new series of crime novels. He and his wife live in St. John’s. They have two grown sons.
- Publisher : Breakwater Books (Oct. 15 2021)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 224 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1550819143
- ISBN-13 : 978-1550819144
Ian Colford’s short fiction has appeared in Grain, The Antigonish Review, The Fiddlehead and other literary publications. His books are Evidence, The Crimes of Hector Tomás, Perfect World and A Dark House and Other Stories. His work has been shortlisted for the Thomas H. Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award, the Journey Prize, and the Danuta Gleed Literary Award. A new collection of linked stories, Witness, will be published by Porcupine's Quill in spring 2023.