“Bowen is one of those rare, magical mystery writers readers love not only for her suspense skills but for her stories’ elegance, sense of place and true-to-life form.… A master of ramping up suspense.”

Ottawa Citizen

“Bowen can confidently place her series beside any other being produced in North America.”

– Halifax Chronicle-Herald

“Gail Bowen’s Joanne Kilbourn mysteries are small works of elegance that assume the reader of suspense is after more than blood and guts, that she is looking for the meaning behind a life lived and a life taken.”

Calgary Herald

“Bowen has a hard eye for the way human ambition can take advantage of human gullibility.”

Publishers Weekly

“Gail Bowen got the recipe right with her series on Joanne Kilbourn.”

Vancouver Sun

“What works so well [is Bowen’s] sense of place – Regina comes to life – and her ability to inhabit the everyday life of an interesting family with wit and vigour.… Gail Bowen continues to be a fine mystery writer, with a protagonist readers can invest in for the long run.”

National Post

“Gail Bowen is one of Canada’s literary treasures.”

Ottawa Citizen


BY GAIL BOWENThe Nesting Dolls

The Brutal Heart

The Last Good Day

The Glass Coffin

Burying Ariel

Verdict in Blood

A Killing Spring

A Colder Kind of Death

The Wandering Soul Murders

Murder at the Mendel

Deadly Appearances

Copyright © 2006 by Gail Bowen

First M&S paperback edition published 2007

This edition published 2011

All rights reserved. The use of any part of this publication reproduced, transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical,

photocopying, recording, or otherwise, or stored in a retrieval system, without the prior written consent of the publisher – or, in case of photocopying or other reprographic copying, a licence from the Canadian

Copyright Licensing Agency – is an infringement of the copyright law.

Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication

Bowen, Gail, 1942-

The endless knot : a Joanne Kilbourn mystery / Gail Bowen.

eISBN: 978-1-55199-246-4

I. Title.

PS8553.08995E54 2011   C813?.54    C2011-900313-9

We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program and that of the Government of Ontario through the Ontario Media Development Corporation’s Ontario Book Initiative. We further acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council for our publishing program.

Published simultaneously in the United States of America by

McClelland & Stewart Ltd., P.O. Box 1030, Plattsburgh, New York 12901

Library of Congress Control Number: 2011925598

Cover image © Blair Witch | Dreamstime.com

McClelland & Stewart Ltd.

75 Sherbourne Street

Toronto, Ontario

M5A 2P9



To James Henry Cook,

a truly good and generous man,

and to his great- nephews,

Jess Benjamin Bowen-Bell and Peyton Benjamin Bowen


Thanks to Jan Seibel for her solid legal advice, to Dinah Forbes for her sensitive and perceptive editing, to Joan Baldwin, the model of a family physician, and as always to Ted, who makes everything possible.

ContentsCoverOther Books by This AuthorTitle PageCopyrightDedicationAcknowledg ementsChapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3Chapter 4Chapter 5Chapter 6Chapter 7Chapter 8Chapter 9Chapter 10Chapter 11Chapter 12Chapter 13Chapter 14Chapter 15About the Author



As I bent down to cut the last of our marigolds on the Friday before Thanksgiving, I was as happy as I could remember being. The stems of the flowers were cool against my fingers, and their sturdy beauty and acrid scent evoked memories of marigolds hastily picked by my kids and carried off, stems sheathed in wax paper and anchored by elastic bands, to be given to a teacher or abandoned on the playground. It was a morning for remembering, as filled with colour and ancient mystery as a Breugel painting.

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