Stain of the Berry: A Russell Quant Mystery

…a reluctant suicide…a black-hearted boogeyman…from the thunderous summer storms and brilliant fields of dreams of the prairies to the Canadian Arctic where tragic hope resides…

Everyone has their Boogeyman. But who—or what—is scaring Saskatoon locals to death? Private detective Russell Quant is roused from his sleep only to fall into a nightmare case when the family of a suicide victim hires him to uncover the real cause of death. But what is real and what is imaginary? Quant works to narrow his list of suspects only to find the number of victims growing. Russell is mystified as a trail of fear connects him to a vast landscape of people including an elegant potash miner, dubious trailer park denizens, reticent farm folk, the Pink Gopher choir and a gaseous psychiatrist.

Compounding Quant’s bewilderment is the complete and perfect disappearance of his once very real friend—Sereena—who has become a ghost he simply can’t find. With the Boogeyman always a few paces ahead, Russell struggles to keep the hounds of failure from baying. From Saskatchewan’s summer storms to the menacing Lotus Land of Vancouver, Quant finally touches down in the Canadian Arctic where tragic hope resides. Russell returns home to bully attacks, a desperate chase through midnight woods and a sadistic abduction. As Russell Quant penetrates the truth of the Boogeyman, he finds himself on a perilous suspension bridge between idyllic childhood and grown-up violence.


Read Chapter One

See the photographs that inspired Stain of the Berry.

Click below to watch scenes from the hometown book launch of Stain of the Berry, McNally Robinson Bookstore, Saskatoon, SK. October 26, 2006, including coverage by CBC TV.


Stain of the Berry (2006)
ISBN: 978-15548308-8-6 (Paperback)
ASIN: B0037KN08O (eBook)

2007 Saskatchewan Book Award Finalist

2007 Lambda Literary Award Finalist