The Girl in the Wall

The Girl in the Wall by Alison Preston

Signature Editions, 2011

Winner of the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction


After leaving the Winnipeg Police force, former Inspector Frank Foote has gone into home renovations. Tearing down a wall in his Norwood Flats neighbourhood, he and his partner come across the skeleton of a young female. They alert the police, but Frank doesn’t tell them about the photograph he found with the remains. He may be retired, but his investigative instincts are intact. On the trail to uncover the girl’s identity Frank is drawn back into the past and into the world of the unusual Mrs. Mortimer, who’d lived nearby. She’d had a short-lived business in the 1960’s taking photographs of the recently deceased for their families. Frank finds himself hoping that she isn’t involved.

But what are the odds?

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Alison Preston is becoming one of Canada’s consistently good crime writers. The Girl in the Wall, her fifth novel, is as funny and smart as the last four, but it takes plotting to a new high.”

– Margaret Cannon, The Globe and Mail


No one else in the country’s mystery community comes close to matching Preston’s combination of humour and creepiness.”

– Jack Batten, Whodunit Columnist, Toronto Star


Preston moves you swiftly through this tantalizing tale with crisp dialogue and good plot twists.”

– Dave Williamson, Winnipeg Free Press


…lucid, succinct prose…an absorbing story…”

– Bev Sandell Greenberg, Prairie Fire Review of Books


…an irresistible treat. The story-telling feels real. The integration of the setting, the action and dialogue spin a tale that grabs hold.”

– Don Graves, The Hamilton Spectator


…Mrs. Mortimer is a fascinating character, portrayed with sensitivity and care.”

– Shirley Byers, Prairie Books NOW