Marcelle Dubé grew up near Montreal. After trying out a number of different provinces and living in the Yukon for over 35 years, she now lives in Alberta—which is much like the Yukon in all the ways that count. She writes mystery and speculative fiction novels and short stories. Her best-known work is the Mendenhall Mystery series. Her latest release is The Wronged Woman, sixth in the Mendenhall series. Her short fiction has appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies. Learn more about her and her published work at www.marcellemdube.com. You can contact her at [email protected]

The A'lle Mutation by Marcelle Dube

The A'lle Mutation: An A'lle Chronicles Mystery

In the early 1700s, an A'lle generation ship crashed in the woods of Lower Canada. Survivors stumbled out of the wreckage to find French settlers working the land. While many of the colonists sheltered the injured A'lle, some reacted with fear and loathing. Two centuries later, nothing much has changed.

Two months after the events in Backli's Ford, Constance A'lle, first A'lle investigator for Lower Canada, and Chief Investigator Desautel still haven't identified the cabal responsible for the kidnapping and murder of so many A'lle.

While they pursue their investigation in Montreal, Constance is sidetracked by family and the threat of an epidemic—an epidemic for which the immune A'lle might be responsible, intensifying the already simmering human resentment against the A'lle.

With A'lle and human hostility spiking, Constance and Desautel must navigate the increasingly brittle peace to find the head of the cabal threatening the A'lle in Lower Canada and keep their own fragile trust from shattering.

Set in 1912, The A'lle Mutation follows Constance A'lle and Chief Investigator Desautel as they navigate the fraught relationship between humans and A'lle while trying to find those responsible for the deaths of so many A'lle.

 

REVIEWS

  • Book 2 builds on the mystery, who is killing the A'lle? Marcelle brings together elements of science fiction with historical drama, a romping good read full of realism and engaging characters. For any mystery fan who loves science fiction, history and a good who dunnit, this one's for you.

    – Amazon review
  • I enjoyed this book. It is a sequel to [The A'lle Murders, formerly Backli's Ford], which was about a young woman of the A'lle people, who joined the (human) police force as an investigator, around the late 1800's. The A'lle came from Space to settle in Canada 200 years ago, and faced dislike and prejudice from humans. The main characters were believable, as were the A'lle. And the Canadian setting too. In this book the action moves from the countryside to Montreal. A'lle people are being murdered and dissected, as a secretive group of humans try to discover more about their capacity to heal themselves. I found it absorbing.

    – Amazon review
 

BOOK PREVIEW

Excerpt

They were in the small morgue in the Hôpital Dieu. The doctor had a private practice on Ste. Catherine but was also one of six Montreal doctors on retainer for the constabulary. Something twisted in Desautel's gut. The doctors had been exceptionally busy of late.

He risked a glance at the body. It was covered up to the neck by a stained sheet. The face was bloated, unrecognizable as male or female.

"I can't tell you when she died," said Dr. Pronovost before Desautel could ask. "She's been in the water too long."

And with the ice finally out of the river, the water was only now releasing its dubious gifts accrued during the winter. Spring was always welcome in Lower Canada, but it brought with it the terrible odors of the thawing outhouses and heaps of household garbage that had accumulated over the winter. And it was the time the river gave up its dead.

"Was anything taken?" he asked softly.

Docteur Pronovost had pale hair and a pale complexion, with freckles making him look younger than his forty-two years. Only the deep groove between his eyebrows hinted at his true age. He was short, with broad shoulders and big hands. Now he looked up at Desautel, a troubled look in his eyes.

"Her womb," he said softly. "Her heart. Her endocrinal glands, or what I think are her endocrinal glands." He sighed with frustration. "We know remarkably little about the A'lle physiology," he said. "Or at least, I know little. I know some other organs are also missing, and I think they correspond to the human liver and gall bladder, but I can't be sure."

Desautel took a deep breath and immediately regretted it.

"Do we know who she is?" he asked.

The doctor shook his head. "We will have to rely on the constabulary for identification," he said grimly. "And there are no scars or other identifying marks."

Indeed. Desautel nodded stiffly. "Thank you, docteur."

He left the morgue and its unpleasant smells behind, walking down the gloomy passageway toward the loading dock at the far end. He knew the list of missing A'lle as well as Constance did, and there was only one woman who might fit this woman's description.