Sam Wiseman runs an independent bookstore near McGill University in the heart of Montreal. His existence is untroubled and his relationships are steady — until the day he stops a shoplifter. Out of this seemingly innocent incident, Sam becomes friends with Gaston Lemieux, a police detective with a great affection for nineteenth-century British novels.
The friendship comes into play when Sam discovers the body of professor Harold Hilliard — a long-time customer of the store — dead in his office at McGill. Sam is implicated in the murder when it is discovered that the victim is clutching a special order form from Sam's store in what clearly is an attempt to reveal the identity of his murderer.
Part police-procedural and part cozy mystery, That Sleep of Death introduces a new sleuth to the Canadian murder-mystery scene — one whose continuing presence will be anticipated and enjoyed for mysteries to come.