|All that Glitters / Martine Desjardins;
trans. from the French by Fred Reed & David Homel
Vancouver: Talonbooks, c2005
All That Glitters is set in Flanders during WWII. It is the story of Canadian and inveterate gambler Simon Dulac, who has enlisted in the military police. His interest in the war is that it gives him the chance to roam around an unsettled France, looking for the treasure that the Knights Templar left buried somewhere in Flanders centuries before. It is a nod to the codes and mysteries of books like The Da Vinci Code, but told in the surreal manner of her previous novel. The two supporting characters are Dulac's Lieutenant Peakes, a man obsessed with metalwork as well as rebuses and secrets, and nurse Miss Nell, who became a field nurse in order to practice suturing wounds, something nurses were not normally permitted to do at the time. She sutures them not with neat black stitches, but with fanciful embroidery, usually in a form of a rebus related to the patient's name. She also practices on herself; she has a feather stitched into the interstice between her thumb and forefinger, and eventually shows Dulac the rebus embroidered within her cleavage - a many-rayed sun with an "N" in the centre.