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Study Guide Cold Midnight in Vieux Quebec

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Click here to read chapter one of this mystery.

When he should have been enjoying himself playing hockey and participating in the huge Carnival parade, Tom was scrambling for his life.  He was determined to find out who was covering up the manufacture of chemical weapons in Baie St. Paul.  Even Tom was surprised to discover who masterminded the plot to make the chemical Seron and arranged for the murder of one person and the kidnapping of another.  The plot is complicated by the visit of some heads of state who are in Quebec to sign an important peace treaty banning the creation of chemical weapons.

Pre-reading Activities
Locate Quebec City, Baie St. Paul and Levis on a map.  Find Elma Schemenauer’s Hello, Quebec in your school or public library.  This book has some excellent photos which will help you to get a feel for Vieux Quebec.  In Learning About Quebec, one of the Canada Rainbow Series titles, there are several pictures which will give you more ideas about the setting in which this mystery takes place.


  1. Why did Hubert rub snow on a toque and scarf before he and Tom entered the burning house?
  2. Dietmar Oban’s name is of Austrian origin.  What does it mean in English?
  3. Why was Tom visiting Baie St. Paul?


  1. What does the expression, "Your name is about to be mud" mean?
  2. Stephanie did not understand the expression, "It beats me" and thought Tom was referring to the name of a TV show.  What does the expression mean?  Why would Stephanie not understand it?
  3. Dietmar "left the room without saying a single word."  Why did Tom grin?

  1. Would you get into a car because someone said to "hop in"?  Explain your answer.
  2. In chapter 7, Tom and Stephanie argue about soldiers going to war.  Which person do you agree with and why?  What is your opinion of war?
  3. Senator Martin blames the problems in his family on greed.  Is the desire for consumer goods a problem in our society?  Explain your answer.



  1. Could the James Houston referred to on page 37 be the same person who wrote all those exciting books set in northern Canada?  Check the Canadian Encyclopedia to find out whether he was an artist as well as a writer.
  2. Gaston is described as "really paranoid."  Check the definition of "paranoid" in a dictionary.
  3. What is the story behind the crutches and braces handing in the shrine at Ste. Anne de Beaupre?  Use the Canadian Encyclopedia or the Junior Encyclopedia of Canada to find an answer.

Word Game

The word FORESTS had Tom stumped for a long time.  It was used as a telephone code.  What is the phone number?

How many words of 3 or more letters each can you make using the letters in the word FORESTS?  Your words may use each of the letters once.  That means you could have two S’s in your word, like RESTS.  You cannot use the names of people.  There are at least 21 words.


  1. The cold and moist material would help to filter the smoke so that they could breathe.
  2. Dietmar means "Peter."
  3. Tom was there to play some exhibition hockey games.
  4. It usually means that you have done something wrong or foolish, and it may lead to trouble.
  5. The expression means "I don’t know."  Stephanie probably did not understand it because it is an English expression, and her first language is French.
  6. Tom had tricked Dietmar into thinking that Michelle’s sister, who Dietmar had been longing to meet, was a teenager.  She was 25 and married, and Dietmar was terribly disappointed.
  7. Answers will vary.
  8. Answers will vary.
  9. Answers will vary.
  10. James Houston is an artist associated with Steuben Glass; he has written many books for young people.
  11. To be "paranoid" means to suffer from delusions, often believing that someone or something is going to do you harm.
  12. The shrine at Ste. Anne de Beaupre is said to have "healing powers."  Many people have gone there to pray and have left behind crutches and other such devices.
The phone number is 367-3787

Here are some words you can make from the letters in the word FORESTS.


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