Friday, November 7, 2014


We are a family of readers, and further we usually like the same kind of books.  This is both good and not so as often one of us is waiting for another to finish a book so he or she can read it.   This, this trio of books by Louise Penny is a real boon for us - we’re all happily reading and once finished I’m sure the conversations will be great as we compare notes.

Mysteries are high on our lists so the chance to read the first three books featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surete du Quebec was a happy early holiday gift.  What a hero Gamache is - wise, courageous, and throughly honest.  This was discovered in the first book of the trio - Still Life.

Gamache and his colleagues are called to a rural village just south of Montreal where a woman known by all the town folk, Jane Neal, has been found dead in the woods.  The residents of Twin Pines are sure it was a sad hunting accident - after all, nothing untoward happens in their peaceful hamlet.  Well, Gamache has other ideas and becomes convinced that her death was not an accident.

The second book - A Fatal Grace again focuses on the death of a woman.  However, unlike the well liked dearly departed in the first Gamache mystery this woman, Miss de Poitiers, was hated by everyone - including her husband, her lover and her daughter.  However, even if most are glad she’s gone why didn’t someone witness her electrocution on a frozen lake in the middle of town?  It seems many secrets are hidden in the small village of Twin Pines.

Another unlikely crime occurs in the third book - The Cruelest Month.  Residents of Twin Pines have gotten together in an abandoned and some say haunted house for a seance with a visiting psychic.  They get more than they bargained for when Madeleine Favreau keels over - frightened to death?   Using his mind and outstanding detective skills Gamache tries to look further into this death but his investigation is hampered by the fact that he recently accused his superior officer of past crimes.  Further, he wonders if there is a spy on his team.  Gamache has his hands more than full this time.

We are thoroughly enjoying having these books to read, share, and talk about.  Would highly recommend for those who like cozy mysteries.

- Gail Cooke

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