After having enjoyed Louise Penny's last mystery, The Brutal Telling: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel, I was anxious to journey with the charming, on his toes, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache once again. For those of you not familiar with this series, he is the top homicide squad detective of the Surete du Quebec. Previous books have been taken place in the not so peaceful town of Three Pines, but this time the story, actually (3) separate stories takes the reader outside of picturesque Three Pines.
As the story begins Inspector Gamache is relaxing and hoping to recover from both emotion and physical wounds of his last case which involved a shoot out which left his associate dead. While he is recovering, the body of Augusten Renaud, an obsessive historian, has been found in the basement of the library. Renaud had been searching for the remains of the founder of Quebec, Samuel de Champlain, but the question now is WHY would someone want him dead? Reluctantly, Gamache agrees to help with the investigation.
The third intricate story involves Penny's previous mystery, The Brutal Telling. In this story a local bistro owner in Three Pines was sent to prison for the death of a town recluse. Letters arriving daily indicate that the wrong man has been sent to prison. The Inspector has his doubts about the incarcerated man's guilt well. As a result Gamache sends his Deputy (Beauvoir) to reopen this case.
Now while a story with three plot lines going on is not easy to pull off, without confusing some readers, Louise Penny has no problem. She is a master at fleshing out all the details, evidence, and tying up all the loose ends. The author has a delightful talent for describing in vivid detail, the sights, sounds, foods, smells as well as the beauty of nature in her mystery stories. The often beautiful sense of place, particularly, rural Quebec in winter, gave me a chilly feel as I listened to this audio book. The reader, Ralph Cosham, did a terrific job as reader. I love Penny's characters as they are so well developed, especially Armand Gamache, a man with a big job and a big heart to match.
Louise Penny mysteries have quickly become favorites of mine. If you enjoy a good mystery series, and like audio books as well, I can highly recommend this one, but I would read The Brutal Telling: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel was glad that I did).
RATING - 4.5/5 stars
Audio Book sent for review