The Long Way Home; Louise Penny
Macmillian Audio - 2014
(Ralph Cosham - reader)
A Long Way Home is the 10th book in this mystery series featuring now retired, homicide inspector, Armand Gamache. Gamache left his job after an on the job incident that nearly took his life. He has recovered, but emotionally he is still troubled and has not adjusted to retirement all that well.
Like the other books in this series, this mystery is set in the small, small idyllic village of Three Pines in Quebec. Several of the characters from early stories reappear here ---central to this story is Clara Morrow, considered the talented resident artist of the village. Her husband, Peter is a painter, but not well known like his wife. The couple had agreed to a one year trial separation when Peter was having difficulty dealing with Clara's success. When the year is up and Peter does not return or contact her she becomes concerned. Even though he's acted immature (IMO), Clara thinks he may be in trouble since he has not been in touch.
She contacts retired friend and inspector Gamache to report Peter missing and ask his assistance in helping to locate him. He agrees and has several other villagers help him in the search: his wife Reine-Marie, SIL, Jean-Guy, Myrna, a retired psychologist who now runs the village used bookstore, and Ruth, a grumpy neighbor and poet. Following credit card use and other clues leads to several dead ends, but there is no shortage of possible suspects in this mystery.
I have to admit this one got off to a slow start for me, but because this author has a way of stirring ones senses with her small village setting, scenery, things like violent snowstorms, smell of baked goods from bistro owners etc, I knew my persistence would pay off eventually. The author also has a way of incorporating art, music, poetry and even occasional recipes into each mystery. Her characters are well developed and memorable. Some of the characters are quirky and conflicted, and it's always fun to see how each returning character has evolved as the stories progress.
This wasn't a favorite in the series, mostly because of the slow start and the way some of the treads came together in the end, but for the most part I was still happy I listened to this one. The narrator, Ralph Cosham did a decent job, but takes some getting used to.