Glass Houses by Louise Penny

BLOG“When a mysterious figure appears on the village green on a cold November day in Three Pines, Armand Gamache, now Chief Superintendent of the Sûreté du Québec, knows something is seriously wrong. Yet he does nothing. Legally, what can he do? Only watch and wait. And hope his mounting fears are not realized.”

The appearance of this mysterious figure greatly unsettles the quiet and laid back community of Three Pines. However, there is nothing that can be done except ignore and wait for it to go away. Eventually the figure does disappear, but the relief is short-lived as not too long after, a body is discovered. Months later the murder trial is taking place in Montreal as Gamache struggles with the events he had set in motion. The story flashes back and forth from current day during the trial and the time in which the crime occurred, slowly revealing the truth behind murder and just what is at stake for Gamache himself.

My favourite thing about August has come to be the release of another Inspector Gamache mystery. Louise Penny always manages to deliver a captivating mystery and I am always eager to not only see what the mystery will bring, but also to spend time with the familiar and endearing characters. This is the thirteenth novel in the series and a solid one at that. The mystery is intriguing and it unfolds in an interesting way with the way it jumps from present day to the events of the past, although it does take a little while to get into the flow of the storytelling. The main drawback of the novel I found was that it does come across as rather repetitive at times and could have been edited down in certain places. Overall it is a solid and enjoyable novel that has all the components that fans of the series will appreciate. If you have not read any previous novels in the series, I would recommend starting with the first one, Still Life, which is a great book and an excellent introduction. Highly recommended for fans of the mystery genre.

*ARC provided by NetGalley. Publication date: August 29, 2017.

A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny

img_2737“Armand Gamache sat in the little room and closed the dossier with care, squeezing it shut, trapping the words inside.”

With those words, Louise Penny marks the start of her twelfth and what is possibly her best Inspector Gamache mystery novel. We are taken to the town of Three Pines where an old map has been discovered hidden in the walls of the bistro. While it looks like something of a novelty at first glance, it becomes obvious upon closer inspection that there is a greater significance to this discovery than originally thought. The map is given as a gift to Gamache for his first day of work as the new Commander of the Sûreté Academy, and soon becomes part of a murder investigation in which there are many worthy of suspicion, including Gamache himself.

“It’s so easy to get mired in the all too obvious cruelty of the world. It’s natural. But to really heal, we need to recognize the goodness too.”

This series has been a favourite of mine for a few years now, and with each new release it is always lovely to be transported to the beloved Three Pines and its familiar and charismatic cast of characters. Each book delivers an intriguing mystery and a new adventure, all of which have been entertaining and easy to get lost in. A Great Reckoning is no exception, and I found it to be an outstanding novel that has fast become my favourite in the series. The mystery as always is compelling, however the truly exceptional part of Louise Penny’s books is the depth and nuance with which the characters are portrayed. I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a good mystery and character driven stories. It can absolutely be read as a stand alone if you have not read the series, however there are certain aspects that would be a spoiler for events that occurred in previous books. A Great Reckoning is a wonderful novel and I eagerly anticipate any future releases.

The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny

BLOG“Hardly a day goes by when nine-year-old Laurent Lepage doesn’t cry wolf. “

Young Laurent has been crying wolf for years. With a big imagination and a tendency towards sensationalism, his cries and warnings had ceased to be taken seriously.  After a shocking discovery it appears that there was truth to Laurent’s latest warning.  The discovery uncovers a long hidden secret and unearths a dark history with far reaching consequences.

This is the eleventh book in the Chief Inspector Gamache series.  As always, Louise Penny weaves a page-turning mystery, taking us back to the village of Three Pines and bringing with it all the great characters the fans of the series have come to love.

This is my favourite mystery series and I’m always eagerly awaiting the next release.  The Nature of the Beast does not disappoint and as with the previous books, I couldn’t put it down.  The author has a strong ability in putting together an intriguing story that will keep you guessing, combined with interesting and likeable characters.  This book delivers all that and introduces new characters along with a new threat, which gives us an idea of where the series may go from here.

While I have enjoyed all the books so far I do prefer the earlier ones, which had a simplicity and charm to them that is not as evident in the later works. Each new book seems to take on larger threats and more one-dimensional “bad guys.”  The Nature of the Beast is a page-turning mystery that I feel fans of the series will enjoy. However, if you have not read Louise Penny’s previous books, I recommend you start from the beginning of the series in order to get to know the characters and appreciate the overall progression.

Favourite quote: “But they both knew that words were weapons too, and when fashioned into a story their power was almost limitless.”