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October 2009 Indie Next List
“Louise Penny just keeps getting better and better. In her latest installment in the Chief Inspector Gamache series, she creates a satisfying read that is impossible to put down. Once again in the remote Canadian village of Three Pines, Gamache's team is summoned when an unknown dead man is found in the town's favorite bistro. Gamache searches near and far to unravel the mystery, yet the most intriguing journey is the one into the killer's mind.”
— Sally Morrison, Sierra Madre Books, Sierra Madre, CA
Chaos is coming, old son.
With those words the peace of Three Pines is shattered. As families prepare to head back to the city and children say goodbye to summer, a stranger is found murdered in the village bistro and antiques store. Once again, Chief Inspector Gamache and his team are called in to strip back layers of lies, exposing both treasures and rancid secrets buried in the wilderness.
No one admits to knowing the murdered man, but as secrets are revealed, chaos begins to close in on the beloved bistro owner, Olivier. How did he make such a spectacular success of his business? What past did he leave behind and why has he buried himself in this tiny village? And why does every lead in the investigation find its way back to him?
As Olivier grows more frantic, a trail of clues and treasures— from first editions of Charlotte's Web and Jane Eyre to a spider web with the word "WOE" woven in it—lead the Chief Inspector deep into the woods and across the continent in search of the truth, and finally back to Three Pines as the little village braces for the truth and the final, brutal telling.
“Penny has been compared to Agatha Christie, and while there is a surface resemblance there, it sells her short. Her characters are too rich, her grasp of nuance and human psychology too firm for the formula-bound Christie. No, Penny belongs in the hands of those who read not only P. D. James but also Donna Leon, who, like Penny, mixes her hero’s family and professional lives fluidly and with a subtle grasp of telling detail.” –Booklist (starred)
This superb novel will appeal to readers who enjoy sophisticated literary mysteries in the tradition of Donna Leon.” –Library Journal (starred)
Penny is a world-class storyteller. If you don’t want to move to Montreal with Gamache as your neighbor—or better yet, relocate to Three Pines and be welcomed into its community of eccentrics—you have sawdust in your veins, which must be very uncomfortable.” –Kirkus Reviews
Additional Praise for Louise Penny and the Armand Gamache Mysteries
“Penny sustains her high-wire act, creating characters of remarkable depth in an exhilarating whodunit.” —People
“Louise Penny is unsurpassed at building a sense of heart-stopping urgency." —The Charlotte Observer
“Penny, who raises the bar with each entry in this superb series, has always mixed murder and corruption with issues of morality...[S]he does so with her accustomed talent for a gripping plot, rich characterizations, arresting prose and thought-provoking questions of mercy, malice and the contradictions of the human race." —Richmond-Times Dispatch
"This series dominates best-seller lists and award lists for a reason. Penny tells powerful stories of damage and healing in the human heart, leavened with affection, humor and – thank goodness – redemption." —Salem Macknee, Charlotte Observer
“Penny writes with grace and intelligence about complex people struggling with complex emotions. But her great gift is her uncanny ability to describe what might seem indescribable – the play of light, the sound of celestial music, a quiet sense of peace.” —New York Times Book Review