If you have enjoyed this series, this ranks right up there with Still Life and A Rule Against Murder (well, they are all my favorites). This could be a stand alone novel, but I think it may be best to savour them one at a time in order. The joy comes with getting to know and love your friends as you listen to these books. I was shocked to find out in the closing interview that Ralph Cosham reads these books cold and unpracticed, his narration is a masterpiece. My only disappointment is that after months of waiting, I did listen to this one in a day (painting my house, I made great progress), and now I have to wait for the next one.
Terrific storyline and a great ending, tight and awesome story telling, LP has hit it out of the park again. Make a cup of tea (or get the paint brushes out) and enjoy!
I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
I'm not sure why I'm so hooked on this series, but I am. I love the writing style. I love it that they're set in Quebec. I love the quirky characters and that small town vibe. All of it together is just magical.
I've enjoyed every book in the series, but this one is really terrific. There's a flow to it that keeps you so engaged from beginning to end. It's the kind of book you want to listen to again the moment it's over.
It's hard to know what to credit more - Ralph Cosham's narration or Louise Penny's writing. Cosham is simply the perfect choice for this author. He IS Gamache. Then again, Penny has created these wonderful, complex characters that Cosham gives voice to. Without them, he would not have a vehicle. Together, they're splendid.
Thank you, Louise Penny, for writing the most riveting, moving, suspenseful, and beautiful book of the series, and thank you for ALL the books in this series. Thank you, Ralph Cosham, for bringing these characters to life in my head with such skill and care. How I love them all! There are moments when I held my breath in fear and moments when I laughed out loud. Thank you both for creating a world and a group of people whom I feel honored to know and to have spent so much time with. It was time well-spent. But now the book is over - what'll I do now? Guess I'll just have to start the series over again! For those just discovering the series -- read them in order, PLEASE! You'll enjoy them so much more as you get to know the characters and hear the plot lines develop from book to book. I envy people just discovering Three Pines for the first time -- lucky you to have stumbled into this magical little village. Enjoy!
The writing is wonderful and the story offers an interesting glimpse into the corruption of power and the power of compassion.
This book is excellent, however, I think it is made richer by reading the previous books in the Three Pines series. This would give the listener a deeper understanding into the nuances and hearts of these wonderful characters. Louise Penny's books are a reading and listening pleasure!
I have read several of the Inspector Gamache stories and enjoyed them all. This was very intense and revived my interest in the series.It was tightly plotted and there were surprises along the way. It had the feeling of tying up loose ends, but still left hope that Louise Penny would continue the series, perhaps in a new direction. I don't think I would listen to it again, but I might borrow it from the library and read it.
I think Mr. Cosham has a good voice for the main character, Inspector Gamache. However, there were other things that interfered with my enjoyment of the story. He often sounds like he has a mouth full of mashed potatoes. Because he reads "cold", (doesn't pre-read the material), he makes virtually no vocal distinction between characters. He also barely pauses from one section to the next, so it often took me a second to realize that the action had jumped from Three Pines to Montreal, or whatever. His pronunciation of French is pretty standard for an English person, but it really bothered me when he pronounced the name of famous hockey player Rocket Richard in the English way, rather than the French "RishARD". By the end of the book his reading was beginning to interfere with my enjoyment of the story. He seems to regard this cold reading as a benefit, because he is discovering the story along with the listener. I think a better prepared performance would have been more enjoyable.
This is for the fans who have kept up with the lives and travails of the characters in the entire series. I think it wouldn't make a lot of sense if you didn't know the back stories. The plot development and story line is one of the best of the last few in this series, with a good dramatically satisfying ending. The narrator has become Inspector Gamache, and he does a good job with the other characters as well.
In my quest to find new mystery authors to enjoy, I tried this as my first Louise Penny novel - I'd heard about her, I know she's won some awards, and there was the appeal of a Canadian author and a Quebecois character.......but I don't think I'll read or listen more of her work. I liked all the characters and I liked the performance of this narrator (though I know some might find his reading plodding and weak, I thought it was weighty and thoughtful, appropriate for these characters), but the book itself had some weak points I couldn't get past: The murder plot is preposterously weak, or at least the ideas weren't explained properly and so they seemed to come out of thin air. The "I only let you think you were winning to fool you" solution to the political machinations seemed also to come out of thin air, as if the author had painted herself into a corner and had to talk her way out - it seemed more desperate than practical or even plausible.
It's a shame too, because I really loved the characterizations and would have loved to learn more about their relationships by reading other (earlier) books in the series.
I love audio and ebooks but only give them a 5 if they hold my attention. An avereage story gets a 3 . Thrillers & Crime are my favorites.
I have read this whole series and have come to enjoy all the characters. I feel like they are old friends. I do think listening in order is very helpful as this one resolved a number of issues/plot lines that have been developed since the beginning.
I found it highly engrossing as the story progressed. There were really two main themes this time; one was the murder of a woman who was a friend of the residents of Three Pines and the other focused corruption in the police department.
I don't want to write a spoiler, but I loved how it ended. Kudos to Chief Inspector Gamache!
I really hope this was not the last one in the series. Its way too much fun to listen to.
Kudos to Ms Penny for an excellent book. From the dual mystery to the intrigue in the life of the main character, the detective Inspector Gamache, the story builds and builds, making it very hard to put down. I usually listen only on my commute, but with this book, I found myself pulling out my headphones and "reading" before going to sleep as well.
It's worth noting that I came to this book because I have read all of the other books in this series, which is based on the charming, yet flawed, Gamache, as well as the villagers living in Three Pines (a place Gamache visits both for business and pleasure). However, this story stands on its own and could be a place for readers unfamiliar with Ms Penny to begin. The primary downside of starting with this one is that you learn the conclusion of a storyline that provides a cliffhanger in a few of the other books earlier in the series.
After eight other books giving voice to these characters, the narrator is flawless, delivering a convincing performance and doing the accents besides (it takes place in Montreal and other parts of Quebec, so there is a nice blend of French and English).
Fantastic, per usual for Louise Penny. And the questions we have had have all been answered.
Definitely should read or listen to the books that preceded this one in order to fully follow the plot!