“Hearts are broken,” Lillian Dyson carefully underlined in a book. “Sweet relationships are dead.” But now Lillian herself is dead. Found among the bleeding hearts and lilacs of Clara Morrow's garden in Three Pines, shattering the celebrations of Clara's solo show at the famed Musée in Montreal. Chief Inspector Gamache, the head of homicide at the Sûreté du Québec, is called to the tiny Quebec village and there he finds the art world gathered, and with it a world of shading and nuance, a world of shadow and light. Where nothing is as it seems. Behind every smile there lurks a sneer. Inside every sweet relationship there hides a broken heart. And even when facts are slowly exposed, it is no longer clear to Gamache and his team if what they've found is the truth, or simply a trick of the light.
©2011 Three Pines Creations, Inc. (P)2011 Macmillan Audio
As indicated in a previous review, I "discovered" Louise Penny by happenstance - and have been hooked ever since. The characters are well defined, plots are always interesting but it is her masterful prose that makes her novels vibrate. I listen and re-listen to chapters, not wanting the listening experience to end.
Ralph Cosham's narration is "spot on". I can't imagine listening to any Louise Penny work without him. Dynamite combination.
Looking forward to the next book.
I'm a professional dog trainer who loves to read. I have degrees in English and Adult Ed. I love well written books that take me away.
Could you, have you, will you let go of - forgive the unforgivable? What is unforgivable? What will happen if you can not or will not forgive? As usual, we discover that any one of us could do murder, sufficiently provoked, and that pain is an inevitable part of a human condition but suffering is optional. A brilliant, thought provoking book and you'll never guess "who done it" before the end.
I've always liked these books despite their flimsy story lines and sappy characterizations. There's something comfortable about them and about Ralph Cosham's voice that keeps me returning to this series and helps me overlook the flaws in writing and conception. But this book surprised me.
This is perhaps the best written and conceived book of the series so far. Penny's confidence is clearly growing as her characters and plot lines gain complexity and depth. The best part is that the ending was entirely a surprise, but not a sloppy one as she is prone to. This ending was clearly thought out, and I'm looking forward to the continued evolution of Penny's writing.
I don't usually rush out for all the "best sellers", but give each intriguing book/author a look. I have found many diamonds in the rough.
Louise Penny has a way of bringing you into her stories of "Three Pines" and tucking you in with the characters. This addition is flooded with artists and critics, quite an eclectic group of the talented and those that wish they were. One of the subplots that surround this murder mystery is a look into the depth of alcoholism and how its destructive tentacles can reach into so many innocent lives.
Chief inspector Gamache and Jean Guy Beauvoir, his second, are recuperating physically and mentally from injuries they sustained in their last investigation. Being thrown unexpectedly into the middle of a murder investigation maybe just what they need to get them both back on track. The colorful and diverse friends that they have made in Three Pines, are evolving, and maybe even essential, to help them complete the full journey back to sound and complete well-being. Another great one in the series.
I read this because I have read all of the other books in this series.
While this wasn't the best in the series, I thought it was a solid effort. I like when the stories involve the villagers from Three Pines, and this story not only takes place there, but it has to do with the career of Clara Morrow, one of the "main" villagers. I liked that art played a central role, and also that there was some romantic intrigue -- one romance appears to be budding, while another fails.
The narrator is fantastic.
I was delighted to discover Louise Penny after she had already published several books in this series. I could listen to one right after the other without waiting for the release each year. If you like well-developed mystery characters and a delightful mis-en-scene, these will not disappoint. Have read or heard them all. My only wish is that she had some historical fiction in the same settings. That would be bonus fun.
I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
Louise Penny is exceptionally good at creating very real, complex characters. I was glad to be back in Three Pines for this one. Once you've listened to one book, the town becomes real. It's easy to pick up the thread again.
The thing that always seems to take a back seat in her books is the crafting of the mystery. Somewhere along the line, it gets too complex. I still listen and I'm still interested, but often find that I really don't care who committed the murder by the time it's revealed. It's the other mysteries and the way the characters interact that mean more.
Cut throat art world leads to broken necks.
Penny seems to know the ins and outs of the Montreal art scene. Her depiction of the dealers and brokers and their intrigues, gives the novel depth.
Gamache and Bouvoir continue to amaze as their relationship evolves.
On going reconsideration of Clara's relationship with her childhood friend is the kind of dynamic that Louise Penny handles so well. These are not one-dimensional characters. There is often no "one moment" but rather a building of small ones.
Ralph Cosham's voice and inflections make the novels, each and all, wonderful to the ear.
Penny takes her Three Pines characters and adds more layers of depth. I truly enjoyed not only the plot of the murder mystery, but the changes she puts in the lives of the villagers. If you haven't listened to any in this series, do so now. The narrator is one of the best you will hear.
I enjoyed trying to figure out who done it and why before reaching the end of the book. I was wrong... but it was a possibility.
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