“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
Oh no, no, no, Louise Penny. Before all you Louise Penny fans kill me, let me say I have loved this series since it first came out and preordered a hardbound copy back in May. Bought the audio book the day it was made available. Louise is exceptional in her ability to bring the reader into the scene. You can taste the food, see the location, and smell the environment. She still has that ability in this novel and I was transported to Three Pines once again. BUT where is she going with her characters? I am so unhappy with the direction she is taking the main characters that I'm not sure I have a desire to buy or listen to her next book. Felt like we were ending up a soap opera . . . will little Billy kick his drug habit or sabotage his mentor in the process, will Jane take Dick back, did Spot come home - is that spot there? I think she was trying to create a cliff-hanging ending that would draw us back; but, to me, all she did was trivialize her characters.
As always, Ralph Cosham did an outstanding job of narration!
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.
Myst/thrillers and ✨fun fantasies✨are my favorites but always open for a good story.
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.
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.
This mystery was essentially impossible to solve, both for the detectives and the reader, because crucial information was not found or revealed until the end. But the murder seems almost incidental to the complex character development of Inspector Gamache, his chief deputy Beauvoir, the newly discovered artist Clara Morrow and her artist husband Peter. Much remains unresolved, and the stage is set for the next in the series. At least, I hope there will be another!
Another wonderful book Ms. Penny. I can't wait for the next installment of the Gamache series.
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