“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
I wandered into Louise Penny by accident of adventure and have not looked back since. I found in her stories an exquisite writer who paints fleshly characters that have evolved continually over the series. I want to move to Three Pines, regardless of the murder rate. I am glad Ms Penny decided to continue the series. I loved the questions she weaves through the narratives: here she asks about the play of light in life, in a painting that really offers food for thought. The mysteries are also wonderful. The narrator has never failed to deliver an excellent performance either. Treat yourself to this book.
Louise Penny's stories starring the gentle and wise Inspector Armand Gamache just get better and better. And I can't wait for the next one: "The Beautiful Mystery," due out in late August 2012. If you haven't read any of them yet, start with "Still Life," the author's introduction to the quiet little town of Three Pines in Quebec and its quirky--and sometimes dangerous--inhabitants.
Plot and characters were more interesting than Penny's earlier title.
Cosham delineates the characters well.
Good story and listen!
I have enjoyed all of Louise Penny's book, and this one is my favorite. The character development, suspense, humor and wit.
The narrator brings her wonderful writing to life.
I tried so hard to enjoy this book but I was so distracted by the irritating voice of the narrator that I couldn't keep my mind on the story. I finally gave up about 3/4 of the way through the book. I agree with one of the other reviewers-it sounded like a bad Cary Grant imitation. I'm disappointed because I'd love to listen to another Chief Inspector Gamache book by Louise Penny but they're all narrated by the same man. I'm disappointed.
I enjoy all of the Inspector Gamache mysteries, but I think this is my favorite because of the interesting discussion of art and artists.
A nice cozy mystery with fun locations and characters.
The narration by Ralph Cosham is first rate! This is one of the few audiobooks I've listened to where the narration is seamless--effective and not at all disruptive. After listening to about half of it, I was telling a friend about the audiobook and I couldn't even remember if Cosham was acting out the characters or doing a straight reading of the story! (He does act them out, but so unobtrusively, that the listener isn't distracted by strange or bizarre sounding voices, such as an older woman attempting to sound like a young man.)
There were too many to choose one--but I can't reveal more than that!
Clara is probably my favorite because she is just so genuine and likeable. However, Penny goes deeply into the mind of her main character, Chief Inspector Gamache, to share his thoughts and insights. It adds another dimension to a well-plotted narrative, and raises these books to a level above most mystery novels.
No, but just because I wanted to take my time and savor it.
All of the Louise Penny
The newest of the series does not disappoint. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute.I will note that I couldn't imagine reading these out of order--each book builds on the previous one, particularly with respect to character development.
I love this series and adore the narrator. All of the Inspector Gamache novels have a touch of the fabulous (in all three senses of the word: extraordinary, amazingly good, and mythical) but this particular novel strained credulity in a different--and not so wonderful--way.
It was Gamache's nearly total ignorance of the way Alcoholics Anonymous works that bothered me the most. I find it hard to believe that a career policeman would not have had multiple contacts with AA. I rather felt like the author had just discovered AA and wanted to make sure we readers learned all about it. It made me impatient.
I believe I would have preferred an approach such as this: "Gamache was well aware of the challenges facing AA members, having tried and failed many years ago to persuade a friend and colleague to attend one of the many meetings held weekly in Quebec. His failure pained him deeply, as his friend's impaired judgment had fatal consequences one frigid night after the two policemen had left a local bistro where much too much whiskey had been consumed."
Then we could have got on with the story, knowing that Gamache and the readers were on the same page. Occasional references to AA policies and procedures could then be sprinkled in without the pedantic and somewhat tedious recitations that slowed the story considerably.
But! I love this series and adore the narrator! I can hardly wait for the next book!
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