“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 I knitted a shawl and listened, the characters wove themselves into the fabric. I will always look at my shawl and think of the interesting place this book took me.
An intelligent and thoughtful mystery, it was captivating. Thank you Ms. Penny for again for providing such a wonderful story.
Although Mr. Cosham does a great job of narration, I did get lost a few times in the scene transitions. The sentences ran together, and it took me a few seconds to realize the scene and characters were completely different from the previous sentence. Adding a few seconds break between these transitions would have helped. This is only a minor stumble to an otherwise fabulous narration.
A comfortable place, good friends, good food, a great book (being read to while knitting), a hot milky drink, a little perfectly pronounced French thrown in. Ah, Bliss... Ms Penny and Mr Cosham just keep raising the bar. Very difficult to stop and go to bed. I loved this book! (but A Case Against Murder is still the favorite of the series). Sit back and enjoy the experience.
I've listened to well over 200 audiobooks and I like a good detective story. Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache ranks for me far above the jaded, violent, tormented creations in modern detective fiction that seem so much to be the current fashion.
The Inspector Gamache stories have evolved to be about more then just "the case". The lives of the villagers in 3 Pines have become as much part of any new installment of the series then the hunt for the murderer, especially in this installment. That gives the books an additional dimension, no silly filler stuff, no gratuitous violence or almost laughable sexual encounters to keep the readers interested between the different steps of the investigation, but sweet, sad, intelligent, stupid, infuriating, and because of all that interesting characters, exist in the space "between" and around the actual case story.
Ralph Cosham has become, at least in my ears, very much the voice of Gamache. In a way he has become as much the voice of the stories then George Guidall simply is Walt Longmire in the Craig Johnson series (another series that, while it is a very different environment, I believe you will like if you like Inspector Gamache) .
I enjoy Scandinavian mystery and crime authors like Asa Larsson, Helene Tursten, Jo Nesbo, Karin Fossum and Amaaldur Indridason just to name a few.
Ms Penny and Mr Cosham make a fine match. She writes a wonderful story and he is a great story teller. As with all Ms Pennys novels of Three Pines, I will listen to this one many time.
It's like stopping in at Olivier and Gabri's bistro on a chill winter evening for something warm and delicious. These characters are by now my old friends, and yet the books have too much depth, are too intelligently written to be considered a Cosy. Each book reveals more layers to the people of Three Pines, as well as Inspector Gamache, Jean-guy and the rest. And I don't think I would ever be able to read Louise Penny's books as long as I can listen to the wonderful Ralph Cosham narrate, since he IS Inspector Gamache!
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.
An older (70) avid audio reader, I enjoy all kinds of books. Frequently will audio-read a book that I wouldn't spend the time to print-read...especially classics that were read in high-school or college. I'm a Ph.D. Industrial Psychologist, intelligent with a genuine appreciation for good writing in almost any genre.
Louise Penny has developed a series and a set of characters that keep on becoming deeper, more interesting, more compelling. And Ralph Cosham does a masterful job of conveying these characters and their foibles. I've listened to or read each book in the Inspector Gamache series, and have enjoyed each one more than the one before. The Quebec setting, the plot lines, and again, the characters, are all so real, and their dramas are all intriguing. Love this series, this author and this reader!!!!
Louise Penny's Inspecteur Gamache stories are wonderful in their civility, humor, and consistency. The stories are always riveting and the characters have become good friends. She writes well and with a heart. The strength of her books are more in the conflicts between people than in graphic and violent scenes so often found in other mystery series. Just like kids who would give anything to go to Hogwart, I would give anything to live in Three Pines. A Trick of the LIght is as good as her previous novels and, as always, it will be difficult to put the earbuds down.
Just when you thought the series could not get better, it does! Start with Still Life and continue through this book.
A few must reads: Mr. Mercedes, Narrows Gate, Cop Town, Bomb Proof, Wayfaring Stranger, The Son (Nesbo), Dept Q series...
Since I'm on a roll with these Gamache novels and it appears few people are reading my reviews on the series, Im going to take a risk and ramble...
I wonder if Louise Penny identifies most with Claire, the talented artist whose genius is discovered in the 25 th year of her marriage? Claire's husband Peter had been the successful artist and bread winner until this point. Suddenly she is viewed as the real talent and Peter struggles mightily over it. I'd bet Penny encountered the same issues when her first novel sold.
AA figures prominently in the story. Several suspects and the victim are intimately involved with the 12 step program. At first, all of the police team including Gamache view the program suspiciously as a cult. Most of the team ever grows to trust it's membership. Like her other novels, Penny uses the humility and wisdom of Gamache to seek out the deeper meaning in key relationships between the suspects.
The art world, and I assume the literary world is exposed as petty, immature and stifling.
Words can destroy lives, sticks and stones just break bones.
The mystery was secondary to the story itself.
Ralph Cosham is a brilliant narrator.
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