"There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in." (Leonard Cohen)
Christmas is approaching, and in Québec it’s a time of dazzling snowfalls, bright lights, and gatherings with friends in front of blazing hearths. But shadows are falling on the usually festive season for Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. Most of his best agents have left the Homicide Department, his old friend and lieutenant Jean-Guy Beauvoir hasn’t spoken to him in months, and hostile forces are lining up against him.
When Gamache receives a message from Myrna Landers that a longtime friend has failed to arrive for Christmas in the village of Three Pines, he welcomes the chance to get away from the city. Mystified by Myrna's reluctance to reveal her friend's name, Gamache soon discovers the missing woman was once one of the most famous people not just in North America, but in the world, and now goes unrecognized by virtually everyone except the mad, brilliant poet Ruth Zardo.
As events come to a head, Gamache is drawn ever deeper into the world of Three Pines. Increasingly, he is not only investigating the disappearance of Myrna’s friend but also seeking a safe place for himself and his still-loyal colleagues. Is there peace to be found even in Three Pines? And at what cost to Gamache and the people he holds dear?
©2013 Three Pines Creations, Inc. (P)2013 Macmillan Audio
When it is revealed that Gamache's department remained supportive of him, despite best attempts to divide the team.
Loved this story. I could hardly wait to listen to the next few chapters each day to learn what happened to the beloved characters. Louise Penny has a special gift for mystery writing and I plan to follow her.
The Louise Penny Three Pines series with Gamache et al - particularly with Ralph Cosham narrating - is one of the best series I have EVER (in 40+ years) listened to or read. I rarely write book reviews, since a reader's or listener's reaction to any book is necessarily subjective, but this series (and this - so far - last book in the series) deserves attention. When I learned that a new/next book in this series is scheduled to be released in August 2014, I was THRILLED - and when I saw that the narrator is "yet to be determined" I thought, "you gotta be kidding - it HAS to be Ralph Cosham - no one else can make these characters come alive the way he does!" But I know that even if it ends up being a different narrator, the story itself will make this book a mandatory purchase for me.
I own all the books in hard copy also, as they are worth re-reading and re-listening. It is not necessary to read them in order, but it is VERY HELPFUL TO DO SO (and makes the inside jokes much funnier, since you'll know the backstory behind them), so it's worth going back & starting over from the beginning. The characters have become part of my family, and I care about their actions and choices and love them despite (or because of?) their realistic flaws, and can't wait to learn what happens next.
I cannot strongly enough recommend this series both to fans of mystery novels and to fans of awesome (literally: awe-inspiring) character development. Louise Penny is a supremely talented author whose books are rare gifts. Don't miss out.
Very good. It remains a standard where the characters remain pretty true to past books throughout the series. It did run a bit long but the narrator is excellent and helps get you through any dry parts.
Gamache who is very well done. But I love all the quirky characters in Three Pines.
It is very difficult to choose. He is one of my favorites. In listening to his conversation with the author at the end of the book, it was evident how much he actually becomes the characters. This is one series where there is a strong association between the narrator and the characters.
Slightly disappointed in the change in Jon Ghee's character and then the quick wrap up at the end..
Each book in this series just gets better and better. The books can stand alone, however I love the growth of the characters. The author's subject matter is so interesting, in this installment she brings in the phenomenon of the quince's that were born in the Canada in the 1930's. What a unique detective story with a great deal of heart. I can't wait for the next book in this series.
I haven't read any of the print versions of Louise Perry's mysteries. I love the narration of her books. Ralph Cosham is great. He really is the characters of Three Pines.
He is Three Pines! Usually my favorite character is Gamache but in this case my favorite character is Myrna.
I am not sure why I liked this book so much. It definitely was one of my favorites. It was a little more suspenseful than earlier books and I listened it in just two days...couldn't stop until I knew how it ended.
Why haven't I heard about Louise Penny before? I absolutely love her storytelling. Distinctive characters portrayed with wit and insight into the human condition, a sense of community and place that made me feel I was there (and wanted to be there), a story line that kept me happily tuned in and guessing. My only negative was the narrator. I know, I know--everyone else gives him five stars. But initially I had a dickens of a time "hearing" him and figuring out which of the characters was speaking. I even tried listening to the audio book at half speed. I think it's the steady cadence of his speech and the fact that he seems to drop the last words of sentences. He seems to "read" rather than to act or portray the characters with different voices. I persevered (glad I did), and towards the last part of the book I began getting used to his style of speaking and could follow him better. I realized this required intense listening, rather than the more casual listening I can do when the narrator is using different, or at least more distinct, voices for each character. Now that I have this down, I may re-listen to the book because I know I missed things in the beginning.
The series should be read #1 to latest as the characters develop and evolve over time. This is soft mystery and a good change after intense thrillers.
I am a retired school counselor (middle and elementary) and an avid reader. I am a lover of great mysteries, quirky protagonists, and medical/scientific non-fiction. I travel a lot and love the freedon audiobooks give me to drive, work, and relax while enjoying a good book. On my ipod I have eclectic musical selections as well as audiobooks. I will strive to never steer you wrong in a review.
Yes, I have re-listened to several of this author's books.
Inspector Gamache without a doubt-he is a warm and humane person who deals with the depravity men and women can involve themselves in.
I cannot imagine anyone else reading these books. He makes the people and settings of Three Pines come alive.
Inspector Gamache is presented with several heartwrenching decisions which he resolves with wisdom and caring.
I'm an avid listener. Audio books are a mini-vacation for me. They fill my "need to read" when I don't have time - which is most of the time. Great element of multi-tasking!
I have found the entire 3 Pines series to be very satisfying and more complex than some seem to, but the 9th book in the series is the very best yet. The same characters we love, with the expansion of some we have only just met in previous tales, and a more rapid-pace suspenseful storytelling. Several story lines get resolved, lots of intrigue and 2nd guessing, all the while building to a very dramatic cinematic climax. Penny remains true to her story telling, however by infusing the tale with a cozy feeling at the same time. Highly recommend.
I have only "read" the audio versions of this entire series.
This series reminds me of the Mitford series by Janet Karon. I could not help but get so involved with all the characters, they became my family and I looked forward to the next book more than the last.
He is a fabulous reader. I could feel the emotions he was feeling as he read.
I wish I could have listened in one sitting, but I listen to books while commuting to work and sometimes I have sat in the car so a chapter could be finished before turning off the book.
I do hope that Louise Penny continues to write 3 Pines books. I would love to hear howGamache's life evolves as he settles in this lovely little village. I also want to assured that Ruth and Rosa live forever.Je me Souviens
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