Therein lies the challenge for the Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Quebec, called in once again from Montreal to investigate murder in this hamlet. CC has been killed in an apparent electrical accident, and everyone in town has a motive, even the inspector's good friends. The kind, compassionate, and whip-smart detective must employ all his talents, not least his ability to blend seamlessly into small-town life, to identify the calculating killer lurking within the pastoral landscape that is Three Pines.
©2006 Louise Penny; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"[A] traditional and highly intelligent mystery, sure to create great reader demand for more stories featuring civilized and articulate Chief Inspector Gamache. Highly recommended." (Library Journal)
"Penny is a careful writer, taking time to establish character and scene, playing around with a large cast, distracting us so we won't see the final twists coming until they're upon us. This is a fine mystery in the classic Agatha Christie style, and it is sure to leave mainstream fans wanting more." (Booklist)
If you’re like me you read these evaluations before purchasing the item. One of the things I noticed is people don’t like negative reviews. Take a look sometime and see how many people find negative reviews not helpful compared to positive reviews. With that said I’m still going to post my review (my opinion) of the book.
I really enjoyed the first book of the series, Still Life, so I was excited to receive the next one. I was very disappointed with A Fatal Grace. It was irritating listening to a story where you can figure out who the murderer is half way through the book. The Chief Inspector is supposed to be one of the best in the business but he can’t see the obvious. I won't give the plot away but here's just one example of what I mean. He's investigating two murders; one of the homeless lady called "L" and another woman. During the investigation he's trying to locate the mother of the murdered woman but all he knows is the woman's name began with an "L". This is one example but the whole book is like this. It was tiring waiting for him to finally figure things out and catch up with me, the reader. Another annoying thing was even after CI Armand Gamache figured out who the murderer was, he still keeps it from the reader as to build up suspense, it was more irritating than suspenseful. Trying to make a story suspenseful when you already know the ending, doesn’t work.
Even though I didn’t like this book, I really like the first one and will purchase the third book of the series. I discovered this series by searching the Past Agatha Award Winners & Nominees. Other books you might like if you like this, Blind Justice - series by Bruce Alexander, Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear, Mrs. Pollifax – series by Dorothy Gilman.
I almost gave up on this about 90 minutes into the listen. So many characters and thoughts and apparent lines of plot. But once you get a handle on the basic characters, and have patience with the plotline, you will be rewarded.
I suspect the next book will be simpler for me with a basic knowledge and understanding of the characters.
Nice plot twists, great character development and investment in relationships. But this is the kicker for this book for me (a guy reviewing under his wifes username). There are plenty of great female authors that guys can enjoy. Tana French, Proulx, Ozeki, Gillian Flynn all come to mind. But few authors can capture a guys perspective and thought pattern as Louise Penny can.
Anyway, if you want to meet a thinking mans Harry Bosch in the arctic tundra, with well developed cohorts, this book is for you.
I thought that this book was a very good read. The characters, although simply stated in nature, were very enjoyable. The setting for the story was ideal and it was great to read about a small community of folks and become familiar with that lifestyle. The mystery of the crime was captivating. I'd recommend this book to those who are looking for a simply delightful crime story.
I don't know why. The whole is greater than the parts, I suppose. The plots are somewhat contrived and the characters often feel forced...but I like them anyway. Part of the appeal is the excellent narrator; he does a great job.
Penny doesn't rely on sex or violence to spin a good story. It's all in the relationships. Her writing is reminiscent of Ruth Rendell's Inspector Wexford series.
Middle aged female who loves books of all kinds as long as the story is engaging. Doesn't review all books she reads, but does read all reviews of books she reads. Haha.
Inspector Gamache and Three Pines are made for each other. It's hard to believe the story is fiction, it is so well written and the narrator does such a good job with pacing and delivery. It's nice to have a murder mystery that doesn't rely on gruesome descriptions but instead is just well written. Thanks Louise Penny!
As much as I may enjoy the stories, I seem to be the only one to criticize the narration. I find the narrater's tone oddly nasal and monotone. I realize how subjective this is, but after listening to several of Louise Perry's Inspector Gamache novels, this is my biggest criticism. It keeps me from downloading another.
Retired "Okie" librarian & happy to have found Audible for good stories & staying in touch with new authors & books.
"A Fatal Grace" is a title wherein Penny again embeds a hint of the story to come. Inspector Gramache, like the great classic detectives created by Agatha Christie, P. D. James, & Caroline Graham, is a character with whom one wants to spend more time. "A Fatal Grace" is an excellent mystery spun by a master storyteller.
The narration by Ralph Cosham is the perfect choice for the "voice" of Inspector Gramache. He could not be better. I enjoy his English accent & Penny's explanation for it.
I suggest listening/reading to the series in order, which is easy enough to find through Audible's "View Series" tab. I first listened to "A Trick of Light" which is an excellent stand alone mystery but is the seventh in the "Inspector Gramache" series. It wets the appetite for more. Then for a birthday present from my brother, I received "Bury your Dead". Also an excellent mystery but this wayward order in listening to the back story & character development convinced me to start at the beginning of the Three Pines mysteries with "Still Life". Now with "A Fatal Grace" I appreciate even more Inspector Gramache & his French Canadian observations & wisdoms. It is a thoughtful & inspiring mystery novel. These books are so well written that I am looking forward to listening to them again which I seldom ever want to do.
I love the narration of Penny's books. Penny's vivid descriptions brings the little Canadian village to life. It simply a relaxing read. Don't mistake my comments for boring, it is far from it. But it is a light read with depth.
I loved this novel. It was so well written, with such great characters, but as a mystery, it was a bit predictable. I knew who did the murders and why from almost the beginning, but the novel twisted and turned enough to keep me engaged anyway. I can't wait to listen to the next one!
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