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review 2018-05-30 16:04
A Fatal Grace / Louise Penny
A Fatal Grace - Louise Penny

Welcome to winter in Three Pines, a picturesque village in Quebec, where the villagers are preparing for a traditional country Christmas, and someone is preparing for murder.
No one liked CC de Poitiers. Not her quiet husband, not her spineless lover, not her pathetic daughter—and certainly none of the residents of Three Pines. CC de Poitiers managed to alienate everyone, right up until the moment of her death.
When Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, of the Sûreté du Québec, is called to investigate, he quickly realizes he's dealing with someone quite extraordinary. CC de Poitiers was electrocuted in the middle of a frozen lake, in front of the entire village, as she watched the annual curling tournament. And yet no one saw anything. Who could have been insane enough to try such a macabre method of murder—or brilliant enough to succeed?


My second Armand Gamache book, and I’m still very impressed with Penny’s abilities. I really like Gamache as a character—he’s easy to identify with. As a reader, I was happy to see him succeed in his investigation.

Just like Agatha Christie, Penny has chosen a small community as her setting. A place where people know each other well enough to make a plot line like this one work. Solving this crime in a big city would be a much different proposition, much more difficult. Part of the charm in these books is the way that the townspeople interact among themselves and their acceptance of Gamache.

I had a few frustrations that had nothing to do with the writing! Pages were missing from the library copy that I borrowed, 2 pages from the middle of the book, and the last 3 pages were gone. By that point, the killer and their motive were already revealed, so I just missed the denouement, but it was most annoying. Being a series, there are ongoing concerns that I can only imagine were addressed in the dying paragraphs of the book. I am assured, however, that Penny makes everything clear in each volume, so I have no doubt I’ll be able to pick up book 3 and still be able to appreciate what’s going on.

So, adieu for now, Armand Gamache. I’ll see you later.

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text 2018-05-24 15:06
Reading progress update: I've read 234 out of 416 pages.
A Fatal Grace - Louise Penny

OMG, it was difficult to set this book down last night!


I spent a couple of hours in the evening with a friend and her big lovable oaf of a dog.  She works for a Guide Dog charity and they are collecting clothing, suitcases, bedding, towels, etc. for an enormous garage sale to raise money for the organization.  I packed an huge, heavy suitcase with clothing.  Then I emptied out the bottom of my coat closet--a garbage bag of shoes!  Looking around, I saw my mom's cedar chest--with a thick coating of dust on it.  Hmmm....I can't be using whatever's in there!  Three more garbage bags of sheets, towels, blankets.  The cedar chest is empty now and I feel like I've had a weight lifted off me.


I highly recommend a good purge to make life look a little brighter!


But when I got home from my delivery mission, I had to have another visit with Inspector Gamache, and it ran a little late.  *Yawn*

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review 2018-05-21 01:53
Glass Houses - Louise Penny


While I still love this series, I feel the hiding crucial information from your superiors for the better good is a repeat of a different book in this series. And I feel this idyllic village has turned into the highest murder per residents village in all of the world. There are so many murders that happen here. Yes, I know that I'm reading a murder mystery, but maybe the author could take us on another road trip without the residents for once so that they wouldn't eventually feel that Armand Gamache is a curse and not a blessing in their lives. Just a thought.

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review 2018-05-05 12:08
How the Light Gets In: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel - Louise Penny


A wonderful mystery/suspense novel. It took me a while to "read" (this was an audiobook), through no fault of the book.... I am new to audiobooks, so I would listen to a cd, a few days would pass and I would forget what had happened and would have to start over... and over.... and over. But it was well worth it because the story is VERY good. If you like mysteries, I would definitely recommend it. (and I am going to keep at audiobooks, lol to become a better "audial" reader).

Inspector Gamache has been called to the little, not-on-the-map village of Three Pines because Myrna's friend Constance was supposed to come to visit for Christmas. Constance is elderly and come to find out is a Ouellet (pronounced sort of like "Wee-lay) quints (that author Louise Penny says was inspired by the real Dionne quints -- 2 of the real ones are still living). Of the Ouellet quints, Constance is the last surviving sister and is missing. Inspector Gamache unravels a sordid tale involving the tragic family... (no spoilers here!)

Meanwhile, Inspector Gamache has also been trying to figure out what the heck is going on with his department that he presides over. All of his police have been transferred out by higher-ups and it seems as if one or more of his superiors is trying to get him to quit. They are getting at him in anyway they can to effect him-- getting his ex-son-in-law addicted to drugs (who he looks at like a son), to monitoring him, even tracking his movements, but it is because they are afraid of him. A year earlier he had foiled a plot to destroy a large dam that would have created untold damage and loss of life, and they were afraid that he would discover not only that they were behind it, but why they wanted to do it and what they had planned to do next, which was worse. They were also afraid that he would uncover their decades of corruption and misappropriation of government funds and the corruption went very high up the chain of command indeed. I won't tell anymore so as not to ruin it for anyone, I will just say that I was on the edge of my seat until the very end. 

I liked the way the narrator (Ralph Cosham) told the story... you felt as if you were there with Inspector Gamache. His inflections in the different character's tones, etc.-- I really felt as if I knew each of the characters to some degree. I was amazed to learn at the end of the book, in an interview between the author and the narrator, that he NEVER reads the book ahead of time-- he is reading it cold as it is being recorded. He has an amazing knack for making a story come to life. 
I won this book in a giveaway and am ever so glad I did! I so much enjoyed it!
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review 2018-04-24 14:51
The End of Armand?
Glass Houses - Louise Penny

I think I am being overly generous with four stars, but honestly, when I read a ton of books over a few days, I just go back with my gut feeling about books. So for me, this was not the worst out of the Armand Gamache series, but it was definitely not the best. I felt myself just rolling my eyes at another book looking at the opioid crisis. Maybe because I feel a bit tired of reading about how predominantly white families are torn apart and how countries (the United States and Canada) need to do something. This book just felt a bit samey in parts is the big reason why I didn't give it five stars. We have Jean Guy betray Armand again, Armand forgiving him again, Three Pines being at the center of something massive again, the villagers involved again.


"Glass Houses" appears at first to be another murder mystery, but something else is going on in this book. We have Gamache on the stand as a witness at a murder trial. We don't know who died (and it takes a while to get there) but something is going on with Gamache. He seems to be hell-bent on making sure the trial is a cover for something else. And once again it takes the readers a while to figure that out. 


I have to say that Gamache's reasonings in this one made absolutely no sense to me. I think that Penny threw it out there to once again have some conflict between Gamache and Jean Guy. At this point, Jean Guy is freaking Thomas from the Bible. He always has doubts about Gamache, but we are supposed to believe he loves Gamache the most. A real life human being (Gamache) would be sick of it at this point and have an actual human reaction instead of constantly turning the other cheek. 


We get more interaction with the villagers in this one. The last one they felt thrown in the plot half haphazardly. This one makes more sense. I actually didn't want to strangle Ruth or Clara in this one either.  


I did like how the villagers even called out the things that they have done that they still have regrets over. We have Clara regretting not listening to Gamache that led to Peter's death, Ruth regrets her mother choosing her over her cousin, Olivier admitting that he used to steal from people by omission, etc. 


The book jumps back and forth between Halloween and what led to somehow being found murdered in Three Pines along with the murder trial which is taking place in the present day. I have to say that the back and forth in the book was hard to take after a while. I just wanted to either read about the trial or the murder. I was sick of trying to figure out what was going on. The flow was up and down a lot. Once you are finally graced with knowing what is going on though, I just found myself bored until we get almost to the end of the book. 


The ending leaves things up in the air with a major character. I don't know if Penny plans on writing another book, but with the events that went down in this one, I don't see how Gamache can come back. At this point another character needs to be the focus of the series. 

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