I really need to get a timeline down on the events that have happened to our main character and the villagers of Three Pines. Both seem tied together in my head, but you realize that things have occurred to Chief Inspector Armand that colors how he investigates now. I really wish we had gotten more detail about that. It sounds like a terrible case he was involved with that is now causing repercussions to his family. Three Pines is still the picturesque village that has a darkness on the fringes of it though. Another murder takes place and Armand is called in to investigate. Honestly though, most of the book is about Armand's former case and who is out to get him. Things get somewhat wrapped up in this one.
Without trying to fully recap the book. We have the villagers of Three Pines along with familiar characters dealing with the annual Easter egg hunt. Ruth is being a pain, everyone is ignoring her, and people are at odds with each other due to a seance that is going to be happening later. The seance leads to another one that leads to a death. We don't know for sure if it's murder, but Armand and his team is called onto the scene to investigate.
We deal with a lot of things this book, but ultimately Penny focuses on love and jealously. We see love via Armand for his wife and family, for his friends (or those he counts as them) and for his protegee Jean Guy Beauvoir. Heck, we even see the love Armand has for Three Pines and the inhabitants there. But ultimately we get to see his love for justice in this one. It's been alluded to that Armand has been through the wars so to speak and we finally get some minor details about what case did Armand close which caused him to be an enemy of most of the senior officers.
We also see jealously play out again and again in this book. Peter's jealousy of the fact that his own wife is better at him in painting. Other characters jealously of Armand and several side characters jealously of one another. It's definitely one of those, hey just take a walk in someone else's shoes for a moment and quit thinking things are rosy.
The writing was good in this one. I just got a bit bored at times. Probably because there were two story-lines going on and honestly I was not interested that much in the murder. I was interested in Armand coming out ahead of those who are trying to ruin his name. The flow was pretty good though. I think I only got bored because I was just over the Three Pines characters at certain points. Some of these characters have been dealing with murder for a good decade I think. At that point you have to wonder how many of them like it when heartbreak comes around.
The setting of Three Pines is definitely a village that seems to attract darkness. We hear the fact that the village itself is a warm and loving place, but that is why bad things keep occurring to blot it out so to speak.
The ending left things up a bit in the air though about what is Armand going to do next. I am glad we finally get to see some of the guilty parties unmasked in this one. But it doesn't seem like Armand is going to have an easy go of it.