I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec and his team of investigators are called in to the scene of a suspicious death in a rural village south of Montréal and yet a world away. Jane Neal, a long-time resident of Three Pines, has been found dead in the woods. The locals are certain it's a tragic hunting accident and nothing more but Gamache smells something foul this holiday season…and is soon certain that Jane died at the hands of someone much more sinister than a careless bowhunter.
Well, Chief Inspect Armand Gamache, I am pleased to make your acquaintance! For some reason, he reminded me somewhat of Brother Cadfael in Ellis Peters’ Chronicles. That same sensible, calm approach to the world. As I get older, I’m less drawn to the gruesome, gory mysteries and I’m starting to see the appeal of these gentler stories, containing characters that I’d actually enjoy spending time with. They have interests and relationships beyond the detective biz and are well-rounded people.
I also found it interesting to read a tale set in my own country. Although I have never visited Quebec, it’s definitely on my list, just a little later in life. Exotic international travel while I still can, then Europe & the US, finally ending with Canadian travel when health & health insurance are of greater importance!
I will be returning to Three Pines to see what occupies its denizens as soon as I can. (I’m currently no. 39 in line at the library, with 15 copies available—it will be a little while).