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).
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.