Oh Cannonballers, my Cannonballers, you must read this series. MUST! I was waxing eloquent about Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache books on Facebook, and emmalita suggested I write a review. At first I said I couldn’t as most of my extra time is spent taking care of CBR-related tasks. But then I finished How the Light Gets In and it was JUST SO GOOD that I thought I had to break down and tout them to you.
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is a homicide detective with the Sûreté du Québec (or the Quebec Provincial Police). This quiet man of integrity seeks the truth of various murders and commands a dedicated task force of police men and women, many of who were once the dregs of the force. In Still Life, he first comes to Three Pines, a small village not found on any Quebec maps, that’s full of interesting and often damaged characters – artists, an award-winning poet, a psychologist-turned bookstore owner, and more. Three Pines itself is an important “character” in the series, although not every murder occurs there. In Still Life, a middle-aged artist is found near a woodland trail used by deer hunters outside the village of Three Pines, and it appears she’s the victim of a hunting accident. Of course all is not what it seems, and Inspector Gamache investigates and solves the murder with aplomb.
One subplot that runs through the series is that of the downfall of another policeman, Inspector Arnot, and how Gamache rooted out corruption within the force. Or has he? This storyline and how it involves multiple characters in the series does come to fruition, and its resolution will leave you breathless and in tears. I know it did for me.
Oh and the FOOD! A bistro and a bed and breakfast in Three Pines are the settings for some of the most deliciously described meals, and dinner parties and other events in the village also lets Louise Penny wax eloquent about French food.
“You don’t think she’s trying to seduce him, do you?” Myrna asked.
Reine-Marie shook her head. “She’d have taken a baguette with her if she was.”
“And cheese. A nice ripe Tentation de Laurier. all runny and creamy–”
“Have you tried Monsiur Béliveau’s latest cheese?” asked Reine-Marie, her husband all but forgotten. “Le Chèvre Des Neiges?”
“Oh, God,” moaned Myrna. “It tastes like flowers and brioche. Stop it. Are you trying to seduce me?”
“Me? You started it.”
This will be a series I will re-read with pleasure, as I can’t bear to leave Three Pines behind. I hope you will love these books as much as I did. 5 stars for them all!