There’s 12 days of Christmas, folks. We all have through January 6th to celebrate. So I got my holiday reading in just under the wire. Yay me.
Been meaning to return to the Inspector Gamache series after enjoying the first book. The women from my crime fiction class swear to it and I can see why. It’s an engaging mystery series that has the elements of a cozy but is a little more hardened. Three Pines is a charming place and the people all seem nice but within the hearts of all lurk evil (The Shadow knows! I kid, I kid).
What makes these books for me, and why I’ll probably come back to the series sooner than two years from now, is Louise Penny’s rich characterization. Most of these people feel fully realized, their problems matter, and it makes it easy for the reader to get invested. The inviting nature of the Three Pines village adds the cozy flavor but these books are more well rounded than your typical cozy and have deeper characters than most Agatha Christie novels. Louise Penny knows what she’s doing. She’s got a formula and it works.
The mystery wasn’t a major puzzle to solve but it’s still complex enough and quite tragic. I figured what was going to happen but it still made me sad. Human nature and family dynamics are complicated things. Penny gets this.
I’m less enthused about the Nikol character, who is basically a Boomer rant against the kids these days. I thought she was poorly written in the first and she is here again. Gamache can be an arrogant tool. But beyond that, I enjoyed this one and will make it to book three at a faster pace.