Series: The Inspector Gamache books. I read and reviewed Book 1 in 2016 and since then have read a couple a year. I read Book 11 in August of 2020 and didn’t really like it. I’ve been really back and forth on these books–I’ve loved some and barely been able to finish others.
What I remembered most about this series prior to reading this book: I remember very few of the mysteries and even less of the b-plots–the ones that revolved around the corruption within the ranks of the Surete. But, I remember the characters and love many of them very much, and a very clear picture of the town of Three Pines lives in my head, no longer how long I go between books.
Why I stopped reading the series: I have stopped and started this series so many times. I stopped after the one about the dead archaeologist in Quebec City because I didn’t like it, and I stopped again after the one with the monks because I HATED it. And conversely, I stopped again after the one about the quintuplets–not because I hated it but because I so loved where the ending had left each character and I wanted to keep them there forever.
The plot: Inspector Armand Gamache has retired from the Surete and moved to Three Pines, but decides to take a job as the head of the Surete training academy. He’s intent on cleaning out the corruption in the academy, the same way he did within the police force. Things get complicated when a professor–a corrupt one who Gamache kept around to keep an eye on–turns up murdered, and four students that he mentored fall under suspicion, along with Gamache himself.
The good: I liked this one quite a bit. I liked the mystery, and I didn’t figure it out until Gamache did. I also liked the four student characters and enjoyed their fish-out-of-water scenes in Three Pines. I’ve struggled to finish some Gamache books, but I looked forward to reading this one and finished it quickly.
The bad: Not much–but I am getting a little tired of the cloud of impending doom hanging over Gamache. Sometimes the foreshadowing is just too heavy in these books and it makes them depressing.
Did A Great Reckoning change my mind about the series: I mean, not really–I’ve enjoyed more of these than I disliked, and I enjoyed this one. It was a pleasant surprise, I guess, since I didn’t really enjoy Book 11, but it’s become par for the course that when I dislike one of these books, the following book still brings me back to this series.
Will I keep reading the series? Oh yes. I’ve always intended to finish this entire series–it just may take me several years.