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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny

Title: A Fatal Grace
Author: Louise Penny
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 320
ISBN:  9780312541163
How I Read It: Paperback purchased by me.
My Rating: 4 Crowns

Synopsis: No one liked CC de Poitiers – not her family, not her lover, not her neighbors in Three Pines.  Still, when Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is called to investigate CC’s sudden death on the day after Christmas, it seems like an impossible murder.  How could she have been electrocuted in the midst of a curling match in Three Pines – and without anyone seeing a thing?

A Quebec winter is not only beautiful but deadly, as Gamache digs for dangerous secrets beneath the surface of village life, while something even more chilling is coming for Gamache himself.

My Review: Several years ago, I read my first Louise Penny novel and instantly became a huge fan of her writing.  Before reading this one, I briefly looked at what other fans thought of it, and I saw that some didn’t like this one as well as the others.

I’m saying right now – do not listen to them!  I see where they’re coming from, CC is truly despicable and the reader, like CC’s peers, will not really feel any sympathy for her.  I certainly don’t wish anyone ill, whether they are real people or fictional, but sometimes someone just has something coming to them.  Rather than feeling extremely sad about CC being murdered, we instead get to see how her behavior in life affected those around her, and that is what inspired sympathy in me.

As a result of CC’s general life attitude, most of the people in this book have a motive for murder.  The people of Three Pines, who are usually so loving and caring, have a general consensus that she is very unpleasant and doesn’t fit in.  Some of them have been crushed by CC in one way or another, providing the potential motive for them.  And for others, you have to look a little deeper.

Three Pines is a closely knit community, but it’s also one of secrets.  Most of the people who live there aren’t natives to the area, and haven’t really revealed their full past to their neighbors and friends.  Even the ones who have lived there keep their secrets close.  It provides a very interesting setting that combines both the small town community where people know each other so well, and the opportunity for something horrific to occur and that same group of people coming together to keep that secret.

Anyone who has read this series will be a bit familiar with most of the cast of characters – we were introduced to a lot of them in the first book in this series, Still Life, and because it’s the same community, the reader can appreciate the way they all work together.  I loved returning to them, the story made me wish I was a vacationer in Three Pines!

Chief Inspector Gamache is as wonderful as always.  He’s the kind of fatherly figure everyone wants to have in their lives, such a charming and wonderful man who has an endless capacity for good.  We get a little more information about the case that has been haunting Gamache, just enough to wonder how it will develop further in the next book.

This is by far one of my favorite mystery series, I absolutely love it and each book has me wishing I had the time to read the next one right away.

Visit Crystal @ I Totally Paused 

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