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This is book number 6 in the Chief Inspector Gamache Novel series.
“Timing is critical in a mystery. Just how much is revealed and when is what keeps the reader turning pages. Louise Penny nails both in this book, the sixth in the series featuring the Canadian Inspector Gamache. Engaging characters from previous books make their appearances, but it isn't necessary to have read the others to totally enjoy this book. Those who have read the others are eagerly awaiting this book, and those who start with this one will quickly turn to the other titles in the series. Heartily recommended for all lovers of good mysteries.”
— Ann Carlson, Harborwalk Books, Georgetown, SC
"Few writers in any genre can match Penny's ability to combine heartbreak and hope." Publishers Weekly (starred review)
It is Winter Carnival in Quebec City, bitterly cold and surpassingly beautiful. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache has come not to join the revels but to recover from an investigation gone hauntingly wrong. But violent death is inescapable, even in the apparent sanctuary of the Literary and Historical Society--where an obsessive historian's quest for the remains of the founder of Quebec, Samuel de Champlain, ends in murder. Could a secret buried with Champlain for nearly four hundred years be so dreadful that someone would kill to protect it?
Meanwhile, Gamache is receiving disquieting letters from the village of Three Pines, where beloved Bistro owner Olivier was recently convicted of murder. "It doesn't make sense," Olivier's partner writes every day. "He didn't do it, you know."
As past and present collide in this astonishing novel, Gamache must relive a terrible event from his own past before he can begin to bury his dead.
A superior read. Bring on the awards.
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Few writers in any genre can match Penny's ability to combine heartbreak and hope in the same scene.
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
The best yet, a true tour de force of storytelling.Penny hits every note perfectly in what is one of the most elaborately constructed and remarkably
moving mysteries in years.
Booklist (starred review)
Superb.brilliantly provocative...will appeal to fans of literary fiction, as well as to mystery lovers.
Library Journal (starred review)
[Pennys] beautifully elegiac sixth book interweaves three storylines while plumbing the depths of Gamaches grief. The result is sophisticated and movingher best yet.
People (4 stars)
Louise Penny's portrait of Quebec City is as lovingly detailed and evocative as anything she has written, and her control over this intricate blending of history and mystery is absolute. Furthermore, the deepening of Gamache's character is profoundly satisfying. The book, obviously, is a must-read for her fans, and demonstrates once again that she is in the first rank of crime-fiction writers in Canada, or indeed, in the world.
Globe and Mail
Penny seamlessly weaves subplots into her elegant book, along with rich portraits of Inspector Gamache and the endearingly cracked characters around him.
Its shocking final solution here is brilliantly conceived and executed.
The Denver Post
Penny, always a demon researcher, is at the top of her game in the new book at combining real history with her own fictions. In addition to a great deal of Champlain back story - only a specialist in early Quebec history could judge whether Penny is letting her imagination run rampant - she presents in passing theories about Gen. Montcalm's failures at the Plains of Abraham and an assessment of the sad dwindling of the English presence in Quebec City.
Fans who were upset by the shocking outcome of Penny's The Brutal Telling will be pleased that she is not quite done with that unhappy episode in our favorite village. This series just keeps getting better.
Louise Penny commands a deep and disturbing darkness of the soul -- with the cost of redemption resolutely figured into the consequences.
With a rich depth of creativity, a stylish sense of language and an unerring instinct for the defining aspects of humanity, Penny explores eternal truths and, in so doing, shows us ourselves.
Richmond Times Dispatch