Friday, September 6, 2013

A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny

August 27 saw the release of the latest installment in Louise Penny's beloved Inspector Gamache series and I'm doing my best to catch up. I have a bit of a ways to go considering I've only read books one and five thus far. And now I can add book two to the list as well.

A Fatal Grace begins with a murder. Actually, that's not quite right. It begins with the residents of Three Pines preparing for Christmas. The newest addition to the village, CC de Poitiers, should probably have avoided buying the old Hadley house. People might have warned her but for the fact that CC had a tendency to make enemies wherever she went. She was quite an unpleasant woman by all accounts except her own, so no one is particularly remiss when CC dies. The circumstances surrounding her death are peculiar, to say the least, and so Gamache is sent to Three Pines once again to investigate. He and his team immediately note the fact that no one mourns this woman's passing and are quick to conclude that her death was no accident. But with a town full of potential suspects, Gamache and his team will have their work cut out for them in weeding out the true killer.

While it has taken me a while to get into this series, I do thoroughly enjoy Three Pines and the characters that Penny has created. Were it not for all of the murders (and the fact that the town is fictional) I'd probably move to Three Pines in a heartbeat! Penny's created setting is picturesque and ideal in every way - making it an excellent setting for a mystery series. It isn't hard to believe that a quaint and perfect little town might be hiding so many deep and dark secrets. That's part of what makes the series so deliciously enjoyable!

So far I do feel comfortable in saying that the installments can each somewhat easily be used as jumping off points for the series (so far meaning books one, two, and five). This second in the series does discuss the happenings of book one, however, so there are definite spoilers should you read Still Life after having read A Fatal Grace.

Here's the series list in order:

Still Life
A Fatal Grace/Dead Cold
The Cruelest Month
A Rule Against Murder/The Murder Stone
The Brutal Telling
Bury Your Dead
A Trick of the Light
The Beautiful Mystery
How the Light Gets In

Rating: 4/5

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