I have finally read a mystery where I successfully guessed the culprit before the end!
As I say this I feel strange. I could have sworn that I had successfully beaten the author of a mystery book before, but this is the first. Sometimes I’ve guessed part of it, but never all of it. It’s a special feeling to know that I solved the mystery, and better yet that I did so using the strategies I wrote about earlier. All mystery authors have a method. Once you discover it your chances of beating the author at their game become that much greater.
A little over a year has past since the events of Still Life and the town is enjoying the Christmas Holliday when another body is discovered electrocuted in the middle of a frozen lake. When Inspector Gamache arrives to investigate he finds little love lost between the victim and the Three Pines residents. With just about everyone having a motive to see CC killed the suspect list is long, and Gamache will have to work fast to find the murderer as the weather turns worse and other forces seem to be moving against Gamache for reasons of their own.
If the rest of these books take place in Three Pines, than this small quiet town is going to become a very dangerous place to live, what with there being thirteen books now. Though series is spread out over the course of many years, so it’s not as dangerous as it could be.
The problem with reviewing books in a series is that there’s not much left to say that I didn’t say for the first novel. A Fatal Grace is a fantastic, clever, charming sequel to an already great debut novel. If Louise Penny’s work continues to be this good than I look forward to reading the rest of them.
Now, I’ve heard some people call this a cozy mystery series. I’m not sure what constitutes a cozy mystery, but I don’t think this fits in that generalization. I’ve ready some cozy mysteries from Donna Andrews and others including Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon and Some Like it Hawk, and the Inspector Gamache Series has its own uniqueness. It has a depth to the characters and the plot that I have found to be uncharacteristic with the trends that run in cozy mystery genre. But I do acknowledge that my experience with cozy mysteries is limited. For all I know I’ve just found my gateway book into the sub-genre.
So I will say it again. If you like mysteries then you should try this series. Start in the beginning. There is development and background information you will need from the previous books to fully understand the relationships that exist. So get off that sofa or wherever else you’ve ensconced yourself to read this post and find yourself a copy of Still Life. If it turns out this isn’t your cup of tea, than let me know. I’d love to know why someone wouldn’t like these books.