Fatal Grace
by Penny, Louise

Sent to a village south of Montreal to investigate the death of CC de Poitiers, an extremely unpopular woman apparently killed in an electrical accident, Armand Gamache of the Săuretâe du Quebec finds that nearly everyone in town had a motive to kill her.

LOUISE PENNY is the #1 New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling author of ten Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels. She has won numerous awards, including a CWA Dagger and the Agatha Award (five times) and was a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Novel. She lives in a small village south of Montréal.

Quebec Surete Inspector Armand Gamache, who made his debut in Still Life (2006), returns in this enjoyable follow-up. An almost universally disliked, even hated, woman is murdered. Naturally, the pool of potential murderers is deep, ranging from the victim's lover to her friends (well, acquaintances) to various others in the small Canadian community of Three Pines. Gamache, a smart and likable investigator-think Columbo with an accent, or perhaps a modern-day Poirot-systematically wades his way through the pool, coming upon a few surprises along the way. Penny is a careful writer, taking time to establish character and scene, playing around with a large cast, distracting us so we won't see the final twists coming until they're upon us. This is a fine mystery in the classic Agatha Christie style, and it is sure to leave mainstream fans wanting more. ((Reviewed March 15, 2007)) Copyright 2007 Booklist Reviews.

A frozen Quebec lake, a curling competition and two recently published books form a prelude to murder.Before she was electrocuted on a frozen pond in front of a crowd who saw nothing because they were all intent on the annual Christmas curling contest, CC de Poitiers was a recent arrival in Three Pines who was heartily disliked by everyone, including her cowed husband and overweight, constantly belittled daughter. By contrast, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache finds the village enchanting and is familiar with many of the off-the-beaten-track artistic types. In addition to his usual assistants, Gamache is assigned local Sűreté Agent Robert Lemieux, who's pleased to sit at the feet of his idol, and lumbered with Agent Yvette Nichol, who almost ruined his last investigation (Still Life, 2006). He's also working the death of a bag lady in Montreal, a case with surprising ties to Three Pines. As his minions collect evidence, Gamache ponders the implications of a murder that involves philosophical conflicts, psychologically damaged people and secrets from the past. His own career is jeopardized by an old case involving crooked police officers. Dangerous possibilities hover in the background as he tries to plumb the mind of the murderer.Remarkably, Penny manages to top her outstanding debut. Gamache is a prodigiously complicated and engaging hero, destined to become one of the classic detectives. Copyright Kirkus 2007 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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