Dead Cold by Louise Penny
Definitely a top read. This is a really enjoyable, cozy mystery, starring the wonderful Inspector Armand Gamache.
In this second book in the series, Gamache and his team and called back to the small village of Three Pines to investigate the murder of CC Poitiers.
It’s Christmas time in the quiet Quebec village and everyone is enjoying the festivities and an abundance of food and good will and neighbourly good deeds. The winter landscape plays an important part in the story as they cope with plummeting temperatures and outside conditions which threaten the life of the frail.
We meet the eccentric and wonderfully portrayed characters we met in the first book, plus some newcomers including CC Poitiers, her shy husband and her nervous daughter.
When CC Poitiers is murdered on the curling rink, one wintry morning, the whole village could have been a witness, yet they all claim to have seen nothing.
The real stars of this book are the three Graces – three old women who have been friends forever and around whom this mystery seems to revolve.
Everyone loves Gamache and is charmed by his calm temperament and determination to find the truth. However, there is a background mystery rumbling around, to do with an old case (the Arnot case) which keeps surfacing in this book but is never explained. Gamache is implicated and members of Gamache’s team are also implicated in this case, which involved corrupt officers. I expect more will be revealed in later books in this series.
The quality of the writing is great, as is the atmosphere and the plot. (The only tiny thing which didn’t suit me were the massive amounts of food and drink which seemed to be in overabundant supply, and the author did rather go on about that aspect and the gourmet food on offer at the local brasserie – still, I know I am being picky when I point this out).
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