From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Chief Insp. Armand Gamache and his team investigate another bizarre crime in the tiny Québec village of Three Pines in Penny's expertly plotted third cozy (after 2007's A Fatal Grace
). As the townspeople gather in the abandoned and perhaps haunted Hadley house for a séance with a visiting psychic, Madeleine Favreau collapses, apparently dead of fright. No one has a harsh word to say about Madeleine, but Gamache knows there's more to the case than meets the eye. Complicating his inquiry are the repercussions of Gamache having accused his popular superior at the Sûreté du Québec of heinous crimes in a previous case. Fearing there might be a mole on his team, Gamache works not only to solve the murder but to clear his name. Arthur Ellis Award–winner Penny paints a vivid picture of the French-Canadian village, its inhabitants and a determined detective who will strike many Agatha Christie fans as a 21st-century version of Hercule Poirot. (Mar.)
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Gamache is a prodigiously complicated and engaging hero, destined to become one of the classic detectives. (Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
The cozy mystery has a graceful practitioner in Louise Penny. (The New York Times Book Review
[A Fatal Grace
] is not the usual 'cosy' or even a traditional puzzle mystery. It's a finely written, intelligent, and observant book. (The Houston Chronicle
A remarkable new writer . . . Louise Penny arrives with flair, humanity, and intrigue in her debut novel, Still Life
. . . . Elegant writing alone would not carry this remarkable book; Penny also creates a puzzle worthy of the masters. But more important, she studies issues of good and evil, of human nature, of human kindness, and human cruelty. (The Richmond Times-Dispatch