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A Fatal Grace: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel Paperback – February 15, 2011
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Named one of Goodreads' Top 100 Mysteries and Thrillers
“Remarkably, Penny manages to top her outstanding debut. Gamache is a prodigiously complicated and engaging hero, destined to become one of the classic detectives.” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“A traditional and highly intelligent mystery....sure to create great reader demand for more stories featuring civilized and articulate Chief Inspector Gamache.... Highly recommended. ” ―Library Journal (starred review)
Additional Praise for Louise Penny and the Armand Gamache Mysteries
“The cozy mystery, which aims to charm as much as challenge, has a graceful practicioner of that artful dodge in Louise Penny.” ―The New York Times Book Review
“For all the perplexing mechanics of the murder, and the snowed-in village setting, this is not the usual "cosy" or even a traditional mystery. It's a finely written, intelligent and observant book. Imbued with a constant awareness of the astonishing cold, this perfect blend of police procedural and closed-room mystery finds its solution, as in the best of those traditions, in the slow unlayering of a sorrowful past.” ―Houston Chronicle
“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....This is a fine mystery in the classic Agatha Christie style, and it is sure to leave mainstream fans wanting more.” ―Booklist
“This book is a small and perfect literary jewel. Penny is the best writer of traditional mysteries to come along in decades. I haven't read a book this beautifully written since A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell.” ―Kingston Observer
“Very simply, I loved this book. I expect you will, too.” ―Mystery Scene Magazine
“There are portions of this book that are so beautifully written they stick with the reader for months….As I read this I thought if Emily Dickinson ever came back to Earth, it might be an a mystery writer.” ―Aunt Agatha's Mystery Bookstore
“The beauty of Louise Penny's auspicious debut novel, Still Life, is that it's composed entirely of grace notes, all related to the central mystery of who shot an arrow into the heart of Miss Jane Neal....The dear old thing had hidden depths, courtesy of an author whose deceptively simple style masks the complex patterns of a well-devised plot.” ―The New York Times Book Review
“Terrific. Like a virtuoso, Penny plays a complex variation on the theme of the clue hidden in plain sight. A winning traditional mystery.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Cerebral, wise, and compassionate, Gamache is destined for stardom. Don't miss this stellar debut.” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“A gem of a book....a beautifully told, lyrically written story of love, life, friendship, and tragedy.” ―Booklist (starred review)
“This cerebral mystery...is a rare treat.” ―People Magazine
“A perfectly executed traditional mystery.” ―The Denver Post
“Don't look for the hamlet of Three Pines anywhere on a map of the countryside outside of Montreal, although Louise Penny has made the town and its residents so real...that you might just try to find it.” ―Chicago Tribune
About the Author
LOUISE PENNY is the author of the #1 New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling series of Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels. She has won numerous awards, including a CWA Dagger and the Agatha Award (six times), and was a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Novel. In 2017, she received the Order of Canada for her contributions to Canadian culture. Louise lives in a small village south of Montréal.
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A Fatal Grace are the same book - the first one is the British title
and the second the American title - otherwise, no difference! I made
the mistake of ordering them both.... it happens sometimes.
Follow the Chief Inspector as he methodically inspects the scene, collects and studies the evidence, and interviews everyone involved. The setting is Three Pines, a quaint town in Canada, which boasts a wide variety of citizenry.
If you like a good mystery, I think you'll find this series delightful.
An unpopular woman, a newcomer to town, is murdered in the middle of the day at a popular sports event in rural Quebec. She was mysteriously electrocuted sitting in a lawn chair on the sidelines. The local constable is clueless.
Enter the celebrated homicide detective, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surete du Quebec with a retinue of subordinates. Gamache plunges into the investigation with his usual quiet intensity, deploying his team with great skill. Suspects abound — of course: your job is to guess whodunit — and the Inspector methodically eliminates them, one by one. Meanwhile, his boss in Montreal is scheming to end Gamache’s career as chief of homicide because he exposed corruption at the highest level in the Surete in a previous case. The boss has planted a spy on Gamache’s team.
Now picture this setting: an isolated village in Quebec, not found on any maps, often snow-bound, but populated by a blend of long-time residents and cultural refugees from the hustle of Montreal, located an hour away. Among the late-comers are a misanthropic old woman who is one of Canada’s leading poets, a world-class painter struggling because he can only produce one or two paintings a year, his wife who is probably a better artist than he is but can’t catch a break, a bantering gay couple who own the bistro and the B&B, and a jumbo-sized black woman who bought the local bookstore after leaving a successful career as a clinical psychologist in the city. We met this cast of fascinating but lovable characters in a previous novel (Still Life) in the venerable Inspector Gamache series. They’re back playing their assigned roles as foils to Gamache’s brilliance in this first-class followup.
If you enjoy fluid and evocative writing, three-dimensional characters, well-crafted suspense, and a complex puzzle, you’ll love A Fatal Grace.
I may try to read one MORE of Louise Penny's books at a later time, but I read the first two of her Gamache books back-to-back, and just felt that perhaps this second one was written with more "formula" and perhaps with less deliberation.
In Fatal Grace CC De Poitiers who is universally hated is murdered during a curling match around Christmas. She is electrocuted in full view of everyone but no one sees anything. We meet some new colorful inhabitants of Three Pines but I missed Oliver and Gabri, even Peter and Clara were extremely supporting.
I will continue with this series but I enjoyed Still Life much better.