Summerbook #16: A Fatal Grace
I wanted to read another Louise Penny mystery over the summer. I didn't realize that the second one in the series is a Christmas mystery that involves an incredible amount of snow, ice, and freezing everything (possibly I could have paid attention to the cover). It's been really hot here, as it always is in August, so in a way it was nice to read about snow and ice...
Our first murder victim is CC de Poitiers, self-proclaimed lifestyle guru. She's got a book explaining her revolutionary new philosophy of Li Bien, she's planning a magazine and a home décor line, and she's certain she'll make it big once people understand. She's also a horrible person who manipulates and abuses everyone around her, especially her husband and daughter. When she collapses at the traditional post-Christmas village curling match, her death seems impossible, but certainly lots of people are happy she's gone.
Inspector Gamache is put on the case, and at the same time he's trying to establish the identity of a a homeless old woman found dead on the streets of Montreal. She was a familiar figure, but her only known name was Elle. And she was murdered -- but why?
I liked this novel pretty well. The village of Three Pines is ridiculously idyllic and full of quirky characters; it's almost like Penny is poking a little gentle fun at the archetypal village we meet in very cozy mysteries and Hallmark movies. Gamache is a good detective character, with an interesting team, and a developing plot arc that is independent of the various mysteries he solves. So I'm planning to continue with this series.