Posted 20 hours ago

A Fatal Grace: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel: 2

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This is the third book in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series that I have read and it is the second in the series. This may be old, but I am just reading it – I understood why they attempted suicide – it was to take the fall for Crie, but there are several loose ends in this book, such as how Cree could possibly purchase the niacin, and make this elaborate plan, not knowing about the boots and set up and traditions. Highly recommended for those who want a ‘quieter’ murder mystery with tons of Canadiana embedded in the narrative. Opening: Had CC de Poitiers known she was going to be murdered she might have bought her husband, Richard, a Christmas gift. As commented in my review for the first Three Pines story, if you are looking for a gritty crime novel, this isn’t it - but, if you enjoy, for example, Agatha Christie or Ellie Griffiths, then this should fit the bill for you.

I don't mean that to sound as dismissive as it probably does, and again, I understand that there are large numbers of readers who would love to live in Three Pines, but I'd probably go stark raving mad in less than a week. On the escalators at Ogilvy’s, Clara passes CC, who says to the man beside her, “I’m so sorry, Denis, that you think Clara’s art is amateur and banal. Gamache treats her with some basic human decency -- putting a coat around her when she's cold, encouraging her to eat despite her mother's death -- and the book treats this as behaviour that's so saintly it bewilders onlookers, who can't understand how anyone could bother to put a coat on a cold child's shoulders. Can it be possibly be coincidence that CC’s book, Be Calm, has the same name as the meditation center Bea Mayer, known as Mother, runs in Three Pines? Gamache is a prodigiously complicated and engaging hero, destined to become one of the classic detectives.

Some they never got to bury, but instead immortalized in the small stained glass window placed to get the morning, the youngest, light. In the end the text reduces Crie to the symbol of her mother's evil, a reflection/victim of her mother's narcissism.

There is the psychological aspect of determining the murderer and motive for committing a crime while also immersing oneself in scintillating scenery and getting to know the personas over the course of this series. There's nothing wrong with magical realism, but I felt like Three Pines and its residents had enough every day magic without resorting to the truly far out there. I have read the life of Eleanor of Aquitane, and while she was a remarkable woman, she has never rode into any battle, especially not bare-breasted. And author Penny clearly lays the basis for further intrigue in the career of Inspector Gamache, finally explaining the case that happened before Still Life and letting us know why there are some in the Sûreté who are out to get him. By the time I got to that meeting, I couldn’t stop talking about how amazing Louise was, except perhaps to ignore everyone else and keep reading more of the story.

I’m not going to discuss the plot, other than to say that the unpleasant woman who was murdered was mourned by nobody, and her impending doom is mentioned in the first sentence. It’s a perfect setting for the last job Saul intends to do for CC, who wants pictures of herself “frolicking among the natives at Christmas.

He'd begun to suspect this self-absorbed woman had finally finished absorbing herself, her husband and even that disaster of a daughter and was now busy absorbing him. I was shocked by Gamache not actually trying to help Crie, but all the characters were shocked that he did. Anyone with a single brain cell would see jumper cables clipped to a metal chair and their alarm bells would deafen everybody in the town. When they arrive in one of the surrounding towns, the body of CC de Poitiers has been found, electrocuted.Inspector Gamache investigates after CC de Poitiers, a sadistic socialite, is fatally electrocuted at a Christmas curling competition in the small Québécois town of Three Pines.

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