Oct 28, 2013

Review: A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny

A FATAL GRACE is the second book in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache Series that is set in Canada.  Again, the brilliant, thoughtful inspector is called to the tiny village of Three Pines, south of Montreal to investigate a murder. He is not new to the community since he had another investigation there about a year and a half earlier. He took an instant liking to the close-knit and friendly village as well as the townspeople.

In this case, he is investigating the death of a woman who had recently moved to Three Pines but was not well-liked by the villagers. She was a brash, ambitious, rude woman in search of her fortune by way of writing books and selling products to promote her self-proclaimed philosophy of life, which was to not show any emotion. In her mind, keeping your feelings hidden was the secret to success and fortune. Chief Inspector Gamache sets out to learn about her life and to figure out who would profit from her death. Since CC was not a nice person,  there are several prospective suspects to choose from: her unlikely  match of a husband, her lover who really can't stand her, or it could even be a fellow villager since it is obvious no one seems to be mourning the loss of CC de Poitiers.

My Thoughts:

I was so excited to get further into this series because Chief Inspector Gamache is such a wonderful character. His kind, observing eyes and quiet demeanor are attributes for his job of finding murderers. All of the characters of  Three Pines are so interesting and their quirky relationships with each other are genuine and even funny.

In A FATAL GRACE, there are actually two deaths being investigated and though I thought I had the mystery solved halfway though, I still kept questioning if I was right. I thoroughly enjoyed the journey through the story and that is because of the likable characters and well thought out plot. The stories in the series are slow paced and thoughtful, filled with smart characters who know their way around books and art and so much more. They are interesting people and they make for interesting stories.

What I also like about this series is that as we get to know the people, we realize there are many layers to them and even though the book has ended, not all of the revelations have been made. There is always something left to carry on into the next installment.  More layers to peel away, you could say. There is also the underlying notion that someone is out to get Gamache. Maybe even someone from his own team. It wasn't so clear in the first book, but it is undeniable in A FATAL GRACE.

The bottom line is, if you're looking for a  fast, edge of your seat thriller, you won't find it here in this series. What you will find is a carefully revealed mystery woven around many twists and turns so that in the end, the true killer is still a surprise.  I've enjoyed the first two books very much and, in fact, since they take place around Thanksgiving and Christmas, respectively, now is the perfect time to get started with the series. They have helped get me into the holiday spirit that is upon us.

Author: Louise Penny
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Published: May 2007
Length: 332 pp
Source: Borrowed from public library


  1. I've got to make the time to try Penny's work.

  2. I just recently began reading Penny's work, and I am hooked!

  3. Loved the first and just checked this one out of the library :)


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