Series: #2 in the Inspector Armand Gamache series
Publication Date: 2006
Read by: Ralph Cosham
The Short Version:
Second in an interesting mystery series set in and around a quiet Quebec village. The Chief Inspector is a fascinating combination of master and student.
Why I Read It:
I enjoyed the first in the series and wanted to learn more about the characters. I stayed with the audio version because Ralph Cosham is exactly the voice I would have chosen for Inspector Gamache
When CC dePoitiers is murdered, no one in the village of Three Pines seems upset at her death. She was a highly unlikeable person. What does upset the villagers, however is the thought that one of their own may have killed her. When Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surete du Quebec is assigned to investigate, it’s a bit of a return to familiar ground for him. He was in Three Pines just over a year ago investigating another murder. His familiarity with the village and its inhabitants is both a help and a hindrance in this new investigation. It seems that everyone in town might have a reason to kill CC and the killer may be someone he already knows and likes. Gamache also has to deal with a new member of his team and the return of a formerly disruptive team member.
I liked this one just as much and possibly even more than Still Life. The main characters have been introduced, so this time around some of the backstories begin to be explored. Gamache is a great character. He’s both kind, and firm as a leader and investigator. He’s a remarkable mentor to his team members and a husband who is still deeply in love with his wife of many years. While a great teacher, he is also a willing student. The way he investigates the crime involves learning from the potential witnesses and potentially the killer or killers. He does have his limits and when his patience is tried, he can be a formidable boss or interrogator.
This series has such an interesting style. The storytelling is gentle and measured, yet Gamache is a highly professional investigator and it’s definitely not a cozy series. The setting of Three Pines is quaint and quiet. A place I’d like to visit, but for the murder rate. This story takes place around Christmastime so it was wonderful timing for me to be listening to it during the latter part of December.
So, with the second book in the series done, there are still some unresolved issues with Gamache and his team and career. I’ll be requesting the next book from the library soon.