It is Winter Carnival in Quebec City, bitterly cold and surpassingly beautiful. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache hascome not to join the revels but to recover from an investigation gone hauntingly wrong. But violent death is inescapable, even in the apparent sanctuary of the Literary and Historical Society— where an obsessive historian's quest for the remains of the founder of Quebec, Samuel de Champlain, ends in murder. Could a secret buried with Champlain for nearly 400 years be so dreadful that someone would kill to protect it?Although he is supposed to be on leave, Gamache cannot walk away from a crime that threatens to ignite long-smoldering tensions between the English and the French. Meanwhile, he is receiving disquieting letters from the village of Three Pines, where beloved Bistro owner Olivier was recently convicted of murder. "It doesn't make sense," Olivier's partner writes every day. "He didn't do it, you know." As past and present collide in this astonishing novel, Gamache must relive the terrible event of his own past before he can bury his dead.
Canadian author, Louise Penny, has been very successful in her career of writing mystery novels. The main character of her novels is francophone Chief InspectorArmand Gamache of the Surete du Quebec. She won several awards for her work, including the Agatha Award for five years, and the Anthony Award five times, as well as publication in 23 languages.
Penny's earlier career was a broadcaster with the Canadian Broadcasting System after her graduation from college. Many times, she had postings booked far from family and friends, so loneliness became a big problem. She turned to alcohol, until age 35 when she admitted her problem to herself and has been sober since.
After accomplishing sobriety, she met her future husband, Michael Whitehead, who was head of hematology at Montreal's Childrens Hospital. They were married for 20 years, and she described him as a man of kindness, thoughtfulness, generosity, and a man of courage and integrity. She lost her beloved husband to dementia in 2016 at age 83. Louise has all of her friends in the village outside of Montreal, along with her golden retrievers to keep her company.
This was one of the best books I have read in a long time. It really kept me guessing. I had never read a book by Louise Penny, but that will change.