Penny has found her perfect formula with the carefully constructed puzzle plot in the perfect village with the classic cast of characters. The fact that it's modern Quebec is the icing on the petit four Once the puzzle is set up, it's impossible to put this book down until it's solved. Devotees of Christie will be delighted by Penny's clever plots and deft characters.
The Irish News In a traditional who-dunnit crime thriller that rivals Agatha Christie's Poirot, Gamache is a refreshing alternative to the hard-nosed stereotypical detective. Penny builds the lives and imperfections of the characters effectively, exposing the complexity of human nature, challenging the reader's opinion and creating a constant sense of suspicion. This is a classic tale that proves that revenge is a dish best served ice cold.
You have to read it The temptation is to scarf Penny's books like potato chips but it's ever wise to savor each bite and let the flavors fill your tongue. Easter in Three Pines is a time of church services, egg hunts and seances to raise the dead. A group of friends trudges up to the Old Hadley House, the horror on the hill, to finally rid it of the evil spirits that have so obviously plagued it, and the village, for decades.
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One of their numbers dies of fright. As they peel back the layers of flilth and artiface that have covered the haunted old home, they discover the evil isn't confined there. Some evil is guiding the actions of one of the seemingly kindly villagers. A very personal demon is about to strike. A time of rebirth, when nature comes alive. And it become clear - for there to be a rebirth, there first must be a death.
The mouthwatering food, the beautiful gardens, the quirky and literate villagers -- Three Pines is a charming oasis for the spirit Move over, Mitford. The Scotsman There's real pleasure here. Kirkus Review Perhaps the deftest talent to arrive since Minette Walters, Penny produces what many have tried but few have mastered: a psychologically acute cozy.
If you don't give your heart to Gamache, you may have no heart to give.
Publishers Weekly Chief Insp. Highly recommended. As Penny demonstrates with laser-like precision, the book's title is a metaphor not only for the month of April but also for Gamache's personal and professional challenges - making this the series standout so far. And this place, this wonderous, fantastical place. The thing about the Gamache novels is that while the crimes are intriguing, the people are downright fascinating not just Gamache himself, who manages to be completely original despite his similarities to Columbo and Poirot, but also the entire cast of supporting characters, who are so strongly written that every single one of them could probably carry an entire novel all by themselves.
The writing is sensual, full of sights and smells and tastes that will resonate with her readers. And although Penny paints an almost Grandma Moses idealized view of village life, it is a view tinged with ominous foreboding, reminiscent of the brooding images of Breughel and Bosch It's a gem. Penny's writing is rich in imagery and atmosphere and characterised by a very quick and highly verbal intelligence. Winter in Three Pines and the sleepy village is carpeted in snow. It's a time of peace and goodwill - until a scream pierces the biting air.
There's been a murder. Local police are baffled. A spectator at the annual Boxing Day curling match has been fatally electrocuted. Despite the large crowd, there are no witnesses and - apparently - no clues. Called in to head the investigation, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache unravels the dead woman's past and discovers a history of secrets and enemies. But Gamache has enemies of his own. Frozen out of decision-making at the highest level of the Surete du Quebec, Gamache finds there are few he can trust.
As a bitter wind blows into Three Pines, something even more chilling is sneaking up behind him Gamache is a prodigiously complicated and engaging hero, destined to become one of the classic detectives. Library Journal A highly intelliegent mystery. Penny's new title is sure to creat great reader demand for more stories featuring civilized and articulate Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. Booklist Gamache, a smart and likable investigator - think Columbo with an accent, or perhaps a modern-day Poirot This is a fine mystery in the classic Agatha Christie style and it is sure to leave mainstream fans wanting more.
Koch For all the perplexing mechanics of the murder, and the snowed-in village setting, this is not the usual "cosy" or even a traditional puzzle mystery.
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It's a finely written, intelligent and observant book. Imbued with a constant awareness of the astonishing cold, this perfect blend of police procedural and closed-room mystery finds its solution, as in the best of those traditions, in the slow unlayering of a sorrowful past.
Her characters leap from the page, her plotting is sublime, the atmosphere she builds in a bitter Quebec winter in Dead Cold, completely chilling. The writing is superb. A magnificent read. And like Gamache, you too will be drawn to Three Pines and to this work of magical realism masquerading as a cosy English mystery. We're back in the charming Quebec village of Three Pines The setting is wonderfully done, as are the characters.
The solution is perfectly in tune with their psychology and there's plenty of evidence that Gamache will make a third appearance.
Sooner or later the whole world will discover Penny. With a unique sense of timing, patience and subtle wit, Penny is able to create a whodunit that recalls those of Agatha Christie Magically bringing the postcard village of Three Pines to life, she gives it innocence, allows a touch of evil to intrude and then brings in the outsider, the intriguing Gamache, to solve the crime. The result is an engrossing read that will only add to the ranks of her readers. Shotsmag, UK This is a wonderful novel, full of mystery. It is as deeply layered as snow drifting down upon snow. The cold will seep into your bones so wrap up warm and have a good hot drink at your elbow.
As the early morning mist clears on Thanksgiving Sunday, the homes of Three Pines come to life - all except one. To locals, the village is a safe haven. So they are bewildered when a well-loved member of the community is found lying dead in the maple woods. Surely it was an accident - a hunter's arrow gone astray. Who could want Jane Neal dead? Gamache knows something dark is lurking behind the white picket fences, and if he watches closely enough, Three Pines will begin to give up its secrets. Kirkus Review Cerebral, wise and compassionate, Gamache is destined for stardom.
Don't miss this stellar debut. Publishers Weekly Like a virtuoso, Penny plays a complex variation on the theme of the clue hidden in plain sight.
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Filled with unexpected insights, this winning traditional mystery sets a solid foundation for future entries in the series. Booklist , Emily Melton This is a real gem of a book that slowly draws the reader into a beautifully told, lyrically written story of love, life, friendship and tragedy.
Miss Jane Neal kept a well-read book on her nightstand, C. Lewis' Surprised by Joy. That title is a fitting phrase for Still Life. Three Pines delivers. Toronto Star, Jack Batten A delightful and clever collection of false leads, red herrings, meditations on human nature, strange behavior and other diverting stuff. The Calgary Herald , Joanne Sasvari, This is a much darker, cleverer, funnier and, finally, more hopeful novel than even the great Dame Agatha could have penned.
It's light, witty and poignant, a thrilling debut from a new Canadian crime writer. As the last note of the chant escaped the Blessed Chapel a great silence fell, and with it came an even greater disquiet.
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The silence stretched on. And on. These were men used to silence, but this seemed extreme, even to them. And still they stood in their long black robes and white tops, motionless. These were men also used to waiting.
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But this too seemed extreme. The less disciplined among them stole glances at the tall, slim, elderly man who had been the last to file in and would be the first to leave. Dom Philippe kept his eyes closed. Where once this was a moment of profound peace, a private moment with his private God, when Vigils had ended and before he signaled for the Angelus, now it was simply escape.
Besides, he knew what was there. What was always there. What had been there for hundreds of years before he arrived and would, God willing, be there for centuries after he was buried in the cemetery. Two rows of men across from him, in black robes with white hoods, a simple rope tied at their waists.
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