Picture-Perfect Quebecois Village Mecca for Murderers
So far, Chief Inspector Gamache of the Surêté du Québec, hero of the ten novels in the cozy mystery series that bears his name, has led eight investigations in Three Pines, the fictional village in Quebec, Canada that is the usual setting for this series of cozy mysteries. Three Pines has everything necessary for the well-lived life--natural beauty, great food, caring, if cranky, neighbors, historic homes, a good book store. It is also a magnet for murderers.
Gamache probes for emotional truth as well as for facts. What emerges is a rich world of complex characters: brave, funny, loving and, every so often, lethal.
Each book in this insightful cozy series is wittier, wiser and more wonderful than the last. My prediction? These books will stay in print forever. They're that good. ( And so are the meals dished up in the Three Pines bistro.)
If you can only read one, read Bury Your Dead (#6) because it is just a great book. But if you read it, you will want to read The Brutal Telling (#5) which is the beginning of a story that ends in #6. I like all of these so much I can't really pick. You should save A Trick of the Light (#7) until you read an earlier one and get up to speed on the characters. If in doubt, begin at the beginning with A Still Life ( #1) or at the end with The Long Way Home (#10). A Rule Against Murder (#4) is also wonderful--a bit lighter than my favorite, Bury Your Dead (#6).
Below, a list of the mystery novels in chronological order:
Still Life (2005, Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery Books #1) Gamache and his team head to the village of Three Pines when a beloved citizen dies in suspicious circumstances. A Fatal Grace (2007, Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery Books # 2, APA: Dead Cold) A chilling murder at Christmas brings Gamache and the team back to town for another satisfying exploration of the darkness within the human heart. When love turns to hate, all hell breaks loose in Three Pines and at Surêté headquarters in Montreal. All the suspects gathered at the luxurious inn in the wilderness are carrying heavy baggage from childhood. But only one of them is a murderer. . . Until they discovered his corpse in the bistro, the good citizens of Three Pines were unaware that a man lived in the woods just over the hill from their village green. Violent death follows Gamache to Quebec City where he has gone to recover emotionally and physically from a tragic encounter with a group of terrorists. Chief Inspector Gamache and his crack team of investigators return to Three Pines when artist Clara Morrow finds a corpse in her back garden. The director of a world famous choir of monks is murdered in their isolated monastery. A sad Three Pines Christmas for Gamache--his enemies are circling, his agents are deserting and the murderer of a celebrity eludes him. Artist Clara Morrow enlists Gamache's aid in the search for her missing husband, which takes them to Canada's northern wilderness.
The World's Most Compassionate Cop
Gamache may be the most compassionate investigator plying his trade in the pages of contemporary fiction.
Like most great detectives, he has a philosophy of murder. Gamache believes that murders happen when emotions curdle and turn into poison within the human spirit. So, as he interviews suspects, Gamache probes for emotional truth as well as for facts. What emerges is a rich world of complex characters: brave, funny, loving and, every so often, lethal.
Chief Inspector Gamache may be the last honorable officer in the Surêté du Québec. He refused to turn a blind eye when his colleagues succumbed to corruption: now they will have their revenge. Can this cerebral and civilized cop prevail without losing his integrity--or his life?