I'm not generally drawn to mysteries, but I've been hearing so much about Louise Penny's Chief Inspector Gamache series and Three Pines that I had to check it out. Three Pines is a small, artsy town in Quebec that has almost no crime--until one of its beloved elderly residents is found dead in the woods, shot through the heart with an arrow. Is it a hunting accident, or something more? Gamache brings his team in from Montreal to investigate. The great thing about this book is the kind but flawed people at the heart of it. Gamache doesn't follow the bitter-but-brilliant investigator trope; he doesn't always see the answer, but he does know how to lead and relate to people. The people of Three Pines have formed a sort of family against a backdrop of quirks, past hurts, and current struggles. The characters drove me through this book more than the mystery, and I look forward to more visits to Three Pines.
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From the publisher’s description:
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec and his team of investigators are called in to the scene of a suspicious death in a rural village south of Montréal and yet a world away. Jane Neal, a long-time resident of Three Pines, has been found dead in the woods. The locals are certain it’s a tragic hunting accident and nothing more but Gamache smells something foul this holiday season…and is soon certain that Jane died at the hands of someone much more sinister than a careless bowhunter.
With this award-winning first novel, Louise Penny introduces an engaging hero in Inspector Gamache, who commands his forces–and this series–with power, ingenuity, and charm.