A Fatal Grace
by Louise Penny
New York: St. Martin's Minotaur, 2007, 2006.
If it weren't for the murders, I'd move to Three Pines. I want to be Myrna and own the bookshop. Ahem...
Nobody particularly liked CC de Poitiers and no one, even in idyllic Three Pines, is particularly torn up now that she's been murdered. Even so, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache investigates, using his trademark respect and ability to read people.
The second in the Three Pines series, A Fatal Grace could be read before as a standalone; however, readers familiar with the inhabitants of Three Pines - such as Peter and Clara Morrow, Gabri, Olivier, Ruth, Myrna and, of course, Inspector Gamache himself - will appreciate the return of beloved characters and probably best be able to keep track of them all. Personally, I loved the first book, Still Life, and was a little afraid I had unreachable expectations for A Fatal Grace as a result, but the book delivers in spades. This is a really delightful mystery series with a little bit of everything, including a smattering of human emotion and psychology, poetry, and hints of the past affecting the present for Inspector Gamache and his team. I really look forward to seeing how this series continues to develop.