New York : Minotaur Books, 2013.
This is - let me see - the ninth book in the fabulous Three Pines/Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny. My reviews of previous titles in the series (from newest to oldest) can be found as follows:
- The Beautiful Mystery
- A Trick of the Light
- Bury Your Dead
- The Brutal Telling
- A Rule Against Murder
- The Cruelest Month
- A Fatal Grace
- Still Life
At the end of the last book, Jean Guy Beauvoir walked away from Inspector Gamache to follow after his addictions and Chief Superintendent Sylvain Francour. As the Christmas season gets closer, Gamache's department has been completely decimated and only Isabel Lacoste is left standing with him. Meanwhile, Myrna Landers calls from Three Pines when a friend of hers goes missing.
This series has been incredible in the way I've come to know and care about these characters almost as much as friends. The end of The Beautiful Mystery left me incredibly unsettled (should books be getting these reactions out of me?), and I couldn't wait to pick this up and find out what would happen next. Many of the storylines that have been threaded through previous books come to a head in this one, in a way I found incredibly satisfying. I gobbled this up in three days, became invested even when I'd already figured out part of the solution, and found myself swinging from emotional extremes of fear and joy. I wasn't sure Louise Penny could top Bury Your Dead for my all-time favorite in the series, but I do believe she has done so with this one.