Summary: What comes around…?
When a murder mystery series is based around a small town there has to be some questions about how/why murders will disproportionately happen in this particular town.
A Fatal Grace is only the second book in a now ten book series, but Louise Penny has taken a wise path, it is not one of the insiders, but an outsider that is murdered. And connecting it to the previous murder by having her move into the house of a previous murderer/murdered victim also is a nice twist.
My main complaint about the second book (and even more so in the third book) is that it takes forever to get into the book. I keep saying I am interested in the people and the setting, but my complaint here is that Penny is taking too long to get to the murder. So there is probably something else at the root is what is not quite doing it for me.
Right now the local characters are interesting and we are getting some back story at the beginning of the books, but the person I am really want to know about is Inspector Gamache. We get more back story on him as the book goes on, especially toward the end, but the beginning is about the townspeople. Everyone is quirky and a little off putting at least at this point. I can see that there is more once we scratch below the surface, but right now I am still in the surface level.
I am always hesitant to give too much of the story away in fiction reviews, however you need some sense of the story.
The story opens with a group of the residents of Three Pines going to Montreal to a release party for one of Ruth’s new books of poetry. The curmudgeonly old poet and the under appreciated artist Clare, the book seller and the other characters meet up in Montreal so that it is more of a Three Pines release that happens to be in Montreal. But this introduces us to the new murder victim, a cruel self serving woman. It takes a couple chapters for her to die, but no one is sad about her death.
Gamache again comes to Three Pines, sets up shop and tries to understand how what appears to be a freak accident could have been murder, and if it was murder, how no one seems to have seen it happen in a very public place and time.
Again what I like about the book is that I really didn’t know where it was going to end up until right at the end.
This is a series that I am enjoying, but so far it has not grabbed me quite in the same way as the Bruno Chief of Police series has, although I think Gamache is just as interesting as Bruno as a character, but Penny has not focused the story around him as much as Walker focused the story around Bruno. Although it feels like she is holding back because the story is there waiting for us.