A Fatal Grace

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8578293 A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny

Series: Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #2

Kindle Edition, 332 pages

Published: Minotaur Books, 2007 (1st published January 1, 2006)

Setting: Québec

Awards: Agatha Award for Best Novel (2007)

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Three Pines is in the midst of Christmas festivities when newcomer CC de Poitiers is murdered in a bizarre manner. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec finds a bevy of suspects. It seems that CC was disliked by virtually everyone, including her anxious, passive husband, her emotionally abused daughter, and her disenchanted lover.

This is another intriguing, well crafted mystery, and I enjoyed revisiting the colorful, engaging characters introduced in Still Life. These include artists Clara and Peter Morrow. Descriptions of their paintings and the mix of mutual love and support and professional jealousy in their relationship adds richness to the story.  

Louise Penny also has a flair for descriptive writing. She vividly describes a frigid Canadian winter; this book just feels bitterly cold. 

Beauvoir could barely breathe for the searing cold. With each breath his nostrils froze shut and the air was like an ice pick in his sinuses, shooting pain through his forehead and making his eyes tear and freeze.

The novel is also full of rich descriptions of food. Seriously dear readers, I am beginning to believe Louise Penny is one of the reigning queens of food porn. I always come away from this book craving hot rolls, Canadian bacon, wine, cheese, and other delicacies. 

This clever, well crafted series is becoming my literary comfort food. I am engrossed by the strong storytelling and articulate, witty, often humorous writing style. This was a great read that will appeal to mystery buffs, including lovers of cozy mysteries.

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