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A Trick of the Light (Chief Inspector Gamache, Book 7) (edition 2012)

by Louise Penny

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958739,051 (4.19)186
Member:Jim53
Title:A Trick of the Light (Chief Inspector Gamache, Book 7)
Authors:Louise Penny
Info:Minotaur Books (2012), Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:fiction, Canadian, 21st century, mystery, art, read 2013

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A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny

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I am just loving this series by Louise Penny. This is the seventh book in the series and I have read all but the first one this year. Soon I'll catch up and then I'll have to wait for the next one like all the other Louise Penny fans.

In this book, Clara Morrow has her long-awaited showing at the Musee d'Art Contemporain in Montreal. Artists and art critics from all over have been invited to the vernissage (the preview to the opening of the exhibition). While some have undoubtedly come for the free food and drinks, many are there to hail Clara as "the next big thing" in contemporary art. After the vernissage many of the crowd are invited to a party back in Three Pines. The next morning, while Clara waits for her husband to bring the papers with the reviews of the showing, a body is discovered in her garden. A woman with a flashy red dress and red shoes had her neck broken sometime around midnight. However, no-one at the party can remember seeing her there or at the vernissage and they do not recognize her. Chief Inspector Gamache and his team come once again to Three Pines to investigate.

As usual with this series there is a lot more going on than just a murder investigation. Jean Guy Beauvoir has separated from his wife and has realized he is in love with Gamache's daughter, Annie. He is also still in pain from the shooting in the warehouse that formed part of the backstory of Bury Your Dead, the previous book in the series and he seems to be addicted to prescription pain killers. Cracks are also showing in Clara and Peter's relationship as Peter struggles with his feelings about Clara's success. Olivier has not yet forgiven Gamache for wrongly imprisoning him for murder which pains the Inspector although he understands it. There is an integral part of the investigation that deals with AA and alcoholism. It starts with the discovery of a beginner's chip from AA that was found in the garden near where the dead woman was murdered. It wasn't found by the forensics team but by Clara, Myrna, Ruth and Dominique when they did a cleansing ceremony. Only Myrna knew what it was; the rest thought it was a coin and Ruth claimed it was hers. Myrna soon scotched that because if there is anyone who would not have been a member of AA it was Ruth who thinks Scotch is a major food group.

We learn a lot about the world of artists and artistic criticism. I never knew they could be such a devious, undercutting group. I'll be looking at paintings in a whole new light now.

Highly recommended (but read the series in order). ( )
  gypsysmom | Dec 9, 2014 |
I couldn't put this down! However, a large part of that is due to the drama involving the personalities of the Three Pines area rather than the mystery. Don't get me wrong, the mystery is good too but wouldn't have kept me up long past my normal bedtime... I was pleased that Clara got her successful art show and finally wised up to what a jerk Peter is!. However, I am not sure that I like where the situation with Jean Paul is going... ( )
  leslie.98 | Jul 29, 2014 |
unknown
  Bruno_Estigarribia | Mar 31, 2014 |
I really love Louise Penny. The last two were remarkable. This one is great too. I love the depth she gives to characters. ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
Louise Penny is my favorite mystery writer. She combines good writing with wit and well developed characters. The actual murder provides of a vehicle to explore themes and develop characters, and is rather secondary to the story. I find her mysteries a refreshing change from all of the overwrought suspense/mysteries involving perverted sex crimes which seem to be so prevalent in this genre these days.

In each subsequent book we find out a little more about one of the core characters. In this one we find out more about Clara’s childhood and frienemy, Lillian Dyson, who is found dead in in Clara’s garden.

Inspector Gamache is on the case to unravel the intricate web of lies, past disappointments and future perceived insecurities. Gamache is a warm, smart, intuitive character (which doesn’t mean he is only one-dimensional-no mon amie, far from it) and I thoroughly enjoy spending time with him put all of the pieces together.

Penny creates such an inviting world in Three Pines. She makes me want to stop at the Bistro for a café au lait and a ham and brie croissant, then browse around Mryna’s bookstore and have a chat with her. It’s been a long time since I’ve liked a fictional town and the people so much. I do think it is funny that even the characters in the book have started to make comments about how many murders there have been in their otherwise sleepy town (5 so far) lately.

I just began listening to this series on audio this year and have been able to race through each book, having a hard time not listening to them back to back. Now, like everyone else I will have to wait for the next book in the series. I would absolutely recommend listening to this series on audio. Ralph Cosham is absolutely wonderful and the voice of Three Pines for me, like Judy Kaye is the voice of Kinsey Mihone in Sue Grafton’s alphabet series.
( )
  trishrope | Feb 7, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 72 (next | show all)
In her sly fashion, Penny has given us fair warning not to trust the antics of Three Pines’ eccentric residents and colorful visitors. Behind each volatile outburst of marital discord and professional envy lies some deeper truth involving the betrayal of trust and the need for atonement and forgiveness. With his sensitivity to the dark side of human nature, Gamache is not one to be distracted by the comical antics...
added by y2pk | editNew York Times, Marilyn Stasio (Sep 16, 2011)
 
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Dedication
For Sharon, Margaret, Louise and all the wonderful women
who helped me find a quiet place in the bright sunshine
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Oh, no, no, no, thought Clara Morrow as she walked toward the closed doors.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
In the green depths of spring, morning breaks on a woman splayed in a bed of flowers - her eyes wide, her neck broken.

Her death is a mystery; so is the woman herself. But, as Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his team peer into the dark corners of the victim's past, they expose a secret that rots at the very heart of their community - a secret that will implicate someone they've trusted for years. And as Gamache knows too well, in the flickering shadows of death, the truth may be just a trick of the light.
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Investigating a murder at a solo artist's Quebec village home, Chief Inspector Gamache and his team encounter deceptive nuances in the art world that distort every clue they find with tales of duality and broken hearts.

(summary from another edition)

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