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A Fatal Grace: A Chief Inspector Gamache…
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A Fatal Grace: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel (Chief Inspector Gamache… (original 2006; edition 2011)

by Louise Penny

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,8931283,622 (3.96)502
Member:jocko31317
Title:A Fatal Grace: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel (Chief Inspector Gamache Novels)
Authors:Louise Penny
Info:Minotaur Books (2011), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:mystery, Canada, murder, Three Pines

Work details

A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny (2006)

Recently added bylblair02, 27889cem, shirleyonn, aharey, ouroborosangel, fbarry28, private library, KimMeyer, LitaVore, lerne
  1. 10
    I Am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: I Am Half-Sick of Shadows and A Fatal Grace are cozy mysteries set in small towns. In each, the victim is disliked by many; thus, many have motives to kill. It is up to the ingenious protagonists to solve the crime.
  2. 00
    Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (Cecilturtle)
  3. 00
    A Stillness in Bethlehem by Jane Haddam (Littlemissbashful)
    Littlemissbashful: Both books feature cerebral detectives in snowbound and idyllic village settings during the Christmas season - The stories take place within close knit communities with hidden secrets and unsympathetic victims. Both have a full supporting cast of characters including various 'eccentrics', feisty old ladies, flaky artists, gay hoteliers, suspect clergy and village scapegoats etc.… (more)
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» See also 502 mentions

English (126)  French (2)  English (128)
Showing 1-5 of 126 (next | show all)
Not exactly subtle but very enjoyable. ( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
A much better mystery than the first one ( )
  abbeyhar | Nov 8, 2016 |
3.5 out of 5 Stars

I received this book via a Goodreads Giveaway in exchange for an honest review.

Ding dong, the witch is dead! The second book in Louise Penny's Inspector Armand Gamache series features the murder of someone so incredibly awful and unsympathetic, you find yourself rather solidly in the murderer's camp.

Welcome back to Three Pines, where newcomer and resident bitch CC de Poitiers has just been shuffled off the mortal coil. This, of course, would be the second murder in the small Quebec hamlet in as many years,and one can only hope it doesn't bring down the property values too much. Beyond the mystery of who killed CC (and by the time the murder is committed, the reader is likely ready to kill her themselves), is the mystery of how. You see, CC was killed in the midst of a curling match, in full view of the entire town, on the middle of a frozen lake. Oh, and she'd been electrocuted.

Despite the fact that tiny Three Pines seems poised for a murder a year for the foreseeable future, for those who read the first book in the series, Still Life, it is quite nice to get back to he tiny hamlet, and the cast of characters we were introduced to in the first book. A few get a bit more play this time than the last go-round, Clara Morrow and Ruth Zardo being the main focus. Inspector Gamache is also back, along with his crew of investigators, and we all get down into the business of solving murders. This installment also builds on a few threads introduced into the background of the first book, giving us more insight into Gamache's past, and why he seems to have so much time to spend in the village of Three Pines.

In all, this book was a decently enjoyable cozy mystery, though I wound up liking it less than the first book in the series. The murder was interesting and different, which I always appreciate. However, the secondary characters seem to be more akin to caricatures, letting loose one liners according to type (gay B&B owner, sole black woman in town, etc). The exposition I had trouble with in the first book is still present, though much improved.

Then there's the random religious element to the story (which, granted, takes place around Christmas). Clara (for reasons I won't get into here) spends a good chunk of the book believing that a bag lady she met might be God. Later in the book, Gamache also shares his own encounter with "God" in a north country diner. At the end of the book, once the mystery has been wrapped up, Gamache's God story repeats. It's not necessarily that this is badly done, but it is definitely not my cup of tea, and not what I read mysteries for, so unfortunately that whole plot line rather turned me off the series.

I gave this book 3.5 stars, it is enjoyable, and the mystery is pretty interesting. If you are a spiritual or religious individual, you will probably like it more than I. Aside from the "finding God" storyline, it is overall a strong mystery series, though I don't think I personally will be reading any further.

Check out more reviews by checking out my blog!

www.theirregularreaderblog.wordpress.com
( )
  irregularreader | Oct 31, 2016 |
Book on CD narrated by Ralph Cosham

From the book jacket - No one liked CC de Poitiers – not her family, not her lover, not her neighbors in Three Pines. Still, when Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is called to investigate CC’s sudden death on the day after Christmas, it seems like an impossible murder. How could she have been electrocuted in the midst of a curling match in Three Pines – and without anyone seeing a thing?

My reactions
Number two in the Armand Gamache series, is another well-crafted mystery. I love Inpsector Gamache and the quiet, efficient way he investigates the murder. I also like the way Penny is building the relationships between the series’ characters, especially Gamache and his wife, and Gamache and his team.

Three Pines is really a fine setting for these mysteries. The town is large enough to have a variety of people living there, but small enough to give a certain insular feel to it. This book is set during the Christmas season and into the first week of January, and Penny gives the reader a feel for a small-town celebration – the camaraderie, food, and shared experience.

I did figure out the killer fairly early, but still enjoyed watching how Gamache arrived at the conclusion. At one point I thought I must be totally wrong because his thought process really messed with my assumptions. But that’s all part of the fun. I’ll definitely continue reading this series.

Ralph Cosham does a good job of performing the audio version. His pacing is good, and I particularly like how he brings Gamache to life. ( )
  BookConcierge | Aug 14, 2016 |
This is the second installment in the Inspector Gamache series set in Three Pines, Quebec. A truly wretched woman has moved into town - CC de Poitiers - and has everyone on edge. CC claims to have created a spiritual way of life that involves feeling no emotions in order to achieve balance, which is the general theme of her life: to wipe away anything that doesn't fit with her appearance to the public. CC has a husband and daughter that she treats with disdain and tears apart on a daily basis.

No one quite understands what drew CC to the small village because she does nothing that wouldn't bring her money or fame - and that's hard to find in Three Pines. During an annual curling tournament, CC is murdered by electrocution. No one saw what happened, so Inspector Gamache and his team track down every possibility that they can find in order to find the killer. We learn that CC's reason for moving is closely tied with her murder as Penny weaves seemingly disconnected storylines together to create a shocking ending.
  neverlistless | Jun 9, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 126 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Louise Pennyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cosham, RalphNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Denneman, MayaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nagano, KiyomiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Saint-Germain, MichelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Salminen, RaimoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stumpf, AndreaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Werbeck, GabrieleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wood, RobCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Yi, Tong-yunTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zielinski, Dana M.Cover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
Dedication
For my brother Doug and his family, Mary, Brian, Roslyn, and Charles, who showed me what courage really is. Namaste.
First words
Had CC de Poitiers known she was going to be murdered she might have bought her husband, Richard, a Christmas gift.
Quotations
It was almost impossible to electrocute someone these days, unless you were the governor of Texas.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
"Dead Cold" was published in the US as "A Fatal Grace."
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
When sadistic socialite CC de Poitiers is fatally electrocuted at a Christmas curling competition in the tiny Québecois village of Three Pines, only the arcane method of the murder is a surprise in Penny's artful but overwritten sophomore effort (after her highly praised 2006 debut, Still Life). CC had cobbled together a spiritual guidance business based on eliminating emotion, but the feelings she inspired in others were anything but serene. Everyone around the cartoonish victim—from a daughter cowed by lifelong abuse to the local spiritual teacher whose business she threatens to ruin—has a motive, and the crime also links to a vagrant's recent murder as well as to the pasts of several beloved village residents. The calm but quirky Chief Insp. Armand Gamache, who arrives in Three Pines from Montreal to head the investigation, is appealing as the series' focus. Though Penny gorgeously evokes the smalltown Christmas mood, the novel is oddly steeped in holiday atmosphere for a May release, and the plot's dependence on lengthy backstory slows the momentum. (May)

St MARTIN'S MINOTAUR EDITION:
Welcome to winter in Three Pines, a picturesque village in Quebec, where the villagers are preparing for a traditional country Christmas, and someone is preparing for murder.
No one liked CC de Poitiers. Not her quiet husband, not her spineless lover, not her pathetic daughter - certainly none of the residents of Three Pines. CC de Poitiers managed to alienate everyone, right up until the moment of her death.
When Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, of the Sûreté du Quebec, is called to investigate, he quickly realizes he's dealing with someone quite extraordinary. CC du Poitiers was electrocuted in the middle of a frozen lake, in front of the entire village, as she watched the annual curling tournament. And yet so one saw anything. Who could have been insane enough to try such a macabre method of murder - or brilliant enough to succeed?
With his trademark compassion and courage, Gamache digs beneath the idyllic surface of village life to find the dangerous secrets long buried there. For a Quebec winter is not only staggeringly beautiful but deadly, and the people of Three Pines know better than to reveal too much of themselves. But other dangers are becoming clear to Gamache. As a bitter wind blows into the village, something even more chilling is coming for Gamache himself.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312947135, Mass Market Paperback)

Winner of the 2007 Agatha Award for Best Novel!


When Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is called to investigate a woman’s death, it doesn’t take long for him to realize that no love was lost on Miss de Poitiers. But even if everyone hated her—her husband, lover, and daughter among them—how is it that no one saw her get electrocuted in the middle of a frozen lake in the center of town?

Gamache digs beneath the surface of Three Pines to find where the real secrets are buried. But other troubles lie ahead for the detective. It seems he has some enemies of his own…and with the coming of the bitter winter winds, something far more chilling is in store. 

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:57 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Sent to a village south of Montreal to investigate the death of CC de Poitiers, an extremely unpopular woman apparently killed in an electrical accident, Armand Gamache of the Surete du Quebec finds that nearly everyone in town had a motive to kill her.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 9 descriptions

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