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A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny
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A Fatal Grace (2006)

by Louise Penny

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Chief Inspector Armand Gamache (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,5941673,595 (3.94)571
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.
  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 571 mentions

English (165)  French (2)  All languages (167)
Showing 1-5 of 165 (next | show all)
This is another excellent mystery in the series. It returns to the same small town where the first book was set, with all the same characters. Because of the familiarity, a little of the charm in the first book is worn. But the story is well done and has plenty of surprises and twists. ( )
  grandpahobo | Sep 26, 2019 |
Book 2 in the the Inspector Gamache series. Even though I guessed the murderer at the outset, I was led through complicated twists and doubts until the very end. So well written I just want to move to this location and become one of the locals! So full of humorous repartees and characters asking us, the reader, to figure it out that I didn't want the story to end. There is nothing simple about the village and its inhabitants. There's a lot of biblical, historical, and literary allusions all throughout the book. It's an intelligent, complicated, yet enjoyable read. ( )
  Reyesk9 | Sep 23, 2019 |
Louise Penny returns to Three Pines with a murder of Cecelia de Poitiers on Boxing Day and another murder outside Ogilvy's in Montreal during the Christmas season of "Elle". Armand Gamache investigates these murders along with Jean Guy Beauvoir, Robert Lemieux, Isabelle Lacoste, and the return of Agent Yvette Nichol, his incompetent trainee from the previous book. There is a running undercurrent with Nichol as if she has been planted to do Gamache some sort of professional harm. The descriptions are vivid and the village of The Three Pines is portrayed as a very loving and close-knit community. Myra, Clara, Peter, Ruth, Gabri, and Olivier return as citizens of the town. The Hadley house again figures in the plot. ( )
  baughga | Aug 21, 2019 |
In the Quebec setting of Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache crime fiction, Francophones and Anglos are mutually bewildering but Jews and Christians go to church together on Christmas eve.

'Dead Cold' (2006) is the second novel in Penny's Gamache series. Her chocolate box village of Three Pines is a kind of secular relativist Nirvana. New York readers seem smitten by the comforting ambience of coffee, cinnamon, steam, and log fires.

Penny's crime methods can be whimsical or far-fetched but the motives are based firmly in real recognisable human weakness - resentment, score-settling, reputation. Gamache's mentoring, altruistic, upright, loving, rationalism gets to the roots of these crimes.

Sadly, the fictional village of Three Pines can't last - because Penny has forgotten that sustainable communities are based on normal child-raising opposite-sex couples. Three Pines deviates from this Truth.
  BobFitzconner | Aug 10, 2019 |
The victim is someone whom everyone hated: her husband, her lover, her daughter, the entire town. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache has to figure out who hated her the most to kill her and it was such a bizarre murder. Another murder is intertwined into the main one which really put a great twist to the plot. And there is another story happening with Gamache. We are gradually learning about another case of his which has left a negative impact on him. We learn something is afloat in the Surete headquarters which will probably come out more in future books ( )
  travelgal | Jul 15, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 165 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Louise Pennyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cosham, RalphReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cosham, RalphNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Denneman, MayaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Matthews, GaryAuthor photosecondary 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
[Publisher reaction to CC's manuscript, Be Calm]
They'd all said no, immediately recognizing the manuscript as a flacid mishmash of ridiculous self-help philosophies, wrapped in half-baked Buddhist and Hindu teachings, spewed forth by a woman whose cover photo looked as though she'd eat her young. (chapter 1)
It was almost impossible to electrocute someone these days, unless you were the governor of Texas. (chapter 9)
[Gamache]
'You need to know this. Everything makes sense. Everything. We just don't know how yet. You have to see through the murderer's eyes. That's the trick, Agent Lemieux, and that's why not everyone's cut out for homicide. You need to know that it seemed like a good idea, a reasonable action, to the person who did it. Believe me, not a single murderer ever thought. ' ' Wow, this is stupid, but I'm going to do it anyway.' ' No, Agent Lemieux, our job is to find the sense.' (chapter 12)
Last words
Disambiguation notice
"Dead Cold" was published in the US as "A Fatal Grace."
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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.
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