A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny, review by Sarah Bagby

Canadian mystery writer Louise Penny draws inspiration from British writers such as Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Josephine Tey in her series featuring the beloved Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surete Academy du Quebec. In each of her award-winning 12 novels, Penny lures us into the fictional close-knit village of Three Pines, hooks us with characters that mirror ourselves, yanks us around with plots that build intricately, all while serving up a master class in the history of her native Canada.

The latest in the series, A Great Reckoning, finds Inspector Gamache coming out of retirement, taking a new post as Commander of the Surete Academy. Under his wing are three young cadets. As one reviewer noted: “young learning minds are precious things, and Penny is here to make us as aware of the evil out there, eager for a chance to mold--and poison--them.”

The novel opens when Inspector Gamache is given a historic map found in the walls of a bistro. Intrigued, he falls into the rabbit hole of the provenance of the map. During an investigation of the murder of unsavory and cruel Professor Leduc, a copy of the same map is found in Leduc’s possessions. Soon, past secrets of Three Pines are unlocked, we learn more about Gamache and his own past, and finally, everyone appears complicit in the death of the professor.

Louise Penny is the grande dame of Canadian mystery. Her novels are transcendent of the genre. Her books appeal beyond gender and age, exposing the despicable and generous in all of us, and ultimately, she offers hope in a complex and lyrically told whodunnit.

Sarah's review first appeared on 89.1 KMUW. Listen to her review HERE.

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A Great Reckoning (Chief Inspector Gamache Novels #12) Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781250022134
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Minotaur Books - August 30th, 2016