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Summary

Summary

INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A December 2018 Indie Next Pick
One of Kirkus Reviews' Best of 2018 Picks
BookPage Best of the Year 2018
A LibraryReads Pick for November 2018
A LibraryReads Hall of Fame Winner
Washington Post's 10 Books to Read This November
One of PopSugar's Best Fall Books to Curl Up With

"A captivating, wintry whodunit." -- PEOPLE

"A constantly surprising series that deepens and darkens as it evolves." --Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review

"A spellbinder . . . another outstanding Gamache adventure... ingenious . . . what more could a mystery reader - or any reader for that matter - want?"--Maureen Corrigan, Washington Post

The new Chief Inspector Gamache novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author.

When a peculiar letter arrives inviting Armand Gamache to an abandoned farmhouse, the former head of the Sûreté du Québec discovers that a complete stranger has named him one of the executors of her will. Still on suspension, and frankly curious, Gamache accepts and soon learns that the other two executors are Myrna Landers, the bookseller from Three Pines, and a young builder.

None of them had ever met the elderly woman.

The will is so odd and includes bequests that are so wildly unlikely that Gamache and the others suspect the woman must have been delusional. But what if, Gamache begins to ask himself, she was perfectly sane?

When a body is found, the terms of the bizarre will suddenly seem less peculiar and far more menacing.

But it isn't the only menace Gamache is facing.

The investigation into what happened six months ago--the events that led to his suspension--has dragged on, into the dead of winter. And while most of the opioids he allowed to slip through his hands, in order to bring down the cartels, have been retrieved, there is one devastating exception.

Enough narcotic to kill thousands has disappeared into inner city Montreal. With the deadly drug about to hit the streets, Gamache races for answers.

As he uses increasingly audacious, even desperate, measures to retrieve the drug, Armand Gamache begins to see his own blind spots. And the terrible things hiding there.


Author Notes

LOUISE PENNY is the author of the #1 New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling series of Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels ( Still Life, A Fatal Grace, and The Cruelest Month ). She has won numerous awards, including a CWA Dagger and the Agatha Award (six times), and was a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Novel. In 2017, she received the Order of Canada for her contributions to Canadian culture. Louise lives in a small village south of Montréal.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* In this fourteenth episode of Penny's celebrated Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series, the cumulative effect of past events has imbued the entire cast with an ever-deepening sense of the perilous nature of life, creating an internal landscape that stands in stark but richly meaningful contrast to the wood-smoke-infused calm we've come to expect from the series' primary setting, the Quebec village of Three Pines. The past not only hangs heavily on the residents of Three Pines; it also drives the crimes that Gamache, now suspended from his position as head of the Sûreté du Québec, investigates. That is especially true this time, in an episode with tentacles stretching deep into European and familial history tentacles that, once untangled, reveal how generations of secrets have led to murder. It begins with Gamache being named by a complete stranger as an executor of her extremely odd will; when the decrepit home where the will was read collapses shortly thereafter, and a body is found in the rubble, Gamache feels the grip of the past once more. The more-recent past also has its own tentacles encircling Gamache's exposed flesh. The unsanctioned plan to bring down a drug cartel was successful in its primary goal but also left a deadly opioid on the street, which resulted in the chief's suspension. Now Gamache has gone rogue, instigating an even more audacious scheme to seize the drugs. Few mystery writers intertwine the personal lives of their characters with the crimes being investigated more skillfully than Penny does, and she is at her best here, as several key players face turning points in their lives, suggesting that if the past can strangle the present, it can also help clear the way for the future. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Penny's series and its central character are beloved by mystery readers and librarians.--Bill Ott Copyright 2018 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Bestseller Penny's insightful, well-plotted 14th novel featuring Chief Supt. Armand Gamache finds him on suspension from the Sûreté du Québec following events that unfolded in 2017's Glass Houses. No matter the suspension, Gamache becomes embroiled in a murder case when he and psychologist-turned-bookseller Myrna Lander are enlisted to be executors for a stranger's will, and one of the key beneficiaries winds up dead. Over the course of the investigation, Penny offers intriguing commentary on the willful blindness that can keep people from acknowledging the secrets and lies in their own lives. For series fans, plenty of time is spent in the mystical village of Three Pines, and it's refreshing to have a spotlight shine on Myrna, one of the most relatable of the village's denizens. A secondary plot involving a rogue shipment of opioids in Montreal comes to a satisfactory close. Penny wraps up some continuing story lines and sends recurring characters in surprising directions in this solid installment. 600,000-copy announced first printing. Author tour. Agent: Teresa Chris, Teresa Chris Literary Agency. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

In the 14th book in Penny's popular series (after Glass Houses), Armand -Gamache seems to have hardened in the aftermath of taking down the drug cartels and the disappearance of deadly opioids in the previous book. He abandons Amelia Choquet and seems indifferent to the outcome of an investigation of the drug raid. A strange letter results in a snowbound meeting at a broken-down farmhouse that leads to Gamache, bookstore owner Myrna, and an eccentric young builder being named executors of the will of a woman they barely knew. The two stories wind back and forth, touching on the growing opioid epidemic, treasures stolen by the Nazis, the nature of loyalty, and the communal strength of Three Pines. Penny is a master at blending the modern evils affecting the big city and the hidden secrets of the almost mythical village of Three Pines. Well-known characters return and new faces add richness to a narrative that will keep readers intrigued until the last page. VERDICT Highly recommended for all collections. [See Prepub Alert, 5/14/18.]-Terry Lucas, Shelter Island P.L., NY © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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