Read Dead Cold by Louise Penny Online


The second novel in our addictive Canadian crime series featuring the irresistible Chief Inspector Gamache...The falling snow brings a hush to Three Pines - until a scream pierces the air. A spectator at the annual Boxing Day curling match has been fatally electrocuted. Heading the investigation, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache unravels the dead woman's past and discovers aThe second novel in our addictive Canadian crime series featuring the irresistible Chief Inspector Gamache...The falling snow brings a hush to Three Pines - until a scream pierces the air. A spectator at the annual Boxing Day curling match has been fatally electrocuted. Heading the investigation, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache unravels the dead woman's past and discovers a history of secrets and enemies. But Gamache has enemies of his own. As a bitter wind blows into the village, something even more chilling is sneaking up behind him......

Title : Dead Cold
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780755328932
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 384 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Dead Cold Reviews

  • Susan Anderson
    2019-03-22 01:43

    Where to begin with all the richness that A FATAL GRACE gave me. Reading it, I wondered how I had lived so long without discovering the work of Louise Penny, a first-rate writer. Her creation in this book is so real, her writing so lyrical, her characters so unique and the book's structure and meaning so complex that I began mumbling to myself, taking my sweet time reading the book in order to savor its mix of flavors, its innuendoes and subtleties, having at times to stop and scratch my head. It hurts me sometimes to have to hunt for meaning, but in this case the reward was worth the pain.The characters are memorable. I especially liked chief inspector Armand Gamache and his wife Reine-Marie and I loved the painter, Carol, her fragility and her luminous works; the enigmatic figure, Agent Nichol and the bag lady, Elle, and I could hear with Emilie's ears Tchaikovsky's violin concerto in D. I loved Ruth, the drunken and slovenly poet who at one point declares she committed the crime, a total hoot. And of course, the setting, Three Pines, a quaint, snowy village in the Quebec province of the author's imagination.The book is about the murder by electrocution on Christmas of the despicable C.C. de Poitiers, a character we love to hate. But it is also about the power of words and how they save and how they hurt. And it is about the agony of the people they destroy.A FATAL GRACE is not for everyone, not an easy read, but it is a fascinating mystery and a work of genius. It kept me guessing until the end. So if you love mystery and rare, rich setting; if you long for unique characters and meaning deep as bones, then don't miss A FATAL GRACE.

  • Carol
    2019-03-23 03:54

    Have you ever been so dam cold that you could hardly move your frozen lips to talk? Having grown up in Michigan amidst many a freezing winter days, I have, and in A Fatal Grace, Louise Penny truly brings a chilling winter alive making the reader feel you are at the enchanted snowy village of Three Pines in Quebec.In book two, there's another murder to solve for Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his crew as the repulsively cruel CC De Poitiers is no more. Deliberately electrocuted, the villagers almost seem to be celebrating that the monster is dead and for good reason, but her death is linked (view spoiler)[to another sad loss nearby. (hide spoiler)]I am so enjoying this series and look forward to reading the next nine. Highly recommend if you're in the mood for a fast easy-to-read crime-mystery with well-developed recurring characters (each with their own secrets) that you get to know better with each installment.

  • Phrynne
    2019-02-28 05:32

    Yet another of those books with two titles. A Fatal Grace or Dead Cold. Take your pick.Anyway whatever it is called it is an excellent book. I hate the cold, but love reading about places where the snow is metres deep and the water freezes on the end of the firemen's hoses as they try to put out a fire. Wow! Also the story takes place at Christmas in a picture perfect town where the snow sparkles in the sun and everyone drinks hot chocolate and eats cookies. What more does a book need?Actually of course it needs characters and this book does not lack anything in that area. There are characters galore, most of them slightly quirky or even quite outrageous. The main character,Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, is the ultimate in detective fiction heroes. He appears to have no faults and charms everyone he meets. Except for the few who hate him for reasons that are not totally clear yet. I expect to discover more in future books which I am really looking forward to!

  • Delee
    2019-03-18 04:28

    Myrna looked out the window and wondered whether their peace, so fragile and precious, was about to be shattered. Since CC de Poitiers had arrived there'd been a gathering gloom over their little community. She'd brought something unsavory to Three Pines, in time for Christmas.[image error]It is Christmas in Three Pines- and once again Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his team are called to investigate another murder... No one liked CC de Poitiers – not her daughter, not her husband, not her lover, and certainly not her neighbors. So when Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is called to investigate CC’s death on the day after Christmas- in the midst of a curling match- he has plenty of suspects, but apparently even though she was killed with the entire town one saw a thing.[image error]A FATAL GRACE is a marvelous mystery in the classic Agatha Christie style... and Tis the season for a marvelous mystery! Isn't it?

  • James Thane
    2019-03-02 03:55

    Louise Penny is a gifted writer who has created in Chief Inspector Armand Gamache a sympathetic protagonist who appeals to large numbers of readers. She has also created a richly-imagined setting in the charming Canadian village of Three Pines, which is located somewhere just south of Montreal. The tiny hamlet is populated by a cast of quirky but mostly lovable characters who spend a lot of time walking through the snow and curling up in front of blazing fires. In doing so, Penny has attracted a legion of enthusiastic readers who, apparently, can hardly wait for each new installment of the series to appear.This is the second book in the series and the second that I've read, in both cases because the book was selected by one of the book clubs to which I belong. Having done so, I can stand back and dispassionately appreciate Penny's accomplishment; my problem is that this just isn't the sort of book that appeals to me. Inspector Gamache is just a bit too perfect and life in the little snow-globe village of Three Pines is just a bit too saccharine for my taste.I don't mean that to sound as dismissive as it probably does, and again, I understand that there are large numbers of readers who would love to live in Three Pines, but I'd probably go stark raving mad in less than a week.In thinking about it, it occurred to me that, on the one hand, you have the world of Three Pines and, on the other, for example, the world of Matthew Scudder's New York City as imagined by Lawrence Block. And it strikes me that, while certainly there would be exceptions to the rule, most of the people who enjoy hanging out in Scudder's New York aren't going to want to spend a lot of time in Gamache's Three Pines, and vice-versa. What it comes down to, I guess, is that I'm just one of those people who would much rather spend a night hanging out with Matt and Mick Ballou, drinking a good Irish whiskey at Grogan's Open House than I would sitting around a pleasant fire at the bistro in Three Pines, drinking a nice hot chocolate.In this case, a particularly unpleasant woman is murdered in a very complicated and public way while attending a curling match. Sitting at the front of the crowd, the victim stands up, touches the chair in front of her and is promptly electrocuted.Gamache is called to investigate and soon is digging into the secrets and tangled relationships of the little village that go back for years. At the same time, he is assisting in another totally unrelated murder, that of a street person who is killed in Montreal. All of this occurs in the dead of winter and the weather itself becomes an important factor in the story.The story takes a number of twist and turns and, again, I can understand its appeal. But I did have a lot of trouble buying into the way the Three Pines murder occurred; it just seemed completely implausible to me and unnecessarily complicated. As one of the characters asked, why go to all that trouble? Why not simply shoot her or something?In the case of my book club, most of the Louise Penny fans were perfectly happy with the book, while others of us were less enthusiastic. Again, I recognize that Ms. Penny is a very talented writer, but I probably don't need to make a third visit to Three Pines.

  • Jim
    2019-03-04 01:43

    This is the third book in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series that I have read and it is the second in the series. It is fast becoming my favorite new series and I plan to read them in order. I don't think it is necessary to read the books in order but I think it will help to get to know Gamache, the members of his team, and most of all the quirky residents of the small village of Three Pines, Quebec.It is Christmas time in Three Pines but CC de Poitiers manages to alienate everyone she comes in contact with. Her husband, her daughter, and even the friendly and outgoing residents of Three Pines. She may be colder than the Quebec winter. So it should come as no surprise that when CC is electrocuted in the middle of a frozen lake, in front of the entire village, as she watched the annual curling tournament no one is grieving too much or that her shocking death was no accident.Inspector Gamache is called in to investigate. There is no shortage of potential suspects and the murder of a homeless woman in Montreal appears to have ties to both CC and Three Pines. Inspector Gamache's methods when investigating a murder are to talk with the residents. To get to know them (and so does the reader). The murder was not spontaneous. It was deliberate and planned. Only by talking with everyone will Gamache learn the events that led the murderer to commit this act. No one will every confuse Armand Gamache with Jack Reacher. I had a pretty good idea who the murderer was early on. It seemed somewhat obvious and I was pleased with myself that my deduction was correct. Even though I thought I knew who the murderer was this was a delightful read. It is approaching Christmas when I read this so that helped. We are in the midst of a "polar vortex" currently so I could relate to the author's description of the brutal winter weather. Three Pines is a fictional village but the description of it makes you wish it, and it's residents, were real. It would be nice to browse the bookstore and cozy up with a good book, sit in the bistro and enjoy a good meal and look out the windows at the lights of the village, and then head back to the B&B and your comfortable room. Almost makes winter sound pleasant. Almost. We are getting snow, sleet, and freezing rain as I write this and I know if I want to go anywhere I will have to warm up the car and scrape ice off the windows.

  • Bettie☯
    2019-03-20 03:43

    Description: 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—and 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 Québec, is called to investigate, he quickly realizes he's dealing with someone quite extraordinary. CC de 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 no 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.Opening: Had CC de Poitiers known she was going to be murdered she might have bought her husband, Richard, a Christmas gift. She might even have gone to her daughter’s end of term pageant at Miss Edward’s School for Girls, or ‘girths’ as CC liked to tease her expansive daughter. Had CC de Poitiers known the end was near she might have been at work instead of in the cheapest room the Ritz in Montreal had to offer. But the only end she knew was near belonged to a man named Saul.People are cruel and insensitiveI understand. You can’t spareanything, a hand, a piece of bread, a shawlagainst the cold,a good word. Lordknows there isn’t muchto go around. You need it all. So that's the way it will be - starting with a carrot!It was Susanna who clued me into this series, HUZZAH! Read book 4 before 2 and 3 because I was caught at an airport with only A Rule Against Murder to dive into, so now I shall take up the slack...This is the one with a shocking curling match, a stinky dedication, and a weird ball retrieved from a dumpster. Three Pines: Salvador DaliTchaikovsky’s violin concerto in D MajorAlthough there were the trademark astute one-liners such as: It was almost impossible to electrocute someone these days, unless you were the governor of Texas, it was hard to feel sympathetic to some characters because I had read ahead. Not this book's fault, I know.Now here’s a good one: you’re lying on your deathbed.You have one hour to live.Who is it, exactly, you have neededall these years to forgive?4* Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #1) 3.5* A Fatal Grace (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #2)TR The Cruelest Month (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #3)4* A Rule Against Murder (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #4)

  • Lewis Weinstein
    2019-02-26 01:54

    I started reading this book immediately after finishing Still Life, with high expectations. At first, I was disappointed. The initial chapters seemed to lose the edge established by the prior book, the returning characters from the village of Three Pines seemed far less interesting than before. Then Inspector Gamache came on the scene, late in my judgment, but once he made his appearance, the story took off, with an accelerating pace that lasted all the way through. The Three Pines characters, now seen through Gamache's eyes and not forced to make it on their own, regained their gloss. The plot is more than a little bizarre, and not quite believable in all aspects, but so what. It's a ripping story, thoroughly enjoyable. And author Penny clearly lays the basis for further intrigue in the career of Inspector Gamache, finally explaining the case that happened before Still Life and letting us know why there are some in the Sûreté who are out to get him.

  • Margitte
    2019-02-24 01:43

    It is seldom the case for me to feel a happy contentment when opening up a book. A feeling of "Oh, it feels so good to be home". Louise Penny has become a firm favorite in the murder mystery genre and I just loved to be home in the Three Pines village of Quebec again with all the characters welcoming me. This time it was the day after Christmas, the deadly winter was raging, and more people would die than ever imagined. CC was a despised woman. Obnoxious, cruel, -she was maddeningly bad news- to the people who knew who she was, but did not reveal the secret. Well, CC died, electrocuted on a frozen lake while the entire village was there, curling, and Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, of the Sûreté du Québec, arrived in Three Pines again. The whosdunit was on!The book could well have been a novel about a small-town community without the murder mysteries to turn it into a picturesque magical, although imaginery, place. The author enhanced the story with multilevels of intrigue and suspense. For a small romantic village, there seems to be quite an extraordinary number of murders! Hopefully the third book in the series will be just as good as the first two. I am hooked!

  • PattyMacDotComma
    2019-03-16 01:56

    5★“With each breath his nostrils froze shut and the air was like an ice pack in his sinuses, shooting pain through his forehead and making his eyes tear and freeze. By the time they were halfway to the train station he could barely see . . . the cold was already inside him, as though he was naked. . .”Reading this during a steamy Australian summer is an interesting experience. Here it’s the kind of weather when you find yourself stripped down to barely acceptable clothing and opening the fridge or freezer a little more often than necessary. There, in the Canadian winter, you have to pile on the layers to try to retain what body heat there is, becoming barely acceptable in another ‘fashion’.“. . . she sat in front of him, nearly submerged under layers of thick sweaters and blankets. She looked like a laundry hamper. With a head. A very small, very worn head. All ten hairs on her tiny wizened scalp were standing straight up from the winter static in the house.She looked like a muppet with strings.”And I love it. The village of Three Pines and its stubborn, gentle (and occasionally murderous) folk who insist on living in a place that would kill you if you ran out of firewood.Inspector Gamache has returned to Three Pines following another murder. This is the second of what is now a long series about this big, gentle, intellectual man and his various sidekicks and off-siders. He is welcomed back to the B & B, to the bistro, to the various easy chairs by the various fires. But he never loses sight of why he’s there. He watches, he listens, and like me, he seems to suspect various possible perpetrators of the murder.I’m not going to discuss the plot, other than to say that the unpleasant woman who was murdered was mourned by nobody, and her impending doom is mentioned in the first sentence. There are a few scary moments, but this is not a thriller. It is a just a good story told in good company.A cozy mystery, one might say, except that seems a little too light-weight for the quality of Penny’s writing and the distinctiveness of her characters. She sets a scene better than most. I particularly liked the description of the church and its families.“On Christmas Eve St Thomas’s was also filled with families, children excited and exhausted, elderly men and women who’d come to this place all their lives and sat in the same pew and worshipped the same God and baptized and married and buried those they loved. Some they never got to bury, but instead immortalized in the small stained glass window placed to get the morning, the youngest, light. They marched now in warm yellows and blues and greens, for ever perfect and petrified in the Great War. Etched below the brilliant boys were their names and the words ‘They Were Our Children’.”I’ve given it 5 stars because I loved it. I don’t need to tell you about the 3 old ladies (one of the “laundry hamper” remark), the younger woman who was murdered, the widower and the practically catatonic daughter, the community curling festival on the frozen lake (where the murder took place), and the many village meals and conversations. So I won’t. And I won’t mention the sneaking-around backstabbing that seems to be going on behind our wonderful inspector over some previous case for which he’s in the doghouse. Nope. It’s enough for me to say I loved it and am looking forward to the next one. I just like spending time there, so why not?

  • Marita
    2019-03-01 06:31

    I guessed the identity of the murderer early in the story, but I enjoyed going along for the atmosphere, the coffee and freshly baked croissants, the cheese and wine being served as the cast of characters watched an ice hockey match on TV. Not everything about this mystery is cozy; there are dysfunctional relationships and sorrow. There are also some unexpected twists to the story.

  • Anne
    2019-03-18 06:57

    What Louise Penny does is create a small, intimate world, while creating a sense of place so pervasive you feel you know it. Canada is rarely featured in best-selling books, and to have it so celebrated is wonderful. It is Quebec, to be sure, but the Quebec of Anglo-culture, and so, it is the Canadian Quebec. Most powerful, for me, is the way she builds quiet characters of amazing strength and depth. These are not cartoon-brilliant people. They are, for the most part, fully-fleshed out, but rather ordinary people, for and around whom extraordinary events take place. I cared about them. And I love how she handles food. She herself talks about how the murder is really a conceit for the characters to reveal themselves - and their relationships. I think she has achieved this, and taken the mystery well beyond the procedural or the two-dimensional world of so many modern mysteries. She also has a reporter's eye for the compelling detail, and this effort, the research that has gone into the books, keep them from being too precious. There is a dense strong realism undergirding the story line. And she knows how to dose out the story, to keep you engaged. I also love the poet, the Ruth character, and her arc, through all the books, is amazing. As a reader, I at first disliked her, but she grew on me. I am not an expert, but Ruth's poetry resonates for me, I found it compelling, really powerful. I wish Penny would publish a book of poems by Ruth. I am looking forward to A Beautiful Mystery. Really.

  • Kim
    2019-03-06 05:45

    This is the second book I've read in this series and just as good as the other one I have read. I'm not reading them in order, which is fine with me since it's usually a few weeks after I finish one before I start another in the series. I really love Louise Penny's writing style and the way she develops these characters. Here are two of my favorite lines from this book:"There at the back stood CC de Poitiers wearing a fluffy white sweater made of either cashmere or kittens.""Now she sat in front of him, nearly submerged under layers of thick sweaters and blankets. She looked like a laundry hamper. With a head. A very small, very worn head."

  • Connie
    2019-02-23 08:45

    3.5 stars. The 2nd in the Gamache series did not get quite as high praise as the first, but I will continue with this series. I think this one bogged down a bit for me and perhaps since the victim was not very likable I am not sure I was as invested in finding out "who dunnit".That said, I love Gamache and his team. I love the way he methodically plods to the conclusion and I try to figure the mystery out right along with him. This one came to me rather early but I could not figure out all the how? Also love the quirky characters of Three Pines...but I wonder how many murders can take place there?? I am unsure if all the books are set there or not? I very much like that we continued to get a bit more insight into these characters and they are developing more depth and past history. This makes me want to return. A delightful mystery for a cold wintry weekend.

  • Laura
    2019-03-11 02:27

    It took a little while to get started, but what a great finish! I really enjoyed the second in the Inspector Gamache series. The village of Three Pines and all its inhabitants comes alive under the pen of Louise Penny. I'm also enjoying getting to know not only Gamache, but all of his team. The villagers and the team are all recurring characters. Many are quirky and odd, which makes me like them even more. I'll definitely be continuing with this series. Penny understands a great breadth of human emotion, and it shows in the wide range of her characters. More literary than the typical mystery series, you may be surprised by the emotions elicited by her novels.

  • Linda
    2019-03-15 09:32

    Welcome to Three Pines, a small-town community in Québec. Problems gravitate to this tight-knit hamlet along with Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, a member of the Sûreté. Once again, a woman was murdered and he was called in to locate the culprit. His team assisted him. I observed Inspector Beauvoir in action and learned a little more of his inner thoughts. Agent Lacoste returned to locate necessary facts about the case. Robert Lemieux, who made a brief show in the first story, entered the fold. And the strange Yvette Nichol was back. Mother Bea, Kaye and Em and their relationship with the victim, CC Poitier, appeared to be the center of A Fatal Grace. CC: a woman that was selfish, abusive and just plain mean-spirited. She was someone you wouldn't want as your neighbor and yet she bought the one available home house that was up for sale for a cheap price in Three Pines. I have to comment on several things. First of all, the cold. It is safe to say that the author understood a wickedly fierce winter and, in an indirect manner, her descriptions of the fiendish algidity matched the victim. Gamache was coughing and trying to catch his breath. It was like inhaling acid. Beauvoir didn't know what was worse, the shriek of the alarm or the shriek of the ground as though the earth itself was crying out in pain with every step they took.Then there was the way CC was murdered; it was different than anything I have read before. Kudos to Ms. Penny for an ingenious idea. I enjoyed witnessing cracks in several relationships amongst the townspeople; it made an interesting human relationship spin. Food was mentioned because everyone likes to eat, right? Strong coffee with brunch, buttered croissants and wedges of cheese, thick soup with rolls and served a purpose: love -or lack of it- and energy. A Fatal Grace had a few bumps and lumps, some areas that drifted (no pun intended!) and several subplots that I am sure will come to fruition in other stories. I look forward to visiting with Armand again.

  • Kate Olson
    2019-02-26 01:34

    I adore this series SO MUCH. I thought I loved book one, but I actually loved this one so much more. And I absolutely did NOT figure out the murder before it was revealed! Can't wait for book 3!

  • Elizabeth
    2019-02-28 09:45

    The setup for this book is very long and the main thing the author established was how cruel some characters were and how others were affected by cruelty. This section was so unnecessarily long that I wanted to give up on the book. The only reason I didn't was because I really enjoyed the first book. The focus of the cruelty was on fat. And for a while it seemed that it was only the characters who were being cruel but then I read this passage about a 12 year old girl.And beside him an enormous child was wearing a sleeveless sundress of the brightest pink. Her underarms bulged and flopped and the rolls of her waist made the skintight dress look like a melting strawberry ice cream. It was grotesque.This is the author's description, not a characters. And to me it makes the author more grotesque than any 12 year old child could be. The fat comments tapered off after this but the damage has been done. I don't think I could continue to read an author who would use such strong terms to describe an abused child. It's grotesque.

  • Paula Kalin
    2019-03-08 07:44

    Louise Penny is terrific. I'm a big fan of her Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series. A Fatal Grace, the 2nd of the series, takes a different path from the first book. More emotion, in depth character analysis, and what is perceived and what is really inside peoples minds. Different and beautiful. What wonderful prose. Listening to Ralph Cosham is such a pleasure. I'm only going with the audiobooks because of Cosham's voice and French Canadian accent.CC de Poitiers, the murder victim, has to be one of the most despicable characters written. She is hated by everyone. What makes this book so much fun is the opinions of the eccentric group of villages from Three Pines who return from the first book. Just delightful!I first read a more recent Gamache novel, How the Light Gets In. A GR friend (Susan) recommended I start from the beginning and read them all. How fortunate to get such good advice.Highly recommend.5 out of 5 stars.

  • Richard Derus
    2019-03-04 07:27

    This review has been revised and can now be found at Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud.

  • Susan Meissner
    2019-03-22 01:46

    I listened to this book as I have done with all the Louise Penny books I have read. Part of the joy of an Inspector Gamache mystery on audio is the amazingly talented narrator. I could listen to him all day. I loved the peripheral aspects of thus story as much or maybe even more than the story itself. Louise Penny is such an insightful writer. She always always gives you more than a great whodunnit.

  • Britany
    2019-03-10 09:53

    What a perfect book for this time of year. We go back to Three Pines right around Christmas time, even though it is brutally cold outside, the book inspires coziness and warmth. CC de Poitiers and her family have moved into the old Hadley home, and she is a new author taking on a mantra "Li Bien" and wanting to create a whole new movement. No one in Three Pines cares for CC as she is crass, spoiled, and downright mean (especially to her daughter Crie). CC ends up meeting her maker soon enough and the journey to find out what happened is one I reveled in. Louise Penny certainly has a gift with creating a whole world within this community- the characters, the food, the wit-- all of which I find myself turning pages and chuckling to myself. Inspector Gamache always seems to be one step ahead of the reader, forcing you to continue on to find out what happened. I have to admit, I have a special place in my heart for Agent Nichol (no idea why) and was happy to see her back in action in this case. I love that Penny has created some plotlines that seem to carry on to future novels with Nichol and the Arnot case for Gamache. The writing was splendid- I just wanted to cuddle up with a big fluffy blanket and a warm, buttery croissant from Gabri's. I did figure out the murderer far too soon, but Penny managed to lead me down quite a rabbit hole with a couple of red herrings before we ultimately uncovered the truth. I loved how Clara's art played a small part with the Three Graces and enjoyed the religious undertones with faith and belief. God shows himself in a variety of ways to get his message across- and while I'm not religious, I do appreciate the spirituality she shared with the reader. I have to admit that I started welling up when we (& Lemieux) learned that Ruth's beer walk was anything but. (view spoiler)[ Poor Daisy! Pets and their owners get me every dang time! (hide spoiler)]Looking forward to the next book in the series. Really enjoying these books!

  • Bill
    2019-03-12 04:37

    From the several reviews I've read, it's apparent that A Fatal Grace (aka Dead Cold) is the weakest entry to this series.This is pretty exciting news for me because I enjoyed this one quite a bit. Mostly I just enjoyed being in this novel and experiencing Three Pines at Christmas (incidentally, Louise, will your characters be tipping the scales at >300lbs a few books down the line? The food!). The murder in this case is one of the most convoluted I've come across. She had me guessing throughout and I had changed my mind several times and was ultimately wrong (no great feat fooling me though :/ ).That's the great thing about being into a novel like this. It's in your head all the time, suspecting that all the clues are there for you; you keep thinking back on it, trying to make sense of it all.This goes for all mystery novels, I'm sure. But there's more to the mystery with Penny's books. It's all about the characters, and the setting. That is what really has me hooked so far. That, and the unanimous assertion that this series "really takes off" in scope by book 4.Well, if this is in fact the case (and judging by the ratings, it's pretty much a certainty), I'm still really happy that I've discovered this fine writer.A Fatal Grace, on its own, probably would score a 3.5. But it is but a blip in the grand scheme of things so as a continuance from Still Life (which I loved), I'm rating it a solid 4 stars.Off for another little break now, and I'll be back in Three Pines, very soon.

  • Hank
    2019-03-08 04:55

    Better than Still Life but that says something since I liked that one very much. Many of the same characters are back and Armand continues to charm. He is the kind of leader/mentor I would aspire to be when I find myself in that role. The setting in small village Quebec works well and the plot is interesting and sublime. As a whodunit you can deduce many of the interim mysteries but the final is hard to decifer until the very end. Her descriptions are lavish and picturesque. Looking forward to reading the next in the series to see what is going on with a background mystery regarding Armand's future as an inspector.

  • Bookmaniac70
    2019-03-02 01:41

    Не беше никак лоша комбинация да се разтапям на плажа под изгарящото августовско слънце и да чета за минусови температури, искряща белота, скърцащ под ботушите половинметров канадски сняг-:)). А и така хубаво си похапват героите! Тази поредица носи чувство на уют, на принадлежност към мястото, където живееш. Централно място заемат връзките между хората в общността. Интересно е да се проследява развитието на героите и техните отношения, има достатъчно напрежение в действието и интригуващ сюжет. Ще чакам следващата книга!

  • Roman Clodia
    2019-02-27 05:45

    Ok, I am now officially in love with this series! Penny reworks the elements of the old-fashioned village cosy and brings it up to date, setting it in a tiny village in Quebec. That said, the crime element is completely unbelievable but what has seduced me is the fluent writing, the wonderfully quirky characters (Ruth in particular, the cranky, brilliant poet is genius), the sharp repartee and the humanity of Penny's vision. In this book the Canadian winter makes itself acutely felt with the cold almost a character in its own right.In the second of the series (which must be read in order - I started at about #9, realised my mistake and have gone to the beginning) an over-arching plot strand about conspiracy in the Sûreté begins, and in the foreground is a crazy murder as an obnoxious woman is electrocuted during a curling match. The book, though, is really about relationships, those that are forms of abuse and those that sustain. We find out something important about Jean Guy Beauvoir (my latest book crush!) that helps make sense of his psyche, and it bodes well that Armand's wife is introduced into Three Pines at the end. There's a touch more conventional religious feeling than I like but overall this series has the same pleasures as Donna Leon's Brunetti books and Camilleri's Montabano - though with a character distinctively all its own. These are books that make me want to forget everything else and just curl up on the sofa and devour them!

  • Carol
    2019-02-25 02:39

    Many of my reading friends have read A Fatal Grace, the second in Louise Penny's Three Pines Mystery Series, later books becoming A Chief Inspector Armand Gamache Novel. Few have had much to say about it other than giving it 4-5 stars. This could be due to its publication date, perhaps a bit pre-GR or just that it's a good mystery and that's that. I could immediately see Penny's growth as a writer. I found it far better plotted and much more engaging than the first in the series. From what I'm hearing they just keep getting better which is wonderful news.As with the first, the story takes place in the fictional, small town of Three Pines, Quebec. Continuing characters return making it seem like a visit with people you are getting to know. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is seeking the killer of a CC dePoitiers, a woman detested by almost everyone in thecommunity. She is so disliked that not many truly mourn her passing but still the murderer must be found. C C has been offed in a most unusual way, electrocution at an outdoor curling match at Christmas time. This in itself is part of the fun of solving the mystery. I listened to A Fatal Grace. This had its pros and cons. Certainly the Blackstone Audio narration by Ralph Cosham is a plus. His pronunciation of the French and his accent made the whole experience much more enjoyable for me. A minus is that it was difficult to bookmark wonderful passages or phrasing to keep and share. This often necessitates acquiring the physical book and searching to find the specific words for quote. Consider this passage which takes place on Christmas Eve at St. Thomas Church described as filled with greenery and light and beautiful singing.'All is calm, the voice sang, rescuing the sinking congregation. Clara turned, trying to find the child. Many were also craning to see who was leading them. Even Gavri was forced to relinquish his place in the unexpected and not totally welcome presence of the divine. It was as though an angel, as Yeats would have it, became weary of the whimpering dead and chose this lively company.Clara suddenly had a perfect view.There at the back stood CC dePoitiers wearing a fluffy white sweater made of either cashmere or kittens Beside her was her husband, florid and mute. And beside him an enormous child was wearing a sleeveless sundress of the brightest pink. Her underarms bulged and flopped and the rolls of her waist made the skin tight dress look like a melting strawberry ice cream. It was grotesque.But her face was beautiful."I quote this passage as the singer is Cree, CC's daughter, a horribly awkward child who is often the recipient of her mother's venomous tongue and this time is no exception. To Cree's singing, CC states:"You're a stupid, stupid girl". Everyone was staring at you. You humiliated me" This illustrates beautifully CC's overall personality and why she is so disliked. Penny seems to have many central themes in her books, music, religion, faith, art, small town politics, secrets; all with a touch of humor and love. In addition there are the characters, both charming and unlikeable making for a good read. Penny's Chief Inspector Armand Gamache Novels might be considered cozies. I'm not certain. There's a bit more here than what I consider cozy but not enough that would leave out those that can't tolerate heavy violence. I guess they are somewhat Agatha Christie like with lots of suspects, red herrings and a murderer who is revealed by books end. There's a touch of the f word if that bothers you.A good argument for "not" is given by Beth Kanell, author of her own New England Mysteries Series and co-owner with her husband Dave, of Kingdom Books in Would You Say a Louise Penny Book Is a "Cozy" Mystery? I Say It's NOT! As for CC, she is so vile that even I found her despicable but I didn't kill her. Who did?

  • Mona
    2019-03-22 02:56

    I've Become A Fan/Addict of This Gentle and Delightful Series This book, the second in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache mystery/crime novel series, is, if anything, even better than the first book.I can't wait to read the next one.I did guess whodonit, but that didn't detract from the pleasure of reading this.There is a second murder in the lovely and picturesque Quebec village of Three Pines, a year after the first one.Someone's murdered CC de Poitiers at the annual Christmas curling competition (which is a Three Pines Tradition). Curling, by the way, refers to a winter sport played in Canada, not to a hairdressing activity.CC was completely unpopular. She was extremely mean and had delusions of grandeur. No one liked her. This meant that there were many suspects.CC purchased the old Hadley house on the hill (the site of the last murder). She bought the house for a song, because no one would touch it, given its history. She lived there with her withdrawn, overweight daughter, Cri, and her passive husband, Richard Lion. Neither of them liked CC much, since she was abusive to both of them, especially the child.CC also had a lover, Saul Petrov, who was doing photographs of her for her business. Saul and CC despised each other too. Penny brings back most of the cast of characters from the previous book. This includes, of course, the elegant and kind hearted Chief Inspector Armand Gamache himself, from the Montreal Surete. He is surrounded by his usual sidekicks, Jean-Guy Beauvoir (his right hand man) and much of his previous team, including Agent Isabelle LaCoste and even, unexpectedly, the unpleasant Agent Yvette Nichol. There is a new team member, Robert Lemieux. There is also Gamache's beloved wife, Reine-Marie.We've also got most of the Three Pines townies from the last book. They are a varied lot, artistic and bohemian. There's the surly elderly alcholic Ruth Zardo, whose insulting persona hides a fine poetess, and a very capable woman. There are Clara and Peter, the artist couple; and Myrna, the flamboyant large black woman who is a former psychologist turned bookseller. Gay couple Gavri and Olivier, owners of the local B & B and purveyors of antiques, turn up also. There are also a new group of women (new to this series, not to Three Pines), the "Three Graces". These are three elderly ladies, Kay, Em, and Beatrice (aka "Mother" or "B"). "Mother" ran the local yoga and meditation center, called "Be Calm". Em owned a dog, Henri.As usual with Penny, the books goes into the characters and their inner lives in depth. In this one, she deals more with their individual spiritual experiences, which contrast with the shallow New Age "spirituality" of CC.Anyway, we see the courage of the investigators and the townspeople. Gamache and Beauvoir rush into a burning building to save someone as townspeople fight the fire outside in the brutal Quebec winter. In another scene, Gamache and some locals snowmobile over an icy lake in a blizzard to save a few locals.As usual with Penny, the book is bittersweet. There are losses, but her writing also affirms the sweetness of love, friendship, food, kindness, and spiritual understanding.Scenes of heroism are juxtaposed with lovely descriptions of delicious meals, warm fireplaces, Christmas gifts, etc.It's just the right mix of fear, tension, sadness, and sweetness.And Louise Penny does not fall into the pit that many writers of series enter. Every book she does is fresh and original. I haven't read one yet that feels formulaic.Ralph Cosham does a wonderful job of reading these audios.As I already mentioned, I'm really looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

  • Chad Sayban
    2019-03-23 05:54

    It is winter in the cozy town of Three Pines, Quebec and once again Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his team have been called upon to solve a murder. However, the victim – CC de Poitiers – isn’t mourned by anyone, not even her husband and daughter. To compound the situation, Poitiers was murdered right in front of the entire village in an extraordinary way, yet nobody saw who did it. Gamache must once again use his patience and intellect to find a killer in a town where everyone knows everyone.“The bistro was his secret weapon in tracking down murderers. Not just in Three Pines, but in every town and village in Quebec. First he found a comfortable café or brasserie, or bistro, then he found the murderer. Because Armand Gamache knew something many of his colleagues never figured out. Murder was deeply human, the murdered and the murderer. To describe the murderer as a monstrosity, a grotesque, was to give him an unfair advantage. No. Murderers were human, and at the root of each murder was an emotion. Warped, no doubt. Twisted and ugly. But an emotion. And one so powerful it had driven a man to make a ghost.Gamache's job was to collect the evidence, but also to collect the emotions. And the only way he knew to do that was do get to know the people. To watch and listen. To pay attention, and the best way to do that was in a deceptively casual way in a deceptively casual setting.Like the bistro.”Following in the footsteps of Still Life, Louise Penny brings back the wonderful cast of characters to the beautiful hamlet of Three Pines in A Fatal Grace. And as before, it is Penny’s subtlety as a writer that makes this series a joy to read. The plot is done very well, never truly revealing itself until Penny is ready. Unlike so many detective series that focus on the more brutal aspects of crime, this series harkens back to more atmospheric writers like Agatha Christie, who focused on the interplay of the characters rather than the shock factor. Chief Inspector Gamache takes on an even more central role in A Fatal Grace. Penny goes much deeper into what makes the inspector the enigmatic person he is and the parts of his past that still dog him. I was happy to learn so much more about him since Still Life, and that portrayal alone makes me want to keep reading the series beyond this installment. Penny doesn’t stop there. All of the fascinating characters are back and each contributes to the story. A Fatal Grace is really a locked-room mystery in most ways given the remote locale of Three Pines. This allows the action to unfold in an almost gentile fashion. Penny doesn’t beat the reader over the head with anything. It is an intellectual game of wits and Gamache is a master at putting the pieces together. My only criticism is that the character of CC de Poitiers was so completely unlikable in every way, that it took a little bit of the urgency away in finding the murderer. But Penny makes up for most of that with the interwoven relationships of the residents of Three Pines.Once again, Penny has not disappointed with Armand Gamache. A Fatal Grace continues the series with the same writing that hooked me in Still Life. I am eager to pick up the next installment and see where Penny will take Gamache next. The gorgeous writing and atmospheric pacing is sure to have me curled up for another great mystery.

  • Mary Beth
    2019-02-26 04:48

    I really enjoyed this second book in the series and the quirky characters are back and we are becoming friends. I missed them. It is Christmas time in Three Pines and gives a nice winter environment. Gamache actually deals. with two murders in this book. One deals with a homeless person and the other murder deals with a mean unjoyous woman, Cc de Poitiers. Working with his partner Beauvoir and newcomer Lemieux, Gamache investigates the crimes, learning more and more about the residents of Three Pines in the process. Lawn chairs are positioned around a heating lamp on Lac Brume for the curling charity game. A lawn chair is electrified by the murderer. It is used to electrocute Cc. It seems like an impossible murder. How could she be electrocuted during a curling match, without anyone seeing a thing?This series is such a treat and loved every moment of it so far, and I already have the 3rd book in the series waiting on me to read.