This entry in the author’s long standing Gamache mystery series is truly outstanding. It is one of the very, very best mysteries that I have read this year.
The plot involves the death of a woman who had been abused by her husband. Does that mean that he was the murderer? If yes, how to convict and, if not, who was it and why are central to the plot.
But…it is the way that Penny writes that makes this book so truly excellent. She is philosophical and thoughtful, all the while enhancing, not taking away from the plot based action. The book is full of references to Moby Dick whose relevance becomes apparent. Many of the characters are chasing their own versions of that great whale and, as in the novel, they are distressed.
Penny has a true talent for making her characters com to life. This is true for the series regulars as well as those who fully inhabit this novel. The people are complex and within contain both much goodness and potential for wrongdoing, even if sometimes for what they feel are the right reasons. In addition, the early chapters of the book about potential flooding made me feel the cold, the rain, the fear and the worry.
Penny herself states:
“These books are about community. About love and belonging. About the great gift of friendship.
How lucky I am to live in Three Pines.”
You, too, will be most lucky to visit Three Pines. I give this one 6 stars out of five. Really.