May I send you a complimentary copy? Anything by Elena Ferrante. I could not put down the Neopolitan novels. The story of Lila and Elena through the years was captivating. Another one that I just could not put down. Replay, by Ken Grimwood. Came out in the s, but I reread it recently and it still holds up. And again? I read this the first time when I was supposed to be studying for a final the next day; I intended to read a couple chapters, but read the whole thing and never did get any studying done.
After the final which I did well on, whew! I went home and read Replay all over again. I finished it feeling informed, empathetic and inspired. One of my best reads in my entire life. Sea of Tranquility, yes!!!! I recommend Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult. Danielle-I agree about Jodi Picoult. I have pulled some all-nighters because of her-so much fun! To go along with the Jodi Picoult theme of these last few comments, I read the entirety of Small Great Things yesterday. It was incredibly riveting and eye-opening — it provides a sharp acknowledgement of contemporary racism and its effects.
It was phenomenal. Look forward to books on your list! I second The Nightingale! Loved it. And love this list. Just having trouble deciding where to begin! I agree that there is value in reading books by authors from a wide variety of backgrounds. That said accusations and shame rarely achieve the desired result — they are more likely to make people defensive than affect change. You know what? You and Laura are exactly right. I should have responded differently. With less of a throwaway comment, and more along the lines of attempting to be helpful.
Thank you for pointing that out. When we choose to erase race from the conversation, we have a default to whiteness. It means that People of Color are excluded. In terms of suggested titles, I will happily provide some. I will get back with some others. Thanks again for the suggestion. I appreciate you taking the time to respond. Here are some books by authors of color that fit this blog post theme. It was absolutely delightful. Hope others chime in as well. I have some serious reading to do. Not a 24 hour read—but well worth the time.
People are loving this Facebook post and all the great shares. SO many amazing books. Jemisin Person recommended pretty much anything the author writes How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America by Kiese Laymon Said it was her best read in all of As someone said on the Facebook post, that is one badass list. And folks can alternate, if they choose, to take in more of the richness of writers in America.
Thanks to those who are actually open and interested in doing this. I hope you find some great reads on all these lists. Great list! I can never put her books down and tend to reread them! I highly suggest it! Thank you! You are absolutely right. I responded above to Brandyn, but wanted to make sure you saw that comment. I totally agree Sarah D. If a book sounds good I read it. The color of the author never even crosses my mind! I read for the story! Add to this Girl on Train. The movie was good but the book is incredible. I love this list and will look for these.
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I feel the same way! Loved Girl on a Train. The Nightingale….. A must-read and one I hope they make into a movie. I loved this book! Both are amazing books! Talk about plot twists! I was reading the same ideas over and over. I pay more attention to the authors I choose now, and my reading lists is much healthier because of it—and my world view more complete. I promise this is my very last comment. And how smart you are, Criss! I just tripped over this post that listed 34 books by Women of Color. Inclusion has real consequences. They are all new releases for Added them to my long long TBR list.
Thanks for sharing. This list is may cause my TBR to topple over! A few years ago I read The secret keeper by Kate Morton and loved it!! Well written and suspenseful right to the final chapter. The Secret Keeper was very good! My all time favorite is September by Rosamunde Pilcher. Like most of her books it makes one long to be in the Scottish countryside. More of a character study than a driving plot.
Also excellent was Shell Seekers. Love this author. I loved Shell Seekers too. Pilcher is an excellent writer, well able to reel you into a new world. I think her The Secret Place is just as good. Both are about friendship—it seems to be what she does best. I just joined today so I will be adding more titles that I love. This novel managed to break my heart then patch it up only to make my heart get back in the ring for round two.
I read this books years ago and still I recommend it to everyone. Definitely one of those that touch your heart and linger near your soul. Oh how I loved this book. I listened to it and the two readers were amazing. A must read or listen!! Portrayed complicated people with kindness. Also listened to the audiobook. Frederik Backman is a magical writer! I cannot stop thinking about Ove! I just came across this page from someone that shared this on Facebook, and boy I must say I am so happy to have stumbled upon that link and your blog!
What a homey and cozy feel you have here, and I will be sure to check your entires day after day. The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls. The writing style and the story of this memoir make it absolutely un-putdownable. Just saved your list to come back to. Also, not a mystery, but gripping, is my memoir about fighting cancer during my first pregnancy: Tiger in rather Dark.
Liked reading many of the comments on the different selections. I may have to try a few. I love to read books relating to Holocaust and that sad era. If anyone knows of any plese tell me titles. The boy in the striped pajamas. From Cardinals to Crows by T. Tate Publishing. The author is a personal friend of mine. The Girl in the Train — Paula Hawkins. You are right-on about these — I read 3 of them in the last 5 days! And have another to pick up at the library tonight. Whenever I need a suggestion of what to read, I always find many good options here? I just picked up that book from library yesterday to read for my mystery books for March.
Hope I like it. Behind Closed Doors by P. I definitely finished it the same day that I started. I was like this with Summer Sisters by Judy Blume. I recommend it to everyone! It was unputdownable by many reviewers on Goodreads and Amazon! What a great list! Not only were half of these book already on my list, but almost all of these books are written by women! Love this list — great books for my daily walks in the woods.
Hopefully that means you get credit for recommending them. Super Powereds and Red Rising are my all time favorites. Time just flew by listening to these books. Written in I found it at a thrift store. Compelling historical account. Available via bookstores or Amazon. Amazing story of a family on a journey of grief and healing. Perhaps the best description is given by Sister Helen Prejean, C. This family drama is a must-read that teaches us about the true nature of justice and our very humanity. I was left breathless by the end. Not only was this an amazing read, it revolutionized my life, as well.
I could not put down The Bookshop on the Corner by J. Colgan and Murder at the Brightwell by A. Looking forward to the others in this series. The Gifting by K. I got it free from Amazon but will definitely be buying the other books in the trilogy. Think Frank Peretti or Stephen King but not as heavy. I have found almost every single one of the Ian Rutledge mysteries by Charles Todd to be un-put-downable. I rarely sit down and read a book in one sitting but yesterday I almost finished The Dry. I think you recommended this book on one of your podcasts.
You said Reese Weatherspoon bought the movie rights before it even went to press. In the my comment I was using voice text. Great list, read 3 on this list and put 3 more on hold at the library. My 24 hour reads are always Michael Connelly and Karin Slaughter. Yellow Crocus, Laila Ibrahim — historical fiction about a Southern black woman working for wealthy Plantation owners. Could not put down! And although it took me a little longer than that, because of work, I tore through The Royal We, too. Great book quick read. Can not put it down. Sweet and touching! Something that I cannot stand is when chapters alternate between different characters points of view.
You should try Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King…. An oldie but a goodie. Both great books! Each has been memorable. Took me longer than 24 hours because frankly, it often made me uncomfortable. Very timely subject matter, exploring racism and white supremacy with an unforgettable story. Months later… I am still pondering this book. It will leave you with a respect for our Military.
I loved Unbroken! Love,Water,Memory by Jennie Shortridge. Reading this was a wonderful way to get lost in a weekend spent turning pages! Have read it at least 10 times and shared with many friends over the years. Reading again this weekend. Oh my. I Love, love, love the Proud Breed. I too have read many times and passed along to friends. I currently have two hard copies one to keep and one to give away. I called her Sombrawolfdog.
Both excellent in their own right. The ending is so totally unexpected! Natchez Burning by Greg Iles is amazing!!! It was fantastic. Your suggestions, and those in the comments, have helped me put my summer reading list together!! Just did not like it at all. Same author. Stunningly beautiful prose,and I actually learned things about the Russian Revolution.
I like this Second Towles better than Rules. A Gentleman in Moscow was my favorite book last year. Have you started savoring Dickens yet? Did anybody feel the same? One of my many favorites of last year. Thanks for the recommendations. I wish there was more of it! It is a classy classic horror story unlike anything you have ever read. Very well written and full of Southern lifestyles and elegance.
He knows his setting well, too. This is one of the best and most unsettling books I have read. He is or was one of the ten or so masters of the genre. Not sure how I stumbled across this post, but thanks! I had read a few of these and enjoyed them, so downloaded a couple of these as audiobooks and have loved them! Haha Katie. I only listen to books or I would never get anything done. I too, came across this site and am downloading as many books as I can.
Listening to What She Knew, which someone on here recommended. Hi Sandy, I use Overdrive a lot. I have several library cards. I also find a lot online at torrent sites. Keep your head up there for a while longer and keep looking. The rest of us will have a civilized conversation. The Hearts of Horses by Molly Gloss is very good. Of course it depends on what you like.
Unputdownable: 17 books I read in 24 hours or less (because they were just that good)
I found it touching and interesting. She meets a lot of people and the experiences she has help her grow. She loves horses. You can check it out on Amazon. I like stories about horses and that surround horses or contain horses and stories about other times and stories about women who do things differently. I hope you give it a try! But the books… until 3am reading for sure on the first 2 or 3 in the series.
Unfortunately outlander took me months to read! I found them very slow reads and not one you can read in 24 hours. Even switching to audio it took me weeks to finish the book. Well, different strokes for different folks, I always say. The first book was good but the 2nd book just dragged for me! Sorry outlander fans. Hated the second book of the series…took me forever to finish. Finally, just skipped parts. The rest of the series is great. Many readers had some trouble with book 2 and stopped reading the series.
They are missing out on a great epic story. They are thick books…. I found them very compelling…and hard to put down though, even then it does take more than a day to read. But I read the first one in about 3 days which is quick for a page book! I loved them. I did find a couple of titles on your list I will try though!
In Seven Stories
So thanks! I always like to see what others put on their great reads list. Have your read any Jodi Picoult? Jodi picoult what I read were very good. I loved the storyteller that was the first one I read by her. I did like the tv show though. My Sisters Keeper is one of my all time favorites. So different from the movie. I love how all her books have a surprising twist! The Storey teller was a great book! I just finished SmalGreat Things by the same author. I found it to be a good read.
I have also been hooked on Jojo Moyes and enjoyes reading all the books I could find by her. The first Outlander was amazing. To me, they got steadily worse and repetitive after the first one. Funny, I was able to put Dark Matter down. I agree the Fault In Our Stars was great! Since you enjoyed that try Picoults My Sisters Keeper. You will laugh you will cry! The whole series is amazing. Have you read Memoirs of a Geisha? Compelling, tragic but so satisfying to read!
I reread it every few years-so good! A classic. True story too. I find Chris Bojalian books to be hour page turners for sure. They are though provoking, suspenseful, but very sophisticated and detailed. I also love that most of his books are set either in rural Vermont or the hip city of Burlington, VT.
I just read The Wonder by Emma Donoghue in 24 hours and came to this post to see if it was on the list. I thoroughly enjoyed it! Redeeming Love by: Francine Rivers. Francine Rivers is my absolute favorite Christian writer! Read in 24 hours or less. And any book by Laine Moriarty. Every one of hers I can never stop!! SO FUN to come across a list like this. Though The City, also by Dean Koontz took a few days, it was an excellent read! My newest unputdownable was very long, but so good. Edgar and Lucy by Victor Lodato. I just finished A Man Called Ove. It was one of my favorite books of all time.
Go read it or listen to it on Audible…the narrator is fabulous! All three I have read and I highly recommend all. Ove was great. We discussed A J Fikry at my book club. Read Guernsey a long time ago but I liked it. Listening to A Man Called Ove right now and love it. Find myself chuckling outloud as a I am out walking the dog! My sister and I executed a one week, self-planned trip to Guernsey based on our total enjoyment of this book!
Not even sure if I took a bathroom break. Loved them! Read any book by Edward Bunker. Christian books. Once I finish up this series I plan to read some of her others, she has written many. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. By far my favorite read in a long time. Completely un-put-down-able Loved Ove as well! I read it a few months ago — mixed the title up with another one! Had to get through to stop worrying and feeling scared, and every other emotion!
Great book! Read in 24 hours — I could not sleep until I finished it! It chronicles the life of a gal named Lucy, whose parents marry her off at 15 in the year to a 50 year old Civil War vet. Favorite of all time. I started 23 years ago. The audible versions by Davinia Porter are amazing. My husband would never read them, but we are now listening to book 5.
Fate Ball by Adam W. Jones Fantastic debut novel about love and loving someone with an addiction. A quick read and a powerful story. Aw I love this! Not a traditional book club but one for chitchat about books being read! Love Liane Moriarty! I have read everything she has written but Three Wishes touched home for me the most followed by Big Little Lies.
Nothing better than a good book. Anything by Charles Martin is awesome! What an incredible story!!!! I listened to this book!! The readers were two women and did an unbelievable job. Not to mention that the story was incredible. I felt like I was in the car with them. Another incredible listen is Story Hour.
Speak by Lauri Halse Anderson. My daughter had to read it for school. We ended up with an extra copy. I started reading it before I went to worked and finished it that night. Stunning read! A Man Called Ove — I listened to it on audiobook and then reread it because it was sooo good. I am reading Beartown, the latest book, read the first three and the short one on saying goodbye…had no problems with the others. This one is more difficult, the theme is much deeper than hockey, but all the hockey references slow me down!
Loved Little Big Lies…and anything else by Moriarity. Just finished Hillbilly Elegy—a must read about a very poor segment of society. Also like The Girl in Cabin Ten. Love my books! BTW, there was also a movie made, and I was surprised at how good it was. Lots of details were left out, but whoever wrote the screenplay did an amazing job. Rare to find.
'Game of Thrones' dropped a major development for Jon Snow in the most disturbing way
One of my all time favorites as well. Because if it has photos people tend to keep them for keepsakes. So you want to make your engagement photos part favor-ish all at the same time. So if you really want programs, make sure you have some images in there and that will help people to keep them. Then it showed a photo of the bride and groom as kids and then their engagement photos. It was shaped like a little heart. It was really unique. This was such a fun experience! The wedding is a special day for the a bride and groom; however the guests are also an essential part of the day.
Here are a few tips on how to seat your guests as you receive your RSVPs. Guest Tables - Try to seat like-minded people together. This can help break the ice and bring the families together. Most of the time someone will share a funny story or two. However if the child is a toddler, they can be seated next to the parent with a high chair with the same activities to keep them occupied and entertained. Bridal Party — Having a head table for the bridal party is very traditional.
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However, the new trend is to have a round or a captain table that will seat the bridal party with their respective spouse or date. Their spouse or date will appreciate this and your head table will not look empty after dinner. Vendor Table — As planners we recommend that you seat all your vendors at the same table.
It makes it easier to communicate and notify them of any upcoming formalities. Helpful Tip: If you start seating your guests as you receive your RSVPs, it will help save a lot of time as you get closer to your big day. Also the less people involved in the seating arrangement the better. We would like to extend a special thank you to all of the wonderful vendors that made the day possible, particularly Marissa Cribbs Photography who captured these lovely shots! With numerous selections to choose from, we can customize the picture-perfect celebration for your once-in-a-lifetime celebration.
From bike rides to fly fishing in Paint Creek as well as shopping to museum excursions, this is a perfect venue for a weekend getaway. A handful of our clients choose to include their pooches in their weddings in all sorts of ways! Skyline club in Southfield MI is the perfect Detroit wedding venue to host every aspect of your big day. The main attraction is the atrium with a beautiful glass screen surrounded with greenery that gives an outside feel while you enjoy the inside warmth; perfect for a ceremony.
Our brides also love the Renaissance room which has spectacular panoramic views of the Northeast side of Metro Detroit. Providing delicious in house catering, the skyline club has a capacity to accommodate seated or strolling guests. Are you kidding! Wedding season is widely thought of as May through October, focusing more on spring and summer. And yes, many couples would prefer warmer temperatures for their wedding day, but not everyone should let the season determine their Save the Dates. Winter is the most wonderful time of the year, remember!
There are many things that can be done to make your wedding day beautiful! If you stick to these design elements, almost any color palette you choose will be wondrous! Now, how to get that sense of coziness? Entertain guests with a hot cocoa and cookie bar or adding warm cocktails to your drink menu. For food, think about hot soup cocktails in a shot glass. These ideas are unique and leave your guests feeling cozy and warm. Using a snowflake shaped place card is simple and sweet.
Using glass icicles throughout your floral arrangements and centerpieces will give just enough sparkle reminiscent of freshly-fallen snow. Candles and fires are a must to evoke a sense of wintery coziness. Other Winter Wedding tips…. Have flower girls throw fake snow. Bride can wear a pretty white cape to keep warm. No matter what, winter is always a great time for family to get together, snuggle next to those who you love the most and enjoy each other.
Not to mention, this time of year is also a way to spend less and save more! Photography credit: Anecdotally Yours, J. With her smart plot and fascinating, nuanced characters, Penny proves again that she is one of our finest writers. For connoisseurs of mysteries, success is judged by the genre's holy trinity: plot, people and prose. When all three attain excellence, a fourth quality shines through: power..
Penny continues to amaze with each novel. Wrapped in exciting plots and domestic details, her characters are people we want to follow through their very real joys and sorrows. Wonderful, complex characters and sophisticated plotting makes this a perfect book. Do not miss it. I keep using the word "stunning" for Ms. Penny's work time and time again. And I keep saying "this one is the best one yet. HOW does she keep doing this? And continually top her own work? Some things many of us have been waiting for, a few things that will make you laugh out loud, some things that will break your heart and move you to tears along with a few surprise twists.
You know - all those things that Louise Penny just keeps doing with such apparent ease. As Quebec City shivers in the grip of winter, its ancient stone walls cracking in the cold, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache plunges into the most unusual case of his celebrated career. A man has been brutally murdered in one of the city's oldest buildings - a library where the English citizens of Quebec safeguard their history. And the death opens a door into the past, exposing a mystery that has lain dormant for centuries We've been working with a top walking tour company in the venerable old city, Tours Voir Quebec, and are very happy to endorse this.
It's available in either English or French. Here's the link. Bon voyage et Vive Gamache! Meanwhile, Gamache dispatches his longtime colleague, Insp. Jean Guy Beauvoir, to the quiet town of Three Pines to revisit the case supposedly resolved at the end of the previous book. Few writers in any genre can match Penny's ability to combine heartbreak and hope in the same scene. Increasingly ambitious in her plotting, she continues to create characters readers would want to meet in real life.
People Magazine 4 out of 4 stars 'editor's pick'! Her beautifully elegiac sixth book interweaves three story lines while plumbing the depths of Gamache's grief. The result is sophisticated and moving - her best yet. Penny hits every note perfectly in what is one of the most elaborately constructed and remarkably moving mysteries in years. Bring on the awards. Library Journal Superb And then some! Toronto Globe and Mail.
The book, obviously, is a must-read for her fans, and demonstrates once again that she is in the first rank of crime-fiction writers in Canada, or indeed, in the world. Chaos is coming, old son. With those words the peace of Three Pines is shattered. As families prepare to head back to the city and children say goodbye to summer, a stranger is found murdered in the village bistro and antiques store. Once again, Chief Inspector Gamache and his team are called in to strip back layers of lies, exposing both treasures and rancid secrets buried in the wilderness. No one admits to knowing the murdered man, but as secrets are revealed, chaos begins to close in on the beloved bistro owner, Olivier.
How did he make such a spectacular success of his business? What past did he leave behind and why has he buried himself in this tiny village? And why does every lead in the investigation find its way back to him? Globe and Mail , Margaret Cannon Penny isn't Christie. For one thing she's a far more accomplished craftsman, relying more on depth of character than formula.
She also likes a complex plot that owes more to human emotion and psychology than to clockwork timing. This puts her closer to PD James The best Gamache novel so far. Daily Mirror 4 stars out of five , Henry Sutton The Canadian village of Three Pines is given a shocking awakening when a stranger is found dead in the local bistro. But soon Chief Inspector Gamache discovers the bistro owner had a shady past. The Bookbag 4. It's not just the skill of the plot, but the way that words are never wasted and that so few of them can produce a vivid picture.
Dialogue is perfect and there's a real talent for capturing the one-liners which make you laugh out loud. Shots Mag , Mike Stotter I have always been dismissive of the expression "I couldn't put it down", but after reading Louise Penny's latest story of the idyllic French Canadian village of Three Pines I acknowledge that there is some truth in it. I read this book in one session, anxious to reach the unravelling of a complex plot dealing with mystery, artistic integrity, murder, of course, and relationships.
Her courtly, poetry-loving Inspector Gamache, who peers into suspects' souls over meals so mouthwatering you'll want to book a flight, contributes a humane and sophisticated perspective on human foibles. Her fifth in the series is the finest of all. Fortunately, sagacious Gamache possesses the acumen to peel away the layers of deceit and to expose the truth. Her characters are too rich, her grasp of nuance and human psychology too firm for the formula-bound Christie.
No, Penny belongs in the hands of those who read not only P. Armand Gamache investigates. At a cabin in the woods apparently belonging to the dead man, Gamache and his team are shocked to discover the remote building is full of priceless antiquities, from first edition books to European treasures thought to have disappeared during WWII. Readers keen for another glimpse into the life of Three Pines will be well rewarded. Joseph Beth bookstores , Cincinnati, Ohio, Micheal Fraser I was prepared to be vastly entertained by a witty, sometimes funny and intricately plotted mystery whose solution always lies in the hearts of men and the ability of Gamache to suss out what lies within.
I was not prepared for this compelling and unflinching look into the heart of darkness that resides within us all. It is a universal truth that we can never fully know another human being and many times, not even ourselves. In a brutal telling itself, Penny connects us with our own humanity as well as others. She shows us the fragility of our existence and that even living within the pale doesn't exempt us and we can have everything taken away in a very short time.
Plus an astonishing ending! Who could ask for anything more? With almost every word, she gives you something to hope for I'm shouting about it all over the place, and I'm already quite sure it will be in my Top Five Favorite Books of Add this to your "Gotta Read" list. Wealthy, cultured and respectable, the Finney family is the epitome of gentility. When Irene Finney and her four grown-up children arrive at the Manoir Bellechasse in the heat of summer, the hotel's staff spring into action.
For the children have come to this idyllic lakeside retreat for a special occasion - a memorial has been organised to pay tribute to their late father. But as the heat wave gathers strength, it is not just the statue of an old man that is unveiled. Old secrets and bitter rivalries begin to surface, and the morning after the ceremony, a body is found. The family has another member to mourn. A guest at the hotel, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache suddenly finds himself in the middle of a murder enquiry. The hotel is full of possible suspects - even the Manoir's staff have something to hide, and it's clear that the victim had many enemies.
With its remote location, the lodge is a place where visitors come to escape their pasts. Until the past catches up with them Not only does the auberge offer grand views and the order and calm of old-world service, but it also observes a no-kill policy, with the proprietors feeding wild animals in winter and forbidding guests to hunt or fish. Someone obviously failed to explain that rule to the cultured but quarrelsome family holding a reunion to unveil a statue of their late patriarch, who makes his feelings felt by toppling down on one of his own.
As Gamache observes, things were not as they seemed, not even in a paradise like Bellechasse. And never in a Louise Penny mystery. Blackstone, unabridged, nine CDs, 11 hrs. Celebrated British narrator and actor Ralph Cosham brings this wonderful murder mystery to life and draws in listeners with his charisma. Penny's taut, darkly comedic tale features the Finney family, which has gathered for the installation of a statue of their long-dead patriarch. When the statue falls and kills one of his daughters, Insp.
Armand Gamache Cosham at his very best must unravel the plot before it's too late. Cosham's characters are refreshingly original and never overplayed, and the Old World quality of his voice invokes radio murder mysteries from decades past, creating an endlessly entertaining listening experience. Australian Women's Weekly Beautiful imagery, deft characterisation and deliciously dense plots Weekend Australian Louise Penny's village whodunits make perfect beach reading for this summer.
Notebook Magazine To say this book has an old-fashioned feel is not to denigrate it. There is nothing hard-boiled about Armand: he's a man who loves his family, is loyal and decent Richmond Times-Dispatch Once again, Penny concocts an intricate and intriguing plot and peoples it with credible characters and the continually fascinating Gamache No murder would be complete, of course, without death. Denver Post An ingenious, impossible crime puzzle for the reader. An IndieNext pick formerly BookSense for February 09 Mystery Reader five out of five stars Louise Penny has created in her Inspector Gamache series a clever combination of a police procedural and cozy mystery novel.
The setting itself is reminiscent of the golden age of mysteries. Indeed this novel is a classic locked room mystery. Penny has a superb command of the English language. As a mystery author, Ms. Penny plays fair with her readers. The Charlotte Observer 4 out of 4 stars At least two people are waiting very impatiently for this review to be done so I can pass the new Louise Penny along to them. With just her fourth book, she already has that kind of well-deserved following Starred Library Journal Canadian author Penny has garnered numerous awards for her elegant literary mysteries featuring the urbane Armand Gamache, chief police inspector from Quebec.
Gamache is intelligent, observant, and implacable, indispensible attributes for the sophisticated detection that characterizes this series Her psychological acumen, excellent prose, and ingenious plotting make this essential reading for mystery lovers and admirers of superb literary fiction. Fans of Dorothy L. Sayers, P. James, and Elizabeth George will also be delighted. One of the best traditional mystery series currently being published. Publishers Weekly Murder interrupts Chief Insp. It's a serious novel that bridges the gap between the mystery genre and mainstream fiction Louise Penny's fourth novel is an enduring mystery that begins and ends with the qualities that make great fiction writing -- compelling storytelling, evocative descriptions that are the heart of the story -- and characters the novel's soul who are rich in qualities and foibles that make them unforgettable -- and capable of murder.
Time Out London. Montreal Review of Books The plotting is flawless and when the murderer is finally revealed in a thrilling climactic scene Penny has found her perfect formula with the carefully constructed puzzle plot in the perfect village with the classic cast of characters. The fact that it's modern Quebec is the icing on the petit four Once the puzzle is set up, it's impossible to put this book down until it's solved.
Devotees of Christie will be delighted by Penny's clever plots and deft characters. The Irish News In a traditional who-dunnit crime thriller that rivals Agatha Christie's Poirot, Gamache is a refreshing alternative to the hard-nosed stereotypical detective. Penny builds the lives and imperfections of the characters effectively, exposing the complexity of human nature, challenging the reader's opinion and creating a constant sense of suspicion. This is a classic tale that proves that revenge is a dish best served ice cold. You have to read it The temptation is to scarf Penny's books like potato chips but it's ever wise to savor each bite and let the flavors fill your tongue.
Easter in Three Pines is a time of church services, egg hunts and seances to raise the dead. A group of friends trudges up to the Old Hadley House, the horror on the hill, to finally rid it of the evil spirits that have so obviously plagued it, and the village, for decades. One of their numbers dies of fright. As they peel back the layers of flilth and artiface that have covered the haunted old home, they discover the evil isn't confined there. Some evil is guiding the actions of one of the seemingly kindly villagers.
A very personal demon is about to strike. A time of rebirth, when nature comes alive. And it become clear - for there to be a rebirth, there first must be a death. The mouthwatering food, the beautiful gardens, the quirky and literate villagers -- Three Pines is a charming oasis for the spirit Move over, Mitford. The Scotsman There's real pleasure here.
Kirkus Review Perhaps the deftest talent to arrive since Minette Walters, Penny produces what many have tried but few have mastered: a psychologically acute cozy. If you don't give your heart to Gamache, you may have no heart to give. Publishers Weekly Chief Insp. Highly recommended. As Penny demonstrates with laser-like precision, the book's title is a metaphor not only for the month of April but also for Gamache's personal and professional challenges - making this the series standout so far.
And this place, this wonderous, fantastical place. The thing about the Gamache novels is that while the crimes are intriguing, the people are downright fascinating not just Gamache himself, who manages to be completely original despite his similarities to Columbo and Poirot, but also the entire cast of supporting characters, who are so strongly written that every single one of them could probably carry an entire novel all by themselves.
The writing is sensual, full of sights and smells and tastes that will resonate with her readers. And although Penny paints an almost Grandma Moses idealized view of village life, it is a view tinged with ominous foreboding, reminiscent of the brooding images of Breughel and Bosch It's a gem.
Penny's writing is rich in imagery and atmosphere and characterised by a very quick and highly verbal intelligence. Winter in Three Pines and the sleepy village is carpeted in snow. It's a time of peace and goodwill - until a scream pierces the biting air. There's been a murder. Local police are baffled. A spectator at the annual Boxing Day curling match has been fatally electrocuted. Despite the large crowd, there are no witnesses and - apparently - no clues. Called in to head 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. Frozen out of decision-making at the highest level of the Surete du Quebec, Gamache finds there are few he can trust. As a bitter wind blows into Three Pines, something even more chilling is sneaking up behind him Gamache is a prodigiously complicated and engaging hero, destined to become one of the classic detectives.
Library Journal A highly intelliegent mystery. Penny's new title is sure to creat great reader demand for more stories featuring civilized and articulate Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. Booklist Gamache, a smart and likable investigator - think Columbo with an accent, or perhaps a modern-day Poirot This is a fine mystery in the classic Agatha Christie style and it is sure to leave mainstream fans wanting more. Koch For all the perplexing mechanics of the murder, and the snowed-in village setting, this is not the usual "cosy" or even a traditional puzzle mystery.
It's a finely written, intelligent and observant book. Imbued with a constant awareness of the astonishing cold, this perfect blend of police procedural and closed-room mystery finds its solution, as in the best of those traditions, in the slow unlayering of a sorrowful past. Her characters leap from the page, her plotting is sublime, the atmosphere she builds in a bitter Quebec winter in Dead Cold, completely chilling. The writing is superb.
A magnificent read. And like Gamache, you too will be drawn to Three Pines and to this work of magical realism masquerading as a cosy English mystery. We're back in the charming Quebec village of Three Pines The setting is wonderfully done, as are the characters. The solution is perfectly in tune with their psychology and there's plenty of evidence that Gamache will make a third appearance. Sooner or later the whole world will discover Penny. With a unique sense of timing, patience and subtle wit, Penny is able to create a whodunit that recalls those of Agatha Christie Magically bringing the postcard village of Three Pines to life, she gives it innocence, allows a touch of evil to intrude and then brings in the outsider, the intriguing Gamache, to solve the crime.
The result is an engrossing read that will only add to the ranks of her readers. Shotsmag, UK This is a wonderful novel, full of mystery. It is as deeply layered as snow drifting down upon snow. The cold will seep into your bones so wrap up warm and have a good hot drink at your elbow. As the early morning mist clears on Thanksgiving Sunday, the homes of Three Pines come to life - all except one.
To locals, the village is a safe haven. So they are bewildered when a well-loved member of the community is found lying dead in the maple woods. Surely it was an accident - a hunter's arrow gone astray. Who could want Jane Neal dead? Gamache knows something dark is lurking behind the white picket fences, and if he watches closely enough, Three Pines will begin to give up its secrets.
Kirkus Review Cerebral, wise and compassionate, Gamache is destined for stardom. Don't miss this stellar debut. Publishers Weekly Like a virtuoso, Penny plays a complex variation on the theme of the clue hidden in plain sight. Filled with unexpected insights, this winning traditional mystery sets a solid foundation for future entries in the series. Booklist , Emily Melton This is a real gem of a book that slowly draws the reader into a beautifully told, lyrically written story of love, life, friendship and tragedy.
Miss Jane Neal kept a well-read book on her nightstand, C. Lewis' Surprised by Joy. That title is a fitting phrase for Still Life. Three Pines delivers. Toronto Star, Jack Batten A delightful and clever collection of false leads, red herrings, meditations on human nature, strange behavior and other diverting stuff. The Calgary Herald , Joanne Sasvari, This is a much darker, cleverer, funnier and, finally, more hopeful novel than even the great Dame Agatha could have penned.
It's light, witty and poignant, a thrilling debut from a new Canadian crime writer. As the last note of the chant escaped the Blessed Chapel a great silence fell, and with it came an even greater disquiet. The silence stretched on. And on. These were men used to silence, but this seemed extreme, even to them.
And still they stood in their long black robes and white tops, motionless. These were men also used to waiting. But this too seemed extreme. The less disciplined among them stole glances at the tall, slim, elderly man who had been the last to file in and would be the first to leave.
Dom Philippe kept his eyes closed. Where once this was a moment of profound peace, a private moment with his private God, when Vigils had ended and before he signaled for the Angelus, now it was simply escape. Besides, he knew what was there. What was always there. What had been there for hundreds of years before he arrived and would, God willing, be there for centuries after he was buried in the cemetery. Two rows of men across from him, in black robes with white hoods, a simple rope tied at their waists.
And beside him to his right, two more rows of men. They were facing each other across the stone floor of the chapel, like ancient battle lines. No, he told his weary mind. Just opposing points of view. Expressed in a healthy community. Then why was he so reluctant to open his eyes?
To get the day going? To signal the great bells that would ring the Angelus to the forests and birds and lakes and fish. And the monks. To the angels and all the saints. And God. In the great silence it sounded like a bomb. With an effort he continued to keep his eyes closed. He remained still, and quiet. But there was no peace anymore. Now there was only turmoil, inside and out. He could feel it, vibrating from and between the two rows of waiting men.
He could feel it vibrating within him. Dom Philippe counted to one hundred. Then opening his blue eyes, he stared directly across the chapel, to the short, round man who stood with his eyes open, his hands folded on his stomach, a small smile on his endlessly patient face. And the bells began. The perfect, round, rich toll left the bell tower and took off into the early morning darkness. It skimmed over the clear lake, the forests, the rolling hills. To be heard by all sorts of creatures. A clarion call. Their day had begun. That would be ridiculous. In the background an old Beau Dommage album was playing.
Beauvoir hummed quietly to the familiar tune. Beauvoir laughed. Poor Mom. Felt she had to marry him. After all, who else would have him? Beauvoir laughed again. I could hardly give you a worse gift. He reached down beside the table in the sunny kitchen. A platter of bacon and scrambled eggs with melted Brie sat on the small pine table. The cat leapt to the ground and found a spot on the floor where the sun hit. Beauvoir lifted it into plain sight.
Happy anniversary. And I got you nothing. Annie took the plunger. You are full of it, after all. She thrust the plunger forward, gently prodding him with the red rubber suction cup as though it was a rapier and she the swordsman. So like Annie. Where other women might have pretended the ridiculous plunger was a wand, she pretended it was a sword. Of course, Jean-Guy realized, he would never have given a toilet plunger to any other woman. Only Annie. As he spoke he looked at Annie.
The Snow Queen, by Hans Christian Andersen
Her eyes never left him, barely blinked. She took in every word, every gesture, every inflection. Enid, his ex-wife, had also listened. But there was always an edge of desperation about it, a demand. As though he owed her. As though she was dying and he was the medicine. Enid left him drained, and yet still feeling inadequate. But Annie was gentler. More generous. Like her father, she listened carefully and quietly. With Enid he never talked about his work, and she never asked.
With Annie he told her everything. He told her what they found, how they felt, and who they arrested. Beauvoir nodded and chewed and saw the Chief Inspector in the dim cabin. Whispering the story. So as the two homicide investigators deftly searched, Chief Inspector Gamache had told Beauvoir about the bathmat.
And somehow deciding a bathmat was the perfect hostess gift. Her mother never tired of asking either. Her father, on the other hand, decided I was an imbecile and never mentioned it again. That was worse. When they died we found the bathmat in their linen closet, still in its plastic wrapping, with the card attached.
Beauvoir stopped talking and looked across at Annie. She smelled fresh and clean. Like a citron grove in the warm sunshine. No makeup. She wore warm slippers and loose, comfortable clothing. Annie was aware of fashion, and happy to be fashionable. But happier to be comfortable. She was not slim. She was not a stunning beauty. But Annie knew something most people never learn. She knew how great it was to be alive. It had taken him almost forty years, but Jean-Guy Beauvoir finally understood it too. And knew now there was no greater beauty. Annie was approaching thirty now.
Had made him part of the team, and eventually, over the years, part of the family. Though even the Chief Inspector had no idea how much a part of the family Beauvoir had become. She held up the plunger, with its cheery red bow. Would die together. In a home that smelled of fresh citron and coffee.
And had a cat curled around the sunshine. But hearing it now, it just seemed natural. As though this was always the plan. To have children. To grow old together.
Beauvoir did the math. He was ten years older than her, and would almost certainly die first. He was relieved. But there was something troubling him. Annie grew quiet, and picked at her croissant. Just us. You know? He could never stop them, but it would be a disaster.
The Chief and Madame Gamache will be happy. Very happy. But he wanted to be sure. To know. It was in his nature. He collected facts for a living, and this uncertainty was taking its toll. It was the only shadow in a life suddenly, unexpectedly luminous. But in his heart it felt like a betrayal. She leaned toward him, her elbows and forearms resting on the croissant flakes on the pine table, and took his hand. She held it warm in hers. My father would be so happy. Seeing the look on his face she laughed and squeezed his hand. She adores you. Always has. They think of you as family, you know.
As another son.