A Great Reckoning
By Louise Penny
Review by Kathy Caputo (our Book Your Summer grand prize winner!)
This book is the twelfth in a series of mystery novels by a Canadian author in which the protagonist is the wise and gentle Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of a Canadian Police Agency. He is known for his intelligence, his kindness and for his ability to see the goodness in flawed characters, often having his associates question his judgment.
The main setting is a tiny idyllic fictional village near Montreal in which several of the local residents are regular characters in the series. Characters include a gifted artist, a retired psychologist turned book store proprietor, an eccentric aging poet and a gay couple who operate a bed and breakfast inn and a cozy bistro that functions like a community center. Descriptions of rich French food served in the bistro add to the warm and inviting atmosphere of the community, especially when there is snow pelting the windows. Part of the story takes place at the police academy and elsewhere.
Several layers of plot develop simultaneously. There is the mystery of an old map found in the wall of the inn during renovation; there is the evolving situation at the police academy where Gamache has been brought in to address issues of corruption and brutality; and lastly there is the mysterious past relationship between Gamache and an applicant to the academy.
The inspector’s wife, son, daughter and deputy are continuing and significant characters in the series. There is enough detail of the backstory provided to let this novel stand on its own but if you like a good series, you could always start with the first novel, Still Life.
Louise Penny’s books have appeared on the NYT best seller list repeatedly.
Thank you to the Friends of Tredyffrin Public Library for sponsoring the prizes for Book Your Summer!
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About the reviewer: Kathy is a winner! She won the grand prize in our Book Your Summer reading program, just be reading & writing this 250+ word review!
This review is part of Book Your Summer, our 2017 Adult Summer Reading program.