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Saturday, July 13, 2019

Tenth Installment in Beloved Mystery Series Not My Favorite, But Still Satisfies

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

(Note:  While this review will not contain spoilers for The Long Way Home, it may inadvertently reveal plot surprises from previous Armand Gamache mysteries.  As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.)

After a long, distinguished career as the chief inspector of the Sûreté du Québec, Armand Gamache has happily retired to the quaint town of Three Pines.  Although he's used to a life full of danger and risk, he's found peaceful contentment in walking his dog, reading on his favorite park bench, spending time with his family, and enjoying the company of his many friends in Three Pines.  Police work is far from his mind.  Until he's approached by Clara Morrow, who's anxious over her husband's failure to return home.  After a trial separation of one year, the couple agreed to reconnect at their home.  Peter is overdue.  Clara has not heard a word from him in the last twelve months, but the man she knows would not fail to show for such an important appointment.  Considering her husband's mental state when he left, Clara can't help but worry.

Nothing if not loyal, Armand agrees to take the "case."  With the help of Jean-Guy Beauvoir—Armand's former partner and new son-in-law—and their friend Myna, a Three Pines bookshop owner, they set off to find Peter.  The further the trio travels into the depths of Québec, the more concerned they all become.  What has happened to Peter?  Has his tortured soul soured completely?  Is he even still alive?  The closer the three come to the truth, the more anxious they grow.  What has happened to the complicated, but good man they all once knew and loved? 

Frequent readers of this blog know I'm a huge fan of the Armand Gamache series by Louise Penny.  I love me a meaty mystery, but I especially adore one that features interesting characters, a vivid setting, and skilled prose.  This series hits every one of those spots every time.  Some of the installments are better than others, of course, and I have to admit that The Long Way Home—the 10th book in the series—is not my favorite.  That being said, it's still an enjoyable read featuring a lovable cast of characters, a twisty plot, and the incomparable Armand Gamache, who continues to be one of my favorite literary characters of all time.  Since there are currently fourteen books in this series, with the fifteenth coming out in August, it's obvious that Armand will not truly be retiring from sleuthing anytime soon.  I can't wait to see what he does next.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of other books in the Armand Gamache series, including Still Life; A Fatal Grace; The Cruelest Month; A Rule Against Murder; The Brutal Telling; Bury Your Dead; The Hangman [novella]; A Trick of the Light; The Beautiful Mystery; How the Light Gets In; The Nature of the Beast; A Great Reckoning; Glass Houses; Kingdom of the Blind; and A Better Man.

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for strong language, violence, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  I bought a copy of The Long Way Home from Changing Hands Bookstore, my local indie.
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Reading

<i>Reading</i>
Kill Her Twice by Stacey Lee

Listening

<i>Listening</i>
My Lady Jane by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, and Jodi Meadows



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