Wednesday, March 14, 2018
A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny
Posted by JaneGS
Normally I am a stickler for reading series in order. However, much as I loved Still Life and A Fatal Grace, Louise Penny's first and second books in her Armand Gamache/Three Pines mystery series, set in rural Quebec near Montreal, I never read any of the others...until I was searching my library's audio collection for something to listen to and spotted A Great Reckoning, #12 in the series.
Throwing caution to the winds, I downloaded it and never looked back. Penny does a fabulous job of filling me in on what happened between #3 and #11, and this really is a stand-alone novel.
And, let me tell, it was absolutely fabulous. The whole time I kept on thinking of Harry Potter--not sure whether it was the setting (the Sûreté Academy, aka police academy), the supporting characters (students and professors), the mysterious map that figures prominently in the whodunit, or all of the above.
It was enormously fun to read--I adore the inhabitants of Three Pines, starting with Armand and his lovely wife Reine-Marie, but also Gabri and Olivier, Myrna, Ruth, and Clara--and the mystery was good, with sufficient red herrings, snatches of poetry (ancient and modern), philosophical and ethical quandaries and musings, and just the right amount of danger.
It wasn't an edge-of-your-seat thriller, but I quite enjoyed the forays into orienteering, map-making, and WWI from the Canadian perspective.
Now, I'm thinking rather than back-tracking and reading #3-#11, I will just plunge forward since Penny has also published #13 and #14.