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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 30 May 2008
I loved the first two Inspector Gamache books, particularly the setting in french-speaking Canada and the local features that brings out (weather, accessability, french v english speaking cultures, small community life). This third book brings all that again but also solves the crime that is the focus of the book while also answering the conundrums that have been doing the rounds in the previousl two volumes. To say more would be to spoil the plot.
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on 19 June 2008
they call this Cosy Crime which makes me laugh !! This is an excellent book it keeps you going all through the book, nicely building on the previous 2 books and getting to the bottom of the situation "back at base" I Won;t say more about that in fear of spoiling what is the darkest part of the book.

French Canada really comes to life in this series - if you like Agatha Christie and like something a bit different this is the series for you.
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on 21 May 2014
This is the third book in a series starring Inspector Armand Gamache from the Sûreté du Quebec and again is set around a death in the fictional village of Three Pines.

‘Once found Three Pines was never forgotten but it was only ever found by people lost.’

Although you can read all of Louise Penny’s books as stand-alone, it is probably better to start with the first one as many of the characters develop as the series continues and to date there are ten books in the series.

It is a nice meaty book to get in to with flashbacks to a previous controversy concerning the Inspector which is explained, to an extent, as the book progresses. Louise deals with the insecurities of people’s characters, intertwining their strengths as well. The intricacies of living in a small village that boasts a set of shops, and a bistro where people gather and are looked after well by the extrovert couple of Olivier and Gabri who also run the local B & B.

It is early April, Easter weekend and eggs are being hidden to be found by the children and a séance is held by a visiting medium/psychic. A haunted house and a death follow, fear and terror and horror invade all those attending. The Sûreté du Quebec become involved as it is realised the victim didn't suffer a natural death.

Louise Penny is able to describe the village, its inhabitants, the after effects and consequences of a sudden death drawing you intimately into the village and the people who live there and we also find out more about the characters of the Sûreté du Quebec involved in the investigation.

A good book is one where the characters stay with you long after you have put the book down and this is one such book.
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VINE VOICEon 1 August 2012
The third on the Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny is the best so far. An intriguing and enjoyable murder, coupled with plotting within the police force itself, combine to make it a great read from the outset, with a clever Agatha Christie style ending where Gamache brings all the suspects together to reveal the murderer.

I do have two slight concerns about this series - firstly you probably need to read them in order to fully understand the characters; and secondly, always having the murders take place in the tiny village of Three Pines is stretching credibility more than a little, and always nags at the back of my mind - how many murderers can one village house?!

It is a gentle kind of story, without a hard-bitten detective in sight, but exceptionally good writing lift this above many in the genre.
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on 23 April 2014
Wow, fandabidosi as they say here in Scotland! This is book three in the series and just as fabulous as the first two. Three Pines is the setting and on Good Friday the residents decided to spice up their lives with a seance. When nothing much happens they go a little further and rather than hold it at the Bistro, opt for the derelict haunted house up on the hill. Not everyone is happy about this and when one of their own drops dead from sheer fright, it takes the sense and sensibility of dear Gamashe and his team to sort it and them all out. Oh I loved this one! Gamashe is still burdened with his ongoing "situation" back at the Suretee offices where things are starting to turn sinisterly disaterous for him and his team but, professional as ever, he focuses on what he is there catch a murderer. It's all in here; witchcraft, murder, myths and legends, folklore, herbalisim, Pagans and Christian battling their demons! This author must get so much pleasure from writing this series of novels and you can't help but become entwined in the lives of all the characters she has imagined (and maybe fall, just a little, for the enchanting Armand Gamashe!) I have The Murder Stone to read next so will be looking forward to that. Fantastic, would give this series so many more than 5 stars if I could, highly recommended.
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on 30 January 2009
After a clunky start the novel gathers pace to deliver a stylish and tension-filled story, the twin plot lines eventually merging to open a window into the souls of men and ask questions about the nature of relationships.

Well written, with engrossing characters and a great sense of setting, it delivers enough twists to satisfy without trying to be too clever.

Unlike one or two better known, and more heavily hyped, writers Penny delivers with a sense of freshness and avoids both unpleasantness and cliché.
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on 15 November 2010
My first Louise Penny book, selected by chance, proved a severe pleasure. I was absolutely bowled over by the intelligence and wit of the writing and charaterisation and simply terrified by the storytelling! One of the most absorbing, frightening, wonderfully enjoyable crime novels I have ever read. I found myself shaking with terror as I read. I cannot recommend it too highly. Like others, I have been seduced by the French Canadian setting and the town of Three Pines and its occupants just as much as I have been charmed by Inspector Gamache's quiet integrity. A must for anyone who wants to read a book that is three-dimensional,astute yet immensley satisfying to the lover of crime novels. A triumph ...and it made me hungry for more!
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on 12 June 2015
Three Pines must be one of the most dangerous villages in Canada. Penny's character, Chief Inspector Gamache, is the scholarly, philosophical, intuitive detective whose patience invariably solves the case and reveals the killer. In this book he uncovers how and why a popular villager was "scared to death". He is also having to deal with attacks on his personal integrity, continuing a plot line from earlier books in the series.
Penny's mystery stories are entertaining reads, featuring familiar comforting characters. She succeeds in carrying away the reader to a charming village in rural Quebec with more than its share of murders. This is a pleasurable series of novels for readers who like softer-edged crime stories.
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on 4 January 2015
This is the second time I have read this book, the first being about 3 years ago. I have decided to slowly reread the whole series, hopefully ready to read the next book when it is published. As with the other Gamache books by Louise Penny, I have thoroughly enjoyed this one & found it even better the second time round. Would have given it 5 stars first time, shame can't give more now. I know it seems strange that a small village should get so many murders but this is fiction & I like the fact that most of the characters are so familiar; it is really nice to get to know them better with each book. Though it is possible to read each book as a stand alone it is better to read them in sequence as there is also a back story that is ongoing from book to book. I found this series by buying a book from the middle of the series, enjoyed it, found there was a series but couldn't at that time find any more in bookshops, however found the rest on Kindle. I have no hesitation in recommending this book or the whole series.
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on 8 June 2015
Having read No 8 in the series about Chief Inspector Gamache I decided to go back and find some of the earlier stories in the series. This second hand copy was in very good condition and tho' it took me a couple of chapters to get into this particular story it filled me in on Inspector Gamache's previous history and I ended up enjoying it.
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