I didn’t love this 5th installment in the Three Pines/ Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny. It’s a story about a murder where the suspect is one of the village residents and he or she remains so. There is a bit of an open ending (appealing a conviction or sentence), but that’s not a real surprise to me.
This book felt longer than the other installments. Certain things started annoying me. 1. Penny uses a lot of sentence fragments. A lot; 2. The artists that populate the slightly mythical village of Three Pines and its environs are almost all genius level artists. And Gamache is a genius level detective, which would be okay if the narrator or various characters didn’t continually remind us of the fact. It’s okay to make Three Pines a less-than-realistic place (it has an awfully high body count, for one thing) populated with regular folks or regular artists; 3. The puzzle element of the mystery felt off to me. I’m not usually into puzzles: it’s just not something I’ve ever read a lot of. Was it an homage to some other book or to some other device that I just missed?
Ultimately what it came down to is that this book wasn’t as pacy or twisty as I tend to like the most, and the fact that I’m well into the series made it feel a little stale to me. That’s not to say I totally didn’t enjoy it, but I felt myself prickling about certain things that I usually don’t mind.
Source: I bought my copy of the book.