Where has Louise Penny been all my life? I was completely not swept up, but vacuumed into A Great Reckoning and have since been binge reading the Chief Inspector Gamache novels–but I have to say, so far the other books in the series (slightly–very vaguely–just a little bit, really) pale in comparison with Reckoning. I don’t think it’s wrong to read this latest novel before the others–it made me appreciate the others more.
The characters (the cast is large and deftly managed) are whole and funny and remarkably sincere and persistently philosophizing and analyzing their perceptions on human behavior, their own behavior, the nature of humanity, art, religion and murder, they are avid foodies and woods-walkers and everyone is prone to spouting lines of poetry at any moment, even the bad guys. AND there are dogs and ducks and eccentrics and cozy homes surrounding a village green centered by three soaring, significant pines. Make sure you’ve eaten a satisfying meal before reading as the author clearly appreciates good food and drink and with a wicked pen describes mouth-watering dishes. And probably you’ll want to visit Montreal, Quebec City and environs. I’ve googled Canada many times since reading the novels–side-effect from a superbly crafted world. Thank you, Louise Penny. Your novels are treasures.