A most ungraceful exit

By Ande Jacobson

A Fatal Grace is the second of Louise Penny’s Chief Inspector Gamache stories. It was first released in Canada as Dead Cold in 2006. Although it takes several chapters before the primary murder of interest occurs, Armand Gamache ends up back in Three Pines again. For a small village outside of Montreal, Three Pines might rival Cabot Cove in Maine for the most murders per capita, and this is only one of the murders being investigated by the famed Chief Inspector this time. He has two investigations going on. The primary case occurs on Boxing Day in Three Pines and involves his full team. The secondary case is one involving the murder of a homeless woman in Montreal that occurred a few days earlier though most of his team is unaware of the Montreal murder. He keeps that case close to the vest as it is a recent one that he’s investigating on the side for a friend with the Montreal Metropolitan Police. Gamache is a Chief Inspector with the state police – the Sûreté du Quebec, and he and his wife (Reine-Marie) have a Boxing Day tradition of combing through the cold cases brought by Marc Brault of the city’s force while Brault does the same with some of Gamache’s more stubborn cases. Why such a recent murder would be a cold case intrigues Gamache. As for the trade, new sets of eyes could sometimes break the logjam. Continue reading