It's the height of summer, and the wealthy Finney family have gathered at the Manoir Bellechasse to pay tribute to their late father. But as the temperature rises, old secrets and bitter rivalries begin to surface. When the heat wave boils over into a mighty storm, a dead body is left in its wake.
Chief Inspector Gamache, a guest at the Bellechasse, finds himself with a building full of suspects. With the hotel locked down, the murderer is trapped. But a cornered predator is always the most dangerous of all…
From Publishers WeeklyMurder interrupts Chief Insp. Armand Gamache and his wife's annual summer holiday at Quebec's isolated, lake-front Manoir Bellechasse in Agatha-winner Penny's intriguing, well-crafted fourth mystery (after 2008's The Cruelest Month). Irene Finney, the matriarch of a large eccentric family having a reunion at the Manoir, marks the event by having installed in the lodge's garden a statue of the long-dead father of her middle-aged children. When the massive statue falls and crushes one of the daughters, Gamache investigates and discovers no love lost among the surviving offspring. Also in the suspect pool are Bellechasse's owner, chef and maître d'. Despite the scorn the snobbish Finneys heap on Gamache's sleuthing efforts as well as his own infamous family tree, the inspector treats them all respectfully as he seeks to bring a killer to justice. Seamless, often lyrical prose artfully reveals the characters' flaws, dreams and blessings. Author tour. (Jan.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From BooklistStarred Review Readers who haven’t discovered Louise Penny and her Armand Gamache series yet are in for a treat. In the latest entry, Chief Inspector Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec has traveled to the luxurious and remote Manoir Bellechasse with his wife, Reine-Marie. Each year they return to the manor to celebrate their wedding anniversary on July 1, Canada Day. This year they are fellow guests with the Finney family. Two of the members of that family are old friends Peter and Clara Morrow from the village of Three Pines on the Rivière Bella Bella, where the first three books in this series took place. Not only are we treated to Penny’s usual rich characterizations, but the atmospheric and beautiful language will make you want to take your next vacation at the manoir. Of course, a crime does occur, and Gamache ends up on a busman’s holiday. One of the eccentric Finney family members dies in a very grotesque manner, and Gamache calls in his team to help solve the mystery. First, Armand has to figure out why the victim was killed, and, in fact, it wouldn’t hurt to determine how the deed was done. Suspects abound, naturally, and Gamache sorts through them with aplomb. One of the best traditional mystery series currently being published. --Judy Coon