A World of Curiosities by Louise Penny

Are you a Louise Penny fan? There are a lot of us, but in case you haven’t read any books by this amazing mystery writer, here is a push to get you started!  Set in Canada, her Three Pines mysteries are complex, intelligent and thoughtful with appealing characters (especially the main character Chief Inspector Gamache) and tense scenarios. You can start with any in the series, but the characters and relationships develop over the course of the novels. I would recommend starting with any in the series and then, when you realize you must read them all, start from the first one (Still Life)

The newest, A World of Curiosities is the 18th in the series and, like the previous ones, is highly recommended. From the publisher:

It’s spring and Three Pines is reemerging after the harsh winter. But not everything buried should come alive again. Not everything lying dormant should reemerge.

As the villagers prepare for a special celebration, Armand Gamache and Jean-Guy Beauvoir find themselves increasingly worried. A young man and woman have reappeared in the Sûreté du Québec investigators’ lives after many years. The two were young children when their troubled mother was murdered, leaving them damaged, shattered. Now they’ve arrived in the village of Three Pines.

Gamache and Beauvoir’s memories of that tragic case, the one that first brought them together, come rushing back. Did their mother’s murder hurt them beyond repair? Have those terrible wounds, buried for decades, festered and are now about to erupt?

As Chief Inspector Gamache works to uncover answers, his alarm grows when a letter written by a long dead stone mason is discovered. In it the man describes his terror when bricking up an attic room somewhere in the village. Every word of the 160-year-old letter is filled with dread. When the room is found, the villagers decide to open it up.

As the bricks are removed, Gamache, Beauvoir and the villagers discover a world of curiosities. But the head of homicide soon realizes there’s more in that room than meets the eye. There are puzzles within puzzles, and hidden messages warning of mayhem and revenge.

In unsealing that room, an old enemy is released into their world. Into their lives. And into the very heart of Armand Gamache’s home.

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