A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny

A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny
Narrator: Robert Bathurs
Series: Inspector Gamache #12
Published by Macmillan Audio on August 30, 2016
Genres: Mystery
Length: 13 hrs 33 mins
Format: Audiobook
Buy on Amazon or Audible
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When an intricate old map is found stuffed into the walls of the bistro in Three Pines, it at first seems no more than a curiosity. But the closer the villagers look, the stranger it becomes.

Given to Armand Gamache as a gift the first day of his new job, the map eventually leads him to shattering secrets. To an old friend and older adversary. It leads the former Chief of Homicide for the Sûreté du Québec to places even he is afraid to go. But must.

And there he finds four young cadets in the Sûreté academy, and a dead professor. And, with the body, a copy of the old, odd map.

Everywhere Gamache turns, he sees Amelia Choquet, one of the cadets. Tattooed and pierced. Guarded and angry. Amelia is more likely to be found on the other side of a police line-up. And yet she is in the academy. A protégée of the murdered professor.

The focus of the investigation soon turns to Gamache himself and his mysterious relationship with Amelia, and his possible involvement in the crime. The frantic search for answers takes the investigators back to Three Pines and a stained glass window with its own horrific secrets.

For both Amelia Choquet and Armand Gamache, the time has come for a great reckoning.

I love Penny’s Gamache series and this one was even better than the last couple. Gamache has taken the position of Commander of the Sûreté academy, the last bastion of the corruption that has plagues the Sûreté and a place to stop the corruption in its earliest stages, with the training of the cadets.

And of course, there’s a murder. One of the professors is killed, and no one at the academy is above suspicion, including Gamache  and the cadets. It’s a very personal mystery for Gamache and a complicated situation. Is murder sometimes justifiable? Is anyone beyond redemption?\

As always, it’s the characters the drive the mystery. With several trips to Three Pines and the homicide at the school, we meet most of the old familiar characters we know and love, but the new folks are well-drawn. The people here are real, even Gamache. They have strengths, but faults too, loyalties and habits.

There’s also the mystery of the old map, why it was drawn, who it belonged. It makes for an interesting diversion from the malice and tension in the present day case. I love how she can weave history and philosophy into her stories. It’s makes them fuller than a lot of the similar mysteries out there. And yes, I ended up with tears in my eyes at the end, but only a bit.

This could probably be read as a stand-alone, but the series needs read from the beginning and in order to truly appreciate it.

About Louise Penny

Louise Penny (born 1958) is a Canadian author of mystery novels set in the Canadian province of Quebec centred on the work of Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec. Penny’s first career was as a radio broadcaster for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. After she turned to writing, she won numerous awards for her work, including the Agatha Award for best mystery novel of the year five times and the Anthony Award for best novel of the year five times.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Thursday’s Tale: The Bogie and the Farmer



It’s time to get the last of the veggies out of our garden and wrap up for the year, which made me think of looking for a harvest of farming tale. This one comes from England and was told by Thomas Sternberg in The Dialect and Folk-lore of Northamptonshire (London: John Russell Smith, 1851).

One of these spirits, a Bogie, once asserted a claim to a field hitherto possessed by a farmer, and, after much disputing, they came to an arrangement by agreeing to divide its produce between them. At planting time, the farmer asks the Bogie what part of the crop he will have, “tops or bottoms.”

“Bottoms,” said the spirit. Upon hearing this, the crafty farmer sows the field with wheat, so that when harvest arrived the grain falls to his share, while the poor Bogie is obliged to content himself with the stubble.

The next year the Bogie, finding he had made such an unfortunate selection in the bottoms, chose the “tops,” whereupon the crafty farmer plants turnips — thus, again, outwitting the simple claimant.

Tired of this unprofitable farming, the Bogie agrees to hazard his claims on a mowing match, the land in question to be the stake for which they played. Before the day of meeting, the canny farmer procures a number of iron bars, which he distributes among the grass to be mowed by his opponent; and when the contest begins, the unsuspecting goblin finds his progress slowed by his scythe continually coming into contact with these obstacles.

“Mortal hard docks these!” said he. “Nation hard docks!” Docks must mean stalks, I think?

His blunted blade soon brings him to a standstill; and as, in such cases, it is not allowable for one to sharpen without the other, he turns to farmer, now far ahead, and in a tone of despair inquires, “When dye wiffle waffle (whet), mate?” Which I assume means something like when do you want to sharpen the blades.

“Waffle!” said the farmer, with a well-feigned stare of amazement, “oh, about noon, mebby.”

“Then,” said the despairing Bogie, “I’ve lost my land!”

So saying, he disappeared, and the farmer reaped the reward of his cleverness by ever afterwards continuing the undisputed possessor of the soil.

Yeah, once again the clever one wins, but I feel a little bad for the dull Bogie, even if he was just trying to steal the farmer’s land in the beginning.

Thursday’s Tales is a weekly event here at Carol’s Notebook. Fairy tales, folktales, tall tales, even re-tellings, I love them all. Feel free to join in.

Readers’ Workouts – 9/20



Here are my steps for the week. I was kinda slacking this week.



My current plan is to do cardio on Tuesday (60 mins), upper body on Wednesday, cardio on Thursday (60 mins), a total body workout on Friday, cardio on Saturday (60+ mins), and a core workout on Monday. I’m also trying to do a 10 minute-ish Pilates workout each day.

I took a bit of a break this week. I helped Amber with some school work, got caught up on laundry and dishes.

Thursday – Walk with the dog.

Saturday – Walk with the dog. Dance Class.

Sunday – Walk with the dog

Monday – Walk with the dog. 20 mins core. 6 mins Pilates booty

I usually listen to a book while I’m walking, jogging, whatever. This week I finished A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny and started Bangkok 8 by John Burdett.

2016 miles: 328.4

How was your week? Readers’ Workouts is hosted by Joy at Joy’s Book Blog .

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