Glass Houses by Louise Penny

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Glass Houses by Louise Penny Glass Houses by Louise Penny
Narrator: Robert Bathurst
Series: Inspector Gamache #13
Published by Macmillan Audio on August 29, 2017
Source: Purchased
Genres: Mystery
Length: 13 hrs 23 mins
Format: Audiobook
Buy on Amazon or Audible
Add on Goodreads

When a mysterious figure appears on the village green on a cold November day in Three Pines, Armand Gamache, now Chief Superintendent of the Sûreté du Québec, knows something is seriously wrong. Yet he does nothing. Legally, what can he do? Only watch and wait. And hope his mounting fears are not realized.

From the moment its shadow falls over Three Pines, Gamache suspects the creature has deep roots and a dark purpose. When it suddenly vanishes and a body is discovered, it falls to Gamache to discover if a debt has been paid or levied.

In the early days of the investigation into the murder, and months later, as the trial for the accused begins in a Montreal courtroom on a steamy day in July, the Chief Superintendent continues to struggle with actions he’s set in motion, from which there is no going back. “This case began in a higher court,” he tells the judge, “and it’s going to end there.”

And regardless of the trial’s outcome, he must face his own conscience.

I love Louise Penny’s Armand Gamache series. If you haven’t read it, you should. Do start at #1 though, you’ll appreciate them most that way.

That being said, this was not my favorite of the series. I liked the whole concept the book is built around, the ideas of Conscience and guilt and judgement. As always, the characters are well-done and I am happiest when a large part of the book revolves around the familiar village of Three Pines, as it does here. There are some new folks in town, most of whom have secrets, but finding out who they are and what they know/have done was interesting. Our old friends are all pretty much the same as always, which is good.

Things that didn’t work for me:

1. The construction of the story. This story jumps back and forth in time too much and too abruptly. We are at a courtroom trial in the present, but for half of the book we don’t know who’s on trial or who they killed. We jump back to the time when the figure appeared on the square and the crime that soon follows. I didn’t like the set-up and it’s not what I expect from Penny. Yes, I know authors can broaden their styles, try new things, but bah. I did listen to it on audio, maybe the transitions worked better in print. I didn’t really notice if they happened around chapter breaks or not.

2. It’s a bigger story than I like. It deals with the opioid epidemic and drug cartels. Yes, there was the murder and a small list of suspects, but I prefer a book to stay there. I don’t need the larger story, in this case it was the “war on drugs” but it could be any government/society altering scenario. They’re just not my cup of tea (or cafe au lait, since we are in Three Pines).

3. Gamache seemed a little off here. He’s always serious and caring, but I think the serious and, I don’t want to say guiltiness, but maybe the pressure of what he’s doing is weighing a bit too heavy, and repeated a bit too much.

And then there were the last two chapters, which were just excellent and almost redeemed the entire book for me.

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:

#FrightFall Readathon

The FrightFall Readathon begins October 1 and lasts for a month this time around. I always love Michelle’s Readathons, so of course I’m participating, even if most of my reads will not be necessarily as frightening as other folks’.

From Seasons of Reading:

Just remember…the one main “rule” of FrightFall is that you must read at least ONE scary book (which can be a thriller, mystery, Gothic novel, or similar for those who are faint of heart). Since we are doing a month long, I hope you will indulge the scary a bit more, but that is entirely up to you. It is all about the reading after all.

Our social media hashtag is #FrightFall and we have our outstanding Facebook group which has become quite the reading community.

I am definitely one of the faint of heart. My “scary read” this time around will probably be Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero.

Other possible reads:

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
Slade House by David Mitchel
The Shimmering Road by Hester Young

My Favorite . . Restaurant

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My Favorite.. is a weekly meme hosted by Maureen’s Books. In this meme we share every week something we love with each other. Because let’s face it.. The world can be a dark place and it’s time to share something positive. For more info: My Favorite Meme.

I love restaurants – I admit it. It’s so hard to pick a favorite though. There’s Lidia’s, which I’ve only been to once but was delicious. There’s my favorite take-out Chinese place – Hong Kong Chinese. There’s my favorite pizza place – DiCarlo’s – but that probably doesn’t count, since you can’t actually eat there. There’s my favorite quick, close American food – Murray’s. My favorite Greek place – Theo Yianni’s, even though I haven’t been to their new building yet. And so many Italian places I love – Olive Garden, Naples, Mario’s.

I think my favorite though might be La Cucina. It’s close enough that we can eat there whenever we want. It has delicious pasta and desserts. I’m told the pizza and calzones are good too. It’s also the only place I’ve ever had Eggplant Timbali, which might be my favorite dish of all time. Below is their Italian trio. Yum!

This photo of La Cucina Restaurant is courtesy of TripAdvisor

What’s your favorite restaurant? Join in at Maureen’s Books.

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