Nature Beast
Readers of this blog know that Auntie M is a huge fan of Louise Penny’s series. She thinks if he were real she could marry Inspector Gamache, even in his retirement!

But is retirement really for Gamache or his wife, Reine-Marie? That’s the question the two are asking themselves as they enjoy their home in Three Pines. They spend their days involved in the rhythm of the village, enjoying Myrna’s bookstore, helping Clara with her grief, eating at the Bistro. There is a play being cast amongst the villagers, and the stories that 9 yr-old Laurent Lepage tells whomever who will listen, big whoppers of walking trees and alien invasions.

So it’s not a huge surprise that when the small boy with the big imagination he runs into the bistro with his story of a giant monster and an even bigger weapon hidden in the woods, that his story is passed off as one more day of the antics of the boy who cried wolf. Until Laurent disappears…

His body is found in the woods, a victim of an apparent biking accident. But something about the death appears off, and Inspt. Gamache finds himself asked to consult on the case after he insists the boy was murdered.

With his son-in-law Jean Guy Beauvoir on the case and a surprising new head of the Surete’, Gamache will assist them as they stumble deeply into the woods on the hunt of a murderer–and come upon a secret so surprising that it will turn the village on its head.

This secret will draw outsiders to the village as an old crime becomes the reason for the new one–and then there is a second murder, and Inspt. Gamache knows that the secrets of the past have come back to haunt those still living in Three Pines.

Penny consistently writes an absorbing book, and this entry is no exception. Her characters are always many-layered, complex individuals, and her writing style allows readers to see the story from many points of view.

Tackling an unusual subject, readers will be transported back to the village and its inhabitants as they do battle with secrets held and kept for far too many years. Highly recommended.