Right now, Canadian author Louise Penny’s murder mysteries are very popular. She writes about a small village in Quebec Province called Three Pines, where people find dead bodies in their flowerbeds. However, some of her books are set elsewhere. Let’s look at “elsewhere.” Start with All the Devils Are Here.
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surete du Quebec is on vacation with his family in Paris. His son and his daughter, and their spouses have found jobs there—and Armand and his wife Reine-Marie are waiting for the birth of their next grandchild. Then one of their oldest friends is knocked down by a speeding van. He goes into the hospital, and they start to look at what the old man has been involved in, lately, and it’s appalling. Suddenly there are troubles and questions where people work, and a different old man is found dead, in the first one’s apartment. All the Devils are Here is named for a line in Shakespeare’s play, The Tempest. “Hell is empty, and all the devils are here.” It sure seems that way.
Pg.189 sums up what I feel. “What happened, Armand? First he’s hit by a car, and now a man’s killed in his apartment. We don’t understand.” Neither do I.
To be even more confused, I read an earlier book, Bury Your Dead. Chief Inspector Gamache is in Quebec City, trying to recover from an ambush which left many police officers dead, and which barely spared him. If you want to develop chilblains while you are indoors, this is the book for you. It is set in deep winter and you can feel the cold coming off the pages. It isn’t made warmer by someone finding a dead body in the deepest basement of the largest library in the area. Meanwhile, in that same basement, people are desperately searching for the bones of the man who founded Quebec in 1608, Samuel Champlain.
Put on your warmest jacket, and unearth these books from the Pine Bush Area Public Library.