Happily retired in the village of Three Pines, Armand Gamache, former Chief Inspector of Homicide with the Surete du Quebec, has found a peace he'd only imagined possible. On warm summer mornings he sits on a bench holding a small book, " The Balm in Gilead, " in his large hands.Read more...
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Happily retired in the village of Three Pines, Armand Gamache, former Chief Inspector of Homicide with the Surete du Quebec, has found a peace he'd only imagined possible. On warm summer mornings he sits on a bench holding a small book, " The Balm in Gilead, " in his large hands. "There is a balm in Gilead," his neighbor Clara Morrow reads from the dust jacket, "to make the wounded whole."
While Gamache doesn't talk about his wounds and his balm, Clara tells him about hers. Peter, her artist husband, has failed to come home. Failed to show up as promised on the first anniversary of their separation. She wants Gamache's help to find him. Having finally found sanctuary, Gamache feels a near revulsion at the thought of leaving Three Pines. "There's power enough in Heaven," he finishes the quote as he contemplates the quiet village, "to cure a sin-sick soul." And then he gets up. And joins her.
Together with his former second-in-command, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, and Myrna Landers, they journey deeper and deeper into Quebec. And deeper and deeper into the soul of Peter Morrow. A man so desperate to recapture his fame as an artist, he would sell that soul. And may have. The journey takes them further and further from Three Pines, to the very mouth of the great St. Lawrence river. To an area so desolate, so damned, the first mariners called it The land God gave to Cain. And there they discover the terrible damage done by a sin-sick soul."
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-10-27
- Reviewer: Staff
Officially retired, former chief of homicide Armand Gamache is at his beloved Quebec village of Three Pines, healing in mind and body after his ordeal in 2013’s How the Light Gets In, when a neighbor, celebrated artist Clara Morrow, asks him to find her estranged husband. Peter Morrow, also an artist, had departed Three Pines the previous year, promising to return on a specific day to discuss the status of their marriage. He didn’t make it and Clara is concerned. So is Gamache, who, as Penny has it, sees the shadow of murder even on sunny days. Thus begins a long, long journey during which Gamache, his loyal former assistant and now son-in-law, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, Clara, and some of the other delightfully eccentric villagers have an assortment of adventures. Cosham, who has been this series’ narrator for a while, has a comforting, avuncular British accent. To this he smoothly blends in a French influence that becomes more apparent in his pronunciation of Canadian names, places, and Quebecois dialogue. Cosham voices Gamache with a wary, almost fearful caution as he approaches the new case, but as the search for the missing painter goes from Toronto to Paris to a desolate spot on the St. Lawrence River, his voice grows stronger as his energy level rises. Jean-Guy, too, sounds more assertive and alive. Cosham’s vocal interpretations are mainly subtle—Clara, for example, doesn’t sound very different from Gamache’s wife, Raine-Marie—but his version of the village’s eccentric old poet, Ruth, has a distinctive sharpness not unlike that of the latter day Katharine Hepburn. A Minotaur hardcover. (Sept.)BookPage Reviews
Audio: Of vines and vignerons
Maximillian Potter was not an oenophile, or even a wine drinker, when he went to Burgundy for Vanity Fair to cover the attempted poisoning of vines at the globally venerated vineyards of the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti in a precious area of Burgundy called Le Côte D’Or. It’s a good true crime story with a clever perp and cleverer cops, and Potter paces it well. But, the real story in his new book, Shadows in the Vineyard: The True Story of the Plot to Poison the World’s Greatest Wine, is about his immersion into the rarified world of extravagantly expensive wines, the people who make them and the terroir, that mystical fusion of soil and microclimate, that gives a wine its character and quality. Through Potter’s fresh eyes, we meet Aubert de Villaine, the charming, dedicated Grand Patron and proprietor of the famed Domaine, and his not-always-charming partners and extended family. And we learn the history of Burgundian wines and vineyards. If only the audio came with a sample to sip and sigh over. Donald Corren reads well but could have used another week at Berlitz.
HUNGERS AND VOWS
A true Parisienne, 20-year-old Lisette and her adoring husband, André, relocate to the Provençal village of Roussillon to care for his aging grandfather, Pascal. Lisette struggles with small-town life, missing the Paris cafés but, even more, the art galleries she had yearned to work in. But Pascal, a former salesman of Provençal ochre pigments, had his own life in art. He had befriended Pissarro and Cézanne, trading frames for paintings and collecting unique memories. As Lisette grows to love Pascal, she begins a list of “hungers and vows,” her must-do life list. Susan Vreeland, whose spécialité is twining her novels around art and artists, sets Lisette’s List, performed with Gallic finesse by Kim Bubbs, in the years just before and after WWII. André enlists early and is lost early. He hid Pascal’s paintings from the Germans before he left and finding them becomes Lisette’s quest—a quest that leads her to new love, forgiveness and the deepest regard for great art.
TOP PICK IN AUDIO
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache has retired from the Sûreté du Québec to the healing peace and happy quiet of Three Pines, but, as he knows so well, danger, darkness and murder are never far off. When his dear friend—and now famed painter—Clara Morrow tells him that her husband, Peter, has not returned as promised on the one-year anniversary of their separation, he and Jean-Guy Beauvoir, his former second-in command, know they must help. The Long Way Home, Louise Penny’s 10th Gamache novel, follows their search—deep into Clara and Peter’s past and into the mystery of what makes one artist great, another mediocre and another envious enough to kill. This is Penny-perfect: A crime with tantalizing twists, superbly drawn characters, keenly conjured settings and, now, she lets us hear the muffled heartbeat of artistic expression. With Ralph Cosham’s consummate narration, the whole is far more than the sum of its parts.