Mr. Dragon and I went to a book signing last night at Murder By The Book, one of the few remaining independent booksellers here in Houston. One of our favorite authors, Louise Penny was signing her latest Inspector Gamache book, The Brutal Telling. I grabbed the camera and out the door we went. Well, when I started to take a photo of Ms. Penny --- my beloved camera said *no memory card*. What? That can't be! I looked at Mr. Dragon. He looked at me. Shrugged. But it was true. So, here I am, borrowing a photo of Louise Penny from her website.
I've borrowed a bit more from her website:
"Here is a bit of what the book is about…
Chaos is coming, old son.
With those words the peace of Three Pines is shattered. As families prepare to head back to the city and children say goodbye to summer, a stranger is found murdered in the village bistro. Once again, Chief Inspector Gamache and his team are called in to strip back layers of lies, exposing both treasures and rancid secrets buried in the wilderness.
No one admits to knowing the murdered man, but as secrets are revealed, chaos begins to close in on the beloved bistro owner, Olivier. How did he make such a spectacular success of his business? What past did he leave behind and why has he buried himself in this tiny village? And why does every lead in the investigation find its way back to him?
As Olivier grows more frantic, a trail of clues and treasures- from first editions of Charlotte's Web and Jane Eyre to a spider web with the word "WOE" woven in it-lead the Chief Inspector deep into the woods and across the continent in search of the truth, and finally back to Three Pines as the little village braces for the truth and the final, brutal telling.
There is a scene in THE BRUTAL TELLING where a new agent, Paul Morin, plays a priceless violin. Here is part of that scene:
What came out surprised them all. A Celtic lament left the bow, left the violin, left the agent. It filled the cabin, filled the rafters. Almost into the corners. The simple tune swirled around them like colors and delicious meals and conversation. And it lodged in their chests. Not their ears, not their heads, but their hearts. Slow, dignified, but buoyant. Agent Morin had changed….His eyes were closed and he looked the way Gamache felt. Filled with joy. Rapture even. Such was the power of this music. Of this instrument."
Interesting, yes?!!! I loved meeting Ms. Penny. She is witty, fun, lovely, intelligent. She told us wonderful stories. Said the first Gamache novel took her 45 years to write. The second one, three months -- after spending a year on it and throwing the manuscript away and starting over. Her books are *classical* mysteries. Just one murder per book. Each book filled with characters -- some you want to meet in real life -- others, no thanks, but each interesting, with feelings, problems, histories -- just like all of us. And, compassion ... Gamache is amazing .. he has been through much in his life -- you can just tell, even though, so far, we don't know a lot about his past. These are not cozy mysteries. Psychological police procedurals would be a better category for them. I can't recommend this series enough. You Canadians are lucky to have her! Thanks for sharing her with the rest of us. Get ye to a library or bookstore and look for her books ... read them in order (Still Life is the first) and enjoy!
(Did I mention she also has a blog?!!! And, I found the memory card ... not in the camera.)