I know my Louise Penny guides will be dismayed that I went out of order again, but this is the one I had and I was in the mood to begin one of her mysteries. I am still hooked on the series and its characters. I found Penny’s ability to write about art to be particularly evocative here. Maybe the science teacher on the boat was a little too convenient, and what seems to be the requisite violence at the end was a bit too choreographed. And I wish Penny wouldn’t shift her style quite so abruptly when the pieces start together for Gamache et al. For a good portion of the book, we are told everything, save for the story of Gamache’s book. Still, it is named. Then we start getting sentences like, “And then he figured it out.” It’s a false suspense, I think, to just (suddenly withhold information). I realize I’ve listed some negatives here, but they are far outweighed by the psychological mysteries, both with the characters I’ve seen develop over time (if out of order) and the details of this particular mystery. And it is not often that I stop a piece of fiction to search out some details to see if they are real places (they were) or Penny just made them up. I enjoyed that.
And yes, I’ll try to get them in the right order from now on!