15 June 2011

Enough Scandinavian. How about a Canadian author?

Dale Stahl wrote from his post-school year leisure with another suggestion for reading. He's another valuable friend who is regularly reading interesting things. This is what he recommended today. (And no, Dale, no one else has mentioned these before. Thank you.)

Here is another series I wonder if you have read or anyone has written about: The Inspector Gamache novels by Louise Penny?

They are all set in an idyllic little Canadian village outside of Montreal that seems to have an inordinate number of murders. [Sounds like Murder, She Wrote] The characters are wonderful -- Penny creates a social life of flawed but connected people that I would love to drop in on for dinner. And speaking of dinner, every meal enjoyed by the characters makes one’s mouth water. Not to mention the wine and cocktails before during and after!

The murders in these books are all a little convoluted, no straightforward bludgeoning or stabbing, and I had thought them a bit farfetched until I opened my Star Tribune and read about the MN man who is accused of crushing his wife with a giant totem pole.

PS also I am for sure going to pick up and read the rest of the works by the Norwegian author K.O. Dahl I mentioned to you earlier. Really enjoyed the Fourth Man.

Do you have a suggestion for us? Write and tell this little bit of the world.

Louise Penny's web site

Louise Penny introduces her hero Armand Gamache.


Ken Wedding said...

In answer to a question about whether the series needs to be read from the beginning, Dale offered this answer:

"I just love these books – her characters and their insights into human nature and their flaws and camaraderie are really, for lack of a better word, enchanting.

"I actually started out of sequence with The Brutal Telling, then went back and started at the beginning and am up to Bury Your Dead, but if I were you I would start with Still Life and go forward from there. Each is a mystery unto itself, but the returning character story lines continue to progress and build from the previous book.

"By the way the author also has a wonderful web site with handy pronunciation guides for each book. There are some interesting quirks in the French Canadian verbiage she uses."

Ken Wedding said...

Dan Conrad wrote: "I read a Louise Penny book as recommended by Dale Stahl and loved it. On his suggestion I started with #1 in the series, Still Life.

Penny has created a quaint and wonderful community of in a small town in Canada where bad things sometimes do, nonetheless, happen. I already have my request in for the second in the series."