RELEASE DATE: Nov. 29, 2022

Welcome to Three Pines, the idyllic-seeming Canadian capital of murder.

At the heart of Penny’s series of mysteries set in the tiny Quebec town of Three Pines is the relationship between Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, the empathetic and capable head of homicide for the Sûreté du Québec, and his headstrong second-in-command, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, now also his son-in-law. Gamache has a talent for finding officers who’ve been languishing in their previous jobs and turning them into trusted allies, and Penny has frequently mentioned the way Beauvoir had been “banished to the basement” in an out-of-the-way bureau and that there was something “lean and feral…something dangerous” about him before Gamache swooped in and brought him to the homicide squad. Now, in her 18th installment, Penny flashes back to the case that brought the two men together. A woman named Clotilde Arsenault has been found dead in a remote lake, and Gamache shows up at the local detachment to investigate the case himself. Clotilde had two children, 13-year-old Fiona and Sam, 10, and it turns out she had been prostituting them. In the book’s present-day strand, Fiona is graduating from college after having served time in prison for killing her mother; Gamache and his wife, Reine-Marie, have supported her, almost folding her into their own family, but they’ve never trusted Sam, who will also be at the graduation ceremony. This chapter in Penny’s chronicle of Three Pines contains all the elements that she sometimes divides up between different books: There’s a cozy-feeling present-day mystery concerning a hidden room Fiona discovers by looking at the roofline of Myrna’s bookstore, and the strange painting found inside; the harrowing story of how Gamache and Beauvoir cracked the case of Clotilde’s murder; and a story of corruption within the institutions that are supposed to be protecting us. The plotting is complex and the characters as vivid as ever, but the opportunity to watch Gamache and Beauvoir’s relationship develop is what makes this book one of Penny’s best.

Penny will have you turning the pages as fast as you can to see how she’ll manage to tie everything together.

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-2501-4529-1

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Minotaur

Review Posted Online: Nov. 29, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2022

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