Louise Penny: A World of Curiosities

It’s not easy to tell a good story in the past and present at the same time. Often, characters get lost along the way, or one plot is simply far better. Louise Penny manages it handily in A World of Curiosities. In many ways, though it’s the eighteenth book in the series, it’s an origin story, too. It helps that these characters we’ve come to love play such a strong part in both stories. And, though the backbone of Penny’s books is built on Armand Gamache and Jean-Guy Beauvoir’s relationship, we’ve never seen their first case together. We know how they met, of course, but Penny had never gone in depth. read more

Louise Penny: A Better Man

This is one of the more stripped down narratives Louise Penny has delivered.  Stripped down for Penny, that is.  The essential story is a simple one that drives her narrative, but being a complex writer and thinker, she’s made the simple complex.  There are two threads.  One concerns the disappearance of a woman who happens to be the goddaughter of a Surete officer.  Gamache, who has returned to work with a demotion (he’s head of homicide, not the entire Surete) accompanies the officer to the village where the woman lived. read more