I'd been wanting to try this series for a while now, but when Book #1 of 11 (latest comes out on August 25th) goes for $13.99 Cdn, it's a pricey tryout. But finally, the price dropped to $9.99 and I picked it up.
Oh, I'm so glad I did!!
Louise Penny is Canadian and the book (the whole series as a matter of fact) are set in a small (fictional) town only about an hour away from my home. The main character is Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sureté du Quebec (provincial police) and he's past 50 years old, married and a unique sort. :) I liked him a lot. I liked his inner dialogue and I liked his moments of self-deprecating humour. I know men like this - very Montreal francophone. In my movie of the book, I would cast Colm Feore in the role.
The supporting characters are great too. French, English, a mix of both - again, very Montreal and surrounding areas. And they're all flawed. Well, except Gamache's right hand man, Jean-Guy Beauvais. I didn't spot any flaws in him and maybe that's how it's supposed to be. :)
The inhabitants of the small town of Three Pines are unique and very familiar to me too. Some are likable and others, not so much. There are many stories to be told about these folks in this small town, secrets upon secrets and we've only begun to scratch the surface.
The mystery itself was good. Thinking back, there were clues I might have picked up on, but there were also misdirections, so I was never certain. And I will say that up until the last two chapters, the climax and the wrap-up, I really wasn't certain about who the murderer was.
One might think that the Gamache mysteries fall into the cozy mystery genre, but Louise Penny has a bit of a different voice from the British folk who are so good at that type of book. Like a Canadian. *LOL* I had a quibble or two at a couple of the political observations made by a couple of the characters - it's a very anglo way of looking at things - but you know, that's life in Quebec. :)
Anyway, I'm hooked and I fully intend to read the whole series. :) And I totally recommend it!