Review: THE NATURE OF THE BEAST by Louise Penny

The Nature of the Beast (Chief Inspector Gamache series) by Louise Penny

Minotaur Books MysteryThe Nature of the Beast

Louise Penny has another winner with a new adventure in Three Pines exposing the secrets the peculiar collection of people who live there have carefully tucked away. Penny’s hidden village seems the idyllic solution for disappearing and enjoying a peaceful existence, but murder explodes their pristine world. The death of a child is always a tragedy, but the death of this child resurrects the horrors of World War II seductively hidden for seventy years and uncovers the devious plans of terrorists. With her consistent aplomb, Penny blends the intimate lives of her characters and the influence of the mysteries surrounding them with historical information, a look at global issues, and the universal human condition. The irascible, Ruth, has a few new tricks up her sleeve, while Gamache struggles with his own demons and decisions about his future. Does he want to return to police work? Is it worth the risks to his family and his own life? Does his country need him? Perhaps, he should look into teaching at university? We will have to wait for the next book to find out. I’ve no doubt those questions will be debated and decisions made with input from his friends and family while solving a new crime. And, of course, this will be done over delicious meals eaten together at the bistro, in the Gamache home with Reine-Maria as chef, and in Clara’s comfortable kitchen. If ever a series of books needed a companion cookbook, it’s Penny’s delicious Gamache series.

Review provided by Mahala Church for her column Barefoot Book Reviews in the October 2015 issue of The Book Breeze.