A Better Man (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #15) by Louise Penny

Book Description:

Published: August 27, 2019

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Catastrophic spring flooding, blistering attacks in the media, and a mysterious disappearance greet Chief Inspector Armand Gamache as he returns to the Surete du Quebec in the latest novel by #1 New York Times bestselling author Louise Penny.

It’s Gamache’s first day back as head of the homicide department, a job he temporarily shares with his previous second-in-command, Jean-Guy Beauvoir. Flood waters are rising across the province. In the middle of the turmoil a father approaches Gamache, pleading for help in finding his daughter.

As crisis piles upon crisis, Gamache tries to hold off the encroaching chaos, and realizes the search for Vivienne Godin should be abandoned. But with a daughter of his own, he finds himself developing a profound, and perhaps unwise, empathy for her distraught father.

Increasingly hounded by the question, how would you feel…, he resumes the search.

As the rivers rise, and the social media onslaught against Gamache becomes crueler, a body is discovered. And in the tumult, mistakes are made.

In the next novel in this “constantly surprising series that deepens and darkens as it evolves” (New York Times Book Review), Gamache must face a horrific possibility, and a burning question.

What would you do if your child’s killer walked free?

Review –

She has done it again. With a vengeance. Take the same backwater in Québec, the same core of main characters, and write fifteen crime stories with that. You will probably end up with predictable plots. But Louise Penny doesn’t. Not ever. A Better Man is here to prove it. Once more.

The  author is a mystery in herself. Once again, she managed to deliver a unique book, with an original plot. And red herrings. And many twists and layers. Layers that keep getting more involved. If her last book dealt with drugs in the city, this one focuses on domestic violence. And violence through social media.

Fans of Three Pines have a new chance to enjoy Penny’s great art at describing characters, the depth of human emotions, as well as landscape:

  The sky was grey and stretch and threatened rain. Or sleet. Ice pellets or snow. The dirt road was covered in slush and mud. There were patches of snow on the sodden grass. Villagers out walking their dogs were clumping around in rubber boots and wrapped in layers of clothing, hoping to keep April away from their skin and out of their bones.

     and   

     Woodsmoke drifted from the old fieldstone, brick, clapboard homes. A signal to some higher power. Send help. Send heat. Send a real spring and not this crapfest of slush and freezing, teasing days. Days of snow and warmth.

Armand Gamache does not hurry. He takes time to look, feel, and think. The writing style itself, with many short sentences and pauses, beautifully conveys the same atmosphere.

And yet, when the time is ripe, the book also contains nerve-wracking suspenseful scenes, where events rush too quickly at the protagonists, with the violence of the Bella Bella river threatening to engulf the nearby villages.

Lovers of this series will also enjoy how the author integrated elements of previous books. And of course, we meet the same characters. Including the poet Ruth. And her duck Rosa—featured with short refrains, another nice little touch that helps keep all the threads together.

Reading another book by Louise Penny is like spending some annual time with good old friends. And age and experience have the potential to make them better. The only bitterness to it, is that we’ll have to wait next year to meet them again. Write faster, please !!!

Five Stars!

 

 

 

 

Untitled

 

 

Untitled

 

i hold a pencil but the words won’t come

so i hold the pencil still and think the words –

but still i can’t write them –

so i lay the pencil down –

sadness is born.

 

written by me 8/4/1967

Replacement Needed

Replacement Needed

 

do you ever listen to the words you speak?

do you mean what you say

or are you lying to me?

I want to believe you –

but how can i be sure of what you say?

nothing hurts more than a lie

and i’ve been wounded by lies so many

times that I deserve the purple heart –

not for bravery – but to replace

the heart that I once had.

 

written by me 7/7/1967

 

 

 

 

 

Just One Reason (First and Last #2) by Kirsten DeMuzio

Book Description

 January 6, 2014
As teenagers, Lindsay and Grady found a love together that few people are lucky enough to ever experience.

When Lindsay Ross decided to visit her aunt for the summer in a small lake town in New York, she didn’t expect anything other than an escape from her demanding parents. She certainly didn’t expect Grady Hawke. At the end of the summer, Lindsay and Grady made plans for their future and vowed to be together forever. Back in New York City, events beyond her control forced Lindsay to turn her back on Grady and their love.

Grady has spent the last five years trying to forget the one girl who broke his heart. But when Lindsay arrives back in town unannounced, will Grady get to know the woman she has become and find out the real reason she left him all those years ago? Or will he push her away for good?

**This book is recommended for a mature audience, age 18 and older, due to language and explicit content.

Review –
This book was offered as free one day so I picked it to read when I had no physical books around (which is not often). Anyway, I didn’t realize that it was the second in a series because it was a great stand alone story.  The main characters were well-developed and had great chemistry, the plot was very believable and written well. It’s a wonderful read with a _______ ending. (I can’t tell you the ending-you’ll have to read it to find out, but it’s worth it.
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21935890

Christmas Cookie Club by Ann Pearlman

Book Description

Publication Date:October 3, 2009
Mark your calendar. It’s the Christmas Cookie Club! Every year on the first Monday of December, Marnie and her twelve closest girlfriends gather in the evening with batches of beautifully wrapped homemade cookies. Everyone has to bring a dish, a bottle of wine, and their stories. This year, the stories are especially important. Marnie’s oldest daughter has a risky pregnancy. Will she find out tonight how that story might end? Jeannie’s father is having an affair with her best friend. Who else knew about the betrayal, and how can that be forgiven or forgotten, even among old friends such as these? Rosie’s husband doesn’t want children, and she has to decide, very soon, whether or not that’s a deal breaker for the marriage. Taylor’s life is in financial freefall. Each woman, each friend has a story to tell, and they are all interwoven, just as their lives are.
On this evening, at least, they can feel as a group the impulses of sisterly love and conflict, the passion and hopefulness of a new romance, the betrayal and disillusionment some relationships bring, the joys and fears of motherhood, the agony of losing a child, and above all, the love they have for one another. As Marnie says, the Christmas Cookie Club, if it’s anything, is a reminder of delight.
The Christmas Cookie Club is about the paths Marnie and her friends have traveled, the absolute joy they take in life and love despite the decisions they’ve regretted, the hard choices and amends they’ve had to make, and the sacrifices along the way. Ultimately, The Christmas Cookie Club is every woman’s story. As you read about Marnie and her friends, their struggles and triumphs, what makes them laugh and what has made them cry, you’ll see yourself and some of the ingredients of your own story. Celebrating courage and joy in spite of hard times and honoring the importance of women’s friendships as well as the embracing bonds of community, Ann Pearlmanhas written a novel that speaks to us all.

6558151Review –
 
 I listened to this book for the first time in  January of 2011  and I loved it. It’s about 12 women who get together every Christmas season for 16 years and exchange cookies. It tells of their relationships, their hardships, the deaths they have experienced, the births  they have experienced and the  love they have experienced in the last year.  As a bonus we get 12 Christmas cookie recipes given in detail.  I love to bake so I love the recipes and have tried a few, so  if you like the holidays and Christmas cookies you really should give this one a try.
 
I’ve made this one of my Christmas book traditions.