The story begins with Inspector Gamache giving evidence in a murder trial from where the story flashes back from today’s trial in Montreal to the previous autumn in the village. And here we learn that a hooded figure dressed all in black appears on the village green in Trois Pines. It says and does nothing; it just stands there for several days. The villagers are at first intrigued but rapidly come to fear this figure as they should. Soon it is followed by death.
The story continues to flash back and forth which initially I found confusing, but I quickly got into the story, accepting that this is the way Penny chose to tell her tale.
This is another skilfully planned and executed story of Gamache and the inhabitants of Three Pines, with their foibles and some eccentricities. And into this mix are introduced several others who were newcomers to me, but that may well be because I haven’t read all of the earlier books in the series.
Gamache, Beauvoir, his son-in-law, Isabel Lacoste and other members of the Surete de Quebec are again called on to solve the crime. And as always, Penny adds twists and turns to the story that also touches on friendships and how long-standing relationships can be queried when faced with murder.
This is the second book I have read in this series and am totally in awe of the author’s ability to keep one amused and intrigued to the very end. In fact, I challenge you to name the accused who is on trial for the murder before you reach the end of the book.
I can strongly recommend this book. Buy the book or take off to your library to see if they have a copy as I did, and if you have to wait for one, it will be well worth the wait.