Mystery fiction

  • Louise Penny
      • Still Life (2005) first in Gamache series
        • In the fictional village of Three Pines in Eastern Townships of Quebec, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec, investigates the murder of Jane Neal, an elderly woman who was killed with an arrow. Characters include Jane Neal and her painting entitled Fair Day, artists, Clara and Peter Morrow, Ruth Zardo, a zany, contankrous person and a brilliant renowned poetess,  Matthew Croft, his wife and teenage son, Jane’s niece Yolande, Timmer and her son Ben Hadley.
        • (I’ve read it)
      • A Fatal Grace (2007) second in Gamache series 
        • Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec, investigates the murder of CC de Poitiers, electrocuted during a Christmas curling tournament as the who village watched. Characters include CC de Poitiers’ mother Eleanor (who was homeless), CC’s husband, her lover and her daughter Crie.
        • (Not read yet).
      • The Cruelest Month (2008) third in Gamache series
        • Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec, investigates the Three Pines murder at Easter, at the end of April. Characters included Clara Morrow and her painting, and Hazel and Sophie Smyth, a guest witch, Gabri and his B&B, the haunted Hadley house…
        • (I’ve read it)
      • The Murder Stone (A Rule Against Murder in U.S.) (2009) fourth in Gamache series
        • Summer during a heat wave
        • Locations, the Manoir Bellechasse, a lakeside retreat
        • Characters include Irene Finney, her deceased husband, her four grown-up children, the Manoir Bellechasse staff, (not yet read)
      • The Brutal Telling (2009) fifth in Gamache series
        • early fall
        • Locations, Olivier’s Bistro and antiques store,
        • Characters include
        • (I’ve read this)
        • Synopsis from Kobo: “When Chief Inspector Gamache arrives in picturesque Three Pines, he steps into a village in chaos. A man has been found bludgeoned to death, and there is no sign of a weapon, a motive or even the dead man’s name. As Gamache and his colleagues start to dig under the skin of this peaceful haven for clues, they uncover a trail of stolen treasure, mysterious codes and a shameful history that begins to shed light on the victim’s identity – and points to a terrifying killer?”
      • Bury your Dead (2010) sixth? in Gamache series
        • bitterly cold winter
        • locations include Quebec City where Gamache has taken refuge with his old mentor, Winter Carnival in Quebec City, the Literary and Historical Society, Olivier and Gabri’s Bistro and B & B?,
        • characters include an obsessive historian, Olivier and Gabri,
        • the remains of the founder of Quebec, Samuel de Champlain,
        • (not read yet)
      • The Hangman (2011) sixth? in Gamache series
        • cold November morning
        • a dead man hanging from a tree in the woods is discovered by a jogger runs through the woods in the peaceful location, Three Pines,
        • eBook at the Calgary Public Library March 2014
      • A Trick of the Light (2011) seventh in Gamache series
        • May or June
        • locations include Clara Morrow’s garden dinner party in the village of Three Pines,
        • Characters include Lillian Dyson the murder victim and childhood friend of  fifty-year-old artist Clara Morrow, Gamache’s second-in-command, Jean-Guy Beauvoir,
        • Events include Clara Morrow’s solo show at the Musee d’Art Contemporain in Montreal,
        • Interconnected plots: four of their officers died. A video of the killing of four of Gamache’s officers that has gone viral on the Internet
        • (I’ve read this)
      • The Beautiful Mystery (2012) eigth in Gamache series
        • characters include Gamache’s second-in-command, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, Beauvoir leaves Gamache’s department out of contempt for Gamache and abuses prescription drugs to manage physical and psychological pain,
        • (I’ve read this)
        • Synopsis from Kobo:”
          No outsiders are ever admitted to the monastery of Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups, hidden deep in the wilderness of Quebec, where two dozen cloistered monks live in peace and prayer. They grow vegetables, they tend chickens, they make chocolate. And they sing. Ironically, for a community that has taken a vow of silence, the monks have become world-famous for their glorious voices, raised in ancient chants whose effect on both singer and listener is so profound it is known as “the beautiful mystery.”
          But when the renowned choir director is murdered, the lock on the monastery’s massive wooden door is drawn back to admit Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and Jean-Guy Beauvoir of the Sûreté du Québec. There they discover disquiet beneath the silence, discord in the apparent harmony. One of the brothers, in this life of  prayer and contemplation, has been contemplating murder. As the peace of the monastery crumbles, Gamache is forced to confront some of his own demons, as well as those roaming the remote corridors. Before finding the killer, before restoring peace, the Chief must first consider the divine, the human, and the cracks in between.
          The Beautiful Mystery is the winner of the 2012 Agatha Award for best novel, the 2013 Anthony Award for best novel and the 2013 Macavity Award for best novel.”
      • How the Light Gets In (2013)  ninth in Gamache series
        • Christmas
        • Location Three Pines
        • Characters, victim: Constance Pineault a friend of Myrna Landers, a Three Pines therapist-turned-bookseller, Isabelle Lacoste, sole remaining member of Gamache’s Sûreté du Québec team, Chief Superintendent of the Sûreté du Québec Francoeur, the Ouellet quintuplets, Ruth Zardo, a zany but brilliant poet.
        • Three intertwined plots: Francoeur plot, the murder of Constance, the Ouellet quintuplets,
        • (I’ve read this)
      • The Long Way Home (August 2014) X in Gamache series
        • Armand Gamache, former Chief Inspector of Homicide with the Sûreté du Québec, retired to Three Pines.
        • Locations, Three Pines, and an isolated, “desolate” and “damned” area called “the land God gave to Cain” at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River
        • Warm summer,
        • small book entitled The Balm in Gilead
        • Characters include Clara Morrow and her missing husband Peter, Gamache’s former second-in-command, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, and Myrna Landers
  • Deborah Crombie
      • A Share in Death (1993) Duncan Kincaid / Gemma James Series, Book 1
        • Characters include Scotland Yard detectives Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James, the murder victim who was murdered in the hotel whirlpool, a young hospital administrator, nine-year-old Harriet and her feuding parents,
        • Locations include a time-share house in the north of England where Scotland Yard Detective Inspector Duncan Kincaid was on vacation incognito, a burned warehouse beside a women’s shelter
      • All Shall be Well (1994) Duncan Kincaid / Gemma James Series, Book 2
        • Locations include Scotland Yard superintendent, Duncan Kincaid’s apartment building
        • Characters include Kincaid’s neighbour, the murder victim
        • Plot euthanasia, assisted suicide or murder
      • Leave the Grave Green (1995) Duncan Kincaid / Gemma James Series, Book 3
        • Locations include the Thames
        • Characters include the murder victim black sheep of a wealthy family fished from the Thames; the Scotland Yard superintendent, Duncan Kincaid, and his sergeant, Gemma Jones; the murder victim’s widow with whom Kincaid becomes romantically attracted; another victim of a drowning twenty years earlier;
      • Mourn Not Your Dead (1996) Duncan Kincaid / Gemma James Series, Book 4
        • Locations include England
        • Characters include Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James who are romantically involved, the murder victim, their commander, Superintendent Gilbert, Mrs. Gilbert,
      • Dreaming of the Bones (1997) Duncan Kincaid / Gemma James Series, Book 5
        • Location includes Cambridge University
        • Characters include the Scotland Yard duo of Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James, the murder victim, a talented woman poet; her biographer;
        • Context includes the Cambridge literary set.
      • Kissed a Sad Goodbye (1999) Duncan Kincaid / Gemma James Series, Book 6
        • Locations include tea warehouse in the dockland of London
        • Characters include Detective Kincaid of Scotland Yard, the murder victim, a promiscuous woman, a builder, two boys who became allies then friends
      • A Finer End (2001) Duncan Kincaid / Gemma James Series, Book 7
        • Locations include London, Glastonbury,
        • Characters include Duncan Kincaid,  Duncan’s twelve-year-old son Kit, newly promoted Gemma James, Duncan’s cousin and childhood friend from Glastonbury,
      • And Justice There is None (2002) Duncan Kincaid / Gemma James Series, Book 8
        • Locations include London’s bohemian Notting Hill,
        • Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James move into their new home in London’s bohemian Notting Hill
        • characters include murder victim, an antique dealer’s wife
        • eBook Calgary Public Library  (did not finish? because timed-out?)
      • Now May You Weep (2003)
        • Locations include Scotland
        • Characters include Detective Inspector Gemma Jones and her married best friend, her friend’s lover
      • In a Dark House (2005)
        • Locations include a Victorian warehouse in south London
        • Characters include Superintendent Duncan Kincaid, his lover and partner, Gemma James, the murder victim who burned to death in a fire in the warehouse, a friend’s missing roommate,
      • Water Like a Stone (2007)
        • Locations include Cheshire countryside canal
        • Characters include the teenage victim who drowned, Scotland Yard detectives Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James, two past murder victims
      • Where Memories Lie (2008)
        • Locations include a prestigious London auction house
        • Characters include Detective Inspector Gemma James and her partner, Duncan Kincaid; Gemma’s friend Erika, Erika’s husband, the murder victim;  a pair of refugees from Nazi Germany;
        • Plots include how a piece of jewelry stolen from Erika years ago shows up at the London auction house is connected to a murderer and a pair of refugees from Nazi Germany
        • eBooks Calgary Public Library
      • Necessary as Blood (2009) Duncan Kincaid / Gemma James Series, Book X
        • Locations include London’s legendary East End
        • Characters include a young mother who has disappeared, the murder victim her Pakistani husband, a child,
      • No Mark upon Her (2012) Duncan Kincaid / Gemma James Series, Book X
        • Locations include a rowing club on the Thames
        • Characters include the murder victim, an Olympic rowing hopeful who is also a Met detective, Scotland Yard Superintendent Duncan Kincaid  and Gemma James who are now married
        • eBook Calgary Public Library (did not finish? because timed-out?)
      • The Sound of Broken Glass (2013) Gemma James / Melody Talbot Series ,
        • Locations include a seedy hotel in Crystal Palace
        • Characters include Detective Inspector Gemma James and her partner, Detective Sergeant Melody Talbot, the murder victim, a well-respected barrister;
      • To Dwell in Darkness (2014; ISBN 978-0-06-227160-0)


  • Joseph Boyden
    • Three Day Road (I’ve read it)
    • Through Black Spruce (I’ve read it)
    • The Orenda (I’ve read it?)
      • Locations include
      • Characters include Christophe, a Francophone Jesuit missionary; Snow Falls, an Iroquois teen of the Haudenosaunee nation kidnapped by the Wendats (a Huron nation); and Bird, a warrior; his departed wife and two daughters;  at the hands of the Iroquois, Gosling, a medicine woman
  • Lawrence Hill
    • The Book of Negroes (I’ve read it)
      • Locations include Segu in West Africa, Aminata Diallo’s home village; the US; Birchtown, Nova Scotia; Freetown, Sierra Leone; England;
      • Historical context includes American Revolutionary War,
      • Characters include Aminata Diallo and her daughter, Chekura, Mamed, a fellow slave, Jewish slave-owner Solomon Lindo, the Witherspoons who have Aminata’s daughter, John Clarkson,
  • Choy, Wayson, 1939-
    • The jade peony : a novel
      • Reading 22 June 2014
  • Choy, Wayson, 1939-


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