If you got here because I commented and you were directed to this blog, it is because Blogger will not show both blogs. So you can get to my Pat's Posts, by clicking this miscellany, the first blog while this is just about books.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny

Read in October, another well written, suspenseful mystery set in and around fictional Three Pines, and Montreal featuring Chief Superintendent Armand Gamache,  The author is consistenly good at keeping the suspense and yet planting seeds of wondering.  The great characters of the Three Pines Village are at it again and this time, Gamache is awaiting news of his suspension.  That in itself adds another twist to the mystery.  Paperback,513 pages, this edition published 2018.   On page 236 we get the origin of the title, "in the kingdom of the blind, the one eyed man is king."  but there are plenty of references to blind through out the book.  A memorable quote in this mystery, page 440, Myrna replies to Jean-Guy, who has proposed that reality may not matter what matters is what people believe, "People were capable of believing almost anything.  And hope was even more sweeping and powerful."

Back cover
I learned about poison gardens, pages 90-91 and that certain plants including hydrangeas and lily of the valley are toxic.  Some I knew but not those and I was unfamiliar with a poison garden.  The mystery involves the death of a woman, a stranger, the Baroness,appoints  Gamache, Myrna and another young man, Benedict Pouiliot, as tri executors of her will, despite leaving behind  3 adult children. 

Acknowledgements by author
The book begins, " Armand Gamache slowed his car to a crawl, then stopped on the snow covered secondary road.  This was it, he supposed.  Pulling in he drove between the tall pines until he reached the clearing.  ......Putting on his reading glasses, he rubbed his face.  And read it again.  It was an invitation of sorts to this desolate place...."  It is an old desolate farmhouse, the former residence of the woman, Bertha Baumgartner.  It is  a building in need of demolition but where the attorney Maitre Merciere  chooses to reveal their task to them.  

So the adventure of the three begins.  There is comedy amidst the pathos and mystery, reference to Charles Dickens characters to the attorney Merciere.  Particularly comical is the description of Benedict's arrival as Dr Seuss meets Charles Dickens, or the Cat in the Hat enters.   No mistake this mystery will intrigue until the end.  And there will be another story within the tale, about Armand's suspension and his  attempt to retrieve opiods from the streets.  The opiods were lost in an arrest and will devastate many unless stopped.  We meet Amerlia, a candidate at the academy of the Surete who is a rising star but is  kicked out and who now is amidst the junkies.  She will turn out to be a secret weapon of Gamache. 

A ll in all another 5 ***** mystery.   It has been awhile since I read a Penny mystery and delighted in the suspense and characters.  

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