How the Light Gets In (Three Pines #9)
by Louise Penny
Minotaur Books, 2013. 405 pages. Mystery.
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, head of homicide for the Surete de Quebec, receives a call from his good friend, Myrna, in Three Pines, asking for his help to discover the sudden disappearance of a friend who never showed up for Christmas. But this is not everything going on in Gamache's world. Forces are at work in the Surete, determined to destroy Gamache and his department. His second in command and long-time friend, Inspector Jean-Guy Beauvoir, has turned on him and the rest of his department has been parceled out in various parts of the Surete. Gamache is in a race against time to find what happened to Myrna's friend and the darkness at the bottom of the changes in the Surete, before it is too late.
Wow. I mean, wow. This book blew me out of the water. Penny has taken the gorgeous prose and supremely human and relatable characters that have been the hallmarks of her books from the first and combined them with some intricate plotting to pull off this coup of a mystery. This is a series you will definitely want to read in order, as issues you thought were resolved early in the series suddenly reappear, not as resolved as you thought they were. And there were several twists at the end that had me gasping in surprise. You don't even realize how much of a long game Penny has been playing until you finally see the resolution at the end of this book. Be warned that there is a fair amount of swearing in the series, but the mysteries are never graphic and there is no sexual content. If you like beautiful writing and intricate plotting, this series is definitely for you.
Also, this is an awesome audiobook series with a fabulous reader. Side effects of reading include a sincere conviction that you speak French (or, at least a few words of French - I feel like I'm a pro with Jean-Guy's name now and can use the word Quebecois in a sentence) and an overwhelming desire to go to Montreal and the Quebec countryside, as well as some serious plot obsession.