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Patiently waited to finally get this and, while it kept me reading fairly quickly, I didn't find it as good as some of her others. Basically, Gamache is racing against time to find a shipment of lethal drugs he let loose in last novel... this is the back story. The 'primary' story is the settling of a will of an unknown person by three seemingly randomly chosen people (Gamache being one) and of course, a murder that occurs during this. The secondary characters are all there and as quirky as ever and it's an easy read but, for me, a bit predictable and not as gripping as some of her others.
One little Rosa spoiler ahead.
I love these novels. When I finally got this off the wait-list at the library everything else got dropped, and it was totally worth it. If you already love the series, you'll be pleased with this latest installment. Penny's writing is that perfect combination of the elevated and earthy, ruminating on the meaning of poetry one moment and then suddenly Gamache's grandson's first word comes out, and if you know he's been hanging out with Ruth and the duck, you can probably guess what it is.
I really enjoyed the primary mystery of the Duchess and her will, and all the tangled skeins that came with it. It's always a pleasure, on reflection to realize how intricate her plotting is. We begin with the mystery of why these three specific people are chosen as executors of the Duchess' will. Then we get a dead body, some more monetary-mysteries, an overseas call that is hysterical, a silly hat and an ex-girlfriend. There's so much detail, that it's like a quilt.
Less pleasing through its lack of realism is her dip into the netherworld of Montreal as Choquet is ejected from the Surete Academy and returns to her life of using. Choquet is truly "the one eyed man" in this kingdom of the blind, as people begin to follow her like she's the second coming. WT* is that all about? I will also say that I saw Choquet's ending at, oh, the very start of the book. Penny made a lazy move there because it has become one of her go-tos. I also have to say her view of drugs is very, mmm, former-addict-standard. All drugs are bad. Everyone who uses drugs will wind up doing unsavory things with unsavory people in unsavory alleys, and then they will all die horrible deaths.
But that was it from critical me. The rest was butter. As always, her character development, is top-notch as we see Gamache's neighbors and co-workers continue on with their lives. As someone else mentioned, reading a Gamache novel is like catching up with family.
one of my favorites of an excellent series, like a slow-cooked boeuf bourguignon and a crusty baguette slathered in fresh batter. some interesting new characters join the regulars from three pines. so happy that penny decided to continue the series after the passing of her beloved husband.
I have read every Louise Penny book in this series and proclaim this one of the best. Her characters continue to grow with each story and while the mysteries are always good, it is the people you don't want to put down when you read the final page.
i HAVE READ THE ENTIRE Gamache series and always enjoyed them. For whatever reason (maybe my advanced age!) I found this one slow going. Usually I read them in a day or two.
However, I was happy to be back with all those old friends, although the people of Three Pines were not so inclusive in this novel. Beauvoir is well up the ladder and has a nice surprise for us in store. For those that worry that Gamache will be no more, Penny has already finished the next novel and the library system has many copies on order. Put your hold order in now!
I discovered the Louise Penny books by accident & Im reading them in the wrong order. I did not want to wait for The Kingdom of the Blind so I actually bought it LOL. I love the charming town of Three Pines. The ending was good but it also made me sad. I hope this is not the end of Three Pines. This is the 5th Louise Penny book that Ive read. *NOTE* I DISCOVERED THERES THE 15TH BOOK COMING OUT IN SEPT 2019. JOY!!!! I PRE ORDERED IT ALREADY IN CHAPTERS
did not care for her last book, but this is one of the best. there are a couple places where it drags and I forgive her for that ;-). very good “read”
This novel is possibly the last Gamache novel is how I interpreted Penny's words in her Acknowledgment and understandably so. This novel completes the storyline of Gamache's drug bust, a feature in several of her other novels and, thank goodness, as it was getting "old/tiresome" to read about. Penny includes another storyline, more interesting to me, about the children of once wealthy Austrian families fighting over the contents of a deceased family member's will, but, as she presents these characters, there is a deeper undertow of their greedy character when a murder in the family is revealed. I chuckled when she has Gamache translating old news articles and a will from German to English. It didn't ring true to me with his French Canadian background. Readers have to like Penny's writing style as she uses phrases and clauses as sentences - most annoying to me - but it seems she writes as she speaks - in short bursts - a revelation upon reading her heartfelt Acknowledgment. She has a way of editorializing her characters' actions and thoughts which is quite different from other authors. I find that approach rather annoying, actually. Everything they do has some mystery/secrecy attached to be explained later. The novel takes place at wintertime - perfect, when experiencing a snowstorm at home.
I ate it in one meal, so I have to give 5 stars. As a Canadian, I too love Doonesbury, shirtless prime minister, expensive snow tires, and I know all the words to our unofficial national anthem. If you follow the series, the biggest mystery is still not revealed, damn you, author! (wtf is Gracie).
Another Chief inspector Gamache book! Every book in this series is filled with mystery & suspense...similar but always with an intriguing twist. Wondering -- will there be another?
Kingdom of the Blind (brilliant title) -- (tip: there is method to the title, as is the case with Penny's titles.)
Yet another FABULOUS novel by Penny.
14th in the series: now do we need to wait 2 years for the 15th novel?
Penny's "capture of dialogue," once again, as a flow of consciousness in relationship, is such a wonderful presentation of writing. Look at the chapters..you'll see that dialogue is the largest portion of space on the pages.
Her cast of the series' characters, beloved characters, once again, refreshingly true, authentic.
(But -- Henri the large eared shepherd dog of the Gamaches, isn't featured much. )
What started with "Still Life" and the tales of Armand Gamache and life in Three Pines, is now up to book 14 in the series. I thought I might be ready to leave Three Pines behind but Penny delivers another intriguing book.
I enjoy revisiting with Inspector Gamache and the characters of Three Pines.
This story focussed on family and the need to move forward with peace in one's heart.
The story of the drugs left me a bit unsettled. It seemed a bit rushed and unfinished. A couple of the main story lines were left wide open. Perhaps Penny intends to continue them in a future installment.
What I enjoyed most was the theme of family & friends bringing purpose and meaning to one's Life and are it's best treasures.
An interesting and worthwhile continuation of this series.
Another great book in the Gamache series. I'm way out of order but it doesn't really matter. I love the familiar personalities and watching the people change and grow. Her books are easy to read and always enjoyable. Never a disappointment.
her other works rang so true. this was just cobbled together. i think she should have waited longer -- we all would have understood. the only really good part of this book was the acknowledgements section, in which she explains about michael. this book costs around $29 US, and i cant see anyone feeling she got her money's worth
Another winner from Louise Penny. It is so good to be back with the characters we've grown to love, in the fairy tale Three Pines.
Good to be back with these characters again in another intricately-plotted mystery.
Louise Penny delivers yet another fine, engrossing tale of Three Pines.
I hated for it to end. I love this series, all the friends I have caught up with for a brief time and the wonderful village of Three Pines that feels like it could be home!
Now to have to wait another year for more!
Thank you, Louise Penny for continuing Chief Inspector Gamache’s forays. Thank you for continuing to let us eavesdrop on the residents of Three Pines. Thank you for creating a strong, understanding Inspector who gives people a second chance. Thank you for a very satisfying ending.
I wait impatiently for the latest Armand Gamache mystery from Louise Penny. I feel like I know the inhabitants of Three Pines intimately. Especially the duck... Very complicated double plot. Highly recommend. Kristi & Abby Tabby
Penny continues to show her incredible mastery -- whereas so many series would have long begun to disappoint by book 14, the Three Pines/Gamache series just keeps getting better and better. In KINGDOM OF THE BLIND, we have the storylines of the continuing investigation (and suspension) of Gamache following the incidents of GLASS HOUSES, the hunt for the drugs the Surete failed to capture at the end of that last book, and the curious events surrounding Gamache and Myrna being asked to be liquidators (or executors) of a will for a woman neither of them knew. To keep these multiple storylines in balance and full of intrigue: that's one of the reasons why the Gamache series is such a pleasure.
Longtime fans know that what sets the books in this series apart is the unique combination of Penny's skill at writing incredible, real characters that readers feel they truly know; the way in which she captures the spirit of southern Quebec and Montreal's surroundings, inviting us into small towns, bistros, and homes, sharing the spirit of friendship, family, and food, without seeming the least bit trite; and the complex mysteries that hinge often only on a small detail that would seem forced in the hands of someone less talented. Each of the last several books has ended in such a way that I couldn't help but wonder if it would be our last adventure with Gamache, and this is no exception. I both shudder to think of the series ending and having the book I've just finished be the last and also hope each time Gamache will be honored in perpetuity by the fantastic story I have just read.
Very well written with plenty of twists and surprises. Louise Penny's Armand Gamache is one of the most inspiring characters in literature. Thank you Louise Penny for deciding to keep him with us.