Glass Houses by Louise Penny

a bookclique pick by Cricket Mikheev

Glass Houses is the latest installment of Louise Penny’s mystery series featuring Quebecois detective, Armand Gamache.  With a wide-ranging and culturally astute plot, this sweeping novel takes on the opioid crisis, the tradition of cobrador del frac, and college friendships as well as themes of shame, conscience, and, of course, murder.

This sounds heavy. This sounds dark. And it might be, if not for the extraordinary characters who inhabit Penny’s mysteries and the fictional small town in southern Quebec, Three Pines. In the twelve books preceding Glass Houses Armand discovers and investigates Three Pines and ultimately, chooses to move into this quirky and compassionate community (which just happens to have a curiously high rate of murders). The humanity of the treasured relationships in Three Pines is what make this series so much more than a police procedural.

Reflecting on her fictional town, Louise Penny writes: “Three Pines is a state of mind. When we choose tolerance over hate. Kindness over cruelty. Goodness over bullying. When we choose to be hopeful, not cynical. Then we live in Three Pines.”

Who couldn’t benefit from a  strong dose of Three Pines and the affirmation of a story where evil is rooted out and faces consequences? And in the spirit of detective stories, spot this review as the red herring it is and read the Gamache books from the beginning; start with Still Life.

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