Previously published as Dead Cold
The award-winning second novel from worldwide phenomenon and number one New York Times bestseller Louise Penny.
Winter in Three Pines, and the sleepy village is carpeted in snow. It's a time of peace and goodwill - until a scream pierces the biting air. A spectator at the annual Boxing Day curling match has been fatally electrocuted. Despite the large crowd, there are no witnesses and - apparently - no clues.
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache discovers a history of secrets and enemies in the dead woman's past. But he has enemies of his own, and as he is frozen out of decision-making in the Surete du Quebec, he has to decide who he can trust...
'Chief Superintendent Armand Gamache of the Quebec police is one of the most interesting detectives in crime fiction' The Times
'A cracking storyteller, who can create fascinating characters, a twisty plot and wonderful surprise endings' Ann Cleeves
When sadistic socialite CC de Poitiers is fatally electrocuted at a Christmas curling competition in the tiny Qu becois village of Three Pines, only the arcane method of the murder is a surprise in Penny's artful but overwritten sophomore effort (after her highly praised 2006 debut, Still Life). CC had cobbled together a spiritual guidance business based on eliminating emotion, but the feelings she inspired in others were anything but serene. Everyone around the cartoonish victim from a daughter cowed by lifelong abuse to the local spiritual teacher whose business she threatens to ruin has a motive, and the crime also links to a vagrant's recent murder as well as to the pasts of several beloved village residents. The calm but quirky Chief Insp. Armand Gamache, who arrives in Three Pines from Montreal to head the investigation, is appealing as the series' focus. Though Penny gorgeously evokes the smalltown Christmas mood, the novel is oddly steeped in holiday atmosphere for a May release, and the plot's dependence on lengthy backstory slows the momentum.