Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller
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Chief Inspector Armand Gamache returns to Three Pines in #1 New York Times bestseller Louise Penny's latest spellbinding novel
You’re a coward.
Time and again, as the New Year approaches, that charge is leveled against Armand Gamache.
It starts innocently enough.
While the residents of the Québec village of Three Pines take advantage of the deep snow to ski and toboggan, to drink hot chocolate in the bistro and share meals together, the Chief Inspector finds his holiday with his family interrupted by a simple request.
He’s asked to provide security for what promises to be a non-event. A visiting Professor of Statistics will be giving a lecture at the nearby university.
While he is perplexed as to why the head of homicide for the Sûreté du Québec would be assigned this task, it sounds easy enough. That is until Gamache starts looking into Professor Abigail Robinson and discovers an agenda so repulsive he begs the university to cancel the lecture.
They refuse, citing academic freedom, and accuse Gamache of censorship and intellectual cowardice. Before long, Professor Robinson’s views start seeping into conversations. Spreading and infecting. So that truth and fact, reality and delusion are so confused it’s near impossible to tell them apart.
Discussions become debates, debates become arguments, which turn into fights. As sides are declared, a madness takes hold.
Abigail Robinson promises that, if they follow her, ça va bien aller. All will be well. But not, Gamache and his team know, for everyone.
When a murder is committed it falls to Armand Gamache, his second-in-command Jean-Guy Beauvoir, and their team to investigate the crime as well as this extraordinary popular delusion.
And the madness of crowds.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Dangerous ideas lead to violent ends in Louise Penny’s gripping post-COVID murder mystery. When the idyllic Québec town of Three Pines invites statistician Abigail Robinson to present her government-funded findings at the local university over the quiet Christmas break, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is asked to serve as her security detail. At first, he doesn’t get why someone with his skill and experience—he’s on a first-name basis with the premier!—would be handed such a basic assignment. Then the inspector learns that Professor Robinson’s viral conclusions toward fixing post-COVID Canada involve some horrifying suggestions—and they’re starting to gain traction in the minds of people you’d think would know better. With a cast of unforgettable characters, The Madness of Crowds had us hooked from the very first page.
Might a post-Covid Canada value individual lives less? That provocative question's at the heart of bestseller Penny's brilliant 17th whodunit featuring Sûreté du Québec Chief Insp. Armand Gamache (after 2020's All the Devils Are Here). Gamache, who has been devastated to learn that nursing homes were abandoned during the pandemic, leaving the vulnerable residents to die alone, is discomfited to be asked to provide security for a lecture by a controversial figure, statistician Abigail Robinson. After analyzing the pandemic's social and economic fallout for the Canadian government, Robinson concluded that the health care system and the economy would be in good shape, if only the elderly and infirm were euthanized so everyone else could have adequate resources. The government disclaimed her findings, but her views have proven disturbingly popular among a segment of the population. Gamache saves Robinson from an assassin's bullet at the talk, but a related murder in his home village of Three Pines follows. Seamlessly integrating debates about scientific experimentation and morality into a fair-play puzzle, Penny excels at placing her characters in challenging ethical quandaries. This author just goes from strength to strength.
How u managed to pull this story together with me threatening to strangle u every inch of the way…I’ll never know. U annoying genius.
Too Much Discussion
Love this series but I found this book a bit disappointing. Too much emphasis on the theories surrounding the murder, they seem to go over and over them ad infinitum. Would have enjoyed reaching the conclusion much sooner. Looking forward to her next book, however. One more book and I’ve completed the series. Brava, Louise Penny.
As usual, a very thoughtful book. Louise Penny is one of those writers I trust to connect her stories and characters to parts of me, whether known by me at the time.