Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his wife Reine-Marie’s annual celebration of their wedding anniversary at Manoir Bellechasse is rudely disturbed by murder.
Bellechasse, that resplendent former home of Robber Barons, is a legendary log lodge located on a lake close to the Québécois village of Three Pines, home to the Gamaches’ artist friends Peter and Clara Morrow. The Gamaches’ fellow guests, all relatives of Peter and Clara, include the chilly Morrow matriarch, now Mrs. Finney; her oldest son Tom and his constantly carping wife; her lovely daughter Julia, who’s serving her financier husband with divorce papers in jail; and her ragtag daughter Marianna and her androgynous child Bean. As at all the best family reunions, the relatives, who rarely speak to each other, break their silence only to hurl words like knives. Their relations grow even chillier when Julia is crushed by a recently placed statue of her father and Gamache and his team call it murder. In a case reminiscent of classic Christie, sagacious, intuitive, patient Gamache finds the family and staff the only suspects, but they’re more than enough. Digging into the family’s background reveals many petty secrets, some nasty. Meantime, sated perhaps with attacks on each other, the Morrows turn on Gamache when they discover his father railed against World War II and became a conscientious objector.
This latest treat in the series (The Cruelest Month, 2008, etc.) will keep fans salivating in anticipation, savoring each delectable morsel and yearning for more.