Four statements lead to wisdom, but not before mischief and revenge come into play.
The slumberous Quebecois village of Three Pines is about to have its hackles raised. In the spirit of good fun, the owner of the local B&B has arranged for a visiting Hungarian psychic to conduct a séance. She turns out not to be Hungarian and the séance is a dud. Undaunted, the participants plan a sequel at the deserted old Hadley house on the hill, where one of their number is evidently scared to death. How, why and whodunit will fall to Chief Inspector Armand Gamache (A Fatal Grace, 2007, etc.) to discover, his task complicated by the villagers’ tendencies to conceal secrets and his own cadre of officers’ to work against him in payback for his role in bringing charges against a superior. A mother will disappoint a daughter. A husband will taunt a wife. And a golden girl too good at everything for her own good will wreak havoc on the village while Gamache instructs his subordinates in the path to wisdom: learning to say I don’t know, I’m sorry, I was wrong, I need help.
Perhaps the deftest talent to arrive since Minette Walters, Penny produces what many have tried but few have mastered: a psychologically acute cozy. If you don’t give your heart to Gamache, you may have no heart to give.