Monday, January 17, 2011

Two Mysteries

The first mystery on tap is A Fearsome Doubt by Charles Todd.  The author is actually a mother-son team who write under this pseudonym.

A Fearsome Doubt (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #6)A Fearsome Doubt by Charles Todd
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Inspector Ian Rutledge faces a challenging problem when he is confronted by the strong possibility that his police work led to the hanging of an innocent man.  Reopening the investigation is thorny when he realizes that by doing so he puts his supervisor's skills into question, and the last thing he needs is to have another reason for Bowles to hate him.  At the same time, he's sent off to Kent to investigate the murders of several disabled veterans of the war.  While the characters are as sharply drawn as ever, and we see more and more flashes of Rutledge's mental recovery, the mysteries themselves were rather ho-hum.  This installment didn't grab me the way others have.  It won't stop me from reading on however!

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The second mystery is by Louise Penny whose Inspector Armand Gamache series is presently one of my favorites.  Set in Quebec,  Penny uses the cultural and natural environment to create a strong setting for her hero.  Gamache is thorough in police work, intuitive as far as human nature is concerned, and wrestles with the real existence of good and evil.  He is a highly moral man with a good understanding of the frailties of human nature.  

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Inspector Armand Gamache and his wife Reine-Marie are celebrating their wedding anniversary at an exclusive lakeside auberge.  Other guests at the lodge include the Finney/Morrow clan who are gathering for a family reunion. Armand and Reine-Marie are pleasantly surprised to discover that Peter and Clara Morrow are part of the Morrow reunion.  However, their idyllic vacation comes to a screeching halt when one of the Morrows is murdered by a falling statue.  How this was accomplished and who managed to do so, makes for a compelling, page-turning read.  Along the way we learn much more about who Armand Gamache is and what makes him tick.  The writing is wonderful, and I very much appreciate the jewels of poetry that are sprinkled through the text.  This series is much more than "cozy mysteries."  Although the coziness is there, there is a darker edge that is quite satisfying.

1 comment:

Panhandle Jane said...

I really like Louise Penny's books as well, for many of the same reasons that you like them. I wonder, though, how our persepctive is different, since the setting is to you what the setting of, for example, the Tony Hillerman books is for me--a different culture, but not that far away geographically.