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Louise Penny, A GREAT RECKONING

Armand Gamache has taken over as head of the Surete Academy in an effort to root out the last vestiges of the pervasive corruption that had infected the Surete Quebec under its previous chief. Soon Gamache has on his hands a dead professor, an odd map found in the walls of the bistro at Three Pines that is somehow related to the murder, and four suspicious cadets, one of whom seems to be related to his own past.

Plots, sub-plots, and sub-sub-plots are all part of the richness of Penny’s books, and having it all tie together in the end is one of the pleasures of reading her. This works better in some stories than in others, but generally I would consider this one a success.

I have often thought that if Penny’s characters talked directly and honestly to each other without being quite so oblique, cryptic, and clever, the crimes would be solved much more quickly. ┬áBut I suppose all of this obfuscation is also part of the charm of her writing. ┬áThis is a good novel that her many fans will enjoy.

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