There was a lot of time to do reading on our recent world cruise and I took full advantage of it. I was introduced to a new author I hadn't read before, Louise Penny and her Armand Gamache series thanks to another voracious reader who we had dinner with most nights.
I started reading with Still Life and didn't quit until The Long Way Home, the tenth in the series. Number eleven releases in August of this year. I would recommend reading them in order but be aware that once you get started, there's likely no going back. Why? The characters. Penny has developed characters to truly care about and what a mix they are! The ever-steady Gamache and his wife who quietly gives him strength, his detective partner Jean-Guy, and of course the wonderful people of Three Pines, the town that anchors the stories.
The location around which the stories evolve includes not only the fictional Three Pines but Montreal and Quebec City. That adds some French language to the mix and since I took German in high school, I was a bit at a loss for some of the expressions. One became clear halfway through when one of the characters mentioned stepping in it. Some of the English phrases/words were clear and while Penny doesn't use them abundantly, they are well placed for effect.
The plots are good, the locations well defined, and the characters guaranteed to stick with you. These are great reads. I look forward to The Nature of the Beast.