Penny, Louise. A Rule Against Murder.
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his wife are on their annual anniversary holiday at Manoir Bellechase. Gamache may have been expecting a relaxing summer retreat, but when one of the guests is murdered, he finds himself involved in the investigation.
This is the first of Louise Penny's novels that I've read and the 4th in this series. It is more complex than a cozy, but still retains some of the characteristics of that genre. Chief Inspector Gamache is a charming man, deeply in love with his wife. With patience and insight, Gamache leads his team as they try to determine motive and murderer.
I liked Gamache, but found the dysfunctional Finney's a bit hard to take. Held together by a twisted thread, their contempt for each other is pervasive. Something about these relationships didn't hold together for me and the concluding pages concerning the siblings didn't resolve my problems.
Nevertheless, something about Gamache and his team and about Penny's writing style helped me overcome my distaste for the mean-spirited Finney family (I did like Bert and Bean), and I enjoyed the mystery, the setting, and all of the other characters. The first three novels in the series will eventually make it to my stacks.
Other reviews of this series: My Random Acts of Reading and Framed.
Fiction. Mystery. 2008. 322 pages.