Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Fatal Grace: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel” as Want to Read:
A Fatal Grace: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Fatal Grace: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #2)

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  26,480 Ratings  ·  2,645 Reviews
Winner of the 2007 Agatha Award for Best Novel!

Welcome to winter in Three Pines, a picturesque village in Quebec, where the villagers are preparing for a traditional country Christmas, and someone is preparing for murder.
No one liked CC de Poitiers. Not her quiet husband, not her spineless lover, not her pathetic daughter—and certainly none of the residents of Three Pines.
Audio CD
Published July 29th 2014 by Macmillan Audio (first published January 1st 2006)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Fatal Grace, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Richard Doesn't actually occur in any one book. The replay of it in Gamache's mind makes up one of the three plots in Bury Your Dead. The aftermath of that…moreDoesn't actually occur in any one book. The replay of it in Gamache's mind makes up one of the three plots in Bury Your Dead. The aftermath of that plays a role in all the books after this one. (less)
Linda Steller The Arnot Case is explained in A Fatal Grace. I was glad, as I found it annoying in the first book. I also didn't like the biblical reference in the…moreThe Arnot Case is explained in A Fatal Grace. I was glad, as I found it annoying in the first book. I also didn't like the biblical reference in the first book which was not explained until the end. I had to look it up and would have preferred that the author just write the thing down when she first brought it up. It did nothing to heighten the suspense. (less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Susan Anderson
Oct 02, 2013 Susan Anderson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, literary
Where to begin with all the richness that A FATAL GRACE gave me. Reading it, I wondered how I had lived so long without discovering the work of Louise Penny, a first-rate writer. Her creation in this book is so real, her writing so lyrical, her characters so unique and the book's structure and meaning so complex that I began mumbling to myself, taking my sweet time reading the book in order to savor its mix of flavors, its innuendoes and subtleties, having at times to stop and scratch my head. I ...more
Have you ever been so dam cold that you could hardly move your frozen lips to talk? Having grown up in Michigan amidst many a freezing winter days, I have, and in A Fatal Grace, Louise Penny truly brings a chilling winter alive making the reader feel you are at the enchanted snowy village of Three Pines in Quebec.

In book two, there's another murder to solve for Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his crew as the repulsively cruel CC De Poitiers is no more. Deliberately electrocuted, the villagers

Myrna looked out the window and wondered whether their peace, so fragile and precious, was about to be shattered. Since CC de Poitiers had arrived there'd been a gathering gloom over their little community. She'd brought something unsavory to Three Pines, in time for Christmas.

 photo e9a96ea2-7610-4531-aabc-0691e09da972_zpsfd5cefab.jpg

It is Christmas in Three Pines- and once again Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his team are called to investigate another murder...

No one liked CC de Poitiers – not her daughter, not her husband, not her lover, and cer
James Thane
Louise Penny is a gifted writer who has created in Chief Inspector Armand Gamache a sympathetic protagonist who appeals to large numbers of readers. She has also created a richly-imagined setting in the charming Canadian village of Three Pines, which is located somewhere just south of Montreal. The tiny hamlet is populated by a cast of quirky but mostly lovable characters who spend a lot of time walking through the snow and curling up in front of blazing fires. In doing so, Penny has attracted a ...more
Lewis Weinstein
I started reading this book immediately after finishing Still Life, with high expectations. At first, I was disappointed. The initial chapters seemed to lose the edge established by the prior book, the returning characters from the village of Three Pines seemed far less interesting than before.

Then Inspector Gamache came on the scene, late in my judgment, but once he made his appearance, the story took off, with an accelerating pace that lasted all the way through. The Three Pines characters, n
It is seldom the case for me to feel a happy contentment when opening up a book. A feeling of "Oh, it feels so good to be home". Louise Penny has become a firm favorite in the murder mystery genre and I just loved to be home in the Three Pines village of Quebec again with all the characters welcoming me. This time it was the day after Christmas, the deadly winter was raging, and more people would die than ever imagined.

CC was a despised woman. Obnoxious, cruel, -she was maddeningly bad news- to
May 12, 2016 Desislava rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
My second Inspector Gamache book. My biggest problem with the series is that the characters are very poorly drawn, they are wooden and unbelievable. There are occasional flashes of realism, but, for the most part, they are simply caricatures. All of them are divided into two groups: saintly do-gooders who spew wit and wisdom, and hollow shells who are so broken and damaged.

I was hoping that Penny would work on character development in the second novel, but alas, she didn’t. Nichole is ridiculous
Dec 03, 2013 Anne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What Louise Penny does is create a small, intimate world, while creating a sense of place so pervasive you feel you know it. Canada is rarely featured in best-selling books, and to have it so celebrated is wonderful. It is Quebec, to be sure, but the Quebec of Anglo-culture, and so, it is the Canadian Quebec.

Most powerful, for me, is the way she builds quiet characters of amazing strength and depth. These are not cartoon-brilliant people. They are, for the most part, fully-fleshed out, but rath
May 05, 2016 Marita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
I guessed the identity of the murderer early in the story, but I enjoyed going along for the atmosphere, the coffee and freshly baked croissants, the cheese and wine being served as the cast of characters watched an ice hockey match on TV. Not everything about this mystery is cozy; there are dysfunctional relationships and sorrow. There are also some unexpected twists to the story.
Dec 10, 2013 Connie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible-cd, 2013
3.5 stars.
The 2nd in the Gamache series did not get quite as high praise as the first, but I will continue with this series. I think this one bogged down a bit for me and perhaps since the victim was not very likable I am not sure I was as invested in finding out "who dunnit".

That said, I love Gamache and his team. I love the way he methodically plods to the conclusion and I try to figure the mystery out right along with him. This one came to me rather early but I could not figure out all th
Feb 03, 2009 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book I've read in this series and just as good as the other one I have read. I'm not reading them in order, which is fine with me since it's usually a few weeks after I finish one before I start another in the series. I really love Louise Penny's writing style and the way she develops these characters. Here are two of my favorite lines from this book:

"There at the back stood CC de Poitiers wearing a fluffy white sweater made of either cashmere or kittens."

"Now she sat in front
Louise Penny is terrific. I'm a big fan of her Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series. A Fatal Grace, the 2nd of the series, takes a different path from the first book. More emotion, in depth character analysis, and what is perceived and what is really inside peoples minds. Different and beautiful. What wonderful prose. Listening to Ralph Cosham is such a pleasure. I'm only going with the audiobooks because of Cosham's voice and French Canadian accent.

CC de Poitiers, the murder victim, has to be
Mary Beth
Sep 08, 2014 Mary Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this second book in the series and the quirky characters are back and we are becoming friends. I missed them.
It is Christmas time in Three Pines and gives a nice winter environment. Gamache actually deals. with two murders in this book. One deals with a homeless person and the other murder deals with a mean unjoyous woman, Cc de Poitiers. Working with his partner Beauvoir and newcomer Lemieux, Gamache investigates the crimes, learning more and more about the residents of Three
It took a little while to get started, but what a great finish! I really enjoyed the second in the Inspector Gamache series. The village of Three Pines and all its inhabitants comes alive under the pen of Louise Penny. I'm also enjoying getting to know not only Gamache, but all of his team. The villagers and the team are all recurring characters. Many are quirky and odd, which makes me like them even more. I'll definitely be continuing with this series. Penny understands a great breadth of human ...more
Richard Derus
Apr 13, 2013 Richard Derus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been revised and can now be found at Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud.
Jul 15, 2008 Hank rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Better than Still Life but that says something since I liked that one very much. Many of the same characters are back and Armand continues to charm. He is the kind of leader/mentor I would aspire to be when I find myself in that role. The setting in small village Quebec works well and the plot is interesting and sublime. As a whodunit you can deduce many of the interim mysteries but the final is hard to decifer until the very end. Her descriptions are lavish and picturesque. Looking forward to r ...more
Jun 24, 2014 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Many of my reading friends have read A Fatal Grace, the second in Louise Penny's Three Pines Mystery Series, later books becoming A Chief Inspector Armand Gamache Novel. Few have had much to say about it other than giving it 4-5 stars. This could be due to its publication date, perhaps a bit pre-GR or just that it's a good mystery and that's that.

I could immediately see Penny's growth as a writer. I found it far better plotted and much more engaging than the first in the series. From what I'm h
Chad Sayban
Jul 30, 2013 Chad Sayban rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is winter in the cozy town of Three Pines, Quebec and once again Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his team have been called upon to solve a murder. However, the victim – CC de Poitiers – isn’t mourned by anyone, not even her husband and daughter. To compound the situation, Poitiers was murdered right in front of the entire village in an extraordinary way, yet nobody saw who did it. Gamache must once again use his patience and intellect to find a killer in a town where everyone knows everyon ...more
I am intrigued by this mystery series, set in the oh-so-quaint village of Three Pines. Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy this second installment of the series as much as the first.

This time around, Penny seems to be painting her characters with a broader brush. Several characters seem much more comic-boo-caricaturish than they did in Still Life. Also, Dead Cold feels like a "middle" book, with ongoing subplots that don't particularly get anywhere and leave readers with a sense of incompletion.

On th
Aug 26, 2016 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-suspense
From the several reviews I've read, it's apparent that A Fatal Grace (aka Dead Cold) is the weakest entry to this series.

This is pretty exciting news for me because I enjoyed this one quite a bit. Mostly I just enjoyed being in this novel and experiencing Three Pines at Christmas (incidentally, Louise, will your characters be tipping the scales at >300lbs a few books down the line? The food!). The murder in this case is one of the most convoluted I've come across. She had me guessing througho
Jan 07, 2015 Mona rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've Become A Fan/Addict of This Gentle and Delightful Series

This book, the second in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache mystery/crime novel series, is, if anything, even better than the first book.

I can't wait to read the next one.

I did guess whodonit, but that didn't detract from the pleasure of reading this.

There is a second murder in the lovely and picturesque Quebec village of Three Pines, a year after the first one.

Someone's murdered CC de Poitiers at the annual Christmas curling competi
Aug 17, 2015 Bookmaniac70 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Не беше никак лоша комбинация да се разтапям на плажа под изгарящото августовско слънце и да чета за минусови температури, искряща белота, скърцащ под ботушите половинметров канадски сняг-:)). А и така хубаво си похапват героите! Тази поредица носи чувство на уют, на принадлежност към мястото, където живееш. Централно място заемат връзките между хората в общността. Интересно е да се проследява развитието на героите и техните отношения, има достатъчно напрежение в действието и интригуващ сюжет. Щ ...more

Inspector Gamache is becoming an old friend who I look forward to visiting again and again. The quirky residents of a Three Pines add to these stories and I would love to have dinner with my personal favorite Ruth who is just cranky enough to be interesting.

My one drawback for this story was the description of the daughter of the victim as fat and grotesque. The fat shaming was a bit much and caused my husband, who was listening to this book with me, to walk away from the story.

I am hooked and w
Jun 19, 2016 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: who-dunnit
A little disappointed with this one after reading the terrific first book, Still Life. I feel like this one was more preoccupied with the people of Three Pines than with the cases to be solved. I love the little town and community that Penny has created, but this book was just a little too precious with its treatment of them.

There are definitely some storylines being set up here, so perhaps that is the reason for the unevenness. The only other teensy complaint I had was concerning the continuit
Aug 09, 2016 Catherine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
listened to the audio book and enjoyed it very much. started it last week, just added it hence start date and end date is the same.waiting for 1st book in series to come available in audio.
Aug 28, 2013 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible, cozy-mystery
There is a long history behind the mystery Inspector Gamache has to tackle in this second addition to this series. The same old gang returns for another great ride into this, Three Pines, adventure centered around the Holiday Season. Hot cider, decorations, caroling, and special winter smells are so well described by Louise Penny that you are just enveloped into the whole feel of Christmas magic and the joys of good friends, food and laughter.

I am continually enchanted by the repartee and, laug
DEAD COLD (Police Procedural-Canada-Cont) – Ex
Penny, Louise – 2nd in series
Headline, 2006- UK Hardcover
*** Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his officers have been called back to the town of Three Pines. CC de Poitiers, an extremely unpleasant woman, has been murdered in public at the height of a curling match. Figuring out how she was killed is as much a mystery as uncovering who killed her.
*** Penny’s books are deceptive. On one hand, they seem a simple traditional mystery, set in a small tow
Pretty much, I was bored by the beginning, entertained through the middle, and found the end to be tied-up quickly and hastily and not-really with a whole lot of sense.

This time, though, I sussed the whole thing out pretty quickly, which is always fun for me. I wasn't put off the trail by the many other paths thrown at me. Yay, I'm becoming so clever.

Questions I have:
-Is there always going to be a suspicious rookie (as in, the rookie has suspicions not that the rookie is acting suspiciously) who
Kathy Davie
Mar 06, 2014 Kathy Davie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Second in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache cozy mystery series and revolving around Gamache and a small cast of villagers from Three Pines in Canada.

And winner of the 2007 Agatha Award for Best Novel!

My Take
An excellent cozy, cottage mystery with Québecois Christmas traditions as Gamache, a Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot wrapped in one with his easy, laidback style, and the core cast of village characters from Still Life , 1, get jolted by yet another murderous mystery. Hmmm, what are the cha
Apr 29, 2016 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great mystery with continued character development and enrichment. I love how she started a plot line in the first of the series, a little more is shared now, and I'm sure will continue throughout.

Absolutely looking forward to the next one.

« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Play Book Tag: A Fatal Grace / Louise Penny - 3*** 1 7 Aug 15, 2016 11:46AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: #41 A Fatal Grace 1 1 Jul 29, 2016 07:29AM  
Play Book Tag: A Fatal Grace, Louise Penny 4 Stars 1 10 May 22, 2016 07:05PM  
Questions...Clara, El, Nichol, Lemieux... 4 139 Nov 20, 2015 07:47AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: #124 - A Fatal Grace (Gamache #2) 1 2 Dec 28, 2014 04:47PM  
Suicide? 3 82 Jun 09, 2014 08:23PM  
Billy Williams-isms 3 95 Jan 16, 2013 07:26PM  
  • Out of the Deep I Cry (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #3)
  • Leave the Grave Green (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #3)
  • The Delicate Storm (John Cardinal and Lise Delorme Mystery, #2)
  • Search the Dark (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #3)
  • Black Diamond (Bruno, Chief of Police #3)
  • An Incomplete Revenge (Maisie Dobbs, #5)
  • A Question of Belief (Commissario Brunetti, #19)
Many of Louise Penny's books are published under different titles by UK/Canada and US publishers.
She lives with her husband, Michael, and a golden retriever named Trudy, in a small village south of Montreal.

Her first Armand Gamache novel, "Still Life" won the New Blood Dagger, Arthur Ellis, Barry, Anthony and Dilys Awards.

* Agatha Award: Best Novel
o 2007 – A Fatal Grace – Winner
o 2008 –
More about Louise Penny...

Other Books in the Series

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #1)
  • The Cruelest Month (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #3)
  • A Rule Against Murder (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #4)
  • The Brutal Telling (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #5)
  • Bury Your Dead (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #6)
  • A Trick of the Light (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #7)
  • The Beautiful Mystery (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #8)
  • How the Light Gets In (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #9)
  • The Long Way Home (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #10)
  • The Nature of the Beast (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #11)

Share This Book

“When someone stabs you it's not your fault that you feel pain.” 274 likes
“I was tired of seeing the Graces always depicted as beautiful young things. I think wisdom comes with age and life and pain. And knowing what matters.” 111 likes
More quotes…