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A Fatal Grace (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #2)

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  16,550 ratings  ·  1,797 reviews
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. CC de Poitiers managed to alienate everyone, r
Hardcover, 311 pages
Published May 15th 2007 by Minotaur Books (first published January 1st 2006)
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  • A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny
    A Fatal Grace (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #2)
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    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)

    Community Reviews

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    Susan Anderson
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    Mary Beth
    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
    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
    Chad Sayban
    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
    Anne Mowat
    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
    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
    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

    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
    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
    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
    Mona Temchin
    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
    Lynn G.
    The second in author Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache series, A Fatal Grace A Fatal Grace (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #2) by Louise Penny, reacquaints the reader with the friendly villagers of Three Pines and members of the Quebec Surete. As before, a murder in Three Pines brings them together once again.

    While each book in the series is a stand-alone there are references to past events that link the books and serve as an understory that will be fleshed out and resolved in future volumes, including the machinations between and amongst members of the Sure
    Kathy Davie
    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
    I really enjoyed Dead Cold and am happy to report that the 5 stars I rated the series’ first book wasn’t a fluke. Book 2 is just as good. Dead Cold is a police procedural or who done it but it is so very much more. There are layers and layers to the story. There is the primary crime to be solved but there are numerous sub plots woven expertly into the story. Even if you figure something out before the end, it doesn’t matter. The pleasure for me is the journey, reading the words, getting to know ...more
    Carolyn Hill
    I am hooked on Louise Penny, even though I'm not a particular fan of murder mysteries. Many people enjoy mysteries for the puzzle, and this book certainly has a gigantic one, but I tend to read mysteries more for the characters and setting, which is what makes me want to return to Louise Penny's books. Sure, you want an intriguing plot, but what brings a novel of this genre to the next level is the humanity of its characters. Penny not only has an understanding of human nature, she imparts a cer ...more
    Laura de Leon
    I find it hard to describe what it is I like so much about this book as well as the first book in the series-- difficult enough that I never reviewed Still Life.

    I find them very comfortable books-- not sweet books, not cozy books, but books where I just seamlessly slip into their world. The village of Three Pines is a vivid place, with interesting characters.

    There is an emphasis on art in both of these books-- the first featured painters, and many of the characters continued into A Fatal Grace,
    Superior writing. Superior mystery.

    One reason I love Louise Penny so much is that her mysteries are so human, so emotional. Her stories aren't like a Dell book of logic puzzles, with correct answers but without a soul. No. Her stories are about the seeds of emotions sprinkled, germinated, and fully expressed.

    Here's an excerpt from a moment between Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his wife Reine-Marie:

    'Voila. It's good to be home.' He took her in his arms and kissed her, feeling her soft body
    Nikki Magennis
    I am not averse to familiar tropes or carefully crafted set ups that hook and lead and set up a read according to well known methods. But there were too many icky, pat set ups and characters in this for me to persevere with it. I mean, I could feel my sentimental glands being milked right from the first pages. The book is set in a cosy American village that I found so sickly aspirational it repelled me instantly. And descriptions (flashback) of children with faces pressed up against Christmas wi ...more
    Mal Warwick
    Do you enjoy detective fiction? Check this out.

    An unpopular woman, a newcomer to town, is murdered in the middle of the day at a popular sports event in rural Quebec. She was mysteriously electrocuted sitting in a lawn chair on the sidelines. The local constable is clueless.

    Enter the celebrated homicide detective, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surete du Quebec with a retinue of subordinates. Gamache plunges into the investigation with his usual quiet intensity, deploying his team with gr
    Martha Stewart wannabe CC de Poitiers has invaded the tranquility of the picture postcard village of Three Pines, buying up the somewhat creepy mansion in which Inspector Gamache’s last bloody case was brought to a close. Moving in with her henpecked husband and gifted but unloved daughter, CC manages to cast a pall even over the idyllic Christmas Eve service. She’s also shamelessly purloined the ideas of the villagers to publish in her new book as her own. So when CC winds up dead by electrocut ...more
    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
    The village of Three Pines seems like an idyllic retreat located just a drive away from bustling Quebec. But the beautiful scenery and warm hospitality apparently don’t insulate the town from violent crimes. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surete du Quebec is once again called in to investigate the murder of socialite CC de Poitiers. What is especially unusual about this case is the murderer’s weapon of choice; CC has been electrocuted on the ice during a curling match with the entire town ...more
    3 stars - It was good.

    I only recently discovered Louise Penny and am falling in love with her writing style. She has a very eloquent way with words and uses them to create beautiful passages. Her books so far have been pleasant escapes that make you think, rather than being fast paced thrillers (I enjoy both, just clarifying for others considering this one). As a bonus there are two touching segments within this story that dog lovers will enjoy - Penny's fondness for dogs definitely shows in th
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    • Out of the Deep I Cry (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #3)
    • And Justice There Is None (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #8)
    • Blackfly Season (John Cardinal and Lise Delorme Mystery, #3)
    • A Question of Belief (Commissario Brunetti, #19)
    • Watchers of Time (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #5)
    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 11 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)
    Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #1) Bury Your Dead (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #6) How the Light Gets In (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #9) A Rule Against Murder (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #4) The Brutal Telling (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #5)

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    “When someone stabs you it's not your fault that you feel pain.” 245 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.” 79 likes
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