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A Fatal Grace

(Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #2)

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4.11  ·  Rating details ·  59,670 ratings  ·  5,356 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,
...more
Hardcover, 311 pages
Published May 15th 2007 by Minotaur Books (first published September 30th 2006)
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Terri Penny doesn't make this clear. I suspect that she became familiar with Clara's name and artwork through her occasional visits with the Three Graces.…morePenny doesn't make this clear. I suspect that she became familiar with Clara's name and artwork through her occasional visits with the Three Graces. Since Three Pines is an artistic conclave and Elle herself was an artist her old friends could easily have shared pictures of or discussed Clara's art with her. Elle might even have looked it up for herself during her more lucid periods.(less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Karen Waldron It's setting the stage for future story lines. Since I read out of order things get explained eventually.

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Average rating 4.11  · 
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Adina
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, canada
"So much more comforting to see bad in others; gives us all sorts of excuses for our own bad behavior. But good? No, only really remarkable people see the good in others."

A fatal grace is the 2nd installment in Inspector Armand Gamache cozy mystery series. In Still Life I was introduced to the inspector and his team and fell in love with Three Pines, the little village where the action takes place. Gamache is a chief inspector in the Sûreté du Québec, an honorable and complex character whose
...more
Susan Anderson
Apr 02, 2013 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. ...more
Thomas
Aug 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: canada-crime
4 stars for an entertaining mystery.
I enjoyed reading book 2 in this series, set in the mythical town of Three Pines, Quebec. This town is close to the US border in the Eastern Townships region of Quebec(between the St. Lawrence River and the US Vermont border). Armand Gamache, Chief Inspector of the Homicide Division of the Surete du Quebec, is called to investigate the death of CC de Poitiers, electrocuted in front of an entire village.
He does solve the murder, and connects it with another
...more
Fergus
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m giving this Exceptionally well-written book five stars.

Louise Penny is a Supernova in the Canadian literary firmament. And her warmth and human compassion is especially endearing, as is her supercharged inspiration in concocting such an endlessly labyrinthine structure for her book.

Her writing is excellent. And enchanting.

I loved it.

But why do its premises draw me into a dangerously dead-ended pattern of thinking?

Let me explain.

Isn’t this yet another return to the flawed Golden Age
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Carol
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

...more
Paula Kalin
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
...more
Phrynne
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4000-books
Yet another of those books with two titles. A Fatal Grace or Dead Cold. Take your pick.
Anyway whatever it is called it is an excellent book. I hate the cold, but love reading about places where the snow is metres deep and the water freezes on the end of the firemen's hoses as they try to put out a fire. Wow! Also the story takes place at Christmas in a picture perfect town where the snow sparkles in the sun and everyone drinks hot chocolate and eats cookies. What more does a book need?
Actually
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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
Candi
"The monster’s dead and the villagers are celebrating."

It’s been some time, but I was happy to find myself back in Three Pines, the idyllic little community in Quebec that is peppered with interesting characters, as well as several secrets. CC de Poitiers is fairly new in town, and definitely not a friend to any – not even those who had tried to make an effort to welcome this hateful, self-centered woman. So when she was found murdered in the middle of a curling match, it’s no surprise that the
...more
Beata
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
What can I say? Can't add much to thousands or readers praising this series .... One thing is certain, A Fatal Grace left me wanting to read next instalments.
Lewis Weinstein
Sep 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
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,
...more
Matt
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Matt by: Marty Fried
Shelves: audiobook
Louise Penny returns with a second novel in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series, just as riveting and captivating as the debut piece that offered the reader so much! While many of the familiar residents of Three Pines are in Montreal to shop for the holiday season, a newer family has begun to set-up some roots of their own in this bucolic town nestled in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. CC de Poitiers heads this family, a woman who takes no prisoners and seeks to crush those in her way, ...more
Delee
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.

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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
...more
Elizabeth
Jan 31, 2014 rated it it was ok
The setup for this book is very long and the main thing the author established was how cruel some characters were and how others were affected by cruelty. This section was so unnecessarily long that I wanted to give up on the book. The only reason I didn't was because I really enjoyed the first book.

The focus of the cruelty was on fat. And for a while it seemed that it was only the characters who were being cruel but then I read this passage about a 12 year old girl.
And beside him an enormous
...more
Heidi The Reader
Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache solves more murders while surrounded by the sparkling personalities that compose the small town of Three Pines in Canada.

Nobody likes the victim of the murder, which makes the job harder for Gamache. As a reader, I was cheering for Gamache to solve the crime, but not because of the unlikeable CC de Poiters. She was as different a character from the victim of the first book, Jane, as you could possibly be.

I wonder if Louise Penny's editors said, 'Give us another
...more
Jim
This is the third book in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series that I have read and it is the second in the series. It is fast becoming my favorite new series and I plan to read them in order. I don't think it is necessary to read the books in order but I think it will help to get to know Gamache, the members of his team, and most of all the quirky residents of the small village of Three Pines, Quebec.

It is Christmas time in Three Pines but CC de Poitiers manages to alienate everyone she
...more
Bettie


Description: 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, right up until the moment of her death.
When Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, of the Sûreté du Québec, is called to
...more
Margitte
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
...more
PattyMacDotComma
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: any mystery fan
5
“With each breath his nostrils froze shut and the air was like an ice pack in his sinuses, shooting pain through his forehead and making his eyes tear and freeze. By the time they were halfway to the train station he could barely see . . . the cold was already inside him, as though he was naked. . .”

Reading this during a steamy Australian summer is an interesting experience. Here it’s the kind of weather when you find yourself stripped down to barely acceptable clothing and opening the fridge
...more
Brenda
Chief Inspector Armand Gamach of the Sûreté du Québec received the call while with his wife – he was immediately headed to Three Pines where he’d investigated a murder the previous year. There had been another murder.

Three Pines was a pretty little village and as it was nearing Christmas, it was bitterly cold with snow and ice surrounding the cottages, the bistro, the B&B as well as the village green; even the lake was completely iced over. CC de Poitiers had been despised by all – no one
...more
Emma
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
This series is great. I love the way Penny leads us into the psyche of people. Ganache listens. It is how he solves crimes. Gamache also loves people but I think Louise Penny must too. The people of Three Pines are an amazing cast. It makes me yearn for that kind of community. I love Ruth and the Beer Walk really touched me when I learned what it was. The story itself was pretty sad. I am enjoying the foreshadowing about the Arnot case and looking forward to seeing where that goes in future ...more
Anne
May 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Cherie
Aug 20, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book 2 is much improved compared to the writing in Book 1--Still Life, of this series. I loved the quaint small town, where I could feel right at home. I felt the mystery itself (or mysteries plural) was pretty easy to solve early on though, so that is why only 3 stars. I am hoping each book improves, and I plan on continuing the series.
joyce g
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It feels like coming home when you read this second in the Gamache series. Delightful! I would take a few good friends with me to live in Three Pines.
Ann Girdharry
Definitely a top read. This is a really enjoyable, cozy mystery, starring the wonderful Inspector Armand Gamache.

In this second book in the series, Gamache and his team and called back to the small village of Three Pines to investigate the murder of CC Poitiers.

It’s Christmas time in the quiet Quebec village and everyone is enjoying the festivities and an abundance of food and good will and neighbourly good deeds. The winter landscape plays an important part in the story as they cope with
...more
Kimberleigh
Feb 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Susan Johnson
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars
Terence M
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Audiobook - 10:30 Hours
Narrator: Ralph Cosham (excellent narration!)
Upgraded from my original 3.0 Stars to 4.0 Stars
Review to follow - here it is
Upfront, I want to state that I definitely "Liked" Armand Gamache #2, "A Fatal Grace", aka "Dead Cold", so it earns an almost unequivocal 3 Stars, but...
I thought the plot was quite convoluted, and made even more so by the overlaid (or underlaid) secondary issue faced by Gamache from a previous investigation. I also needed to 're-wind' and re-listen,
...more
Maxwell
Mar 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, kindle
I enjoyed this one slightly more than the 1st book in the series, and that gives me hope for the rest of them! I find the stories to be slightly outlandish, but the characters and setting are charming. They have a bit more depth than usual mystery/thrillers. I'm curious to see where the stories go as one town can't possibly keep getting hit with so many murders and not have people questioning living there? Nonetheless, a fun cozy mystery that fleshes out the characters more as it goes along and ...more
Holly
This story was perhaps a little too full of various coincidences as to be beyond belief, but man did I enjoy this book. Seriously, I don't know how this author does it but she manages to make books about murder feel almost comforting. I can't explain it. I just love these characters. I did guess who the culprit was, but the murder mystery itself isn't really the main draw to these stories for me, so I'm ok with that. I do hear that the mysteries get better though as the series evolves. I shall ...more
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10,895 followers
LOUISE PENNY, a former CBC radio journalist, is the #1 New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling author of fourteen Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels. She has been awarded the John Creasey Dagger, Nero, Macavity and Barry Awards, as well as two each of the Arthur Ellis and Dilys Awards. Additionally, Penny has won six Agatha Awards and five Anthony Awards, and has been a finalist for an ...more

Other books in the series

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache (1 - 10 of 15 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)
“When someone stabs you it's not your fault that you feel pain.” 325 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.” 153 likes
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