on August 30th 2016
Genres: Crime & Mystery, Fiction
Published by Minotaur Books
Source: From author/publisher
When an intricate old map is found stuffed into the walls of the bistro in Three Pines, it at first seems no more than a curiosity. But the closer the villagers look, the stranger it becomes.
Given to Armand Gamache as a gift the first day of his new job, the map eventually leads him to shattering secrets. To an old friend and older adversary. It leads the former Chief of Homicide for the Sûreté du Québec to places even he is afraid to go but must.
And there he finds four young cadets in the Sûreté academy, and a dead professor. And, with the body, a copy of the old, odd map.
I had never heard of this detective series until BEA 2016 when Louise Penny was one of the speakers at the adult breakfast. This is the twelfth book in the series. Normally I would never start a series in the middle but I had a copy of the book so I decided to try it.
This seems like a good place for new readers to start. From what I gathered from the text, the detective at the heart of the story had investigated police corruption. After this investigation, a lot of high ranking people were arrested. The detective retired from the police. Now he is taking an interim job as the director of the police academy. He knows that a lot of students are coming out of the school predisposed to brutal conduct. He wants to change the culture of the training.
You don’t need to know much about what happened before to enjoy this book. What you need is explained in the text. The detective lives in a small town that is not on any maps. An old map of his town is found in a wall in a local shop. It has a lot of strange pictures on it. As an exercise, he gives a few cadets copies of the map and asks them to figure out the mystery behind it. Then his major suspect for teaching police misconduct is murdered and a copy of the map is in his nightstand. The detective thinks someone is trying to frame one of the students – a girl whom he admitted to the school after she was previously turned away.
There are several mysteries explored in this book. Who killed the professor? Why did the new director admit this girl to the school? Why isn’t the town of Three Pines on any official maps? Who made the one map it is on?
This book is set in Quebec City and the surrounding countryside. I haven’t read many books set in Quebec. The author lives there and her love for the community and culture comes through.
I’d recommend this book for anyone who like police stories and mysteries. It was interesting enough that I will pick up future books. I probably won’t go backwards because reading this one does tell you what happened in the previous books.