Winner of the 2007 Agatha Award for Best Novel!
When Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is called to investigate a woman's death, it doesn't take long for him to realize that no love was lost on Miss de Poitiers. But even if everyone hated her - her husband, lover, and daughter among them - how is it that no one saw her get electrocuted in the middle of a frozen lake in the center of town?
Gamache digs beneath the surface of Three Pines to find where the real secrets are buried. But other troubles lie ahead for the detective. It seems he has some enemies of his own - and with the coming of the bitter winter winds, something far more chilling is in store.
First published in Canada in hardcover as Dead Cold in 2006.
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"Though Penny gorgeously evokes the small-town Christmas mood, the novel is oddly steeped in holiday atmosphere for a May release, and the plot's dependence on lengthy backstory slows the momentum." - Publishers Weekly
"This is a fine mystery in the classic Agatha Christie style, and it is sure to leave mainstream fans wanting more." - Booklist
"The cozy mystery, which aims to charm as much as challenge, has a graceful practitioner of that artful dodge in Louise Penny." - The New York Times Book Review
"Starred Review. A traditional and highly intelligent mystery . sure to create great reader demand for more stories featuring civilized and articulate Chief Inspector Gamache . Highly recommended." - Library Journal
"Starred Review. Remarkably, Penny manages to top her outstanding debut. Gamache is a prodigiously complicated and engaging hero, destined to become one of the classic detectives." - Kirkus
"For all the perplexing mechanics of the murder, and the snowed-in village setting, this is not the usual 'cosy' or even a traditional mystery. It's a finely written, intelligent and observant book. Imbued with a constant awareness of the astonishing cold, this perfect blend of police procedural and closed-room mystery finds its solution, as in the best of those traditions, in the slow unlayering of a sorrowful past." - Houston Chronicle
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Louise Penny's first novel, Still Life, won the New Blood Dagger, Arthur Ellis, Barry, Anthony, and Dilys awards. Her second book, A Fatal Grace, won the 2007 Agatha Award for Best Novel, as did her third, The Cruelest Month. Her next, A Rule Against Murder, was a New York Times bestseller, followed by The Brutal Telling, which was a New York Times, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, and National Indie bestseller. Louise lives in a small village south of Montreal.
Pronunciation Guide: Louise Penny's website provides a wealth of interesting information about her and her books including a pronunciation guide to the characters and places referenced in her books.
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache Series (to 2016)
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