This book was published in 2008 and is another in the Chief Inspector Gamache series.
The mystery part of this novel takes a long time in developing. The book was nearly halfway over before there was a dead body. The author takes considerable time in developing the relationship or lack thereof within the Finney/Morrow family. It’s not a pretty picture. The children hate each other and are convinced that the mother hates them. To demonstrate, the youngest daughter, Marianne, has a child out of wedlock and calls the child, “Bean.” The child is now 10 and no one else in the family has any idea what sex the child is and the mother isn’t telling. This was done on purpose to irritate the matriarch of the family. The reason for the family gathering at an isolated hotel or auberge is the unveiling of a statue of the family’s original patriarch, Charles Morrow. Now deceased, his place is now filled by Bert Finney. Chief Inspector Gamache and his wife are also guests at the same hotel, celebrating their wedding anniversary.
The story of the family was intriguing because it was all based on lies and innuendo. And I found it interesting that the same family is at the core of another book written several years later by the same author. In all that time, they change little.
The mystery itself had some intrigue, but it could just have easily been ruled an accident had the Chief Inspector not been there, helping in the investigation. His solution was actually simple and hinted at from the beginning.
This book was easy reading and relaxing. It’s a nice book to cozy up to. As I read it, I keep imagining Tom Selleck as the Chief Inspector but he would have to learn some French.