This is an amazingly subtle story, with a truly unusual solution to the mystery. Chief Inspector Gamache and his delightful wife are enjoying their annual vacation in a peaceful lodge deep in the Canadian wilderness, where the Morrow family has also gathered for a reunion. For the first quarter of the book, Louise Penny builds up the background and sketches out the character, before a mysterious death takes place. Gamache the holidayer transforms into Chief Inspector Gamache, head of Homicide. The novel picks up pace at this point, but there are almost no clues (are there ever in a mystery?) and almost everyone is a suspect. The final solution is elegant, clever, and empathetic.
I particularly liked the Canadian atmosphere of this book, with its Anglo French background. Louise Penny also has an empathetic way of developing character of the people in a way that even the worst come out looking like normal, decent humans. And the book's sense of peace and calm is absolutely marvellous. This is actually not a 5-star book, but then Amazon doesn't allow you to give 7 stars, which is what this one deserves! If you have not already discovered Gamache, you have a feast waiting for you.