“The Nature of the Beast”

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Chief Inspector Gamache, formerly of the Surete du Quebec, now retired, is back.  In her new novel “The Nature of the Beast,” Louise Penny has Gamache back on his home turf.  The remote village of Three Pines is the setting for this novel featuring all the characters that Penny has featured in her ten previous9781250022080_p0_v6_s118x184 novels.

Gamache and his wife are quite at home in Three Pines.  They were frequent visitors before they both retired and now fully enjoy their neighbors, the scenery, and the quiet atmosphere.  But, of course, the serenity of the village is soon disrupted by the death of a nine-year-old boy.  Laurent Lepage was well-known throughout Three Pines as a young boy with a very vivid imagination.  So when he charges into the local inn proclaiming that he has found an enormous gun hidden in the forest, no one believes him.

Penny is at her best with this newest installment of her very popular series.  Based on true events, she expertly weaves the exploits of Gerald Bull, a Canadian scientist, into the history of Tree Pines.  All the characters become part of the murder investigation, several becoming suspects, in the murder of the young boy and the director of a local theater group.

Will Gamache and his friends return?  In the last pages of “The Nature of the Beast” Penny gives the reader a subtle hint that yes Gamache and crew will return.  Hurrah!

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