Sentence: As Clara Morrow approached, she wondered if
he’d repeat the same small gesture he’d done every
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache has retired and moved, with
his wife Reine-Marie, to the village of Three Pines. There
he is seeking peace and recovery from recent events. However,
he can’t ignore the plea from one of his neighbors and
friends. Clara and her husband Peter decided to separate for
one year. That year has now passed, but Peter has neither
returned nor contacted Clara. The search for Peter sends Gamache,
his former second-in-command, Jean-Guy, and other residents,
to Montreal and into isolated regions of Quebec.
From the very first, we are as intrigued by the actions of
one of the characters as are other characters in the story.
We, too, want an explanation. At the same time, we are brought
into the beauty and seeming tranquility of the Village of
Three Pines…”The village had the rhythm, the cadence,
of a piece of music. Perhaps that’s what Henri heard.
The music of Three Pines. It was like a hum, a hymn, a comforting
The reader learns of the characters through their personalities,
rather than their backstories. It is particularly clear how
close are Gamache and Reine-Marie, and how solid is their
One of the many wonderful things about Penny’s writing
is that she makes you stop and think, even when it’s
a simple phrase easily passed over; ”Surprised by joy.”
There are so many small truths in Penny’s writing; lines
and passages that make you stop, think and read again and
again. They don’t interrupt the flow of the story, but
enhance it and cause one to savour it. Yet only Penny could
so effectively use a German Shepherd as a vehicle to convey
loss and healing. She puts emotions into words. And then,
she throw you a plot twist.
Penny’s descriptions are so evocative, one can not only
envision the scene, place or object, but you yearn to physically
be there. She takes you places you’ve never been and
of which you’ve never heard. This is a story that makes
you want to travel; to see and experience places for yourself.
But, at the very least, you find yourself running to the internet.
The characters are wonderful. They are people you want to
know; what to have as friends and neighbors. You find yourself
both wanting to know these people and, in some cases, wanting
to be them. The dialogue is so well done, with an easy, natural
flow and, occasionally, delightful humour.
Ms. Penny is an intelligent author who includes poetry, literature,
art, mythology and psychology into the story, yet she doesn’t,
in any way, write above her readers or seek to demean them.
To say The Long Way Home is an excellent book is
almost an understatement. The book certainly has all the elements
of a mystery are there, including a plot which is unusual
in its structure, but it is also so much more than that that.
It is a journey that keeps drawing us down a path.
of other titles in this series
Rule Against Murder #4
Trick of the Light #6
Long Way Home #10