Fatal Grace is a mystery novel for those who think Jessica Fletcher was too morbid and Matlock too hard to figure out. The cozy meets the snow globe village in this novel by Louise Penney. This reader would have liked nothing more than enjoy this mystery set in Quebec s Eastern Townships. Fatal Grace is the second mystery in the Three Pines series. I have tried I could not get through the first one and the this one was a challenge. Penny won the Agatha Award in 2007, 208, and 2009 so it is all a matter of taste.
Penny is more than heavy handed in getting her points across such as Three Pines is a magical village not found on any map where only those who deserve to live there do so. The villainess is a cardboard character named C.C. DePoitiers who almost twirls her mustache and laughs maniacally. She is so evil she even wears baby seal skin boots!
The rest of the people in Three Pines are types: the crazy old lady, the spinster with the used bookstore, the nice gay guys who own the charming bistro, the many artists who live in the village, and so on. If you have ever what it is to overdose on quaint this book will do it. There are also quite a few secondary characters so if you are not from Three Pines good luck keeping who s who straight.
Heavy hand aside, the story in Fatal Grace is evil C.C. DePoitiers gets what she so obviously deserved: killed. Suspect include a photographer / lover working on her plan to become the Zen version of Martha Stewart, someone from whom she stole the title of her book, her mouse of a husband, and her poor, poor daughter to name a few
Credibility often gets stretched beyond this reader s tolerance. DePoitiers book is in the remainders pile but someone thinks she can pull off her latest project or a character tells a French speaking policeman how to spell Beatrice (it is not like the name was Siobhan). These are just two of a few before page 80.
Fatal Grace is a definite pass.