When a tall figure wearing a black robe and hood appears on the village green of Three Pines, everyone in town is slightly alarmed. The figure doesn’t move, doesn’t talk, but simply stands as if waiting or watching. But waiting or watching for what or for whom? As tensions grow, Armand Gamache, Superintendent of the Sûreté du Québec, does nothing. After all, this mysterious person has committed no crime. Yet, the figure radiates a sense of intent, of purpose, and Armand Gamache admits to himself that certainly something will go wrong. When the figure vanishes and a body is discovered, it seems that he was right. Gamache must learn the purpose of the figure’s appearance in Three Pines, and he must investigate those living in the idyllic peaceful town to see who had reason to commit murder.
I have been a huge fan of Louise Penny’s work since she first published Still Life, the first book in the Armand Gamache mystery series. Each book she writes is better than the last. Glass Houses is the 13th book in this series, and I believe it is the best to date. Ms. Penny does not shy away from having her characters make hard choices. Her characters are complex, her stories are full of warmth, art, good food, and good friends. Don’t be fooled: the books of the Armand Gamache series are not cozy mysteries. Rather, they explore the hidden depths of the human heart, exposing the truth that anyone is capable of murder and that old emotional wounds can fester into motivation to do great harm. Glass Houses is compelling and suspenseful. I highly recommend this excellent book.