Docket Page 70 – A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny

CHARGE: To discover who would crush a daughter to death with a statue of her father?

FACTS: A remote inn, an anniversary getaway, and a family reunion. What could go wrong? Chief Inspector Gamache, on a romantic anniversary trip with his wife, is actually on the scene of the murder of Julia Martin at the magnificent Manoir Bellechasse. /surrounded by her family, Julia Martin is killed by the force of a newly-dedicated statue of her father crushing her to death. Familiar characters Peter and Clara Morrow are there as members of the family reunion group. Who killed Julia? What was the motive? This is a brilliantly written store of love, hate, and intrigue.

VERDICT: Guilty, as charged. This book was magnificent. My favorite, by far, of this series.

Docket Page 69 – The Cruelest Month By Louise Penny

CHARGE: To discover who would murder one of the nicest women in Three Pines.

FACTS: Madeline Favreau is a favorite in Three Pines When she dies mysteriously during a seance at the Hadley mansion. Chief Inspector Gamache is sent back to Three Pines. During the cruelest month of April, Inspector Gamache faces overturned chairs, salt, a dead bird, various suspects, and many questions. The story lags a bit when a lingering back story involving Gamache’s past threatens to overtake the true plot. Some prior characters reoccur and one starving artist may be a big break.

VERDICT: Guilty, as charged, but becomes rather bogged down.

Docket Page 68 – Salt to the Sea By Ruta Sepetys

CHARGE: To explore the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff on January 30, 1945

FACTS: This historical novel explores the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff during WWII. This was the deadliest disaster in maritime history, through most of us have never heard of it. Approximately 9,000 were killed. Told from the perspective of four different participants, and amazing and devastating story unravels. “Those who are gone are not necessarily lost.”

VERDICT: Guilty, as charged.

Docket Page 67 – The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir – By Jennifer Ryan

CHARGE: To explore the effects of WWI on a small English village

FACTS: As all the men of Chilbury are taken away by WWI, the women decide to defy the vicar’s wishes that the choir be disbanded and continue to sing. They reorganized as the Chibury Ladies’ Choir. We meet women from very different backgrounds as they come together to share all manners of life and death. The novel serves to show the true strength of the women left behind in times of war.

VERDICT: Guilty, as charged.

Docket Page 66 – A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny

CHARGE: To discover how CC could be electrocuted in the midst of a curling match in Three Pines without anyone seeing a thing.

FACTS: Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is called back to Three Pines to investigate a suspicious death on the day after Christmas. We are re-introduced to some familiar faces, as well as some new arrivals. Some of the facts uncovered are more brutal than the climate of a Canadian winter. What secrets lie hidden beneath seeming innocent facades?

VERDICT: Guilty, as charged.

Docket Page 65 – Still Life by Louise Penny

CHARGE: To discover who killed Jane Neal.

FACTS: In this debut novel we are introduced to Chief Inspector Armand Gamache who is called to the scene of a suspicious death in the town of Three Pines. As Inspector Gamache investigates, he uncovers a cast of intriguing characters, each with their own personal history and possible motives. The Description of the beautiful Canadian setting and its inhabitants is very compelling.

VERDICT: Guilty, as charged. I’m excited tht that this is the first of a series.

Docket Page 64 – Virgin Wander by Leif Enger

CHARGE: To explore brokenness in spirit and i n a community.

FACTS: Virgil Wander experiences a personal crisis which alters his language and memories. As he recovers, he rediscovers his personal history along with the history of his broken town. As he connects in new ways with the town’s inhabitants, he realizes that their destinies are truly intertwined. It is a charming look at the life of a small town dreamer.

VERDICT: Guilty, as charged. This is a magical book.