Saturday, August 1, 2020

All the Devils Are Here (16th in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache) by Louise Penny

All the Devils Are Here (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #16)

ISBN-10: 1250145236 - Hardcover $28.99
Minotaur Books (September 1, 2020), 448 pages. 
Review copy courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley. 

I'm a huge fan of Louise Penny's Chief Inspector Armand Gamache stories, so I am very grateful for the ARC audiobook of All the Devils Are Here the 16th in the series.   

All the Devils Are Here takes while Armand and his wife Reine Marie are visiting their children and grandchildren who have moved to Paris.  We are drawn into the family dynamics and learn about the tensions and distance between Armand and his son Daniel.  Daniel's relationship with Armand is painful, stilted,  frustrating and contrasts deeply with the ease that Jean-Guy Beauvoir and Armand share. It is difficult to stomach the coldness and pettiness with which Daniel treats his father especially since Armand is a bit of a father figure to us all.  Fortunately, the source of Daniel's anger and coldness comes out later in the story.

The real mystery that Armand, Reine Marie and Jean-Guy seek to solve comes out early in the story.  Armand spends time with his godfather Stephen Horowitz.  During their walk after dinner, a truck barreling down the road mows Stephen down.  Armand and Reine Marie are convinced that Stephen was targeted and they report the incident as a crime.  The Parisian police regard Armand and Jean-Guy as provincial dullards and it is satisfying to watch these two detectives slowly prove their worth. 

The real mystery is why was Stephen attacked and who is the dead man in Stephen's apartment. As Armand, Reine Marie and Jean-Guy find a hotel key in Stephen's pocket they also discover that Stephen has a secret project that likely drew the attention of a dangerous and powerful group.  It takes Reine-Marie's investigative and critical skills as well as the abilities of Armand and Jean-Guy to unravel the mysteries.  But their investigation draws the danger to their family and Armand finds dealing with Daniel almost as difficult and heartbreaking as the attack on his godfather Stephen.  

All the Devils Are Here is engrossing and I couldn't stop listening. I am very much looking forward to reading the book when it comes out and savoring the language and the being there as Armand, Jean-Guy, Reine Marie and Daniel work on a puzzle that cost them dearly. 

About the Author: 
LOUISE PENNY is the author of the #1 New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling series of Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels. She has won numerous awards, including a CWA Dagger and the Agatha Award (seven times), and was a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Novel. In 2017, she received the Order of Canada for her contributions to Canadian culture. Louise lives in a small village south of MontrĂ©al.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Killer Kung Pao (A Noodle Shop Mystery #6) by Vivien Chien

Killer Kung Pao (A Noodle Shop Mystery, #6)Killer Kung Pao by Vivien Chien
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I really enjoy Vivien Chien's Noodle Shop Mysteries because of Lana Lee, the bi-racial amateur detective whose day job is manager of the family business. Lana manages Ho-Lee Noodle House, a Chinese restaurant/noodle shop, in Asian Village in Cleveland. Lana's not the usual academic brainiac or subdued or subtle Chinese American daughter. Lana prefers to dye her hair brilliant colors, speak her mind, and follow her sleuthing instincts and she attracts all sorts of danger.

This time Lana is having her hair dyed when a client is electrocuted. Lana tries to parse out who the true killer is and finds a mix of unlikely candidates. The victim June Yi of Yi's Tea and Bakery is obnoxious, litigious and there are plenty of people who would want her dead. There's Lara's longtime enemy and Mah Jong lover Millie Mao who had her Cadillac rear ended by June Yi in the Asian Village's parking lot. Even two of her Mah Jong playing regulars have started acting suspiciously.

Lara Lee agrees to undertake an unofficial investigation. She has to be careful as her boyfriend is the homicide detective assigned to the case. As Lara digs into the different possibilities, she must confront some of her close friends, allies and respected family friends. Her investigation draws the ire and attention of the killer and it is uncertain whether Lara will find the solution in time.

Lana's boyfriend is a police detective on the murder division and he's assigned the case. 

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