Inspector Gamache is now retired in Three Pines when he’s recruited to help one of his friends find her missing husband. It gets harder to synopsize the later books in the series without spoiling earlier books; be that as it may, I thought this one got a bit too far in the weeds about art and artists, and at times the author is too clever for her own good.
2. A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn
A young woman with a “curious” past goes on the run after her last family member dies, her house is burglarized during the funeral, and the man who rescued her from the burglar is himself murdered. The main character is annoying and inconsistent, and the story is literally all over the place, but the side characters are intriguing enough that I’ll probably continue with this series.
3. Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke
A Black Texas Ranger with a tenuous hold on his job goes to a small town in bayou country to investigate a double murder. I started this many months ago, and I don’t really know why it took me so long to finish.
4. Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
The author is a lawyer for the Equal Justice Initiative which focuses (among other things) on assisting poor and Black defendants on Death Row, especially in cases of wrongful conviction. This book is easy to read because of the compelling and accessible writing style, but hard to read because of the blatant racism, cruelty, and incompetence on display in many of the cases.
5. The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny
The Gamache series is back on track with a “big story” about an alarming artefact found in the woods. This is intricately plotted, and two side characters finally start to seem human and not caricatures.
6. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
This is a children’s classic (which I somehow missed reading as a child) about a horse in England in the late 19th Century. Once you suspend disbelief that a horse understands English as well as Black Beauty does, this is a compelling story as well as thought provoking about the treatment of animals then and now.