Are you doing Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) or have you ever wondered why anyone else does it? If so, check out last week’s post about Nanowrimo — Why or Why not?

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme. Read the rules and more teasers at The Purple Booker. Anyone can play along.

This week I picked up Louise Penny’s newest Chief Inspector Gamache book, The Madness of Crowds. I posted about the previous book in this series, which is All the Devils Are Here. I have enjoyed all of the Inspector Gamache books that I have read, and this one is no difference.

Lots of description of Gamache’s native Quebec and small-town life in Three Pines, his family and friends and Ruth and her duck. And of course, plenty of suspense and sufficiently twisty mysteries to keep me guessing until the end, when Penny brings it all together.

This particular volume is set in a post-pandemic timeline, so while there is mention of the impact of the pandemic on the economy and society in Quebec, it is not a focus of the book. I have not yet reached the murder, but things are definitely tense and heating up!

Even before Isabelle said it, he’d felt it himself. In his gut. In the tingle on his skin. In the pricking of his thumbs…

Louise Penny, The Madness of Crowds

You’re a coward.

Time and again, as the New Year approaches, that charge is leveled against Armand Gamache.

It starts innocently enough.

While the residents of the Québec village of Three Pines take advantage of the deep snow to ski and toboggan, to drink hot chocolate in the bistro and share meals together, the Chief Inspector finds his holiday with his family interrupted by a simple request.

He’s asked to provide security for what promises to be a non-event. A visiting Professor of Statistics will be giving a lecture at the nearby university.

While he is perplexed as to why the head of homicide for the Sûreté du Québec would be assigned this task, it sounds easy enough. That is until Gamache starts looking into Professor Abigail Robinson and discovers an agenda so repulsive he begs the university to cancel the lecture.

They refuse, citing academic freedom, and accuse Gamache of censorship and intellectual cowardice. Before long, Professor Robinson’s views start seeping into conversations. Spreading and infecting. So that truth and fact, reality and delusion are so confused it’s near impossible to tell them apart.

Discussions become debates, debates become arguments, which turn into fights. As sides are declared, a madness takes hold.

Abigail Robinson promises that, if they follow her, ça va bien aller. All will be well. But not, Gamache and his team know, for everyone.

When a murder is committed it falls to Armand Gamache, his second-in-command Jean-Guy Beauvoir, and their team to investigate the crime as well as this extraordinary popular delusion.

And the madness of crowds.

P.D. Workman

P.D. Workman

Writing riveting mystery, suspense, and young adult fiction about real life issues.