Nov 18, 2009

Murder in Quebec

posted by Josee Corrigan

I have completed another Louise Penny mystery based in the fictional village Three Pines, located outside Montreal. Dead Cold has everything I look for in crime fiction and more! I've mentioned the Three Pines series before when I was reading my first of her novels, Still Life. Since that time I've finished The Cruelest Month and Dead Cold, now I'm on to another, The Murder Stone - yum.

Inspector Armand Gamache is, much like my favorite old-time detectives Miss Marple and Monsieur Poirot, a searching character (an obvious quality in a detective you might think) with a compassionate eye and introspective nature that ensure you love him and wish he was your father, lover, husband, brother, or son, depending on the context of the book at the moment. Through Gamache, Louise Penny invites you into the idyllic town of Three Pines and an exploration of the human condition by way of murder. Gamache's observations of the other characters in Three Pines during each case brings into question one's own flawed existence. His zen-buddhist/lapsed-catholic approach to those living and dead instigates inquiry not only into each murder, but also the nature of the human mind - rational, insane, evil, joyful etc. These are gentle thinking novels. Perfect for sitting by the fire on a sleeting Sunday afternoon.

On another note, I just watched a great movie: Julie and Julia. It's a screenplay adapted from two books: My Life in France, Child's autobiography, written with Alex Prud'homme, and a memoir by Julie Powell. In August 2002, Powell started documenting online her daily experiences cooking each of the 524 recipes in Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and she later began reworking that blog, The Julie/Julia Project. The film is the first major motion picture based on a blog. The movie explores the life of American Chef Julia Child through the eyes of an aspiring writer and blogger. It's so lovely. It made me want to rush out and buy Julia's classic tome Mastering The Art Of French Cooking. Everytime I think of the movie I want Boeuf Bourguignonne.

Finally, the Tibetan Book Of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche. All I can say is everyone should read this. It's wonderful, inspirational and essential.

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