For that’s the other location of this novel. The past.
It's February and bitterly cold in Quebec City. But Chief Inspector Gamache barely notices. He's nearly consumed with grief and guilt over a police action he led - and the mistakes he made. He spends his time with his now-retired mentor, and in the peaceful library of the Literary and Historical Society. A bastien of the dwindling English population.
But if Gamache thought death was finished with him, he was wrong. The body of a celebrated eccentric is found in the Lit and His, and Gamache is drawn again into hunting a murderer. The victim is an amateur archeologist who was monomaniacal in his pursuit. He had spent his life trying to find the body of Samuel de Champlain.
This is the great mystery that has haunted Quebec for centuries.
Where is Champlain?
The founder of Quebec died 400 years ago. And while the burial places of nuns and farmers and minor functionaries of the time are known, no one knows what became of the Father of Quebec.
How could this be?
As Chief Inspector Gamache digs through the crime and the venerable old city it becomes clear the murder is rooted in this 400 year old mystery, and in people long dead. But perhaps not buried.
It also becomes clear to the Chief Inspector that to find the truth he needs to confront his own ghosts, and bury his own dead.
Publishers Weekly starred review says:
"Few writers in any genre can match Penny's ability to combine heartbreak and hope..."