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Not so much a blog; just lots of books

Currently reading

A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century
Barbara W. Tuchman, Nadia May
Progress: 696/1718minutes
Conservation of Shadows
Yoon Ha Lee
Progress: 22%
Le premier jour
Marc Levy
Progress: 180/496pages
Moby-Dick: or, The Whale (Penguin Classics)
Herman Melville
Manifold: Time
Stephen Baxter, Chris Schluep
Progress: 99/480pages
The Long War
Stephen Baxter, Terry Pratchett
Progress: 68/501pages

A Fatal Grace (orig. Dead Cold) by Louise Penny

A Fatal Grace - Louise Penny

Series: Armand Gamache #2


I am done with this series. Maybe it gets better, but I just don’t think I have the patience to put up with it. That’s not to say that other people wouldn’t love this book; it’s just that it does a lot of little things that add up to a lot of annoyance for me.


Penny did a lot of work to show that CC was a detestable human being, to the point where I was desperate for her to die, finally. I had to wait till about the 20% mark. Initially I was more interested in the death of the bag lady, however. Regardless, Penny spends a lot of time setting the scene and trying to build up her characters in a way that just annoyed me. It seemed so tangential to the story that it didn’t seem real. The banter (like the bitch/slut thing with Ruth and whatever the guy’s name was) seemed forced and none of the character details felt like they were an integral part of the story. I’m not sure whether I’m explaining myself very well, but I just didn’t like the whole style of showing character traits and silly lovey-dovey sequences between older couples musing on their changed attributes. They were dwelled on rather than just being character beats.


Someone else complained about the misspelling of Canadiens (the hockey team) in their copy; originally I thought it was only one instance but the mistake was repeated everywhere throughout the book. There were other French mistakes and a weird use of French just for effect even when the characters were speaking French. Honestly, I could never keep straight when they were supposed to be speaking French and when they were supposed to be speaking English.


The mystery itself was predictable. I called it on pretty much every point and that almost never happens. I didn’t know that I was right, but my theory (that I came up with pretty early on) was right. Regarding both murders.

Also, regarding the dog, Henri:

It seems like Gamache let Émilie die just so that he could take possession of her dog. I think he planned it. Otherwise it’s just a pointless death.

(show spoiler)


I was going to read this to break myself out of jail in booklikes-opoly, but I used the prison jail library to buy my way out so I’m donating my pages read back to the library. We’ll see how far I get with my next read, but if I’m allowed I’ll donate the pages I read before tomorrow (when I can roll again). I’m using the hardcover page count for A Fatal Grace, so that’s 311 pages added back to the prison library. My bank balance is still at $87 because I don’t earn any money from this turn.


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