HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN, by Louise Penny

9/series. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surete de Quebec, isolated and threatened by Chief Superintendent Francoeur, is now surrounded by inept subordinates who daily veer close to outright mutiny. His assistant Inspector Isabelle Lacoste, the lone holdout from an office once filled with loyal people, watches his back. Unlike the grayed slush of Quebec City, in the tiny, isolated town of Three Pines, the snow is deep and clean. Myrna Landers, bookstore owner, expects a friend to visit. click to read more...
When the friend fails to show up, she calls Gamache. Needing an escape from the futile effort of controlling his department, he drives down to Three Pines rather than just call. As he leaves Quebec, traffic is blocked by an accident investigation. Gamache is puzzled by Myra's reticence about her friend. Eventually he discovers the woman was once one of the most famous people in the world, although now nobody recognizes her. Meanwhile, back in his office, Gamache tries to re-establish contact with Jean-Guy Beauvoir, once his most trusted, valued, lieutenant. The complex plot, the many flashbacks to the horrific firefight that ruined both Beauvoir and his relationship with Gamache, the intertwining of the two main plots, makes for slower and somehow less satisfying reading than is usual with Penny's books. Perhaps, after eight blockbusters, I was expecting something different than what I think I got. It didn't flow, it lugged along too much back story. This obviously was not my favorite Three Pines book. Even though the profane Ruth Zardo and her duck Rosa were right there front and center. It's a 4.