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Publisher's Summary

Winter in Three Pines, and the sleepy village is carpeted in snow. It's a time of peace and goodwill - until a scream pierces the biting air. A spectator at the annual Boxing Day curling match has been fatally electrocuted. Despite the large crowd, there are no witnesses and - apparently - no clues.

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache discovers a history of secrets and enemies in the dead woman's past. But he has enemies of his own, and as he is frozen out of decision-making in the Surete du Quebec, he has to decide who he can trust....

Coming soon: Book 3 in the Chief Inspector Gamache series, The Cruellest Month. It's Easter, and on a glorious Spring day in peaceful Three Pines, someone waits for night to fall. They plan to raise the dead. When Chief Inspector Gamache of the Surete du Quebec arrives the next morning, he faces an unusual crime scene. A séance in an old abandoned house has gone horrifically wrong and someone has been seemingly frightened to death.

©2006 Louise Penny (P)2006 Hachette Audio

What listeners say about A Fatal Grace

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Thoroughly Enjoyed

I am working my way through this series (coming back to do this review), and find that overall, I really love the French-Canadian settings and personalities woven into these tales, along with the beautiful subtle humour. It is very much to my taste in so many ways, which is why I am hooked, and hoping I shall enjoy every volume as much as the first few.

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  • Phoebe Nel
  • 04-07-2021

Greatest Narrator

I love Adam Sims as Narrator for the inspector Gamache series from the pen of Louise Penny. He brings the story and characters to life! What a totally amazing experience it is for me. Each book gets more and more part of my daily most exciting time expenditure. Well done and hats off to this amazing narrator of these most amazing stories. I thank you.
Phoebe Nel SA

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  • Melissa Rose
  • 13-09-2020

Better than the first

After having mixed feelings about the first book in the Inspector Gamache series, I decided to give Book #2: A Fatal Grace a try to see if it was any better. It was.

First off, this time around, I felt better acquainted with the village of three pines and its inhabitants. It was a much cozier and familiar feel reading A Fatal Grace then it was with Still Life, which greatly enhanced the reading experience.

Additionally, I felt that the mystery, in general, was better written in this book - I guessed the killer pretty early on, but there were still moments where the author had me double-guessing myself.

As for the narrator, Adam Sims did a great job; as a listener, I have no complaints about his performance.

Overall, I truly enjoyed listening to A Fatal Grace; I am glad I gave the series a second chance after Still Life, and I look forward to seeing what the rest of the series has in store for Inspector Gamache.

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  • minh
  • 03-09-2018

Great story. Voice annoying.

I discovered that Adams Sims is replacing Ralph Cosham in this new edition. Narration is OK except for the French accent for all French speaking characters. I am from Montreal and I’m sure French Canadians do not speak English with this accent.

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  • Julie Guay
  • 10-09-2017

Merveilleux!

Tout aimé.
Ce serait bien d'avoir les romans audio de Louise Penny en français aussi.

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  • Susan Moore
  • 25-07-2017

Great story. Poor performance.

Once again the performance does not do this story justice. I find it difficult to distinguish characters. Another version of this book is available under the title A Fatal Grace. I suggest you try that one.

The story is excellent, with plot twists right up until the end. The sub-plot also picks up steam in this book.

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  • Diana
  • 05-04-2016

A Mystery that keeps the attention - Excellent!

What did you love best about Dead Cold?

I love a story that makes me think, "I know who the killer is" and then in the end ...
The wisdom of Inspector Gamache is truly inspiring. His love for people also reminds me of my love for people. I identify with a lot of the characters in this book even the killer in the end.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Yes, the plot is very good and I was pleasantly surprised when the real killer was identified.

Have you listened to any of Adam Sims’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This one is good but I like it when I don't notice the voice because I get caught up by the story. He read Still Life a little better. But I would still look for other books read by him. The timbre in his voice adds to the story and does not subtract from it.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes definitely. This was the best book that I have listened too since 2014.

Any additional comments?

Yes, Louse Penny - keep them coming!!! Watch out Michael Connelly!!

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  • bg
  • 02-04-2016

Great depiction of life in a colder clime

Another beautifully written book. A lot of laugh out loud moments for those familiar with life where winters and spring are often very cold and for people who live in areas or families where English and French are spoken equally. The fire scene was astonishingly well done. Once again the narrator has kept the language authentic whether people are speaking their own language or not.

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  • Mary
  • 30-06-2015

A good story

Love these stories. Love the wacky characters and how their lives progress from book to book. Also love that they're set in Quebec. She's a visual writer and almost paints her scenes on the page (in your ear). The description of the Canadian winter is enough to set your teeth on edge, especially for those of us who live it. Only criticism is that the village seems a tad stereotyped, a bit like a Canuck postcard. But, life may actually be like that in the Eastern Townships. Highly recommend.

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  • Lyn
  • 15-06-2015

Easy Listening

Enjoyed the first book thought worth giving the 2nd book a go and now I am hooked on the series.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-07-2014

How I would love to visit Three Pines

What did you like most about Dead Cold?

Dead Cold is the second in the Three Pines series of novels. I found myself immersed in the characters and setting of the village in rural Quebec. The descriptions are wonderful without interupting the flow of the plot

What did you like best about this story?

I enjoyed the under plots, I love the characterisation and the development of these from the first book. Familiarity with the characters spikes imagination and makes the village come to life

What does Adam Sims bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

The performance is wonderful. Adam Sims gentle tone and delivery is in complete empathy with Louise Penny' s style. I hope he continues to perform the remaining books as I cannot believe anyone else could help to produce such a complete package

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

As I listen to this series of books I find I am falling a little in love with CI Gamache, who comes across as a gentle giant among men, someone who would listen to your problems and care.

Any additional comments?

My only regret is that Three Pines, Ruth, the B&B and all are not for real. When hearing these books it is easy to imagine their lives carrying on, not in a literary parallel universe but across the Atlantic in Quebec

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  • Mrs J E Emerson
  • 14-08-2015

Excellent start to an outstanding series

So vivid is the depiction of the inhabitants and landscape of Three Pines that it is hard to believe it is not real. No Olivier and Gabri and their b and b with the best food and atmosphere you could imagine. No Ruth the damaged poet, no lovely Clara adorned with croissant crumbs, no Myrna, kind and insightful. And worst of all no Inspector Gamache the man you learn to love with a passion for his faults as much as his strengths. Thank goodness Louise Penny is continuing to chronicle the story of her remarkable characters with insight, compassion and a steely eyed honesty. Adam Sims does a remarkably good job of reading the books.

3 people found this helpful

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  • 11thman
  • 17-05-2018

Exceptional

When I realised Three Pines was going to be the setting again I was worried that we might be in Midsumer Murders territory. I needn’t have worried. The strong, distinctive characters were superbly drawn and the story developed relationships and themes from the first book. I loved it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amanda Fisher
  • 07-08-2021

very disappointing

I didn't finish the book as it just didn't get my attention I thought it was weak

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  • Jacinta Townley
  • 04-02-2021

Author Really Hates Overweight People

The story was looking like it could be a good one but I couldn't get beyond the first few chapters. I can't remember reading a book where the author themselves is so cruel and nasty about their overweight characters. Really shocking the cruel insults the author, not the characters, used to describe people, including children. Very sad that this a viewpoint but it is a logic I want no part of.

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  • Fee
  • 04-01-2021

Entertaining again

Second in the series, still enjoyable, still easy listening. The characters are largely interesting. It’s set in the same village as the first book which, if that’s going to continue, and I lived in this small community, I’d move!

I find it quite clever, it’s well written, the wit is subtle making it more enjoyable.

However, there’s an obvious undercurrent (yes, I know!), continuing in the background. If that continues into subsequent books and it’s clearly going in to the third book, for me it will get old very quickly and, again for me, will be distracting rather than an enhancement to the main story. Maybe it will become the main story and then move on. We’ll see.

Adam Sims, excellent as ever.

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  • Carôle
  • 11-11-2020

AKA: Dead Cold

No one mentions that this book was originally titled Dead Cold. So if you’re looking for that title, this is it.

The only disappointing thing about this story is that Agent Nicole is back <sigh>.

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  • Baronessnewt
  • 12-10-2020

This is an excellent series

I have fallen in love with Gamache and Louise Penny's wonderful writing. I recommend the entire series. They are books you just can't put down - or stop listening to. Superb.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 28-04-2020

Awwwwe I Loved this one!

The narrator is inconsistent with his "accent" but that is Forgivable because the story just transcends. Sublime, heart-warming, tragic, you can form each scene in your mind! Wonderful 👏👏👏👏

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  • Bex
  • 10-02-2020

Enjoyable

I really didn’t enjoy the first book in the series but decided to persevere! I liked this one a lot more, although I did figure out the plot quite early on. I love Louise Penny’s writing and her characters are real, deep and satisfying. Looking forward to the next one and seeing how the series develops!

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