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A World of Curiosities

Louise Penny is known for creating suspenseful events in her sleepy Canadian village of Three Pines. It's no different in A World of Curiosities.

The title of the book refers to a painting that doesn't appear until much later in the story. The narrative begins ten years ago, when Chief Inspector Armand Gamache meets his future son-in-law Jean-Guy Beauvoir while investigating the death of a woman found in a lake. In this case, two children are discovered to be victims of abuse. The local police have an unusual connection with the young ones, which leads to a dramatic showdown.

As soon as the painting is uncovered, a mystery unfolds and secrets embedded in it become clear. Later on, a serial killer resurfaces: someone Gamache had locked up a long time ago. All pieces fit together at last to complete the plot.

Penny's writing style is vivid and she skillfully portrays people's feelings throughout the book. However, this reader found it tiring at the end. I just wanted to get on with it. That didn’t ruin the book for me. A World of Curiosities is definitely worth reading.

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