Mystery Monday | The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny

Mystery Mondays

Mystery Mondays is an occasional review feature here on Words of Mystery that showcases books in the mystery (and on occasion thriller) genre that we are currently reading and our thoughts on them. Feel free to comment and leave suggestions as to what we should read and review next.

Who is it by? Louise Penny is a former journalist and radio host with the CBC. The authour of the best selling Chief Inspector Gamache series, The Nature of the Beast is her 11th book in the Inspector Gamache series. She currently lives with her husband, Michael in a small village south of Montreal.

What is it about? Nine-year-old Laurent is a boy known for his wild imaginations and outlandish tales. So, when he starts telling the people living in Three Pines of a giant gun with a monster in the woods, no one believes him….until he disappears. As they continue to search for Laurent, Inspector Gamache starts to wonder if Laurent really was telling the truth after all?


Where does it take place? Those familiar with the Inspector Gamache books, will definitely remember Three Pines. Three Pines is a fictional, idyllic village located somewhere in Quebec that has the constant, unfortunate luck of attracting murders.

Why did I like it? With one of the major story arcs in the series wrapped up a few books ago, I wasn’t sure what to expect in The Nature of the Beast. In fact, to be honest, I wasn’t that fond of her last book The Long Way Home. Thankfully, The Nature of the Beast proves that Louise Penny and Inspector Gamache are both not yet over and that Louise Penny is still at the top of her game.

It may sound a bit clichéd to say this, however reading the Inspector Gamache books provide me with a feeling similar to that of one coming home, including both the comfort and joy from that. I loved that we getting to dig deeper into the past of Three Pines and some of the older residents who live there including Ruth. Additionally, I loved seeing how the characters’ relationships have grown and evolved and several of them have come a long way. As always, Louise Penny showcases that her strengths lie in showcasing the complex emotions and relationships between her characters. There are numerous beautifully written scenes throughout that are also emotionally powerful.

I take comfort in how Louise Penny’s books show that where there is darkness, there is light and vice versa. I’m glad that the series isn’t over yet, as this book brings forth additional questions and new mysteries that I will eagerly anticipate in the next few books and I’m excited to see where Gamache will end up next.

When did it come out? August 25, 2015

Win a Copy of The Nature of the Beast (Canada only!)

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

Book Review | The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Blvald

Katarina Blvald
Trade paperback, 376 pages
Publication date:
August 25th 2015
Bond Street Books
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.


“Books had been a defensive wall, yes, though that wasn’t all. They had protected Sara from the world around her, but they had also turned it into a fuzzy backdrop for the real adventures in her life.” (p. 17)

Back in February during the Random House Spring Preview, I first learned about The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald, and I knew then and there that it was definitely a book for me. The premise of the book follows Sara a young woman from Sweden who comes to visit the small town of Broken Wheel after she is invited there by her pen pal/fellow book lover, Amy. Once she arrives, however, she is hit with a major shock and the rest of the book is shows how Sara comes to find her place in this small town. In addition, we become acquainted with a few of the other people who reside in Broken Wheel each of whom has secrets of their own. As, the story progressed, I found that I was growing fond of such characters as George and Caroline.

My favourite element of The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend is how each chapter starts with a letter from Amy addressed to Sara. It is through these letters that we become familiar with the bond that developed between Amy and Sara. Furthermore, it is through these letters, that Amy is still able to remain a major figure in the story even if she can no longer directly influence what goes on in Broken Wheel.

Although there is a bit of romance in the book, it doesn’t overwhelm the central story of how a small town comes together partly as a result of a young woman and her books. Overall, The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend has an extremely fairy tale like charm to it which makes it all the more heartwarming. Sure, there are numerous events in the book that may require you to suspend your disbelief, but that’s what makes it such an excellent book to escape into. Besides who doesn’t love a happy ending, even if it’s a bit too neatly tied up?

If you like this book, you’ll love: A Robot in the Garden by Deborah Install

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.