Friday, 29 March 2013
Artful Readers Club - March
This month finds us in Canada, in the provinces near Montreal.
"A Trick of the Light" is book 7 in the series featuring Inspector Gamache and his team from the Surete du Quebec.
The story is centred around the village of Trois Pins (Three Pines) and the art world in Montreal.
It starts at an art show in the Musee d'Art Contemporain in Montreal, the first show for Clara Morrow, a middle aged artist who lives with her husband, Peter, in Trois Pins.
This the first shock in the novel as it was Peter who was considered the more talented and more famous of the two.
The second shock is the discovery of a body in Clara's garden the next morning.
The body turns out to be an ex-friend of Clara, a woman who made enemies by the dozen in her role as an art critic.
Part of the puzzle is how she found Clara's house as the village does not appear on any maps....people find it either by chance or by having detailed instructions.
So there you have it....a murder mystery with lots of motives and suspects.
What makes this book stand out in a crowded genre is the quality of the writing. Louise Penny writes with elegance and depth.
Her characters are rounded, and all too human, with the petty vices common to us all.
She explores relationships and the little secrets that remain hidden, even between husband and wife after over 20 years of marriage. Secrets that have the power to destroy as they take on more significance over the years.
What really makes the series for me though are Penny's descriptive powers. I've been hooked since book 1 "Still Life" (come across by chance). I found myself smiling and feeling warm inside as I read. It took me a while to figure out why.
I had a perfectly formed picture of the village in my mind, I could imagine it existing, I wanted to live there.
Penny's descriptions are, quite simply, lyrical.
I've done another collage this month, inspired by the village:
Thanks to Cloth-Paper Scissors for the tutorial by Kristen Robinson on layering.
The paper is Canson mixed media prepared with gesso and acrylic paints. The picture, the flag and the printed papers are from old books, the token from Tim Holtz says "Listen", the Art with everything stamp is by Chocolate Baroque.
The final touches were bubble wrap circles and a butterfly stamp by La Blanche.