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While there was more mechanization , a book printer in had much in common with Gutenberg. Gutenberg's invention was the use of movable metal types, assembled into words, lines, and pages and then printed by letterpress to create multiple copies.

Modern paper books are printed on papers designed specifically for printed books. Traditionally, book papers are off-white or low-white papers easier to read , are opaque to minimise the show-through of text from one side of the page to the other and are usually made to tighter caliper or thickness specifications, particularly for case-bound books.

Different paper qualities are used depending on the type of book: Machine finished coated papers , woodfree uncoated papers , coated fine papers and special fine papers are common paper grades.

Today, the majority of books are printed by offset lithography. Books tend to be manufactured nowadays in a few standard sizes.

The sizes of books are usually specified as "trim size": The standard sizes result from sheet sizes therefore machine sizes which became popular or years ago, and have come to dominate the industry.

British conventions in this regard prevail throughout the English-speaking world, except for the USA. The European book manufacturing industry works to a completely different set of standards.

Modern bound books are organized according to a particular format called the book's layout. Although there is great variation in layout, modern books tend to adhere to as set of rules with regard to what the parts of the layout are and what their content usually includes.

A basic layout will include a front cover , a back cover , and the book's content which is called its body copy or content pages. The front cover often bears the book's title and subtitle, if any and the name of its author or editor s.

The inside front cover page is usually left blank in both hardcover and paperback books. The next section, if present, is the book's front matter , which includes all textual material after the front cover but not part of the book's content— such things as a forward, a dedication, and a table of contents as well as publisher data such as the book's edition or printing number and place of publication.

Between the body copy and the back cover goes the end matter which would include any indices, sets of tables, or diagrams, glossaries, or lists of cited works though an edited book with multiple contributing authors usually places cited works at the end of each authored chapter.

The inside back cover page, like that inside the front cover, is usually blank. Also here often appear plot summaries, barcodes, and excerpted reviews of the book.

Some books, particularly those with shorter runs i. As the production line circulates, a complete "book" is collected together in one stack, next to another, and another A web press carries out the folding itself, delivering bundles of signatures sections ready to go into the gathering line.

Note that the pages of a book are printed two at a time, not as one complete book. Excess numbers are printed to make up for any spoilage due to make-readies or test pages to assure final print quality.

A make-ready is the preparatory work carried out by the pressmen to get the printing press up to the required quality of impression.

Included in make-ready is the time taken to mount the plate onto the machine, clean up any mess from the previous job, and get the press up to speed.

As soon as the pressman decides that the printing is correct, all the make-ready sheets will be discarded, and the press will start making books.

Similar make readies take place in the folding and binding areas, each involving spoilage of paper. After the signatures are folded and gathered, they move into the bindery.

In the middle of last century there were still many trade binders — stand-alone binding companies which did no printing, specializing in binding alone.

At that time, because of the dominance of letterpress printing, typesetting and printing took place in one location, and binding in a different factory.

When type was all metal, a typical book's worth of type would be bulky, fragile and heavy. The less it was moved in this condition the better: Printed sheets on the other hand could easily be moved.

Now, because of increasing computerization of preparing a book for the printer, the typesetting part of the job has flowed upstream, where it is done either by separately contracting companies working for the publisher, by the publishers themselves, or even by the authors.

Mergers in the book manufacturing industry mean that it is now unusual to find a bindery which is not also involved in book printing and vice versa.

If the book is a hardback its path through the bindery will involve more points of activity than if it is a paperback.

Unsewn binding, is now increasingly common. The signatures of a book can also be held together by "Smyth sewing" using needles, "McCain sewing", using drilled holes often used in schoolbook binding, or "notch binding", where gashes about an inch long are made at intervals through the fold in the spine of each signature.

The rest of the binding process is similar in all instances. Sewn and notch bound books can be bound as either hardbacks or paperbacks. In the most basic case-making, two pieces of cardboard are placed onto a glued piece of cloth with a space between them into which is glued a thinner board cut to the width of the spine of the book.

After case-making the stack of cases will go to the foil stamping area for adding decorations and type. Recent developments in book manufacturing include the development of digital printing.

Book pages are printed, in much the same way as an office copier works, using toner rather than ink.

Each book is printed in one pass, not as separate signatures. Digital printing has permitted the manufacture of much smaller quantities than offset, in part because of the absence of make readies and of spoilage.

One might think of a web press as printing quantities over , quantities from to being printed on sheet-fed presses, and digital presses doing quantities below These numbers are of course only approximate and will vary from supplier to supplier, and from book to book depending on its characteristics.

Digital printing has opened up the possibility of print-on-demand, where no books are printed until after an order is received from a customer.

In the s, due to the rise in availability of affordable handheld computing devices, the opportunity to share texts through electronic means became an appealing option for media publishers.

The term e-book is a contraction of "electronic book"; it refers to a book-length publication in digital form. E-book readers attempt to mimic the experience of reading a print book by using this technology, since the displays on e-book readers are much less reflective.

Book design is the art of incorporating the content, style, format, design, and sequence of the various components of a book into a coherent whole.

In the words of Jan Tschichold, book design "though largely forgotten today, methods and rules upon which it is impossible to improve have been developed over centuries.

To produce perfect books these rules have to be brought back to life and applied. Many different creators can contribute to book design, including graphic designers , artists and editors.

The size of a modern book is based on the printing area of a common flatbed press. The pages of type were arranged and clamped in a frame, so that when printed on a sheet of paper the full size of the press, the pages would be right side up and in order when the sheet was folded, and the folded edges trimmed.

The world's largest book is made of stone and is in Kuthodaw Pagoda Burma. A common separation by content are fiction and non-fiction books.

This simple separation can be found in most collections , libraries , and bookstores. Many of the books published today are fiction, meaning that they are in-part or completely untrue.

Historically, paper production was considered too expensive to be used for entertainment. An increase in global literacy and print technology led to the increased publication of books for the purpose of entertainment, and allegorical social commentary.

Most fiction is additionally categorized by genre. The novel is the most common form of fiction book. Novels are stories that typically feature a plot , setting , themes and characters.

Stories and narrative are not restricted to any topic; a novel can be whimsical, serious or controversial.

The novel has had a tremendous impact on entertainment and publishing markets. A short story may be any length up to 10, words, but these word lengths vary.

Comic books or graphic novels are books in which the story is illustrated. The characters and narrators use speech or thought bubbles to express verbal language.

In a library, a reference book is a general type of non-fiction book which provides information as opposed to telling a story, essay, commentary, or otherwise supporting a point of view.

An almanac is a very general reference book, usually one-volume, with lists of data and information on many topics.

An encyclopedia is a book or set of books designed to have more in-depth articles on many topics. A book listing words , their etymology , meanings, and other information is called a dictionary.

A book which is a collection of maps is an atlas. A more specific reference book with tables or lists of data and information about a certain topic, often intended for professional use, is often called a handbook.

Books which try to list references and abstracts in a certain broad area may be called an index , such as Engineering Index , or abstracts such as chemical abstracts and biological abstracts.

Books with technical information on how to do something or how to use some equipment are called instruction manuals. Other popular how-to books include cookbooks and home improvement books.

Students typically store and carry textbooks and schoolbooks for study purposes. Elementary school pupils often use workbooks , which are published with spaces or blanks to be filled by them for study or homework.

In US higher education , it is common for a student to take an exam using a blue book. There is a large set of books that are made only to write private ideas, notes, and accounts.

These books are rarely published and are typically destroyed or remain private. Notebooks are blank papers to be written in by the user.

Students and writers commonly use them for taking notes. Scientists and other researchers use lab notebooks to record their notes. They often feature spiral coil bindings at the edge so that pages may easily be torn out.

Books for recording periodic entries by the user, such as daily information about a journey, are called logbooks or simply logs. A similar book for writing the owner's daily private personal events, information, and ideas is called a diary or personal journal.

Businesses use accounting books such as journals and ledgers to record financial data in a practice called bookkeeping. There are several other types of books which are not commonly found under this system.

Albums are books for holding a group of items belonging to a particular theme, such as a set of photographs , card collections, and memorabilia.

One common example is stamp albums , which are used by many hobbyists to protect and organize their collections of postage stamps. Such albums are often made using removable plastic pages held inside in a ringed binder or other similar holder.

Picture books are books for children with pictures on every page and less text or even no text. Hymnals are books with collections of musical hymns that can typically be found in churches.

Prayerbooks or missals are books that contain written prayers and are commonly carried by monks , nuns , and other devoted followers or clergy.

A leveled book collection is a set of books organized in levels of difficulty from the easy books appropriate for an emergent reader to longer more complex books adequate for advanced readers.

Decodable readers or books are a specialized type of leveled books that use decodable text only including controlled lists of words, sentences and stories consistent with the letters and phonics that have been taught to the emergent reader.

New sounds and letters are added to higher level decodable books, as the level of instruction progresses, allowing for higher levels of accuracy, comprehension and fluency.

Hardcover books have a stiff binding. Paperback books have cheaper, flexible covers which tend to be less durable. An alternative to paperback is the glossy cover, otherwise known as a dust cover, found on magazines, and comic books.

Spiral-bound books are bound by spirals made of metal or plastic. Examples of spiral-bound books include teachers' manuals and puzzle books crosswords , sudoku.

Publishers may produce low-cost, pre-publication copies known as galleys or 'bound proofs' for promotional purposes, such as generating reviews in advance of publication.

Galleys are usually made as cheaply as possible, since they are not intended for sale. Private or personal libraries made up of non-fiction and fiction books, as opposed to the state or institutional records kept in archives first appeared in classical Greece.

In the ancient world, the maintaining of a library was usually but not exclusively the privilege of a wealthy individual. These libraries could have been either private or public, i.

The difference from a modern public library lies in the fact that they were usually not funded from public sources.

It is estimated that in the city of Rome at the end of the 3rd century there were around 30 public libraries. Public libraries also existed in other cities of the ancient Mediterranean region for example, Library of Alexandria.

Typically not the whole collection was available to public, the books could not be borrowed and often were chained to reading stands to prevent theft.

The beginning of modern public library begins around 15th century when individuals started to donate books to towns.

Some things many of us have been waiting for, a few things that will make you laugh out loud, some things that will break your heart and move you to tears along with a few surprise twists.

You know - all those things that Louise Penny just keeps doing with such apparent ease. As Quebec City shivers in the grip of winter, its ancient stone walls cracking in the cold, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache plunges into the most unusual case of his celebrated career.

A man has been brutally murdered in one of the city's oldest buildings - a library where the English citizens of Quebec safeguard their history.

And the death opens a door into the past, exposing a mystery that has lain dormant for centuries We've been working with a top walking tour company in the venerable old city, Tours Voir Quebec, and are very happy to endorse this.

It's available in either English or French. Bon voyage et Vive Gamache! Meanwhile, Gamache dispatches his longtime colleague, Insp.

Jean Guy Beauvoir, to the quiet town of Three Pines to revisit the case supposedly resolved at the end of the previous book.

Few writers in any genre can match Penny's ability to combine heartbreak and hope in the same scene. Increasingly ambitious in her plotting, she continues to create characters readers would want to meet in real life.

People Magazine 4 out of 4 stars 'editor's pick'! Her beautifully elegiac sixth book interweaves three story lines while plumbing the depths of Gamache's grief.

The result is sophisticated and moving - her best yet. Penny hits every note perfectly in what is one of the most elaborately constructed and remarkably moving mysteries in years.

Bring on the awards. Toronto Globe and Mail. The book, obviously, is a must-read for her fans, and demonstrates once again that she is in the first rank of crime-fiction writers in Canada, or indeed, in the world.

Chaos is coming, old son. With those words the peace of Three Pines is shattered. As families prepare to head back to the city and children say goodbye to summer, a stranger is found murdered in the village bistro and antiques store.

Once again, Chief Inspector Gamache and his team are called in to strip back layers of lies, exposing both treasures and rancid secrets buried in the wilderness.

No one admits to knowing the murdered man, but as secrets are revealed, chaos begins to close in on the beloved bistro owner, Olivier.

How did he make such a spectacular success of his business? What past did he leave behind and why has he buried himself in this tiny village?

And why does every lead in the investigation find its way back to him? Globe and Mail , Margaret Cannon For one thing she's a far more accomplished craftsman, relying more on depth of character than formula.

She also likes a complex plot that owes more to human emotion and psychology than to clockwork timing. This puts her closer to PD James The best Gamache novel so far.

Daily Mirror 4 stars out of five , Henry Sutton The Canadian village of Three Pines is given a shocking awakening when a stranger is found dead in the local bistro.

But soon Chief Inspector Gamache discovers the bistro owner had a shady past. It's not just the skill of the plot, but the way that words are never wasted and that so few of them can produce a vivid picture.

Dialogue is perfect and there's a real talent for capturing the one-liners which make you laugh out loud.

Shots Mag , Mike Stotter I have always been dismissive of the expression "I couldn't put it down", but after reading Louise Penny's latest story of the idyllic French Canadian village of Three Pines I acknowledge that there is some truth in it.

I read this book in one session, anxious to reach the unravelling of a complex plot dealing with mystery, artistic integrity, murder, of course, and relationships.

Her courtly, poetry-loving Inspector Gamache, who peers into suspects' souls over meals so mouthwatering you'll want to book a flight, contributes a humane and sophisticated perspective on human foibles.

Her fifth in the series is the finest of all. Fortunately, sagacious Gamache possesses the acumen to peel away the layers of deceit and to expose the truth.

Her characters are too rich, her grasp of nuance and human psychology too firm for the formula-bound Christie. No, Penny belongs in the hands of those who read not only P.

At a cabin in the woods apparently belonging to the dead man, Gamache and his team are shocked to discover the remote building is full of priceless antiquities, from first edition books to European treasures thought to have disappeared during WWII.

Readers keen for another glimpse into the life of Three Pines will be well rewarded. Joseph Beth bookstores , Cincinnati, Ohio, Micheal Fraser I was prepared to be vastly entertained by a witty, sometimes funny and intricately plotted mystery whose solution always lies in the hearts of men and the ability of Gamache to suss out what lies within.

I was not prepared for this compelling and unflinching look into the heart of darkness that resides within us all. It is a universal truth that we can never fully know another human being and many times, not even ourselves.

In a brutal telling itself, Penny connects us with our own humanity as well as others. She shows us the fragility of our existence and that even living within the pale doesn't exempt us and we can have everything taken away in a very short time.

Plus an astonishing ending! Who could ask for anything more? With almost every word, she gives you something to hope for I'm shouting about it all over the place, and I'm already quite sure it will be in my Top Five Favorite Books of Add this to your "Gotta Read" list.

Wealthy, cultured and respectable, the Finney family is the epitome of gentility. When Irene Finney and her four grown-up children arrive at the Manoir Bellechasse in the heat of summer, the hotel's staff spring into action.

For the children have come to this idyllic lakeside retreat for a special occasion - a memorial has been organised to pay tribute to their late father.

But as the heat wave gathers strength, it is not just the statue of an old man that is unveiled. Old secrets and bitter rivalries begin to surface, and the morning after the ceremony, a body is found.

The family has another member to mourn. A guest at the hotel, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache suddenly finds himself in the middle of a murder enquiry.

The hotel is full of possible suspects - even the Manoir's staff have something to hide, and it's clear that the victim had many enemies.

With its remote location, the lodge is a place where visitors come to escape their pasts. Until the past catches up with them Not only does the auberge offer grand views and the order and calm of old-world service, but it also observes a no-kill policy, with the proprietors feeding wild animals in winter and forbidding guests to hunt or fish.

Someone obviously failed to explain that rule to the cultured but quarrelsome family holding a reunion to unveil a statue of their late patriarch, who makes his feelings felt by toppling down on one of his own.

As Gamache observes, things were not as they seemed, not even in a paradise like Bellechasse. And never in a Louise Penny mystery.

Blackstone, unabridged, nine CDs, 11 hrs. Celebrated British narrator and actor Ralph Cosham brings this wonderful murder mystery to life and draws in listeners with his charisma.

Penny's taut, darkly comedic tale features the Finney family, which has gathered for the installation of a statue of their long-dead patriarch.

When the statue falls and kills one of his daughters, Insp. Armand Gamache Cosham at his very best must unravel the plot before it's too late.

Cosham's characters are refreshingly original and never overplayed, and the Old World quality of his voice invokes radio murder mysteries from decades past, creating an endlessly entertaining listening experience.

Australian Women's Weekly Beautiful imagery, deft characterisation and deliciously dense plots Weekend Australian Louise Penny's village whodunits make perfect beach reading for this summer.

Notebook Magazine To say this book has an old-fashioned feel is not to denigrate it. There is nothing hard-boiled about Armand: Richmond Times-Dispatch Once again, Penny concocts an intricate and intriguing plot and peoples it with credible characters and the continually fascinating Gamache No murder would be complete, of course, without death.

Denver Post An ingenious, impossible crime puzzle for the reader. An IndieNext pick formerly BookSense for February 09 Mystery Reader five out of five stars Louise Penny has created in her Inspector Gamache series a clever combination of a police procedural and cozy mystery novel.

The setting itself is reminiscent of the golden age of mysteries. Indeed this novel is a classic locked room mystery.

Penny has a superb command of the English language. As a mystery author, Ms. Penny plays fair with her readers. The Charlotte Observer 4 out of 4 stars At least two people are waiting very impatiently for this review to be done so I can pass the new Louise Penny along to them.

With just her fourth book, she already has that kind of well-deserved following Starred Library Journal Canadian author Penny has garnered numerous awards for her elegant literary mysteries featuring the urbane Armand Gamache, chief police inspector from Quebec.

Gamache is intelligent, observant, and implacable, indispensible attributes for the sophisticated detection that characterizes this series Her psychological acumen, excellent prose, and ingenious plotting make this essential reading for mystery lovers and admirers of superb literary fiction.

Fans of Dorothy L. James, and Elizabeth George will also be delighted. One of the best traditional mystery series currently being published. Publishers Weekly Murder interrupts Chief Insp.

It's a serious novel that bridges the gap between the mystery genre and mainstream fiction Louise Penny's fourth novel is an enduring mystery that begins and ends with the qualities that make great fiction writing -- compelling storytelling, evocative descriptions that are the heart of the story -- and characters the novel's soul who are rich in qualities and foibles that make them unforgettable -- and capable of murder.

Montreal Review of Books The plotting is flawless and when the murderer is finally revealed in a thrilling climactic scene Penny has found her perfect formula with the carefully constructed puzzle plot in the perfect village with the classic cast of characters.

The fact that it's modern Quebec is the icing on the petit four Once the puzzle is set up, it's impossible to put this book down until it's solved.

Devotees of Christie will be delighted by Penny's clever plots and deft characters. In a traditional who-dunnit crime thriller that rivals Agatha Christie's Poirot, Gamache is a refreshing alternative to the hard-nosed stereotypical detective.

Penny builds the lives and imperfections of the characters effectively, exposing the complexity of human nature, challenging the reader's opinion and creating a constant sense of suspicion.

This is a classic tale that proves that revenge is a dish best served ice cold. You have to read it The temptation is to scarf Penny's books like potato chips but it's ever wise to savor each bite and let the flavors fill your tongue.

Easter in Three Pines is a time of church services, egg hunts and seances to raise the dead. A group of friends trudges up to the Old Hadley House, the horror on the hill, to finally rid it of the evil spirits that have so obviously plagued it, and the village, for decades.

One of their numbers dies of fright. As they peel back the layers of flilth and artiface that have covered the haunted old home, they discover the evil isn't confined there.

Some evil is guiding the actions of one of the seemingly kindly villagers. A very personal demon is about to strike. A time of rebirth, when nature comes alive.

And it become clear - for there to be a rebirth, there first must be a death. The mouthwatering food, the beautiful gardens, the quirky and literate villagers -- Three Pines is a charming oasis for the spirit The Scotsman There's real pleasure here.

Kirkus Review Perhaps the deftest talent to arrive since Minette Walters, Penny produces what many have tried but few have mastered: If you don't give your heart to Gamache, you may have no heart to give.

Publishers Weekly Chief Insp. As Penny demonstrates with laser-like precision, the book's title is a metaphor not only for the month of April but also for Gamache's personal and professional challenges - making this the series standout so far.

And this place, this wonderous, fantastical place. The thing about the Gamache novels is that while the crimes are intriguing, the people are downright fascinating not just Gamache himself, who manages to be completely original despite his similarities to Columbo and Poirot, but also the entire cast of supporting characters, who are so strongly written that every single one of them could probably carry an entire novel all by themselves.

The writing is sensual, full of sights and smells and tastes that will resonate with her readers. And although Penny paints an almost Grandma Moses idealized view of village life, it is a view tinged with ominous foreboding, reminiscent of the brooding images of Breughel and Bosch Penny's writing is rich in imagery and atmosphere and characterised by a very quick and highly verbal intelligence.

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.

There's been a murder. Local police are baffled. 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. Called in to head the investigation, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache unravels the dead woman's past and discovers a history of secrets and enemies.

But Gamache has enemies of his own. Frozen out of decision-making at the highest level of the Surete du Quebec, Gamache finds there are few he can trust.

As a bitter wind blows into Three Pines, something even more chilling is sneaking up behind him Gamache is a prodigiously complicated and engaging hero, destined to become one of the classic detectives.

Library Journal A highly intelliegent mystery. Penny's new title is sure to creat great reader demand for more stories featuring civilized and articulate Chief Inspector Armand Gamache.

Booklist Gamache, a smart and likable investigator - think Columbo with an accent, or perhaps a modern-day Poirot This is a fine mystery in the classic Agatha Christie style and it is sure to leave mainstream fans wanting more.

Koch For all the perplexing mechanics of the murder, and the snowed-in village setting, this is not the usual "cosy" or even a traditional puzzle mystery.

It's a finely written, intelligent and observant book. Imbued with a constant awareness of the astonishing cold, this perfect blend of police procedural and closed-room mystery finds its solution, as in the best of those traditions, in the slow unlayering of a sorrowful past.

Her characters leap from the page, her plotting is sublime, the atmosphere she builds in a bitter Quebec winter in Dead Cold, completely chilling.

The writing is superb. And like Gamache, you too will be drawn to Three Pines and to this work of magical realism masquerading as a cosy English mystery.

We're back in the charming Quebec village of Three Pines The setting is wonderfully done, as are the characters. The solution is perfectly in tune with their psychology and there's plenty of evidence that Gamache will make a third appearance.

Sooner or later the whole world will discover Penny. With a unique sense of timing, patience and subtle wit, Penny is able to create a whodunit that recalls those of Agatha Christie Magically bringing the postcard village of Three Pines to life, she gives it innocence, allows a touch of evil to intrude and then brings in the outsider, the intriguing Gamache, to solve the crime.

The result is an engrossing read that will only add to the ranks of her readers. Shotsmag, UK This is a wonderful novel, full of mystery.

It is as deeply layered as snow drifting down upon snow. The cold will seep into your bones so wrap up warm and have a good hot drink at your elbow.

As the early morning mist clears on Thanksgiving Sunday, the homes of Three Pines come to life - all except one. To locals, the village is a safe haven.

So they are bewildered when a well-loved member of the community is found lying dead in the maple woods. Surely it was an accident - a hunter's arrow gone astray.

Who could want Jane Neal dead? Gamache knows something dark is lurking behind the white picket fences, and if he watches closely enough, Three Pines will begin to give up its secrets.

Kirkus Review Cerebral, wise and compassionate, Gamache is destined for stardom. Don't miss this stellar debut.

Publishers Weekly Like a virtuoso, Penny plays a complex variation on the theme of the clue hidden in plain sight. Filled with unexpected insights, this winning traditional mystery sets a solid foundation for future entries in the series.

Booklist , Emily Melton This is a real gem of a book that slowly draws the reader into a beautifully told, lyrically written story of love, life, friendship and tragedy.

Miss Jane Neal kept a well-read book on her nightstand, C. Lewis' Surprised by Joy. That title is a fitting phrase for Still Life. Toronto Star, Jack Batten A delightful and clever collection of false leads, red herrings, meditations on human nature, strange behavior and other diverting stuff.

The Calgary Herald , Joanne Sasvari, This is a much darker, cleverer, funnier and, finally, more hopeful novel than even the great Dame Agatha could have penned.

It's light, witty and poignant, a thrilling debut from a new Canadian crime writer. As the last note of the chant escaped the Blessed Chapel a great silence fell, and with it came an even greater disquiet.

The silence stretched on. These were men used to silence, but this seemed extreme, even to them. And still they stood in their long black robes and white tops, motionless.

These were men also used to waiting. But this too seemed extreme. The less disciplined among them stole glances at the tall, slim, elderly man who had been the last to file in and would be the first to leave.

Dom Philippe kept his eyes closed. Where once this was a moment of profound peace, a private moment with his private God, when Vigils had ended and before he signaled for the Angelus, now it was simply escape.

Besides, he knew what was there. What was always there. What had been there for hundreds of years before he arrived and would, God willing, be there for centuries after he was buried in the cemetery.

Two rows of men across from him, in black robes with white hoods, a simple rope tied at their waists. And beside him to his right, two more rows of men.

They were facing each other across the stone floor of the chapel, like ancient battle lines. No, he told his weary mind.

Just opposing points of view. Expressed in a healthy community. Then why was he so reluctant to open his eyes? To get the day going? To signal the great bells that would ring the Angelus to the forests and birds and lakes and fish.

To the angels and all the saints. In the great silence it sounded like a bomb. With an effort he continued to keep his eyes closed.

He remained still, and quiet. But there was no peace anymore. Now there was only turmoil, inside and out.

He could feel it, vibrating from and between the two rows of waiting men. He could feel it vibrating within him. Dom Philippe counted to one hundred.

Then opening his blue eyes, he stared directly across the chapel, to the short, round man who stood with his eyes open, his hands folded on his stomach, a small smile on his endlessly patient face.

And the bells began. The perfect, round, rich toll left the bell tower and took off into the early morning darkness. It skimmed over the clear lake, the forests, the rolling hills.

To be heard by all sorts of creatures. Their day had begun. That would be ridiculous. In the background an old Beau Dommage album was playing.

Beauvoir hummed quietly to the familiar tune. Felt she had to marry him. After all, who else would have him? I could hardly give you a worse gift.

He reached down beside the table in the sunny kitchen. A platter of bacon and scrambled eggs with melted Brie sat on the small pine table. The cat leapt to the ground and found a spot on the floor where the sun hit.

Beauvoir lifted it into plain sight. And I got you nothing. Annie took the plunger. You are full of it, after all. She thrust the plunger forward, gently prodding him with the red rubber suction cup as though it was a rapier and she the swordsman.

Where other women might have pretended the ridiculous plunger was a wand, she pretended it was a sword. Of course, Jean-Guy realized, he would never have given a toilet plunger to any other woman.

As he spoke he looked at Annie. Her eyes never left him, barely blinked. She took in every word, every gesture, every inflection.

Enid, his ex-wife, had also listened. But there was always an edge of desperation about it, a demand. As though he owed her.

As though she was dying and he was the medicine. Enid left him drained, and yet still feeling inadequate.

But Annie was gentler. Like her father, she listened carefully and quietly. With Enid he never talked about his work, and she never asked.

With Annie he told her everything. He told her what they found, how they felt, and who they arrested. Beauvoir nodded and chewed and saw the Chief Inspector in the dim cabin.

So as the two homicide investigators deftly searched, Chief Inspector Gamache had told Beauvoir about the bathmat. And somehow deciding a bathmat was the perfect hostess gift.

Her mother never tired of asking either. Her father, on the other hand, decided I was an imbecile and never mentioned it again.

When they died we found the bathmat in their linen closet, still in its plastic wrapping, with the card attached. Beauvoir stopped talking and looked across at Annie.

She smelled fresh and clean. Like a citron grove in the warm sunshine. She wore warm slippers and loose, comfortable clothing.

Annie was aware of fashion, and happy to be fashionable. But happier to be comfortable. She was not slim. She was not a stunning beauty.

But Annie knew something most people never learn. She knew how great it was to be alive. It had taken him almost forty years, but Jean-Guy Beauvoir finally understood it too.

And knew now there was no greater beauty. Annie was approaching thirty now. Had made him part of the team, and eventually, over the years, part of the family.

Though even the Chief Inspector had no idea how much a part of the family Beauvoir had become. She held up the plunger, with its cheery red bow.

In a home that smelled of fresh citron and coffee. And had a cat curled around the sunshine. But hearing it now, it just seemed natural.

As though this was always the plan. To grow old together. Beauvoir did the math. He was ten years older than her, and would almost certainly die first.

But there was something troubling him. Annie grew quiet, and picked at her croissant. He could never stop them, but it would be a disaster. The Chief and Madame Gamache will be happy.

But he wanted to be sure. It was in his nature. He collected facts for a living, and this uncertainty was taking its toll. It was the only shadow in a life suddenly, unexpectedly luminous.

But in his heart it felt like a betrayal. She leaned toward him, her elbows and forearms resting on the croissant flakes on the pine table, and took his hand.

She held it warm in hers. My father would be so happy. Seeing the look on his face she laughed and squeezed his hand. They think of you as family, you know.

She just held his hand and looked into his eyes. Dad spends his life looking for clues, piecing things together.

Too close, I guess. One of the first lessons he teaches new recruits. Not the robust peal of the landline, but the cheerful, invasive trill of a cell.

He ran to the bedroom and grabbed it off the nightstand. No number was displayed, just a word. He almost hit the small green phone icon, then hesitated.

It managed to be both relaxed and authoritative. An invitation to dinner. A query about staffing or a case going to trial. This was a call to arms.

A call to action. A call that marked something dreadful had happened. And even danced a little. Not with joy at the knowledge of a terrible and premature death.

But knowing he and the Chief and others would be on the trail again. Jean-Guy Beauvoir loved his job. But now, for the first time, he looked into the kitchen, and saw Annie standing in the doorway.

And he realized, with surprise, that he now loved something more. And just the two of us for now. Just to organize the Scene of Crime team and leave?

Hope you remember how to do it. All the way from downtown? Beauvoir felt the world stop for a moment. And he did, placing calls, issuing orders, organizing.

Then he threw a few clothes into an overnight bag. Even for a woman who cherished reality, this was far too real. She laughed, and he was glad.

At the door he stopped and lowered his case to the ground. Once he was gone and she could no longer see the back of his car, Annie Gamache closed the door and held her hand to her chest.

She wondered if this was how her mother had felt, for all those years. How her mother felt at that very moment.

Was she too leaning against the door, having watched her heart leave? Having let it go. Then Annie walked over to the bookcases lining her living room.

After a few minutes she found what she was looking for. She and Jean-Guy would present them with their own white bibles, with their names and baptism dates inscribed.

She looked at the thick first page. Sure enough, there was her name. But instead of a cross underneath her name her parents had drawn two little hearts.

Copyright by Three Pines Creations, Inc. She could see shadows, shapes, like wraiths moving back and forth, back and forth across the frosted glass.

Distorted, but still human. Still the dead one lay moaning. The words had been going through her head all day, appearing and disappearing.

A poem, half remembered. Words floating to the surface, then going under. The body of the poem beyond her grasp. The blurred figures at the far end of the long corridor seemed almost liquid, or smoke.

Please try again later. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. I would give this book 5 stars in a paper edition, as it is a classic historical work.

This ebook version however was very incompetently scanned and digitized. On every page there are bogus characters and typos, missing words, etc.

It is often difficult to decipher the meaning of a sentence. Please don't buy this version. It will only encourage the rip off artists who put this on Amazon.

There is another version by Harvard University Press but they have withdrawn it from Amazon because of formatting errors. That leaves only expensive used paper copies, but please don't buy this version.

You can actually buy the Kindle edition here. Comprehensive examination of the crimes of Communism. Written by a group of French Scholars.

This book is a must read and discusses many scholarly issues regarding the nature of totalitarianism, Communism and Fascism.

But is also presents many facts and historical events regarding communism. So many people in our country are ignorant of these things and they need to be informed so we don't buy into the propaganda and repeat the mistakes of the past.

I found the book to be readable. Not the easiest book to read. But I have had textbooks that were much more difficult to read that this was.

Reads like a textbook. Takes a while to complete, but well worth it. A must read for all who are curious as to why people accept and embrace communism.

A fantastic history lesson of the atrocities perpetrated by communist regimes. This book is so well written that I reread it two more times and the Introduction and Conclusion another five.

If you only read the introduction and conclusion, it would be well worth the price. The author has an interesting perspective on the question of whether or not the terror of Communism can be compared to that of Nazism.

Apparently, the very idea of comparing the two is taboo in genteel society. It seems that the anointed and noble Communists commit murder in the name of ridding the world of war and poverty whilst killers of boorish and ignoble stripe are vile and evil simply because they are at least dumb enough to make no such pretensions.

He poses the question this way: Is it right to excuse terror when performed under the color of abolishing war and poverty, or is the excusing wrong precisely because the terror is perpetrated in the name of abolishing war and poverty.

I believe it was in the book "Witness" by Whitaker Chambers where this same question is presented comparing the noble terror of Communism with that of boorish Nazism.

Chambers, when talking with other former communists, to test the veracity of their break with the faith, he would ask, "What is Communism"?

If they answered, "Communism is Fascism". Then he knew that this person has truly broken with the religion. It seems many are attracted to collectivist ideologies because these political cults claim to hold the secret to ending the two great scourges of poverty and war.

To achieve his noble goal the true believer can then justify any means necessary, even if it produces famine and war far beyond anything that has gone before.

It seems mankind has always been plagued by these murder cults but none has had such noble ideals, which may explain why the holy men of Communism have been able to get away with racking up a body count of such scale with little or no complaint or even complacency and collaboration from those on the outside.

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This puts her closer to PD James The best Gamache novel so far. Daily Mirror 4 stars out of five , Henry Sutton The Canadian village of Three Pines is given a shocking awakening when a stranger is found dead in the local bistro.

But soon Chief Inspector Gamache discovers the bistro owner had a shady past. It's not just the skill of the plot, but the way that words are never wasted and that so few of them can produce a vivid picture.

Dialogue is perfect and there's a real talent for capturing the one-liners which make you laugh out loud. Shots Mag , Mike Stotter I have always been dismissive of the expression "I couldn't put it down", but after reading Louise Penny's latest story of the idyllic French Canadian village of Three Pines I acknowledge that there is some truth in it.

I read this book in one session, anxious to reach the unravelling of a complex plot dealing with mystery, artistic integrity, murder, of course, and relationships.

Her courtly, poetry-loving Inspector Gamache, who peers into suspects' souls over meals so mouthwatering you'll want to book a flight, contributes a humane and sophisticated perspective on human foibles.

Her fifth in the series is the finest of all. Fortunately, sagacious Gamache possesses the acumen to peel away the layers of deceit and to expose the truth.

Her characters are too rich, her grasp of nuance and human psychology too firm for the formula-bound Christie. No, Penny belongs in the hands of those who read not only P.

At a cabin in the woods apparently belonging to the dead man, Gamache and his team are shocked to discover the remote building is full of priceless antiquities, from first edition books to European treasures thought to have disappeared during WWII.

Readers keen for another glimpse into the life of Three Pines will be well rewarded. Joseph Beth bookstores , Cincinnati, Ohio, Micheal Fraser I was prepared to be vastly entertained by a witty, sometimes funny and intricately plotted mystery whose solution always lies in the hearts of men and the ability of Gamache to suss out what lies within.

I was not prepared for this compelling and unflinching look into the heart of darkness that resides within us all.

It is a universal truth that we can never fully know another human being and many times, not even ourselves. In a brutal telling itself, Penny connects us with our own humanity as well as others.

She shows us the fragility of our existence and that even living within the pale doesn't exempt us and we can have everything taken away in a very short time.

Plus an astonishing ending! Who could ask for anything more? With almost every word, she gives you something to hope for I'm shouting about it all over the place, and I'm already quite sure it will be in my Top Five Favorite Books of Add this to your "Gotta Read" list.

Wealthy, cultured and respectable, the Finney family is the epitome of gentility. When Irene Finney and her four grown-up children arrive at the Manoir Bellechasse in the heat of summer, the hotel's staff spring into action.

For the children have come to this idyllic lakeside retreat for a special occasion - a memorial has been organised to pay tribute to their late father.

But as the heat wave gathers strength, it is not just the statue of an old man that is unveiled. Old secrets and bitter rivalries begin to surface, and the morning after the ceremony, a body is found.

The family has another member to mourn. A guest at the hotel, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache suddenly finds himself in the middle of a murder enquiry.

The hotel is full of possible suspects - even the Manoir's staff have something to hide, and it's clear that the victim had many enemies.

With its remote location, the lodge is a place where visitors come to escape their pasts. Until the past catches up with them Not only does the auberge offer grand views and the order and calm of old-world service, but it also observes a no-kill policy, with the proprietors feeding wild animals in winter and forbidding guests to hunt or fish.

Someone obviously failed to explain that rule to the cultured but quarrelsome family holding a reunion to unveil a statue of their late patriarch, who makes his feelings felt by toppling down on one of his own.

As Gamache observes, things were not as they seemed, not even in a paradise like Bellechasse. And never in a Louise Penny mystery. Blackstone, unabridged, nine CDs, 11 hrs.

Celebrated British narrator and actor Ralph Cosham brings this wonderful murder mystery to life and draws in listeners with his charisma. Penny's taut, darkly comedic tale features the Finney family, which has gathered for the installation of a statue of their long-dead patriarch.

When the statue falls and kills one of his daughters, Insp. Armand Gamache Cosham at his very best must unravel the plot before it's too late.

Cosham's characters are refreshingly original and never overplayed, and the Old World quality of his voice invokes radio murder mysteries from decades past, creating an endlessly entertaining listening experience.

Australian Women's Weekly Beautiful imagery, deft characterisation and deliciously dense plots Weekend Australian Louise Penny's village whodunits make perfect beach reading for this summer.

Notebook Magazine To say this book has an old-fashioned feel is not to denigrate it. There is nothing hard-boiled about Armand: Richmond Times-Dispatch Once again, Penny concocts an intricate and intriguing plot and peoples it with credible characters and the continually fascinating Gamache No murder would be complete, of course, without death.

Denver Post An ingenious, impossible crime puzzle for the reader. An IndieNext pick formerly BookSense for February 09 Mystery Reader five out of five stars Louise Penny has created in her Inspector Gamache series a clever combination of a police procedural and cozy mystery novel.

The setting itself is reminiscent of the golden age of mysteries. Indeed this novel is a classic locked room mystery. Penny has a superb command of the English language.

As a mystery author, Ms. Penny plays fair with her readers. The Charlotte Observer 4 out of 4 stars At least two people are waiting very impatiently for this review to be done so I can pass the new Louise Penny along to them.

With just her fourth book, she already has that kind of well-deserved following Starred Library Journal Canadian author Penny has garnered numerous awards for her elegant literary mysteries featuring the urbane Armand Gamache, chief police inspector from Quebec.

Gamache is intelligent, observant, and implacable, indispensible attributes for the sophisticated detection that characterizes this series Her psychological acumen, excellent prose, and ingenious plotting make this essential reading for mystery lovers and admirers of superb literary fiction.

Fans of Dorothy L. James, and Elizabeth George will also be delighted. One of the best traditional mystery series currently being published.

Publishers Weekly Murder interrupts Chief Insp. It's a serious novel that bridges the gap between the mystery genre and mainstream fiction Louise Penny's fourth novel is an enduring mystery that begins and ends with the qualities that make great fiction writing -- compelling storytelling, evocative descriptions that are the heart of the story -- and characters the novel's soul who are rich in qualities and foibles that make them unforgettable -- and capable of murder.

Montreal Review of Books The plotting is flawless and when the murderer is finally revealed in a thrilling climactic scene Penny has found her perfect formula with the carefully constructed puzzle plot in the perfect village with the classic cast of characters.

The fact that it's modern Quebec is the icing on the petit four Once the puzzle is set up, it's impossible to put this book down until it's solved.

Devotees of Christie will be delighted by Penny's clever plots and deft characters. In a traditional who-dunnit crime thriller that rivals Agatha Christie's Poirot, Gamache is a refreshing alternative to the hard-nosed stereotypical detective.

Penny builds the lives and imperfections of the characters effectively, exposing the complexity of human nature, challenging the reader's opinion and creating a constant sense of suspicion.

This is a classic tale that proves that revenge is a dish best served ice cold. You have to read it The temptation is to scarf Penny's books like potato chips but it's ever wise to savor each bite and let the flavors fill your tongue.

Easter in Three Pines is a time of church services, egg hunts and seances to raise the dead. A group of friends trudges up to the Old Hadley House, the horror on the hill, to finally rid it of the evil spirits that have so obviously plagued it, and the village, for decades.

One of their numbers dies of fright. As they peel back the layers of flilth and artiface that have covered the haunted old home, they discover the evil isn't confined there.

Some evil is guiding the actions of one of the seemingly kindly villagers. A very personal demon is about to strike.

A time of rebirth, when nature comes alive. And it become clear - for there to be a rebirth, there first must be a death. The mouthwatering food, the beautiful gardens, the quirky and literate villagers -- Three Pines is a charming oasis for the spirit The Scotsman There's real pleasure here.

Kirkus Review Perhaps the deftest talent to arrive since Minette Walters, Penny produces what many have tried but few have mastered: If you don't give your heart to Gamache, you may have no heart to give.

Publishers Weekly Chief Insp. As Penny demonstrates with laser-like precision, the book's title is a metaphor not only for the month of April but also for Gamache's personal and professional challenges - making this the series standout so far.

And this place, this wonderous, fantastical place. The thing about the Gamache novels is that while the crimes are intriguing, the people are downright fascinating not just Gamache himself, who manages to be completely original despite his similarities to Columbo and Poirot, but also the entire cast of supporting characters, who are so strongly written that every single one of them could probably carry an entire novel all by themselves.

The writing is sensual, full of sights and smells and tastes that will resonate with her readers. And although Penny paints an almost Grandma Moses idealized view of village life, it is a view tinged with ominous foreboding, reminiscent of the brooding images of Breughel and Bosch Penny's writing is rich in imagery and atmosphere and characterised by a very quick and highly verbal intelligence.

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.

There's been a murder. Local police are baffled. 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. Called in to head the investigation, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache unravels the dead woman's past and discovers a history of secrets and enemies.

But Gamache has enemies of his own. Frozen out of decision-making at the highest level of the Surete du Quebec, Gamache finds there are few he can trust.

As a bitter wind blows into Three Pines, something even more chilling is sneaking up behind him Gamache is a prodigiously complicated and engaging hero, destined to become one of the classic detectives.

Library Journal A highly intelliegent mystery. Penny's new title is sure to creat great reader demand for more stories featuring civilized and articulate Chief Inspector Armand Gamache.

Booklist Gamache, a smart and likable investigator - think Columbo with an accent, or perhaps a modern-day Poirot This is a fine mystery in the classic Agatha Christie style and it is sure to leave mainstream fans wanting more.

Koch For all the perplexing mechanics of the murder, and the snowed-in village setting, this is not the usual "cosy" or even a traditional puzzle mystery.

It's a finely written, intelligent and observant book. Imbued with a constant awareness of the astonishing cold, this perfect blend of police procedural and closed-room mystery finds its solution, as in the best of those traditions, in the slow unlayering of a sorrowful past.

Her characters leap from the page, her plotting is sublime, the atmosphere she builds in a bitter Quebec winter in Dead Cold, completely chilling.

The writing is superb. And like Gamache, you too will be drawn to Three Pines and to this work of magical realism masquerading as a cosy English mystery.

We're back in the charming Quebec village of Three Pines The setting is wonderfully done, as are the characters. The solution is perfectly in tune with their psychology and there's plenty of evidence that Gamache will make a third appearance.

Sooner or later the whole world will discover Penny. With a unique sense of timing, patience and subtle wit, Penny is able to create a whodunit that recalls those of Agatha Christie Magically bringing the postcard village of Three Pines to life, she gives it innocence, allows a touch of evil to intrude and then brings in the outsider, the intriguing Gamache, to solve the crime.

The result is an engrossing read that will only add to the ranks of her readers. Shotsmag, UK This is a wonderful novel, full of mystery. It is as deeply layered as snow drifting down upon snow.

The cold will seep into your bones so wrap up warm and have a good hot drink at your elbow. As the early morning mist clears on Thanksgiving Sunday, the homes of Three Pines come to life - all except one.

To locals, the village is a safe haven. So they are bewildered when a well-loved member of the community is found lying dead in the maple woods.

Surely it was an accident - a hunter's arrow gone astray. Who could want Jane Neal dead? Gamache knows something dark is lurking behind the white picket fences, and if he watches closely enough, Three Pines will begin to give up its secrets.

Kirkus Review Cerebral, wise and compassionate, Gamache is destined for stardom. Don't miss this stellar debut.

Publishers Weekly Like a virtuoso, Penny plays a complex variation on the theme of the clue hidden in plain sight. Filled with unexpected insights, this winning traditional mystery sets a solid foundation for future entries in the series.

Booklist , Emily Melton This is a real gem of a book that slowly draws the reader into a beautifully told, lyrically written story of love, life, friendship and tragedy.

Miss Jane Neal kept a well-read book on her nightstand, C. Lewis' Surprised by Joy. That title is a fitting phrase for Still Life.

Toronto Star, Jack Batten A delightful and clever collection of false leads, red herrings, meditations on human nature, strange behavior and other diverting stuff.

The Calgary Herald , Joanne Sasvari, This is a much darker, cleverer, funnier and, finally, more hopeful novel than even the great Dame Agatha could have penned.

It's light, witty and poignant, a thrilling debut from a new Canadian crime writer. As the last note of the chant escaped the Blessed Chapel a great silence fell, and with it came an even greater disquiet.

The silence stretched on. These were men used to silence, but this seemed extreme, even to them. And still they stood in their long black robes and white tops, motionless.

These were men also used to waiting. But this too seemed extreme. The less disciplined among them stole glances at the tall, slim, elderly man who had been the last to file in and would be the first to leave.

Dom Philippe kept his eyes closed. Where once this was a moment of profound peace, a private moment with his private God, when Vigils had ended and before he signaled for the Angelus, now it was simply escape.

Besides, he knew what was there. What was always there. What had been there for hundreds of years before he arrived and would, God willing, be there for centuries after he was buried in the cemetery.

Two rows of men across from him, in black robes with white hoods, a simple rope tied at their waists. And beside him to his right, two more rows of men.

They were facing each other across the stone floor of the chapel, like ancient battle lines. No, he told his weary mind. Just opposing points of view.

Expressed in a healthy community. Then why was he so reluctant to open his eyes? To get the day going? To signal the great bells that would ring the Angelus to the forests and birds and lakes and fish.

To the angels and all the saints. In the great silence it sounded like a bomb. With an effort he continued to keep his eyes closed.

He remained still, and quiet. But there was no peace anymore. Now there was only turmoil, inside and out.

He could feel it, vibrating from and between the two rows of waiting men. He could feel it vibrating within him.

Dom Philippe counted to one hundred. Then opening his blue eyes, he stared directly across the chapel, to the short, round man who stood with his eyes open, his hands folded on his stomach, a small smile on his endlessly patient face.

And the bells began. The perfect, round, rich toll left the bell tower and took off into the early morning darkness.

It skimmed over the clear lake, the forests, the rolling hills. To be heard by all sorts of creatures. Their day had begun. That would be ridiculous.

In the background an old Beau Dommage album was playing. Beauvoir hummed quietly to the familiar tune. Felt she had to marry him.

After all, who else would have him? I could hardly give you a worse gift. He reached down beside the table in the sunny kitchen. A platter of bacon and scrambled eggs with melted Brie sat on the small pine table.

The cat leapt to the ground and found a spot on the floor where the sun hit. Beauvoir lifted it into plain sight. And I got you nothing.

Annie took the plunger. You are full of it, after all. She thrust the plunger forward, gently prodding him with the red rubber suction cup as though it was a rapier and she the swordsman.

Where other women might have pretended the ridiculous plunger was a wand, she pretended it was a sword. Of course, Jean-Guy realized, he would never have given a toilet plunger to any other woman.

As he spoke he looked at Annie. Her eyes never left him, barely blinked. She took in every word, every gesture, every inflection. Enid, his ex-wife, had also listened.

But there was always an edge of desperation about it, a demand. As though he owed her. As though she was dying and he was the medicine.

Enid left him drained, and yet still feeling inadequate. But Annie was gentler. Like her father, she listened carefully and quietly. With Enid he never talked about his work, and she never asked.

With Annie he told her everything. He told her what they found, how they felt, and who they arrested. Beauvoir nodded and chewed and saw the Chief Inspector in the dim cabin.

So as the two homicide investigators deftly searched, Chief Inspector Gamache had told Beauvoir about the bathmat.

And somehow deciding a bathmat was the perfect hostess gift. Her mother never tired of asking either. Her father, on the other hand, decided I was an imbecile and never mentioned it again.

When they died we found the bathmat in their linen closet, still in its plastic wrapping, with the card attached.

Beauvoir stopped talking and looked across at Annie. She smelled fresh and clean. Like a citron grove in the warm sunshine. She wore warm slippers and loose, comfortable clothing.

Annie was aware of fashion, and happy to be fashionable. But happier to be comfortable. She was not slim. She was not a stunning beauty. But Annie knew something most people never learn.

She knew how great it was to be alive. It had taken him almost forty years, but Jean-Guy Beauvoir finally understood it too.

And knew now there was no greater beauty. Annie was approaching thirty now. Had made him part of the team, and eventually, over the years, part of the family.

Though even the Chief Inspector had no idea how much a part of the family Beauvoir had become. She held up the plunger, with its cheery red bow.

In a home that smelled of fresh citron and coffee. And had a cat curled around the sunshine. But hearing it now, it just seemed natural.

As though this was always the plan. To grow old together. Beauvoir did the math. He was ten years older than her, and would almost certainly die first.

But there was something troubling him. Annie grew quiet, and picked at her croissant. He could never stop them, but it would be a disaster.

The Chief and Madame Gamache will be happy. But he wanted to be sure. It was in his nature. He collected facts for a living, and this uncertainty was taking its toll.

It was the only shadow in a life suddenly, unexpectedly luminous. But in his heart it felt like a betrayal. She leaned toward him, her elbows and forearms resting on the croissant flakes on the pine table, and took his hand.

She held it warm in hers. My father would be so happy. Seeing the look on his face she laughed and squeezed his hand.

They think of you as family, you know. She just held his hand and looked into his eyes. Dad spends his life looking for clues, piecing things together.

Too close, I guess. One of the first lessons he teaches new recruits. Not the robust peal of the landline, but the cheerful, invasive trill of a cell.

He ran to the bedroom and grabbed it off the nightstand. No number was displayed, just a word. He almost hit the small green phone icon, then hesitated.

It managed to be both relaxed and authoritative. An invitation to dinner. A query about staffing or a case going to trial.

This was a call to arms. A call to action. A call that marked something dreadful had happened. And even danced a little. Not with joy at the knowledge of a terrible and premature death.

But knowing he and the Chief and others would be on the trail again. Jean-Guy Beauvoir loved his job. But now, for the first time, he looked into the kitchen, and saw Annie standing in the doorway.

And he realized, with surprise, that he now loved something more. And just the two of us for now. Just to organize the Scene of Crime team and leave?

Hope you remember how to do it. All the way from downtown? Beauvoir felt the world stop for a moment. And he did, placing calls, issuing orders, organizing.

Then he threw a few clothes into an overnight bag. Even for a woman who cherished reality, this was far too real. She laughed, and he was glad.

At the door he stopped and lowered his case to the ground. Once he was gone and she could no longer see the back of his car, Annie Gamache closed the door and held her hand to her chest.

She wondered if this was how her mother had felt, for all those years. How her mother felt at that very moment. Was she too leaning against the door, having watched her heart leave?

Having let it go. Then Annie walked over to the bookcases lining her living room. After a few minutes she found what she was looking for.

She and Jean-Guy would present them with their own white bibles, with their names and baptism dates inscribed. She looked at the thick first page.

Sure enough, there was her name. But instead of a cross underneath her name her parents had drawn two little hearts. Copyright by Three Pines Creations, Inc.

She could see shadows, shapes, like wraiths moving back and forth, back and forth across the frosted glass. Distorted, but still human. Still the dead one lay moaning.

The words had been going through her head all day, appearing and disappearing. A poem, half remembered. Words floating to the surface, then going under.

The body of the poem beyond her grasp. The blurred figures at the far end of the long corridor seemed almost liquid, or smoke.

The end of the journey. How often had they come to the MAC to marvel at some new exhibition? To support a friend, a fellow artist?

Or to just sit quietly in the middle of the sleek gallery, in the middle of a weekday, when the rest of the city was at work?

Art was their work. But it was more than that. It had to be. Otherwise, why put up with all those years of solitude?

Of silence from a baffled and even bemused art world? She and Peter had worked away, every day, in their small studios in their small village, leading their tiny lives.

But still yearning for more. Clara took a few more steps down the long, long, white marble hallway. Her first dream as a child, her last dream that morning, almost fifty years later, was at the far end of the hard white hallway.

He was by far the more successful artist, with his exquisite studies of life in close-up. So detailed, and so close that a piece of the natural world appeared distorted and abstract.

Peter took what was natural and made it appear unnatural. People ate it up. It kept food on the table and the wolves, while constantly circling their little home in Three Pines, were kept from the door.

Thanks to Peter and his art. Clara glanced at him walking slightly ahead of her, a smile on his handsome face. She knew most people, on first meeting them, never took her for his wife.

Instead they assumed some slim executive with a white wine in her elegant hand was his mate. An example of natural selection. Of like moving to like.

The distinguished artist with the head of graying hair and noble features could not possibly have chosen the woman with the beer in her boxing glove hands.

And the studio full of sculptures made out of old tractor parts and paintings of cabbages with wings. Peter Morrow could not have chosen her.

That would have been unnatural. Clara would have smiled had she not been fairly certain she was about to throw up. Oh, no no no, she thought again as she watched Peter march purposefully toward the closed door and the art wraiths waiting to pass judgment.

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Utopian Road to Hell: Customers who bought this item also bought. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. Genocide and Mass Murder Since The Problem with Socialism.

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Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. I would give this book 5 stars in a paper edition, as it is a classic historical work. This ebook version however was very incompetently scanned and digitized.

On every page there are bogus characters and typos, missing words, etc. It is often difficult to decipher the meaning of a sentence. Please don't buy this version.

It will only encourage the rip off artists who put this on Amazon. There is another version by Harvard University Press but they have withdrawn it from Amazon because of formatting errors.

That leaves only expensive used paper copies, but please don't buy this version. You can actually buy the Kindle edition here. Comprehensive examination of the crimes of Communism.

Written by a group of French Scholars. This book is a must read and discusses many scholarly issues regarding the nature of totalitarianism, Communism and Fascism.

But is also presents many facts and historical events regarding communism. So many people in our country are ignorant of these things and they need to be informed so we don't buy into the propaganda and repeat the mistakes of the past.

I found the book to be readable. Not the easiest book to read. But I have had textbooks that were much more difficult to read that this was.

As a result the case is solved but things don't work out as Stone expected - the 'bad guy' was not who he thought. His life is also endangered by one of the suspects.

Good story, likeable main character who has his flaws and moves quickly. Had not experienced the novels of Stuart Woods but are excited to do so now.

I'm beginning with the Stone Barrington Series of which there about 40 novels! Have purchased over twenty in this detective series and have relished each one I've read so far.

Not needed to read in order as written. Just an enjoyable series! One of those "read all night" and "can't put down" series.

The books are so varied reader never tires of the series. Always an impatient wait for the next one to be published! These books are not the usual of the genre.

More societal backgrounds of the characters! More twists and turns in the various plots! Kindle Edition Verified Purchase.

I'm so glad I read this with my Kindle. I had to do some searches of characters. This story is wonderfully complex with MANY interesting characters.

Harry Bosch and Lucas Davenport fan. Was waiting for the next Sandford or Connelly novel, and I came across this on Amazon as a book series I might like.

Ordered the first Stone book and couldn't put it down. Woohoo, have 45 more to go to keep me busy.

Stuart Woods weaves a great story with characters you like. I have been trying to get these Barrington stories in order. He has mostly recovered from his serious knee injury, having been shot accidentally by Dine while they were making an arrest.

In this story, Stone is walking home from Elaine's restaurant when a beautiful girl almost hits him while falling off a story building.

She has held a spread skydiving position to her impact with a fresh pile of dirt from construction nest to the sidewalk.

Stone sees that her body does not show the normal effects of such an impact. He goes up to the top apartment and finds some one running down the stairs and wrecks his knees some more.

At first Stone and Dino are assigned to the case. It appears to be a murder without a body because the body of the fallen girl disappears while Stone is upstairs.

Stone ends up off the force but he and Dino end up solving the case and trying to keep the murderer from falling off the roof of another building.

It's a good story with a lot of action. It forms the basis for all subsequent episodes. Stone keeps busy by working on restoring his house.

After leaving the force, he passes the bar and gets a job as a lawyer, a job he keeps for the next 20 years or more. Have read some of the other Stone Barrington books but out of order , liked the others and wanted to go back to the beginning to find out how he got where he is in the other books.

I can't say exactly why I like them but I really do like them, they are fun and fast to read, sometimes goofy but I never, so far, can put them down.

Kept wanting something to happen that you didn't see in advance. Want a real detective book? One person found this helpful. Keeps you interested through the book!

Stuart Woods is a great writer. My only criticism is that the sexual encounters in his books are pretty graphic, and I don't think it is necessary.

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