Staff Pick - Armand Gamache series by Louise Penny

If you love a juicy mystery that keeps you on the edge of your seat, then I have the series for you!

Louise Penny's Armand Gamache series takes place in Quebec, usually in and around the fictional village of Three Pines, although various investigations may take the characters to Montreal and other parts of Canada. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surete du Quebec investigates homicides along with Inspector Jean-Guy Beauvoir and other agents on the force. It's easy to get absorbed into this series because the characters are so well-written that you genuinely begin to care about them--hence why I was nearly screaming at the end of The Beautiful Mystery, which is Book 8 in the series! I still need to read Book 9...

The residents of Three Pines are quite eccentric. You have Ruth Zardo, a foul-mouthed old bat who happens to be an award-winning poet. (She also has a pet duck named Rosa.) Clara and Peter Morrow are husband and wife painters, Myrna Landers is a former psychologist turned bookstore owner, and Olivier Brule and Gabri Dubeau operate a bistro and bed and breakfast. Every character harbors dark secrets, which come to light in different installments in the series.

My favorite book of this 17-book series so far is The Brutal Telling. The first page sucked me right in, and I almost couldn't put it down.