I'm coming up for air after nearly a month of obsessive listening to Ralph Cosham as he and author Louise Penny lured me into the mythical village of Three Pines, Quebec. I feel like I know Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, Inspector Jean-Guy Beauvoir, Peter and Clara Morrow, eccentric poet Ruth Zardo, and other fictional characters better than I know some of my friends – most don't listen to audiobooks so I doubt they'll be reading this anyway.
Penny writes like a painter, and Cosham is the only possible reader who could translate her brush strokes into sound. I have listened under the covers when I know I have to get up early the next morning, in the car waiting to meet a friend to go cross country skiing when normally I would do a lap around Stake Lake while I waited. I've gluttonously grabbed at five minutes here and two minutes there for just another taste of the story – they are just that good. I know there is another reader, Adam Sims, who read another version of Bury Your Dead, and no offense to him, but it's Cosham or nothing for me!
So far there are eight books to this series, beginning with Still Life and ending with The Beautiful Mystery, and they need to be listened to in order as the greater story builds through each book. Another book is due this summer and I'm trying to find enough things to distract me until it arrives. I may need to take a week's worth of holidays in solitude so I'm not interrupted when it comes out. The final scene of the most recent book, The Beautiful Mystery, was so shocking and heart wrenching that sleeping may be difficult until I know what happens next. These are not gory murder mysteries, they are more about the people than the blood, much like P.D. James, who I also admire. In fact, Chief Inspector Gamache and Adam Dalgleish would likely be very good friends if they knew each other.
Trust me, if you love a good mystery, a good story, and a passionate look at the humanity in the world around us, just go get the books.
I got some of the books from Library to Go (why they don't buy an entire series is beyond me), and some on disc at the library.
Since Audible and the publishers don't seem to be including embeddable links for sound bites, I have a different treat - a Youtube video of an audio excerpt (I know, weird) from the fifth book - Bury Your Dead.
Click here for a soundbite.
Still Life, (9 hrs, 30 min), Blackstone Audio, 2006A Fatal Grace (a.k.a Dead Cold), (10 hrs, 30 min), Blackstone Audio, 2007
The Cruelest Month, (12 hrs), Blackstone Audio, 2008
A Rule Against Murder (a.k.a. The Murder Stone), (11 hrs), Blackstone Audio, 2009
The Brutal Telling, (13 hrs), Blackstone Audio, 2009
Bury Your Dead, (13 hrs), MacMillan Audio, 2010
A Trick of the Light, (11 hrs, 43 min), MacMillan Audio, 2011
The Beautiful Mystery, (13 hrs), Blackstone Audio, 2012