4 stars

When I requested this book, I didn’t realize it was book #12 of a long series. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed the book and didn’t feel too lost. The author does a good job of interspersing background information throughout the book about the characters which clearly came from previous books so that even a first time reader such as myself didn’t feel too lost.

In this book Gamache has retired from the Sûreté du Québec police force and takes a job running the Sûreté police academy. Apparently in previous books we learn that the police force and academy was riddled with corruption and after cleaning up the police force, Gamache’s next goal is to take back control of the academy and clear it of corruption as well. He fires many of the instructors that were involved and brings in his own people. The “Duke” is the most corrupt instructor at the academy, and Gamache leaves him there, thinking that it will give him an opportunity to get the evidence he needs to ensure the “Duke” spends the rest of his life in prison.

When the “Duke” is murdered at the academy, however, Gamache realizes his decision to not fire him has bigger consequences than he could ever imagine. What follows is an intriguing mystery into the cadets at the academy, the characters that Gamache invites into the academy and ultimately, who murdered “the Duke”.

This book was well written and I will read more from this author.