A Fatal Grace – Excerpts

Cover of A Fatal GraceA few excerpts from Louise Penny’s cozy/police procedural hybrid, A Fatal Grace (2006), second in the Three Pines series:


“‘The first grey hair. Now there’s a bad hair day,’ said Myrna, ignoring the guys.

“‘How about when that first one appears on your chin,’ said Ruth. ‘That’s a bad hair day.’

“‘God, it’s true.’ Mother laughed, joining them. ‘The long wiry ones.’

“‘Don’t forget the moustache,’ said Kaye, creaking down where Myrna offered her a seat. ‘We have a solemn pact.’ Kaye nodded to Mother and looked over at Em, talking to some neighbors. ‘If one of us is unconscious in the hospital, the others will make sure it’s pulled.’

“‘The plug?’ Ruth asked.

“‘The chin hair,’ said Kaye, eyeing Ruth with some alarm. ‘You’re off the visitors list. Mother, make a note.’

“‘Oh, I made that note years ago.'”


“‘I’ve heard CC de Poitiers described as cruel and selfish,’ said Gamache.


“‘Well, that doesn’t sound very good.’

“‘Oh, she wasn’t very good, but she wasn’t so bad either. I mean, really,’ the old poet took a gulp of her wine, then put the glass back on the round plastic table, ‘who isn’t cruel and selfish?’

“Gamache had forgotten the complete joy that was Ruth Zardo.”


“‘We’ve been waiting for you,’ said Peter.

“‘It’s a lie,’ shouted Ruth from inside the cozy cottage. ‘We started drinking and eating without you.’

“‘Actually, she never stopped,’ whispered Peter.

“‘I heard that,’ shouted Ruth. ‘Just because it’s the truth doesn’t make it less insulting.'”


“Ring the bells that still can ring,
Forget your perfect offering,
There’s a crack in everything,
That’s how the light gets in.”


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