We had a very lively discussion about this book.  Those of us who read it mostly enjoyed it — Joan found the descriptions of the food amazing, though Nancy thought having so many characters was confusing. 

We agreed that while the number of characters was confusing, they all really added to the intricacies of the story.  There was so much going on, so many themes to investigate, so many relationships to look at and so many secrets to be revealed. 

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache was named as a favorite character, as was Ruth, the lady with the ducks and Myrna. 

Most of us didn’t like Peter, with his jealousy and passive/aggressive behavior.  The pretty boy Agent Lemieux and the scary woman Agent Nichol were both named as hard to deal with.

I still think one of the most amazing descriptions I’ve read in a long time was the one where we see Agent Nichol in public for the first time.

Agent Yvette Nichol stood in the doorway of the gift boutique, her ill-fitting blue pant suit dirty at the cuffs from mud, her hair cut in a pageboy, out of fashion since the 1600s, and wearing lipstick that looked as though someone had taken a potato peeler to her lips.

But for all the lively discussion and enjoyment of the book, no one seemed really eager to go back and read other stories in the series.  This is the third and there are four, soon to be five after it.  While we liked the book, it was a little exhausting, what with all the characters, and no one seemed ready to jump into that again very soon.

Though Joan wouldn’t mind going to that village for lunch sometime…