This is the latest installment of the Louise Penny series starring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, the former head of the Surete in Quebec. He has just nicely accepted the position of the head of the Surete academy so that he can clean it up. The staff in power previously had been corrupt and had taken promising cadets and humiliated, mentally harassed and endangered them to the point that these cadets turned into vicious, vindictive officers. Gamache was determined to turn things around so that the new crop of cadets going through the academy would be exceptional officers.
We again return to Three Pines where an old map of the area, drawn around the time of World War I, has been found in a wall of The Bistro. Copies of the map are given to four cadets by Armand and they are tasked with finding out why this map was created and what it means. Shortly thereafter, a professor is found murdered at the academy and in his nightstand drawer is one of the copies of the map.
The reader is once again entertained with the characters from Three Pines, but I think Louise Penny has outdone herself in this book with respect to Ruth. The dialogue and part she has written for Ruth in this edition is laugh out loud funny.
I highly recommend this mystery series. The development and growth of the characters is one of the best that I have ever seen in a series. This is book 12 and it is no-where near getting stale like a lot of series that I have read. Her characters continue to grow and develop and it is a joy to pick up each new book in the series.