I've read all of Louise Penny's books and she never disappoints.
Armand Gamache is now the head of the Surete Academy (there should be some accents over 'Surete' but if my lap top has them, I don't know where they are), determined to reform the way police cadets are chosen and trained. It's a difficult job because there's been so much corruption. He fires many of the professors and replaces them with people he knows to have integrity. But some of his choices are questioned because they are those very corrupt people. Gamache has his reasons.
He is also personally checking the applications to the academy, accepting most of the previously reviewed acceptances and rejections. But when he comes to Amelia Choquet's rejected application, he reverses the decision and admits her. She seems unsuited for the position: pierced, tattooed, a rude street girl, who reads ancient Greek and Latin, or so she says. Why does he seem to have a special relationship with her? He's questioned about admitting her, but he has his reasons.
An instructor at the academy is murdered. Gamache, Amelia, and several others are suspected. As the case is investigated, dark secrets are revealed. Gamache asks that a high official in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police review the investigation as an outsider since the investigation is being conducted by Isabelle Lacoste, a former member of Gamache's homicide squad and now head of that squad.
Meanwhile, in Three Pines (where we all want to live), an old map has been found in the walls of the bistro. It's of Three Pines, which has never shown up on any map before. Not even now. Gamache asks four cadets to investigate the map and find out all they can about it. A couple of the cadets think it's busy work, a waste of time for a police officer in training. Gamache has his reasons.
It all comes together in the end, the stories, the people, the crimes and their solutions.
And we find ourselves back in the warm circle of friends in Three Pines.
Louise Penny has written a touching Acknowledgements at the end of the book, allowing us into her personal life. My heart goes out to her.
P.S. As I post this, I see that there is an update to her Acknowledgements.