Second day of Spring Break, and that horror of a bedroom I mentioned in a previous post is clean now.

Pretty painless, actually. My favorite way to tackle a large housework project is with my iPhone in my pocket, earbuds in my ears, and a great book on my Audible app. Listening to a wonderful novel is the spoonful of sugar that makes the medicine of cleaning go down. I’m pretty sure I was actually smiling as I hung up clothes and cleared clutter, as I sorted laundry, dusted surfaces, and scrubbed the bathroom.

I was listening to my second Louise Penny this month, both of them books I’d heard before–pretty crazy for murder mysteries, right? I mean, why read if I already know whodunnit?

I read (and re-read) Penny’s Inspector Gamache series for the characters. I enjoy the people so much. Three Pines is as much a comfortable home in my head as Avonlea was in my Anne of Green Gables childhood. Clara, Peter, Myrna, Ruth, Olivier, Gabri–all of them are a delight to me, and I so enjoy their company that I go back for repeat visits now and then.

Best of all is time spent with Armand Gamache, chief of homicide for Quebec. Wise and calm, with a wry sense of humor and an ability to read people, he fascinates me–maybe because he is fatherly, and I never had a father. I’ve heard Inspector Gamache’s voice for seven years now, listened to him through the wonderful narration of Ralph Cosham. Penny’s words and Cosham’s voice (a voice which has become more rich in the decade since he began narrating the Three Pines mysteries, as the books are also called) combine to make Gamache a layered, nuanced character whose own acknowledgement of his vulnerabilities makes him stronger. I like Armand Gamache, and I like having his voice in my head and in my heart.

If you’d like to spend some time in Canada with Inspector Gamache and the inhabitants of Three Pines, start with Still Life. You can take a listen here before you buy.