We each have our favorite ways of relaxing.  One of mine is reading, especially mysteries. Besides being engrossing and entertaining, some also serve as tools for learning and reflection. This has been my experience when reading the mysteries from Louise Penny’s Chief Inspector Gamache Series.

The Chief Inspector is a kind and honorable man with the ability to balance justice with mercy, admit his mistakes and forgive the failings of others. He is motivated, not by self-interest but by the safety and well-being of others.

Throughout the series, we become familiar, not only with Gamache but a collection of characters whose development we follow, recognizing the strength and weaknesses, failures and successes, light and darkness that resides within each one of them, as with each of us.

Along with the main plot, the sub plots involve bonding, support, forgiveness, and acceptance of one another’s humanness in spite of the challenges this presents.

Reading these stories leaves me with hope. They remind me what authentic leadership looks like and how power can be exercised with humility and respect. They remind me that goodness and imperfections exist within each of us, and to focus on the goodness rather than the imperfections of others. They remind me to be kind and supportive and to accept the kindness and support offered from others. They remind me that although there is much evil, there is also much good in our world.

These stories give me hope that the lessons learned through them do not have to remain just fiction. 

– Terri Sersch