I'm so glad you've discovered the Armand Gamache
HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN has debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list!! All thanks to you! Wow. A dream come true. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
And thanks to Michael and My Assistant Lise. To the team at Minotaur Books and St Martins Press. To Hope Dellon, Andy Martin, Sarah Melnyk and everyone else who did the near impossible - put a book set in a village in Quebec on the top of the NYTimes list. Bliss!!
Many of you have asked what Three Pines looks like....well, here's a Christmas video, shot in Three Pines - sort of...
HOW THE LIGHT
GETS IN the ninth in the series, has just come out in the US, Canada, the UK and the Commonwealth. I can't tell you how excited I am to know that this book will be in your hands. It's really the culmination of so many issues, so many threads, that have been woven through all the Gamache books.
THE LIGHT GETS IN is the payoff!
It's winter in the Quebec village of Three Pines, and while the village is preparing for Christmas Myrna Landers is awaiting a guest who will never arrive. An elderly woman. A former client of the now retired psychologist. And a woman whose real identity few knew.
Myrna knew. She helped protect her elderly friend against prying eyes. But someone else found out this woman's shocking secret. Someone else found her. As the hours stretch on and the woman does not arrive, Myrna calls her old friend Chief Inspector Gamache, of the Sûreté du Québec, for a favour. For help.
And while the Chief agrees to trying to find Myrna's friend, he has growing troubles of his own. His homicide department has been gutted. His best agents transferred out. His second-in-command now works for Gamache's rival in the Sûreté.
It becomes clear, as the nights draw in and the temperatures plummet, that this is more than a mere personal vendetta. Something old and rancid is stirring. Some vile plan has been put into action and is rushing toward a terrible conclusion.
A conclusion that plays out in the little village of Three Pines. Hidden from the world.
But the world has finally found it.
HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN has been named by the Washington Post one of the top 5 Fiction Books of the Year and has been chosen an IndieNext pick by the Independent Booksellers Association in the US.
As well, the American Library Association made it a top ten pick for best book published in the entire nation in September.
It was a Barnes and Noble pick, an Amazon Best Book and a featured title at Indigo/Chapters in Canada. The Christian Science Monitor has named it one of the ten best books of the month, and it's a Romantic Times Magazine Top Pick.
AudioFile Magazine has named HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN one of the year's Best Crime Novels, and has also named the remarkable Ralph Cosham one of the year's top narrators.
Library Journal has named HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN one of the best audiobooks of 2013
The reviews for HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN have been extraordinary. All four pre-publication review journals in the United States have given the book a coveted starred review. Here's part of what they had to say:
insights into trust and friendship, that will
hook readers and keep them hooked."
"Penny has always used setting to support
theme brilliantly, but here she outdoes herself,
contrasting light and dark, innocence and experience,
goodness and evil both in the emotional lives
of her characters and in the way those characters
leave their footprints on the landscape. Another
bravura performance from an author who has reinvented
the village mystery as profoundly as Dashiell
Hammett transformed the detective novel."
with subtlety and intelligence. Once again, Penny
impressively balances personal courage and faith
with heartbreaking choices and monstrous evil."
"Penny's mysteries are really character studies.
There is police procedure being followed, but
the forensics take second place to Gamache's absolutely
fascinating probe into the characters of every
single person involved in the investigation: the
police, the witnesses, and especially the suspects.
He cares passionately about each person and makes
the reader care. Highly recommended."
The Washington Post
....extraordinary. In How the Light Gets In, Penny has written a magnificent mystery novel that appeals not only to the head, but also to the heart and soul."
"A New and Noteworthy Book - Four out of Four Stars: ....sophisticated and complex...Penny immerses the reader in a high-suspense cyber-hacking drama emanating from the off-the-grid Three Pines that proves not only pivotal but memorable....At the center of everything is Gamache — a modest, smart, kind-hearted man whose empathy and warmth may be his fatal flaw and certainly defy that of stereotypic crime-thriller detectives....You buy into it…because, if it were true, this would somehow be a better world. And you want it to be true, even if only in fiction. Sometimes that's how the light gets in."
And People Magazine in the US gave it four out of four stars and concluded the review by saying:
"Once again, Penny delivers a masterful, nuanced suspense novel in which tone and setting are just as riveting as the murderer's who and why."
Daily Express (UK)
"Louise Penny twists and turns the plot, expertly tripping the reader up just at the moment you think you might have solved the mystery. She excels with the characterisation of Armand Gamache. Creating through him a story of human perseverance in the face of personal turmoil. He is a deeply complex character....Unrelentingly fast-paced, it powers through its narrative with the force of a high-speed train."
Richmond Times Dispatch
"With the grace of a master prose stylist and the generosity born of a kind heart, Penny again explores the mysteries of humanity in a novel that builds to a nerve-burning climax, engages the mind in an examination of sin and redemption....Suffused with brilliance on all levels, "How the Light Gets In" displays Penny at her beautiful and bountiful best."
....How the Light Gets In is a story about crime (against nature and against the rules of society), corruption (personal and political), and murder (both actual and metaphysical). Hope and fear, good and evil, friendship and betrayal, love and hate, innocence and corruption: Penny explores the battling dualities that exist in all of us, and the necessity of battle (and even failure) to create resilience. Her novel about death and decay becomes a book about how to live: everything broken has a crack, but that is how the light gets in.
HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN went into a second printing even before it was released.
I am so thrilled about all this! And I sure hope the book, and the characters, find their way into not just your head, but your heart. I know many of you carry them there, as I do. And have felt deeply for them, especially after the events in THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY. I won't say more, in case you haven't read that book. But just know, this book follows on from that book.
And - speaking of THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY, a lot of fun things happening on that front!
It debuted at #2 on the New York Times List.
It won the Agatha Award for Best Mystery Novel in the US.
It won the Audie Award for best Crime Novel Audio Book (bravo Ralph Cosham!). It also won both the Anthony and the Macavity Awards, for Best Crime Fiction Novel of the year in the US!!!
Having started as a voracious reader (and I still am), I know that reading is as creative as writing. The writer suggests. Creates a character, a setting, an atmosphere. But it's the reader who brings it alive. Walks with the characters. Sees the world, smells the woodsmoke, tastes the café au lait. Feels the biting cold on the tender cheek.
And feels the joy, and the dread.
Ring the bells that still can ring,
Forget your perfect offering.
There's a crack in everything,
That's how the light gets in.
Leonard Cohen "Anthem"
HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN is about time running out. Bells tolling. Worlds falling apart. Shattering. But it's also about belonging, about friendship. About loyalty. And light.
I'm often asked two questions: should
the books be read in order? And, what is the order?
excellent questions. At the risk of appearing to want
you to buy more books let me say that while it's not
necessary to read them in any particular order (they're
designed to be self-standing) there is quite a strong
character development arc. I think you'd enjoy the books
even more if read in order.
here's the order, from the first to the most recent:
A FATAL GRACE / DEAD COLD
THE CRUELEST MONTH
A RULE AGAINST MURDER / THE MURDER STONE
THE BRUTAL TELLING
BURY YOUR DEAD
A TRICK OF THE LIGHT
THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY
HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN
Some of the books have different titles, as you might
have noticed. The publishers did this not, as you might
suspect, to be annoying but because they genuinely feel
their readers respond to different titles. I hope it's
not too confusing.
And finally, a small note about
the themes in my books. They're inspired by two lines
from a poem by WH Auden, in his elegy to Melville. Goodness
existed, that was the new knowledge/his terror had to
blow itself quite out to let him see it.
How powerful is that?
My books are about terror. That brooding terror curled
deep down inside us. But more than that, more than murder,
more than all the rancid emotions and actions, my books
are about goodness. And kindness. About choices. About
friendship and belonging. And love. Enduring love.
you take only one thing away from any of my books I'd
like it to be this: