I'm so glad you've discovered the Armand Gamache books. I hope you're enjoying reading them as much as I love writing them.

The next Gamache novel, the twelfth in the series, A GREAT RECKONING, will be published on August 30th in the US, Canada, and the UK and Commonwealth. I am overjoyed about this! Here's a brief description - and no spoilers, I promise:

When an intricate old map is found stuffed into the walls of the bistro in Three Pines, it at first seems no more than a curiosity. But the closer the villagers look, the stranger it becomes.

Given to Armand Gamache as a gift the first day of his new job, the map eventually leads him to shattering secrets. To an old friend and older adversary. It leads the former Chief of Homicide for the Sûreté du Québec to places even he is afraid to go. But must.

And there he finds four young cadets in the Sûreté academy, and a dead professor. And, with the body, a copy of the old, odd map.

Everywhere Gamache turns, he sees Amelia Choquet, one of the cadets. Tattooed and pierced. Guarded and angry. Amelia is more likely to be found on the other side of a police line-up. And yet she is in the academy. A protégée of the murdered professor.

The focus of the investigation soon turns to Gamache himself and his mysterious relationship with Amelia, and his possible involvement in the crime. The frantic search for answers takes the investigators back to Three Pines and a stained glass window with its own horrific secrets.

For both Amelia Choquet and Armand Gamache, the time has come for a great reckoning.

Oh, there's so much more to this book, but I didn't want to run the risk of telling you too much.

You can pre-order it now from your local bookstore, or library or online. And if you could spread the word, tell others, that would be great.

The first of the four major pre-publication reviews are in.

Publishers Weekly (starred review)
'….lyrical…. This complex novel deals with universal themes of compassion, weakness in the face of temptation, forgiveness, and the danger of falling into despair and cynicism over apparently insurmountable evils.

Kirkus Review (starred review)
'...A chilling story that's also filled with hope—a beloved Penny trademark.'

Booklist (starred review)
'…Once again Penny displays her remarkable ability to serve equally well both series devotees and new readers (if there are any of those still to be found). Gamache fans will be thrilled by the way this installment unlocks some of the series' enduring mysteries: Why is Three Pines off the grid? Why do we know so little about Gamache's past? At the same time, the main plot offers a compelling mystery and a rich human drama in which no character is either entirely good or evil, and each is capable of inspiring empathy. 'Evil,' as Gamache notes, quoting Auden, 'is unspectacular and always human.'

Library Journal (starred review)
' Riveting... characters of incredible depth only add to the strength of the plot... will keep readers guessing until the last page.'

I'll be touring with A GREAT RECKONING. Here're the places and events:

Aug 27th

A GREAT RECKONING pre-launch party will be in our wonderful new village of Knowlton, Quebec. On Saturday, August 27th at 2pm….and this time it will be in a huge tent on the Mill Pond park, right in the centre of the village. Danny and Lucy, from Brome Lake Books, are once again organizing it, along with the help of the town council and the merchant's association.

It will be a paid ticketed event. For the price you will get a seat, a copy of A GREAT RECKONING and five dollars from each ticket will go to the local food bank. Michael and I will be matching that donation. This community has helped us so much, it is an honour to be able to give some back.

If you'd like tickets, just email Danny and Lucy at: blb@b2b2c.ca

Aug 30
Chicago - Hosted by Andersons Bookshop at Pfeiffer Hall on the campus of North Central College310 E Benton Ave, Naperville IL
7:00 p.m.- ticketed event Click here for ticket information
Aug 31
Wichita, KS - Hosted by Watermark Books at Abode Venue, 1330 E Douglas Ave, Wichita, KS 67214
6:00 p.m.- ticketed event Click here for ticket information
Sept 1
Kansas City, Missouri - Hosted by Rainy Day Books at Unity Temple on The Plaza, Sanctuary, 707 W. 47th Street, Kansas City, MO 64112
7:00 p.m.- ticketed event Click here for ticket information
Sept 2
St. Louis, MO - Hosted by Left Bank Books at St. Louis County Library Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, Mo 63131
7:00 p.m.- ticketed event Click here for ticket information
Sept 3
Greenville, SC - Hosted by Fiction Addiction at Holland Park Church, 1131 Holland Road, Simpsonville, South Carolina 29681
4:00 p.m.- ticketed event Click here for ticket information
Sept 4
Asheville, NC - Hosted by Malaprops /Café at The Diana Wortham Theatre, 2 S. Pack Square, Asheville, NC 28801
7:00 p.m.- ticketed event Click here for ticket information
Sept 5
Sounthern Pines, NC - Hosted by The Country Bookshop at Sandhills Community College Owen's Auditorium, 3395 Airport Road, Pinehurst, NC 28374
5:00 p.m.- ticketed event Click here for ticket information
Sept 6
Washington DC - Hosted by Politics and Prose at Sidwell Friends Meetinghouse, 3825 Wisconsin Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016
7:00 p.m.- ticketed event Click here for ticket information

I'd love to see you at one of these events.

The previous Gamache book, THE NATURE OF THE BEAST will be coming out in paperback this summer.
It hit the shelves in hardcover last year to a wonderful reception, making it once again onto the New York Times list and topping the Canadian bestseller lists for several weeks.
THE NATURE OF THE BEAST has been nominated for an Anthony Award in the US for Best Crime Novel.

As well, it has been nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Crime Novel.

THE NATURE OF THE BEAST has been nominated for two prestigious Anthony awards in the US.  For Best Crime Novel and for Best Audio.  

THE NATURE OF THE BEAST has won Best World Mystery, given out at Left Coast Crime.

The Audio Publishers Association has nominated Robert Bathurst and THE NATURE OF THE BEAST for an Audie Award, for Best Mystery. Congratulations Robert!!

Kirk's Reviews named THE NATURE OF THE BEAST a top book of 2015

Libarians throughout the US have named it one of the top 10 books of the month, through Library Journal

It was mentioned on the American talk show, The View, as a Great Fall Read

The Independent Booksellers Association named it a Must Read IndieNext pick

THE NATURE OF THE BEAST was selected by Amazon as a Book of the Month for September

iBooks - named it Best of September

The Boston Globe chose The Nature of the Beast as their Book of the Week

The Reading Room book blog has also highlighted THE NATURE OF THE BEAST as one of their favorite reads of 2015

Here are some reviews:

Kirkus Review (starred review)
'...a mystery with global scope and consequences…. What makes this story most magical...is the perfect reminder of the dark side of human nature, but that side does not always win out. Penny is an expert at pulling away the surface of her characters to expose their deeper—and often ugly—layers, always doing so with a direct but compassionate hand.'

Library Journal (starred review)
'.... A strong sense of place, a multilayered plot, and well-crafted (and for Penny's fans, familiar) characters combine for a thoughtful, intriguing tale. More than a simple mystery, Penny's novel peels away the emotional and psychological layers of the inhabitants of Three Pines..'

Publishers Weekly (starred review)
'The bucolic Quebec village of Three Pines again proves no refuge in Penny's stellar 11th Armand Gamache novel…. Gamache has settled in the small community after retiring from the Sûreté, where he worked as a homicide detective. But he's drawn back to the hunt after Laurent Lepage, a nine-year-old boy with a penchant for crying wolf, is found dead under circumstances that Gamache finds suspicious…. Series fans will delight in Penny's continued complex fleshing out of characters they have come to love..

'…a compelling mystery that leads to an exciting but tantalizingly open-ended finale.'

People Magazine
'In this, the 11th title in the series, Penny sustains her high-wire act, creating characters of remarkable depth in an exhilarating whodunit.'

Irish Times
"…Louise Penny has crafted an immensely rich and satisfying traditional mystery world, tipping the hat to Agatha Christie, Josephine Tey and PD James, but with her own distinctive recipe: complex characters far removed from village stereotypes, ingenious plots, and a captivating lead detective in Gamache."

A Great Reckoning
The Nature of the Beast
The Long Way Home

Go to my Facebook fan page for updates and my latest news.

Indie Bound

Miami Herald
'Louise Penny is unsurpassed at building a sense of heart-stopping urgency. Sometimes the stakes are personal…Sometimes the threat is to the village…This time Penny manages to create a threat that could truly be worldwide, and to place its future in the hands of our friends in Three Pines. Attention, fans who have been waiting for poet Ruth Zardo's backstory: Here's at least part of your wish granted.'

Wall Street Journal
'….atmospheric and deeply humane…'

Richmond Times-Dispatch
'…. a gripping plot, rich characterizations, arresting prose and thought-provoking questions of mercy, malice and the contradictions of the human race.'

To read more reviews for THE NATURE OF THE BEAST click here

Here's a very brief synopsis of THE NATURE OF THE BEAST.

Hardly a day goes by when nine year old Laurent Lepage doesn't cry wolf. From alien invasions, to walking trees, to winged beasts in the woods, to dinosaurs spotted in the village of Three Pines, his tales are so extraordinary no one can possibly believe him. Including Armand and Reine-Marie Gamache, who now live in the little Quebec village.

But when the boy disappears the villagers are faced with the possibility that one of his tall tales might have been true.
And so begins a frantic search for the boy and the truth. What they uncover deep in the forest sets off a sequence of events that leads to murder, leads to an old crime, leads to an old betrayal. Leads right to the door of an old poet.

And now it is now, writes Ruth Zardo. And the dark thing is here.
A monster once visited Three Pines. And put down deep roots. And now, Ruth knows, it is back.

Armand Gamache, the former head of homicide for the Sûreté du Québec, must face the possibility that, in not believing the boy, he himself played a terrible part in what happens next.

In other news, after an exhaustive and exhausting, and emotional international search, we have found a new reader for the audio books. As you probably know, the man who gave voice to Gamache, Clara, Olivier, Ruth et al, for ten years, the magnificent Ralph Cosham, passed away last year. It was a professional blow, but, more than that, it was a personal loss. He'd become a good friend. So the thought of replacing him took on all sorts of hues. We were all determined that the person who took on the mantle needed to be wonderful. Not good, not talented - but fabulous. I would rather have no one than a reader who did not do the characters, and Ralph, proud. And finally we found him. The great British actor Robert Bathurst. He has now finished recording THE NATURE OF THE BEAST, and I hope to be able to offer you a sample very soon. I know it will be a change, but I also know you will welcome Mr. Bathurst, and make him feel at home in Three Pines.

The previous Gamache novel, THE LONG WAY HOME is out in paperback. When it came out in hardcover last year it debuted at #1 on the New York Times list, as well as the top of the Globe and Mail list for Canada, making THE LONG WAY HOME the best selling book in North America! To say I was joyful is a massive understatement.

THE LONG WAY HOME, has been chosen one of the Best Books of 2014 by a number of places including . .
- Kirkus Reviews named it a Best Crime Fiction of the Year
- The Washington Post chose it as one of the Best Fiction Books of the Year
- The Globe and Mail named it to their Top 100 Books of the Year and one of the top 5 crime novels
- National Post named THE LONG WAY HOME Best in Continuing Series, Masters Edition
- The Toronto Star has named THE LONG WAY HOME as one of the Best Crime Fiction books of the Year
- Amazon.com named it a Best Book of 2014
- Kobo has placed it in the Top Crime Fiction of the Year
- The Long Way Home has been included in BookBrowse's annual Best of the Year 2014 list
- Barnes and Noble chose it as a Top Holiday Book
- AudioFile has named THE LONG WAY HOME the Best Crime Fiction Audio Book of 2014!! This is a bittersweet acknowledgement of the gifts of Ralph Cosham, since he passed away earlier in the fall. But it is still reason to celebrate a wonderful man. Oh, how we miss him.
- The Long Way Home audiobook has also been included in Audible’s Best of 2014
- The Library Journal have chosen THE LONG WAY HOME as one of their Best Media / Best Audio books for 2014
- Aunt Agatha's (a fabulous crime fiction bookstore in Ann Arbor) has named THE LONG WAY HOME one of the Best Crime Novels of 2014

I'm often asked two questions: should the books be read in order? And, what is the order?

Both 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.

Now, here's the order, from the first to the most recent:



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.

If you take only one thing away from any of my books I'd like it to be this:

Goodness exists.

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