I'm so glad you've discovered the Armand Gamache books. I hope you're enjoying reading them as much as I'm loving writing about the Chief Inspector, and the village of Three Pines, in Quebec.

The big news is that book #11 in the Chief Inspector Gamache series is going to be published on August 25th. It's called THE NATURE OF THE BEAST and is set in Three Pines, Quebec. Here's a very brief synopsis, some might even call it a tease!

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.

As you can imagine, this is a dream, a fantasy, come true. In fact, when I was told this would happen I was in a parking lot of the Vancouver Airport, and I burst into tears. And then I called Michael to tell him.

THE NATURE OF THE BEAST is the result of a year's writing, and six months of planning and thinking, and making notes, and staring into space, before that. I can hardly wait until it is in your hands. This is such a thrilling time. That moment before it is launched. A moment filled with potential. Anything can happen. As soon as we get a cover, I'll show it to you, but in the meantime you can pre-order THE NATURE OF THE BEAST from your local bookseller and online. It's always a great idea to pre-order since the first editions tend to sellout quickly.


And please, please continue to spread the word about the Gamache books. I cannot tell you how vital that is. I consider you partners in this exciting/nauseating process! Without you reading the books, without you telling others, there would be no book 11. No Gamache. No series. You have brought Armand, Clara, Ruth, Gabri and all the villagers and Surete officers alive. With your word-of-mouth you have breathed life into the books and the characters. Thank you!

In fact, you've done it so well that the previous Gamache book, THE LONG WAY HOME, debuted at #1 on bestseller lists all over North America, including both the New York Times and the Globe and Mail, making it the #1 book on the continent.

As you can imagine, this is a dream, a fantasy, come true. In fact, when I was told this would happen I was in a parking lot of the Vancouver Airport, and I burst into tears. And then I called Michael to tell him.

This has all happened, thanks to you. You found the Chief Inspector Gamache books, you read them, and told others, and spread the word. And now look what you've done! Thank you doesn't seem to cover it, but it's all I have so, thank you. Thank you.



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





The Nature of the Beast
The Long Way Home



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For those of you who want a taste of THE LONG WAY HOME, just click here to read how it begins.

Here is a brief description of what happens in the book - without giving anything away, I promise!

Happily retired in the village of Three Pines, Armand Gamache, former Chief Inspector of the Homicide with the Sûreté du Québec, has found a peace he'd only imagined possible. But his peace is interrupted when his friend and neighbour, Clara Morrow tells him her artist husband Peter has failed to come home. She asks for Gamache's help in finding him. Having finally found sanctuary, Gamche feels a near revulsion at the thought of leaving Three Pines. But he must.

Together with his former second-in-command, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, and Myrna Landers, they journey deeper and deeper into Quebec. And deeper and deeper into the soul of Peter Morrow. A man so desperate to recapture his fame as an artist, he would sell that soul. And may have. The journey takes to an area so desolate, so damned, the first mariners called it The land God gave to Cain. And there they discover the terrible damage done by a sin-sick soul.




The reviews have been wonderful:


New York Times
'Splendid....Ms. Penny's books mix some classic elements of the police procedural with a deep-delving psychology, as well as a sorrowful sense of the precarious nature of human goodness, and the persistence of its opposite, even in rural Edens like Three Pines.'

Booklist (starred review)
'As always, Penny dexterously combines suspense with psychological drama, overlaying the whole with an all-powerful sense of landscape as a conduit to meaning…. Another gem from the endlessly astonishing Penny…..'


Publishers Weekly
'Perceptive… perfectly paced…The prose is remarkably fresh, filled with illuminating and delightful turns of phrase.'


Library Journal (starred review)
'Penny wraps her mystery around the history and personality of the people involved. By this point in the series, each inhabitant of Three Pines is a distinct individual, and the humor that lights the dark places of the investigation is firmly rooted in their long friendships, or, in some cases, frenemyships. The heartbreaking conclusion will leave series readers blinking back tears.'


Kirkus Review
'The emotional depth accessed here is both a wonder and a joy to uncover… Gamache's 10th outing culminates in one breathless encounter, and readers may feel they weren't prepared for this story to end.'

Charlotte Observer
' ....This series dominates best-seller lists and award lists for a reason. Penny tells powerful stories of damage and healing in the human heart, leavened with affection, humor and – thank goodness – redemption.'

Richmond Times Dispatch
'A story that examines the making of art and the struggles of artists, 'The Long Way Home" is itself a work of art, a novel that transcends genre, engages heart and mind and, like all of Penny's work, leaves the reader awestruck by the depth of her skills and the decency of her spirit.'

Globe and Mail
"Louise Penny's new Inspector Gamache novel…is, in fact, the best story so far, thanks to strong characters, a deep and sophisticated plot, and just a soupçon of Joseph Conrad"



The previous book in the series, HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN, also debuted at #1 on the New York Times and made bestseller lists internationally. It is now out in paperback.

It has enjoyed tremendous recognition, including:

Nominated for the Gold Dagger, the highest crime writing aware in Britain.

Nominated for the Edgar, the highest crime writing award in North America

Nominated for an Agatha and a Macavity Award

HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN was named one of the top 5 fiction books of the year by the Washington Post

The Globe Books 100: Best Crime by the Globe & Mail

Amazon.com named HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN to their BEST OF 2013 list

Publishers Weekly's Best Books of the Year

Barnes and Noble - Best Fiction of 2013

Goodreads - Best Mystery-Thriller Books 2013



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:

STILL LIFE
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
THE LONG WAY HOME


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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