outsiders are ever admitted to the monastery of
Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups, hidden deep in
the wilderness of Quebec, where two dozen cloistered
monks live in peace and prayer. They grow vegetables,
they tend chickens, they make chocolate. And they
sing. Ironically, for a community that has taken
a vow of silence, the monks have become world-famous
for their glorious voices, raised in ancient chants
whose effect on both singer and listener is so
profound it is known as the beautiful mystery.
when the renowned choir director is murdered,
the lock on the monasterys massive wooden
door is drawn back to admit Chief Inspector Armand
Gamache and Jean-Guy Beauvoir of the Sûreté
du Québec. There they discover disquiet
beneath the silence, discord in the apparent harmony.
One of the brothers, in this life of prayer and
contemplation, has been contemplating murder.
As the peace of the monastery crumbles, Gamache
is forced to confront some of his own demons,
as well as those roaming the remote corridors.
Before finding the killer, before restoring peace,
the Chief must first consider the divine, the
human, and the cracks in between.
(on Sept 16th list)
Globe and Mail
(includes all books, fiction/non-fiction/paperback
The Beautiful Mystery
Canada / US Edition
The Beautiful Mystery
THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY has won the Agatha Award for Best
Mystery in the US!
THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY has been shortlisted for the Anthony
Award for Best Crime Novel
Publishers Weekly named Best Summer Book of 2012 (long
before pub date)
Booklist - name THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY in top 10 crime
fiction titles of the year
New York Times
"Penny writes with grace and intelligence about complex
people struggling with complex emotions. But her great
gift is her uncanny ability to describe what might seem
indescribable - the play of light, the sound of celestial
music, a quiet sense of peace."
People Magazine (Editor's Pick, 4 out of 4 stars)
With enormous empathy for the troubled human souland
an ending that makes your blood race and your heart breakPenny
continues to raise the bar of her splendid series.
The Globe and Mail
....Its a stirring, thought- provoking read, less
a matter of whodunit than a relentless questioning of
why any of us do anything. The Beautiful Mystery...stands
as a powerful literary novel in its own right...
"An entire mystery novel centering on Gregorian chants
(whose curiously hypnotic allure is called the beautiful
mystery)? Yes, indeed, and in the hands of the masterful
Penny, the topic proves every bit as able to transfix
readers as the chants do their listeners.... P. D. James,
of course, has made a career out of taking her sleuth,
Adam Dalgliesh, into closed worlds to investigate murders,
and while Penny follows that formula, she layers her plots
more intricately than does James, this time adding an
entire contrapuntal plot concerning Gamache, Beauvoir,
their relationship, the secrets each conceals, and the
demons each continues to fight....Of course, there is
always something mammoth roiling away beneath the surface
of Pennys novelsbut this time the roiling
is set against the serenity of the chanting, producing
a melody of uncommon complexity and beauty."
"Excellent....a captivating whodunit plot, a clever
fair-play clue concealed in plain view, and the deft use
of humor to lighten the story's dark patches. On a deeper
level, the crime provides a means for Penny's unusually
empathic, all-too-fallible lead to unearth truths about
human passions and weaknesses while avoiding simple answers."
"....remarkably penetrating and humane. The most
illuminating analogies are not to other contemporary detective
fiction but to The Name of the Rose and Murder in the
"...This heart-rending tale is a marvelous addition
to Pennys acclaimed series."
"Hallelujah. Amid the formulaic dross that makes
up so much current crime fiction, gems can be found
The Winnipeg Free Press
"With The Beautiful Mystery, there's no longer
any doubt: Penny is Canada's best contemporary crime
writer, among the best in the world, and one of our
best writers, period."
The Seattle Times
a book by Louise Penny have a better title than "The
Beautiful Mystery". The title, like Penny's fiction,
has multiple layers. First is the crime: the murder
of the choir director of a monastery in the deep woods
of Quebec. Then there's the joyous but inexplicable
emotions the monks' glorious liturgical singing invokes.
And there's the disconnect between the monks' vows of
silence and their renowned singing. And then, of course,
there's the mystery of religion itself....For the reader,
meanwhile, there's a final beautiful mystery to contemplate:
How does Penny consistently write such luminous and
The Charlotte Observer and Raleigh News & Observer
"Penny shows us the joy of the cloistered life
as surely as she has shown us the joy of village life
fans of the series, the resulting bombshell in the characters'
lives is as much like murder as anything ever delivered
by a blunt instrument."
Richmond Times Dispatch
"Penny - who melds prose at once expressive and
restrained with a keen understanding of human emotions
- creates a novel that earns its title, a book that
shines with the grace and compassion that stamp her
"Certain writers remain utterly reliable, utterly
"A tense plot with a finite group of suspects will
keep the reader involved until the last clue"
"The Beautiful Mystery is an ingenious, sinister
"Here is a good old-fashioned detective yarn with
a believable plot, charming characters, a fascinating
location and enough red herrings to keep the reader
"One of the joys of detective fiction"
the audio book front, Ralph Cosham is again reading
THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY
and the publishers, Macmillian Audio has produced
an excerpt. Click
here to hear it.
More great news - THE BEAUTIFUL
MYSTERY has won an Earphones Award from
'Penny, elevating herself to the pantheon that houses
P.D. James, Ruth Rendell and Minette Walters, demonstrates
an exquisite touch with characterization, plotting and
'Outstanding....Penny effectively employs...the interplay
of light and dark...which resonates symbolically in
the souls of the characters.'
Like P. D. James, Penny shows how the tight structure
of the classical mystery story can accommodate a wealth
of deeply felt emotions and interpersonal drama
of the genre.
Magazine (4 out of 4 stars)
.With her smart plot and fascinating,
nuanced characters, Penny proves again that she is one
of our finest writers.
The New York Times Book Review
A deceptively charming whodunit
acute insights into the complicated motives of complex
.Behind each volatile outburst of marital
discord and professional envy lies some deeper truth
involving the betrayal of trust and the need for atonement
Parade Magazine (A Book of the Week Pick)
Louise Penny elevates the small-town murder mystery
to new heights in this seventh installment of her psychologically
piercing series featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache.
A commanding and artful performance
connoisseurs of mysteries, success is judged by the
genre's holy trinity: plot, people and prose. When all
three attain excellence, a fourth quality shines through:
.. what lifts her work to the highest plane
is the deep sense of humanity with which she invests
her novels, and A Trick of the Light satisfies
and surpasses that standard.
Cleveland Plain Dealer
.Penny continues to
amaze with each novel. Wrapped in exciting plots and
domestic details, her characters are people we want
to follow through their very real joys and sorrows.
Times, has made A TRICK OF THE LIGHT a "Top Pick"
"Pennys characters are sharply drawn, realistically
complicated and heartbreakingly real. Wonderful, complex
characters and sophisticated plotting makes this a perfect
book. Do not miss it."
The Associate Press
...a gripping mystery.
Kaye Barley, at Meanderings and Muses and Dorothy
I keep using the word "stunning" for Ms.
Penny's work time and time again. And I keep saying
"this one is the best one yet." Big sigh.
A Trick of the Light is STUNNING and yes, it is the
best one yet. HOW does she keep doing this? And continually
top her own work?.... As far as what happens in Three
Pines - suffice to say, A LOT! Some things many of us
have been waiting for, a few things that will make you
laugh out loud, some things that will break your heart
and move you to tears along with a few surprise twists.
You know - all those things that Louise Penny just keeps
doing with such apparent ease.
As Quebec City shivers in the grip of winter,
its ancient stone walls cracking in the cold,
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache plunges into the
most unusual case of his celebrated career. A
man has been brutally murdered in one of the city's
oldest buildings - a library where the English
citizens of Quebec safeguard their history. And
the death opens a door into the past, exposing
a mystery that has lain dormant for centuries...a
mystery Gamache must solve if he's to apprehend
a present-day killer.
York Times Bestseller 2010
London Times Bestseller 2011
London Times Book of the Week
Winner of The Nero Award for Literary Excellence
in the Mystery Genre for 2011
Winner of The Anthony Award for Best Crime Novel
of 2010 (Second year in a row)
Winner the Agatha Award for Best Novel in 2010
(Fourth year in a row)
Winner, American Library Association best Mystery,
Winner, The Dilys Award, from the Independent
Mystery Bookstores Association (IMBA) for the
book they most enjoyed selling in 2010
Winner, The Macavity Award for Best Novel of 2010
Winner, the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Canadian
Novel of 2010
USA Today Bestseller
American Booksellers Association Bestseller
Canadian Booksellers Association, booksellers
top hand sell for 2010
Kirkus Review Top Mystery of 2010
Publisher's Weekly Top Mystery of 2010
Booklist Top Mystery of 2010
Amazon.com top 100 books of 2010
Amazon.com top Audio Book of 2010
AudioFile Best Recorded Mystery of 2010
Toronto Globe and Mail Top Mystery of 2010
Chicago Tribune, Top Mystery of 2010
Finalist, Best Book of 2010 in any category, BookBrowse
Finalist, Good Reads, Best Mystery and Thriller,
Finalist The Barry Award for Best Novel of 2010
Finalist for the David Award of Deadly Ink for
Best Novel of 2010
People Magazine Editor's Pick with 4 of 4 Stars,
October 11, 2010
Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee, Top Mystery of 2010
The Halifax Chronicle Herald, top Mystery of 2010
Indie Next "Great Reads from Booksellers
You Trust" for October, 2010
BookPage Mystery of the Month, October, 2010
Kirkus Review, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal,
and Booklist Reviews
Quill and Quire: Top 10 Mystery of 2011 (UK Edition)
Globe and Mail Best (Canadian) Book of 2011
Bury your Dead
Bury your Dead
Canada / UK / Commonwealth
news - GAMACHE
/ BURY YOUR DEAD
guided tour of Quebec City is now available. We've been
working with a top walking tour company in the venerable
old city, Tours Voir Quebec, and are very happy to endorse
this. The good people of the Literary and Historical
Society (Morrin Centre) are also onboard. It's available
in either English or French. Here's
the link. Bon voyage et Vive Gamache!
At the start of Agatha-winner Penny's moving and powerful
sixth Chief Insp. Armand Gamache mystery (after 2009's
The Brutal Telling), Gamache is recovering from a physical
and emotional trauma, the exact nature of which isn't
immediately disclosed, in Québec City. When the
body of Augustin Renaud, an eccentric who'd spent his
life searching for the burial site of Samuel de Champlain,
Québec's founder, turns up in the basement of
the Literary and Historical Society, Gamache reluctantly
gets involved in the murder inquiry. Meanwhile, Gamache
dispatches his longtime colleague, Insp. Jean Guy Beauvoir,
to the quiet town of Three Pines to revisit the case
supposedly resolved at the end of the previous book.
Few writers in any genre can match Penny's ability to
combine heartbreak and hope in the same scene. Increasingly
ambitious in her plotting, she continues to create characters
readers would want to meet in real life.
People Magazine (4 out of 4 stars) 'editor's pick'!
Her beautifully elegiac sixth book interweaves three
story lines while plumbing the depths of Gamache's grief.
The result is sophisticated and moving - her best yet.
Pennys first five crime novels in her Armand Gamache
series have all been outstanding, but her latest is
the best yet, a true tour de force of storytelling
hits every note perfectly in what is one of the most
elaborately constructed and remarkably moving mysteries
Gamache's excruciating grief over a wrong decision,
Beauvoir's softening toward the unconventional, a plot
twist so unexpected it's chilling, and a description
of Québec intriguing enough to make you book
your next vacation there, all add up to a superior read.
Bring on the awards.
Superb...brilliantly provocative and will appeal to
fans of literary fiction, as well as to mystery lovers.
BookPage, in the US, had named BURY YOUR DEAD
their Mystery of the Month for October
Bury Your Dead has received more pre-release praise
than any suspense novel in recent memory; I was a little
skeptical at first, but I am here to tell you that itis
well deserving of every word. And then some!
Toronto Globe and Mail
. . . Louise Pennys portrait of Quebec City is
as lovingly detailed and evocative as anything she has
written, and her control over this intricate blending
of history and mystery is absolute. Furthermore, the
deepening of Gamaches character is profoundly
satisfying. The book, obviously, is a must-read for
her fans, and demonstrates once again that she is in
the first rank of crime-fiction writers in Canada, or
indeed, in the world.
is coming, old son.
those words the peace of Three Pines is shattered.
As families prepare to head back to the city and
children say goodbye to summer, a stranger is
found murdered in the village bistro and antiques
store. Once again, Chief Inspector Gamache and
his team are called in to strip back layers of
lies, exposing both treasures and rancid secrets
buried in the wilderness.
No one admits to knowing the murdered man, but
as secrets are revealed, chaos begins to close
in on the beloved bistro owner, Olivier. How did
he make such a spectacular success of his business?
What past did he leave behind and why has he buried
himself in this tiny village? And why does every
lead in the investigation find its way back to
Olivier grows more frantic, a trail of clues and
treasures from first editions of Charlottes
Web and Jane Eyre to a spider web with the word
WOE woven in it lead the Chief Inspector
deep into the woods and across the continent in
search of the truth, and finally back to Three
Pines as the little village braces for the truth
and the final, brutal telling.
The Agatha Award for Best Traditional Mystery,
2009 (for the unprecedented 3rd time)
Winner, The Anthony Award for Best Novel, 2009
Barnes and Noble Recommends Main Selection
NY Times bestseller for three weeks
USA Today bestseller for 2009
Entertainment Weekly bestseller for 2009
Chosen by the prestigious Dorothy L as best novel
American Library Association (ALA) Selection for
Best Mystery 2009
The Globe and Mail, top mystery of 2009
Booklist - top ten Mystery for 2009
Booklist - top ten Audiobook for 2009
Audiofile - Ear-Phones Award for 2009
Golden Archer Award for Best Mystery from the
Journal Sentinel. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
A Great Read by the American Booksellers Association
(ABA) in their IndyNext pics
Independent Mystery Booksellers Association (IMBA)
bestseller list for September
Mystery Salon Blog, Best Book of 2009
Strand Magazine, top Mystery of 2009
Finalist, Dilys Award of the Independent Mystery
Booksellers of America (IMBA)
Finalist for The Macavity Award for Best Novel,
The Brutal Telling
Canada / UK / Commonwealth
The Brutal Telling
Globe and Mail, Margaret Cannon
...Penny isn't Christie. For one thing she's a far more
accomplished craftsman, relying more on depth of character
than formula. She also likes a complex plot that owes
more to human emotion and psychology than to clockwork
timing. This puts her closer to PD James....The best
Gamache novel so far.
Daily Mirror 4 stars out of five, Henry
The Canadian village of Three Pines is given a shocking
awakening when a stranger is found dead in the local
bistro. But soon Chief Inspector Gamache discovers the
bistro owner had a shady past. Brilliant.
Bookbag 4.5 stars out of five
It's Louise Penny's writing which adds a glow to this
book. It's not just the skill of the plot, but the way
that words are never wasted and that so few of them
can produce a vivid picture. Dialogue is perfect and
there's a real talent for capturing the one-liners which
make you laugh out loud.
Shots Mag, Mike Stotter
I have always been dismissive of the expression "I
couldn't put it down", but after reading Louise
Penny's latest story of the idyllic French Canadian
village of Three Pines I acknowledge that there is some
truth in it. I read this book in one session, anxious
to reach the unravelling of a complex plot dealing with
mystery, artistic integrity, murder, of course, and
Book Blog The Editor's Notebook
Ive got to that stage in The Brutal Telling by
Louise Penny, where I want to finish so that I know
the outcome but Im enjoying it so much that I
dont want it to end.
People Magazine 3 1/2 out of 4 stars
With an intricate, almost mythic plot, superb characters
and rich, dark humor Penny - a former journalist with
the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation who has garnered
multiple awards for the series' four previous novels
- continues to deepen and modernize the traditional
"village mystery". Her courtly, poetry-loving
Inspector Gamache, who peers into suspects' souls over
meals so mouthwatering you'll want to book a flight,
contributes a humane and sophisticated perspective on
Penny (A Rule Against Murder, 2009, etc.) is a world-class
storyteller. If you dont want to move to Montreal
with Gamache as your neighboror better yet, relocate
to Three Pines and be welcomed into its community of
eccentrics - you have sawdust in your veins, which must
be very uncomfortable.
Penny has only gotten better with each succeeding
novel. Her fifth in the series is the finest of all
literary mystery explores the ways in which sins of
the past have a way of resurrecting themselves, wreaking
havoc upon their perpetrators, and, unfortunately, the
. Fortunately, sagacious Gamache possesses
the acumen to peel away the layers of deceit and to
expose the truth. This superb novel will appeal to readers
who enjoy sophisticated literary mysteries
Penny has been compared to Agatha Christie, and while
there is a surface resemblance there, it sells her short.
Her characters are too rich, her grasp of nuance and
human psychology too firm for the formula-bound Christie.
No, Penny belongs in the hands of those who read not
only P. D. James but also Donna Leon, who, like Penny,
mixes her heros family and professional lives
fluidly and with a subtle grasp of telling detail.
When the body of an unknown old man turns up in a bistro
in Agatha-winner Pennys excellent fifth mystery
set in the Quebec village of Three Pines (after Jan.
2009s A Rule Against Murder), Chief Insp. Armand
Gamache investigates. At a cabin in the woods apparently
belonging to the dead man, Gamache and his team are
shocked to discover the remote building is full of priceless
antiquities, from first edition books to European treasures
thought to have disappeared during WWII. When suspicion
falls on one of Three Pines most prominent citizens,
its up to Gamache to sift through the lies and
uncover the truth. Though Gamache is undeniably the
focus, Penny continues to develop her growing cast of
supporting characters, including newcomers Marc and
Dominique Gilbert, who are converting an old house-the
site of two murdersinto a spa. Readers keen for
another glimpse into the life of Three Pines will be
Joseph Beth bookstores, Cincinnati, Ohio, Micheal
I was prepared to be vastly entertained by a witty,
sometimes funny and intricately plotted mystery whose
solution always lies in the hearts of men and the ability
of Gamache to suss out what lies within
not prepared for this compelling and unflinching look
into the heart of darkness that resides within us all.
It is a universal truth that we can never fully know
another human being and many times, not even ourselves.
But Penny shows us a unique insight into the very "black
box" of her characters
This is a terrific
read if you like mysteries but it is also a stunning
look at our universal condition. In a brutal telling
itself, Penny connects us with our own humanity as well
as others. She shows us the fragility of our existence
and that even living within the pale doesn't exempt
us and we can have everything taken away in a very short
Nick News, Linda Ellerbee, Journalist, Author
Louise Penny's mysteries have evolved into world-class
novels. "The Brutal Telling" is rich in atmosphere,
hip-deep in character, beautifully written and superbly
imagined. Plus an astonishing ending! Who could ask
for anything more?
Aunt Agathas Bookstore in Ann Arbor, Robin
These books are an assurance in the face of a sometimes
harsh world that goodness does, indeed, exist, and that
may partly explain the passion Penny seems to inspire
in her readers. With almost every word, she gives you
something to hope for....this book may be her best yet,
and that is saying a lot.
Meanderings and Muses blog, Kaye Barley
I was one of the lucky winners of an Advance Reading
Copy of THE BRUTAL TELLING, and have to tell you - it
is stunning. I'm shouting about it all over the place,
and I'm already quite sure it will be in my Top Five
Favorite Books of 2009. Add this to your "Gotta
Wealthy, cultured and respectable, the Finney
family is the epitome of gentility. When Irene
Finney and her four grown-up children arrive at
the Manoir Bellechasse in the heat of summer,
the hotel's staff spring into action. For the
children have come to this idyllic lakeside retreat
for a special occasion - a memorial has been organised
to pay tribute to their late father. But as the
heat wave gathers strength, it is not just the
statue of an old man that is unveiled. Old secrets
and bitter rivalries begin to surface, and the
morning after the ceremony, a body is found. The
family has another member to mourn.
guest at the hotel, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache
suddenly finds himself in the middle of a murder
enquiry. The hotel is full of possible suspects
- even the Manoir's staff have something to hide,
and it's clear that the victim had many enemies.
With its remote location, the lodge is a place
where visitors come to escape their pasts. Until
the past catches up with them...
New York Times Bestseller
The Globe and Mail's 2008 Mystery of the Year
Booklist - Top Ten Mystery of the Year
Finalist Arthur Ellis Award (Canada)
An IndieNext pick (formerly BookSense) for February
New York Times, Marilyn Stasio
Louise Penny applies her magic touch to A RULE
AGAINST MURDER (Minotaur, $24.95), giving the
village mystery an elegance and depth not often
seen in this traditional genre. Although Penny
is no slouch at constructing a whodunit puzzle,
her great skill is her ability to create a charming
mise-en-scène and inhabit it with complex
Theres something otherworldly and altogether
enchanting about the Manoir Bellechasse, the magnificent
lodge in the Canadian wilderness where Chief Inspector
Armand Gamache, the head of homicide for the Sûreté
du Québec, has taken his wife for their
35th wedding anniversary. Not only does the auberge
offer grand views and the order and calm of old-world
service, but it also observes a no-kill policy,
with the proprietors feeding wild animals in winter
and forbidding guests to hunt or fish. Someone
obviously failed to explain that rule to the cultured
but quarrelsome family holding a reunion to unveil
a statue of their late patriarch, who makes his
feelings felt by toppling down on one of his own.
As Gamache observes, things were not as they seemed,
not even in a paradise like Bellechasse. And never
in a Louise Penny mystery.
A Rule Against Murder
The Murder Stone
Canada / UK / Commonwealth
A Rule Against Murder Louise Penny, read by Ralph
Cosham. Blackstone, unabridged, nine CDs, 11 hrs.
Celebrated British narrator and actor Ralph Cosham brings
this wonderful murder mystery to life and draws in listeners
with his charisma. Penny's taut, darkly comedic tale
features the Finney family, which has gathered for the
installation of a statue of their long-dead patriarch.
When the statue falls and kills one of his daughters,
Insp. Armand Gamache (Cosham at his very best) must
unravel the plot before it's too late. Cosham's characters
are refreshingly original and never overplayed, and
the Old World quality of his voice invokes radio murder
mysteries from decades past, creating an endlessly entertaining
Australian Women's Weekly
Beautiful imagery, deft characterisation and deliciously
Louise Penny's village whodunits make perfect beach
reading for this summer
To say this book has an old-fashioned feel is not to
denigrate it.There is nothing hard-boiled about Armand:
he's a man who loves his family, is loyal and decent...
once the narrative is underway, its smooth patient flow
carries the reader with it to the last
Cleveland Plain Dealer
MURDER is a fine read, as Penny illuminates her characters
in subtle strokes.
Once again, Penny concocts an intricate and intriguing
plot and peoples it with credible characters and the
continually fascinating Gamache... and her writing is
lovely, powerful and uniquely imaginative, prose that
approaches the poetic... No murder would be complete,
of course, without death. But in Penny's caring hands,
the focus in A RULE AGAINST MURDER - as it is in all
of this profoundly humane series - is on life, and on
life made richer by the author's deep sense of decency.
An ingenious, impossible crime puzzle for the reader
. . .
An IndieNext pick (formerly BookSense) for
Mystery Reader (five out of five stars)
Louise Penny has created in her Inspector Gamache series
a clever combination of a police procedural and cozy
. The setting itself is reminiscent
of the golden age of mysteries
.Indeed this novel
is a classic locked room mystery
.Ms. Penny has
a superb command of the English language
mystery author, Ms. Penny plays fair with her readers
Rule Against Murder should go on everyones reading
The Charlotte Observer (4 out of 4 stars)
At least two people are waiting very impatiently for
this review to be done so I can pass the new Louise
Penny along to them. With just her fourth book, she
already has that kind of (well-deserved) following...
Starred Library Journal
Canadian author Penny has garnered numerous awards for
her elegant literary mysteries featuring the urbane
Armand Gamache, chief police inspector from Quebec.
Gamache is intelligent, observant, and implacable, indispensible
attributes for the sophisticated detection that characterizes
this series....Pennys engaging, well-crafted mystery
probes the dynamics of a severely dysfunctional family
and the festering wounds that lead to its ultimate destruction.
Her psychological acumen, excellent prose, and ingenious
plotting make this essential reading for mystery lovers
and admirers of superb literary fiction. Fans of Dorothy
L. Sayers, P.D. James, and Elizabeth George will also
Readers who havent discovered Louise Penny and
her Armand Gamache series yet are in for a treat
only are we treated to Pennys usual rich characterizations,
but the atmospheric and beautiful language will make
you want to take your next vacation at the manoir
of the best traditional mystery series currently being
This latest treat in the series (The Cruelest Month,
2008, etc.) will keep fans salivating in anticipation,
savoring each delectable morsel and yearning for more.
Murder interrupts Chief Insp. Armand Gamache and his
wifes annual summer holiday at Quebecs isolated,
lake-front Manoir Bellechasse in Agatha-winner Pennys
intriguing, well-crafted fourth mystery....Seamless,
often lyrical prose artfully reveals the characters
flaws, dreams and blessings.
Hamilton Spectator, Don Graves
The Murder Stone is one of the best works of fiction
I've read this year. It's a serious novel that bridges
the gap between the mystery genre and mainstream fiction....Louise
Penny's fourth novel is an enduring mystery that begins
and ends with the qualities that make great fiction
writing -- compelling storytelling, evocative descriptions
that are the heart of the story -- and characters (the
novel's soul) who are rich in qualities and foibles
that make them unforgettable -- and capable of murder.
Time Out London
. . . it's not all shudders and suspense: a terrific
scene of a child teaching an adult to throw sticky biscuits
at the manoir's ceiling offers giggle-inducing comic
Montreal Review of Books
The plotting is flawless and when the murderer is
finally revealed in a thrilling climactic scene...we
realize that there were plenty of clever clues along
Toronto Globe and Mail
Four stories and four seasons on, Louise Penny's Chief
Inspector Armand Gamache series gets better with each
book. Penny has found her perfect formula with the carefully
constructed puzzle plot in the perfect village with
the classic cast of characters. The fact that it's modern
Quebec is the icing on the petit four....Once the puzzle
is set up, it's impossible to put this book down until
it's solved. Devotees of Christie will be delighted
by Penny's clever plots and deft characters.
The Irish News
....In a traditional who-dunnit crime thriller that
rivals Agatha Christie's Poirot, Gamache is a refreshing
alternative to the hard-nosed stereotypical detective.
builds the lives and imperfections of the characters
effectively, exposing the complexity of human nature,
challenging the reader's opinion and creating a constant
sense of suspicion.This is a classic tale that proves
that revenge is a dish best served ice cold. Rating
Sleuth of Baker Street, Marian
THE MURDER STONE...is excellent. You have to read
it....Just how she manages to make every word of every
book so perfect, I just don't know
The Guardian, Laura Wilson
The red herrings are expertly deployed, and the
solution is ingenious and unexpected
Marie Claire Magazine - UK, Eithne Farry
When the privileged offspring of the Finney family get
together at the luxurious Manoir Bellechasse to commemorate
their dead father, family tensions are let loose. When
one of their number is killed in unusual circumstances,
its up to the charming Inspector Armand Gamache
to delve beneath the sibling rivalries, bitter jealousies
and outsider envy to solve the devious crime in this
super-smart, hauntingly subtle murder mystery. Rating
**** (out of 4)
Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind Pick of the
Week, Sarah Weinman
Decades from now, I suspect we'll look upon the
works of Louise Penny and find all sorts of marvels
that show how well and why the books hold up....The
temptation is to scarf Penny's books like potato chips
but it's ever wise to savor each bite and let the flavors
fill your tongue.
Easter in Three Pines is a time of church services,
egg hunts and seances to raise the dead.
A group of friends trudges up to the Old Hadley
House, the horror on the hill, to finally rid
it of the evil spirits that have so obviously
plagued it, and the village, for decades.
But instead of freeing a spirit, they create a
new one. One of their numbers dies
of fright. Or was it murder?
Enter Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his team
from the Surete du Quebec. As they peel
back the layers of flilth and artiface that have
covered the haunted old home, they discover the
evil isn't confined there. Some evil is
guiding the actions of one of the seemingly kindly
But Gamache has a horror all his own to confront.
A very personal demon is about to strike.
Easter in Three Pines. A time
of rebirth, when nature comes alive. But
something very unpleasant has also come alive.
And it become clear - for there to be a rebirth,
there first must be a death.
Award for Best Traditional Mystery, 2008 (USA)
Finalist Anthony Award for Best Mystery, 2008
Finalist Macavity Award for Best Mystery, 2008
Finalist Barry Award for Best Mystery, 2008 (USA)
Finalist Arthur Ellis Award for Best Mystery,
Debuted as #1 on the IMBA Bestsellers list in
Charlotte Observor, Salem Macknee
If I thought for one minute this place really
existed, I would be packing the car. As it was,
on finishing "The Cruelest Month," I
grabbed the first two books, "Still Life"
and "A Fatal Grace," and spent a lovely
weekend in the village. The mouthwatering food,
the beautiful gardens, the quirky and literate
villagers -- Three Pines is a charming oasis for
the spirit....it's more about the journey than
the destination in these wonderful books full
of poetry, and weather, and a brooding manor house,
and people who read and think and laugh and eat
a lot of really excellent food.
Move over, Mitford.
The Cruelest Month
Canada / UK / Commonwealth
People Magazine (3 1/2 out of 4 stars)
Impossible to put down!
There's real pleasure here.
Perhaps the deftest talent to arrive since Minette
Walters, Penny produces what many have tried but few
have mastered: a psychologically acute cozy. If you
don't give your heart to Gamache, you may have no heart
Chief Insp. Armand Gamache and his team investigate
another bizarre crime in the tiny Québec village
of Three Pines in Penny's expertly plotted third cozy
Ellis Award-winner Penny paints a vivid picture of the
French-Canadian village, its inhabitants and a determined
detective who will strike many Agatha Christie fans
as a 21st-century version of Hercule Poirot.
Gamache is an engaging, modern-day Poirot who gently
teases out information from his suspects while enjoying
marvelous bistro meals and cozy walks on the village
Penny is an award-winning writer whose cozies
go beyond traditional boundaries, providing entertaining
characters, a picturesque locale, and thought-provoking
plots. Highly recommended.
and Quire, Sarah Weinman
Penny shines most in revealing Gamache's frailties....As
Penny demonstrates with laser-like precision, the book's
title is a metaphor not only for the month of April
but also for Gamache's personal and professional challenges
- making this the series standout so far.
Reading, Australia - four stars
Penny's real skill is creating a dense, possibilities
rich atmosphere....Impressive writing
Mystery News, 5 of 5 quills, Lynn Kaczmarek
Influenced by Simenon, Christie and Sayers before
her, Penny is doing them all one better. ... These
books are so much more than traditional mysteriesthe
writing is sublime and the characters unique yet much
more developed than their individual quirks. ...And
this place, this wonderous, fantastical place.
Youre just incredibly thankful that it exists,
if only in the brilliant mind of Louise Penny....behold
the ushering in of a new era of traditional mysteries21st
For such a small, pleasant place, the Quebec village
of Three Pines has a surprising amount of big-time
crime. In the third Armand Gamache novel, the Surete
Chief Inspector is once again confronted with a baffling
mystery, this one coming after an Easter séance
results in murder. The thing about the Gamache novels
is that while the crimes are intriguing, the people
are downright fascinating not just Gamache himself,
who manages to be completely original despite his similarities
to Columbo and Poirot, but also the entire cast of supporting
characters, who are so strongly written that every single
one of them could probably carry an entire novel all
by themselves. Readers familiar with the preceding two
novels in the series Still Life (2006) and A Fatal Grace
(2007) will be champing at the bit to get their hands
on this one, and those who havent yet met Armand
Gamache will wonder what took them so long.
The Calgary Herald, Joanne Sasvari
Penny...has created a world that is clever, complex
and gorgeously written.
The London Times, Marcel Berlins
A neat mystery!
The Sunday Telegraph, Susanna Yager
Just the thing for a gloomy Autumn day...the enjoyment
of a stirring tale of jealousy and long-awaited revenge.
The Sherbrooke Record, James Napier
With the publication of The Cruellest Month, Louise
Penny has come of age as a novelist. The writing
is sensual, full of sights and smells and tastes that
will resonate with her readers. And although Penny
paints an almost Grandma Moses idealized view of village
life, it is a view tinged with ominous foreboding, reminiscent
of the brooding images of Breughel and Bosch....It's
Morning Herald, Australia - Pick of the Week
Readers on the lookout for a good crime writer are in
for a treat...Penny's writing is rich in imagery and
atmosphere and characterised by a very quick and highly
Winter in Three Pines and the sleepy village is
carpeted in snow. It's a time of peace and goodwill
- until a scream pierces the biting air. There's
been a murder.
police are baffled. A spectator at the annual
Boxing Day curling match has been fatally electrocuted.
Despite the large crowd, there are no witnesses
and - apparently - no clues.
in to head the investigation, Chief Inspector
Armand Gamache unravels the dead woman's past
and discovers a history of secrets and enemies.
But Gamache has enemies of his own. Frozen out
of decision-making at the highest level of the
Surete du Quebec, Gamache finds there are few
he can trust. As a bitter wind blows into Three
Pines, something even more chilling is sneaking
up behind him...
COLD launched May 2007 in the US, under the title
A FATAL GRACE.
Award for Best Traditional Mystery, 2007 (USA)
The Sunday Times, Culture Magazine, Audio Book
of the Week, May 6, 2007
Named one of the best books 2007, Deadly Pleasures
American Booksellers Association Book Sense, Notable
Book, June 2007
Book List, Rising Star, June 2007
Independent Mystery Booksellers Association (IMBA)
a 'Killer Book' for May 2007
Independent Mystery Booksellers Association (IMBA)
bestseller, September 2007
Finalist for the 2007 American Library Association
book of the year
Finalist for an AUDIE AWARD for BEST MYSTERY BOOK
Bestseller lists in the US, Australia and Canada
Remarkably, Penny manages to top her outstanding
debut. Gamache is a prodigiously complicated and
engaging hero, destined to become one of the classic
A highly intelliegent mystery. Penny's
new title is sure to creat great reader demand
for more stories featuring civilized and articulate
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache.
Fatal Grace /Dead Cold
Fatal Grace /Dead Cold
Canada / UK / Commonwealth
Gamache, a smart and likable investigator - think
Columbo with an accent, or perhaps a modern-day Poirot....This
is a fine mystery in the classic Agatha Christie style
and it is sure to leave mainstream fans wanting more.
Houston Chronicle P.G. Koch
For all the perplexing mechanics of the murder,
and the snowed-in village setting, this is not the usual
"cosy" or even a traditional puzzle mystery.
It's a finely written, intelligent and observant book.
Imbued with a constant awareness of the astonishing
cold, this perfect blend of police procedural and closed-room
mystery finds its solution, as in the best of those
traditions, in the slow unlayering of a sorrowful past.
Manly Daily, Australia
Quebec's answer to Poirot and Morse.
Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin, Australia
South Coast Register, Australia
A poetic and gifted writer.
The Ottawa Citizen, Mike Gillespie
Penny writes like a modern-day Agatha Christie,
with a little Dylan Thomas thrown in for good measure.
Her characters leap from the page, her plotting is sublime,
the atmosphere she builds in a bitter Quebec winter
in Dead Cold, completely chilling.
Web, UK, Bernard Knight
Surete Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is in danger
of turning into a latter-day Hercule Poirot....The writing
is superb. A magnificent read.
The Calgary Herald, Joanne Sasvari
A wonderfully quirky, beautifully written story set
amid the eccentric residents of charming Three Pines,
Quebec. With DEAD COLD Penny has firmly established
herself among the best in Canadian crime fiction....Like
all the best Canadian fiction, DEAD COLD is a brilliant
evocation of place. And like Gamache, you too will be
drawn to Three Pines and to this work of magical realism
masquerading as a cosy English mystery.
The Globe and Mail, Margaret Cannon
A beautifully crafted Christmas cracker of a novel.
We're back in the charming Quebec village of Three Pines....The
setting is wonderfully done, as are the characters.
The solution is perfectly in tune with their psychology
and there's plenty of evidence that Gamache will make
a third appearance.
The Halifax Chronicle Herald, Paul Fiander
Louise Penny stunned the crime fiction world last year
with STILL LIFE....Sooner or later the whole world will
discover Penny. With a unique sense of timing, patience
and subtle wit, Penny is able to create a whodunit that
recalls those of Agatha Christie....Magically bringing
the postcard village of Three Pines to life, she gives
it innocence, allows a touch of evil to intrude and
then brings in the outsider, the intriguing Gamache,
to solve the crime.
The plots against Gamache made me feel like a pantomime
audience shouting 'look behind you', while the unsympathetic
characters are so vividly drawn that they, in turn,
provoked sotto voce boos... (A five star review)
The Sherbrooke Record, Jim Napier
DEAD COLD is a richer, darker book, with humour and
a sub-plot that builds on relationships only hinted
at in her debut novel. The result is an engrossing read
that will only add to the ranks of her readers.
and Quire Literary Magazine, Canada
Louise Penny received a great deal of praise from some
very impressive sources for her first novel, STILL LIFE.
After reading DEAD COLD, her second effort, I can safely
say that much more praise is on its way
reader will regret the time they spend in the snowy
village of Three Pines.
This is a wonderful novel, full of mystery. It is as
deeply layered as snow drifting down upon snow. The
cold will seep into your bones so wrap up warm and have
a good hot drink at your elbow.
As the early morning mist clears
on Thanksgiving Sunday, the homes of Three Pines
come to life - all except one
locals, the village is a safe haven. So they are
bewildered when a well-loved member of the community
is found lying dead in the maple woods. Surely
it was an accident - a hunter's arrow gone astray.
Who could want Jane Neal dead?
a long and distinguished career with the Sûreté
du Quebec, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache has
learned to look for snakes in Eden. Gamache knows
something dark is lurking behind the white picket
fences, and if he watches closely enough, Three
Pines will begin to give up its secrets
New Blood (Creasey) Dagger (2006) of the Crimewriters
The Arthur Ellis Award (2006) of the Crime Writers
of Canada (Canada)
The Dilys Award (2007) of the Independent Mystery
Bookstore Association (USA)
The Anthony Award (2007) (USA)
The Barry Award (2007) (USA)
Kirkus Review: a Top Ten Mystery of 2007
DorothyL Best Mystery Novel of 2007
Bestseller lists in Canada and the IMBA
Finalist for The Barry Award for Best Mystery
Book of the Decade
I-Tunes (Canada): Top AudioBook of 2011
New York Times Sunday Book Review,
The beauty of Louise Penny's auspicious debut
novel, STILL LIFE, is that it's composed entirely
of grace notes, all related to the central mystery
of who shot an arrow into the heart of Miss Jane
But, like her neighbors in the picturesque
Canadian village of Three Pines, the dear old
thing had hidden depths, courtesy of an author
whose deceptively simple style masks the complex
patterns of a well-devised plot
Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec,
who is as bemused as we are by life in Three Pines,
has the wit and insight to look well beyond its
Canada / UK / Commonwealth
Tribune, Crime watch, Dick Adler
It's hard to decide what provides the most pleasure in
this enjoyable book: Gamache, a shrewd and kindly man
constantly surprised by homicide; the village, which sounds
at first like an ideal place to escape from civilization;
or the clever and carefully constructed plot.
Cerebral, wise and compassionate, Gamache is destined
for stardom. Don't miss this stellar debut.
Like a virtuoso, Penny plays a complex variation on
the theme of the clue hidden in plain sight. Filled
with unexpected insights, this winning traditional mystery
sets a solid foundation for future entries in the series.
Booklist, Emily Melton
This is a real gem of a book that slowly draws the reader
into a beautifully told, lyrically written story of
love, life, friendship and tragedy.
The Library Journal, USA
Debut novelist Penny writes poignantly about life in
a small hamlet
A first-rate creator of memorable
characters, Penny introduces a truly engaging sleuth
in Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, who is sent to investigate
and in the process falls in love with Three Pines and
London Times, Marcel Berlins
An impressive debut novel
Penny writes with intelligence
.the result is a first novel promising
much enjoyment to come.
DearReader.com, Suzanne Beecher
A wonderful murder mystery.
Shelf Awareness, Marilyn Dahl
Louise Penny has written an extremely satisfying mystery,
one that will please on many levels
this book touches
the heart while engaging the mind. Miss Jane Neal kept
a well-read book on her nightstand, C.S. Lewis' Surprised
by Joy. That title is a fitting phrase for Still
Aunt Agatha's Bookstore, Ann Arbour, Robin
This is an elegantly written, compelling, and masterful
first novel. If I were a betting woman I'd advise anyone
interested in such things to lay aside a first edition;
I plan to myself
If there is a more perfect novel
written this year, I would be very much surprised.
The Toronto Globe and Mail, Margaret
Ever since Agatha Christie, we long for that perfect
village that is touched by death. Three Pines delivers.
Toronto Star, Jack Batten
A delightful and clever collection of false leads,
red herrings, meditations on human nature, strange behavior
and other diverting stuff.
The Calgary Herald, Joanne Sasvari,
This is a much darker, cleverer, funnier and, finally,
more hopeful novel than even the great Dame Agatha could
have penned. It's light, witty and poignant, a thrilling
debut from a new Canadian crime writer.