Is it important to read the books in order?

Well, it's not essential. Each book is written to be self-standing, and most newcomers to the series have no difficulty picking up on issues that are explored in more depth in past books. Indeed, it's vital to me that readers know the characters have pasts, and the particular book they're reading is part of a continuum - a glimpse at their lives at that moment. If anything from the past is important, I'll explain it. Otherwise, some issues are alluded to, but only as a means of showing the characters have lives.

Having said that, there is a strong, and growing, character development arc throughout the books. I think of the books as having
two streams - one is the plot - the crime. The other is the personal life of the characters. The first will, for the most part, be
contained in a single book. The character development, though, gets deeper and deeper across the series.

The short answer? It's not necessary to read previous books - but it is recommended.

What is the order of the books?

From the first to the most recent:


As you can see, some books have different titles. The first listed is for the US, the second is for the UK and Commonwealth, including Canada.

Why do some books have different titles?

It's not ideal - that's for sure. The publishers in the US and UK felt, in some cases, that the title just wouldn't work for their
readers. It wasn't done for extra money, or to annoy, or as any sort of scheme. It was done purely because they felt their title was
better, for the book and the market. And titles, whether I like it or not, are quite important - especially for readers new to a series. It
can turn people off, or draw them to a book.

What is your book The Hangman?

The Hangman was written for a literacy campaign, for emerging adult readers. It's a novella, and while it features Gamache and is set in Three Pines it is not really part of the series.

How do you decide on the cover for your books?

I wish I could take credit for them, but cover design just isn't my forte. Happily, the publishers have whole departments for that. When they come up with one they like, they'll send it to me and ask what I think. I first look to see how big my name is, and whether it's correctly spelled. The rest is gravy. Actually, I'm kidding. I know how vital a great cover is - what an advantage it is to having people pick up the book in the store, especially people unfamiliar with the series. A great cover can make the success of a book (clearly the content must be good too) - and a poor cover can terminally handicap a book. A poor cover can be many things, from just cheap and derivative, to misleading. Some covers are simply there to grab attention, but have nothing to do with the book, or even the tone of the book. That is never a good direction to take. But I'll stop going on and on about something I knew very little about, and hand it over to David Rotstein. He's the Art Director at my US publisher - Minotaur Books. Here's how he came up with the cover for THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY.

In some of the books, Chief Inspector Gamache tells new agents the four sayings that can lead to wisdom - four sentences his own mentor taught him. What are they?

I was wrong
I'm sorry
I don't know
I need help

Are the books Being and Loss referenced in your first novel available in English? I have not been able to locate them and would like further information about obtaining them if available?

Those are books I made up - but they're inspired by the book, Becoming Human by Jean Vanier.


I left it intentionally without an answer - leaving it up to you to decide. And underscoring that the most important question, and one the Morrows fail to ask is: Is Bean happy?.

Does Three Pines exist? Where can I find it?

Sorry to have to tell you that the village only exists on the page, and in your imagination. But it is inspired by the communities I know in Quebec's Eastern Townships. Knowlton, Sutton, North Hatley, Georgeville - to name a few.

How do I sign up to receive your newsletter?

Click here if you wish to join my mailing list, we only require your name and email address and never pass this information onto anyone else. My Newsletter is sent out on the 1st of each month.

Do you have bookclub questions for the Armand Gamache books?

We have some discussion questions that you might find helpful. Just click the book titles below to download them.

Book club questions

The Beautiful Mystery
A Trick Of The Light
Bury Your Dead
The Brutal Telling
A Rule Against Murder / The Murder Stone
The Cruelest Month
A Fatal Grace / Dead Cold
Still Life


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