Mystery Monday | Glass Houses by Louise Penny

Mystery Mondays

Mystery Mondays is an occasional review feature here on Words of Mystery that showcases books in the mystery (and on occasion thriller) genre that we are currently reading and our thoughts on them. Feel free to comment and leave suggestions as to what we should read and review next.

Who is it by? Louise Penny is a former journalist and radio host with the CBC. The authour of the best selling Chief Inspector Gamache series, Glass Houses is her 13th book in the Inspector Gamache series. She currently lives with in a small village south of Montreal with her dog, Bishop.

What is it about? A mysterious figure is haunting the village of Three Pines, and Armand Gamache, now the Chief Superintendent and Head of the Sûreté du Québec can’t help but feel uneasy. This is confirmed when a body is found leading to a court case with Ganache as a key witness. As the court proceedings continue, it’s clear that there is more to this homicide case than its initially seems. With the Crown prosecutor and Gamache almost at each other’s throats, regardless of the decision the outcome and revelations from this trial will have a much greater effect than anyone could have anticipated.

Where does it take place? While the mysterious figure and murder occurs in Three Pines, the trial in this book seems to take place in Montreal which is where the head office of the Sûreté and Palais de Justice are located.

Why did I like it? Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series has become somewhat of a tradition for me. As every year I look forward to the next book in the series. Once again, Louise Penny does not disappoint with her latest book. Glass Houses starts off differently compared to the other Gamache books that I’ve read. Beginning in the present with Gamache as a witness in a trial in Montreal before moving back to some time back when mysterious and silently threatening figure first appeared in Three Pines, Glass Houses manages to move back and forth in time without too much confusion for the reader. With its unexpected twists and turns throughout, I loved how the trial was only a minor piece of a more exciting and clever plot.

Like all of her books, Glass Houses excels at being thrilling and shocking yet also uplifting and (subtlety) hilarious when you least expect it. Perhaps it was partly a result of the authour’s personal loss during the writing of this book, but I found Glass Houses to be incredibly heartbreaking yet so full of love and warmth at the same time. And getting to visit Three Pines and be right there with all the characters that I’ve come to love like Gamache, Jean Guy, Isabelle Lacoste and even Ruth has made it even more sad to have to say goodbye to them once more. However, I’m hoping we’ll get see them soon in a year and hopefully in a new book as I’m intrigued as to where the story with go next after the ending in Glass Houses.

When did it come out? August 29th 2017

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

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Mystery Monday | A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny

Mystery Mondays

Mystery Mondays is an occasional review feature here on Words of Mystery that showcases books in the mystery (and on occasion thriller) genre that we are currently reading and our thoughts on them. Feel free to comment and leave suggestions as to what we should read and review next.

Who is it by? Louise Penny is a former journalist and radio host with the CBC. The authour of the best selling Chief Inspector Gamache series, A Great Reckoning is her 12th book in the Inspector Gamache series. She currently lives with her husband, Michael in a small village south of Montreal.

What is it about? Armand Gamache has finally decided his next steps after retiring as Chief of Homicide division…cleaning up the Sûreté academy known as “the last shit pit in the Sûreté.” However, when the one professor that posed a threat to his mission to “clean up” the academy is found dead, he finds himself the main suspect. Not to mention, with the dead body, a copy of an old, odd map is found the exact same one that Gamache was gifted with on the first day of his new job by his friends in Three Pines. Enlisting the aid of the four young cadets who happen to also be suspects in the professor’s murder may be a risky but necessary move when it comes to this investigation. Along the way more secrets will be revealed including the one involving Gamache and his mysterious relationship with Amelia, one of the cadets and a protégée of the murdered professor.

recokening

Where does it take place? Those familiar with the Inspector Gamache books, will definitely remember Three Pines. Three Pines is a fictional, idyllic village located somewhere in Quebec that has the constant, unfortunate luck of attracting murders. In addition the book is also set in the Sûreté academy.

Why did I like it? It seems like every time I find myself in a summer slump and there’s a new Louise Penny to help me get out of said slump. With the exception of A Long Way Home, Penny manages to surpass her earlier book with each new one being better than the last. I think I’ve mentioned it before, but with every new Louise Penny book I open it fills me with a warm feeling akin to coming home after some time away. I adore the village of Three Pines and all the characters who live there and I relish every opportunity I get to check in and see how they are all doing.

One unique thing about A Great Reckoning is how it explores what comes after for a character who has already held a position of immense power and prestige and has since left that place. It was refreshing to see the author explore this stage of life as we rarely get to see this in books. Another thing I enjoyed was that this book shone a light on the complicated relationship between Gamache and Brebeuf. Since I didn’t start this series from book one thus it was fascinating to see how deep their relationship ran and how Brebeuf’s betrayal affected both men. One of the themes that always rings true in these books are how we are all human, flawed and prone to making mistakes and no one not even Gamache is immune to this. All that being said, my favourite element of this book is the reunion of the “dream team” and I’ll admit that I let out a squeal when it turned out that Gamache and Beauvoir would once again be working together.

Overall, A Great Reckoning featured exquisite writing as always coupled with compelling characters, both new and old in addition to an intriguing setting and case. A Great Reckoning is a definite must read for mystery lovers and fans of Louise Penny.

When did it come out? August 30, 2016

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

Mystery Monday | The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny

Mystery Mondays

Mystery Mondays is an occasional review feature here on Words of Mystery that showcases books in the mystery (and on occasion thriller) genre that we are currently reading and our thoughts on them. Feel free to comment and leave suggestions as to what we should read and review next.

Who is it by? Louise Penny is a former journalist and radio host with the CBC. The authour of the best selling Chief Inspector Gamache series, The Nature of the Beast is her 11th book in the Inspector Gamache series. She currently lives with her husband, Michael in a small village south of Montreal.

What is it about? Nine-year-old Laurent is a boy known for his wild imaginations and outlandish tales. So, when he starts telling the people living in Three Pines of a giant gun with a monster in the woods, no one believes him….until he disappears. As they continue to search for Laurent, Inspector Gamache starts to wonder if Laurent really was telling the truth after all?

naturebeast

Where does it take place? Those familiar with the Inspector Gamache books, will definitely remember Three Pines. Three Pines is a fictional, idyllic village located somewhere in Quebec that has the constant, unfortunate luck of attracting murders.

Why did I like it? With one of the major story arcs in the series wrapped up a few books ago, I wasn’t sure what to expect in The Nature of the Beast. In fact, to be honest, I wasn’t that fond of her last book The Long Way Home. Thankfully, The Nature of the Beast proves that Louise Penny and Inspector Gamache are both not yet over and that Louise Penny is still at the top of her game.

It may sound a bit clichéd to say this, however reading the Inspector Gamache books provide me with a feeling similar to that of one coming home, including both the comfort and joy from that. I loved that we getting to dig deeper into the past of Three Pines and some of the older residents who live there including Ruth. Additionally, I loved seeing how the characters’ relationships have grown and evolved and several of them have come a long way. As always, Louise Penny showcases that her strengths lie in showcasing the complex emotions and relationships between her characters. There are numerous beautifully written scenes throughout that are also emotionally powerful.

I take comfort in how Louise Penny’s books show that where there is darkness, there is light and vice versa. I’m glad that the series isn’t over yet, as this book brings forth additional questions and new mysteries that I will eagerly anticipate in the next few books and I’m excited to see where Gamache will end up next.

When did it come out? August 25, 2015

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Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

Mystery Monday | The Long Way Home by Louise Penny

Mystery Mondays

Mystery Mondays is a sometimes weekly, sometimes biweekly and sometimes monthly review feature here on Words of Mystery that showcases books in the mystery (and on occasion thriller) genre that we are currently reading and our thoughts on them. Feel free to comment and leave suggestions as to what we should read and review next.

Authour: longway
Louise Penny
Format:
Hardcover, 373 pages
Publication date:
August 26th 2014
Publisher:
Minotaur Books
Source:
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review:

“Armand Gamache considered himself more an explorer than a hunter. The goal was to discover. And what he discovered could still surprise him. How often had he questioned a murderer expecting to find curdled emotions, a soul gone sour? And instesd he found goodness that had gone astray.” (p. 3)

In her last book, How the Light Gets In it appeared that Louise Penny had written a satisfying conclusion to her series. The conclusion of that book felt sort of like the conclusion of her series therefore I was surprised to find out she had further books coming out in her Inspector Gamache series and I wasn’t sure what to expect.

The Long Way Home occurs shortly after the events of How the Light Gets In. Gamache is now no longer “Inspector” Gamache has retired in the village of Three Pines with his wife, Reine-Marie. Though content, Gamache is still somewhat restless and I liked how this book explores the concept of trying to find peace and how can we move forward in life after experiencing something incredibly life changing. After all it’s not just the character of Clara, who seeks Gamache’s assistance to find her husband that is in search of something although Gamache also appears to be in search of something.

What I loved with reference to The Long Way Home was that we get to travel back and visit the characters of Three Pines again. Penny has created such a wonderful, unique and even magical set of characters that live in the village and it is always a pleasure to check in again with characters such as Myrna, a former psychologist turned bookstore owner in addition to Ruth, an award winning poet and her pet duck, Rosa. Furthermore I liked seeing a confident Clara in this book, after all that has happened to her I like how she now takes charge of things even if it veers on the edge of being a little bossy at times.

However, while it was lovely revisiting the characters of Three Pines, my favourite thing regarding this book without a doubt was seeing Gamache and Jean-Guy Beauvoir working together again. Having been on opposing sides in the previous book, it was wonderful to see the old team together. The two of them settled back nicely into their old dynamics despite the fact that Gamache is retired and their relationship is slightly different than it was.

Like all of her other books, The Long Way Home is an extremely emotional and powerful read. I recently had a conversation with an elderly woman on why we both love the books in the Inspector Gamache series. And I came to the conclusion that it’s probably for the reason that the books focus on the human psychology of the characters which in itself is a truly fascinating thing. This is why I appreciated the fact that in the, The Long Way Home, we gain more insight into the character through the glimpses into his past and his parents.

The Long Way Home is an excellent book for those who are unfamiliar with the series to start with, although if you start with this book don’t be surprised if it causes you to go back and read all of the previous books in the series. In addition, I will continue to stick with this series as I am extremely curious as to where Louise will take her characters next.

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.