Louise Penny, How The Light Gets In
Louise Penny started her publishing career in 2005 with the dazzling achievement of capturing all the first novel awards in the mystery field. Her Québec province based books featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and a host of village residents of Three Pines have grown in stature with each additional book. This is her ninth novel and her first appearance in a Scorpion binding. Peter Lovesey, elder statesman of the traditional mystery did the appreciation.
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Louise Penny started her publishing career in 2005 with the dazzling achievement of capturing all the first novel awards in the mystery field. Her Québec province based books featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and a host of village residents of Three Pines have grown in stature with each additional book. This is her ninth novel.
One can make a case for all kinds of influences on Louise Penny as a crime writer – from the really early detective writers through Simenon and P D James and Josephine Tey – but what matters is that her novels are full of life and death; stimulating emotionally, raise moral and thoughtful questions as well as some mystery for our detective to solve. She has an almost hypnotic power of description that has flecks of deeper meaning. They are fun, stylish and clever (without being boorish!). Her endings show us that good is not always rewarded and evil not always punished. Penny shows us that lives can be pulled by the tolls of abuse, deceit, greed, and revenge. She is, in other words, up with the Mankells and Nessers in Europe and writers such as Pelecanos in the USA.
Synopsis: Christmas is approaching, and in Québec it’s a time of dazzling snowfalls, bright lights, and gatherings with friends in front of blazing hearths. But shadows are falling on the usually festive season for Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. Most of his best agents have left the Homicide Department, his old friend and lieutenant Jean-Guy Beauvoir hasn’t spoken to him in months, and hostile forces are lining up against him. When Gamache receives a message from Myrna Landers that a long-time friend has failed to arrive for Christmas in the village of Three Pines, he welcomes the chance to get away from the city. Mystified by Myrna’s reluctance to reveal her friend’s name, Gamache soon discovers the missing woman was once one of the most famous people not just in North America, but in the world, and now goes unrecognized by virtually everyone except the mad, brilliant poet Ruth Zardo.
As events come to a head, Gamache is drawn ever deeper into the world of Three Pines. Increasingly, he is not only investigating the disappearance of Myrna’s friend but also seeking a safe place for himself and his still-loyal colleagues. Is there peace to be found even in Three Pines, and at what cost to Gamache and the people he holds dear?
Peter Lovesey has read all of Louise’s books and was delighted to be asked to write the appreciation for this edition. Peter has been writing since 1970 and is the author of the Victorian Cribb and Thackeray books, and many others including the notable award-winning The False Inspector Dew and his current Peter Diamond series.