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How the Light Gets In

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Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec digs beneath the idyllic surface of village life in Three Pines, finding long buried secrets--and facing a few of his own ghosts. 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 festi Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec digs beneath the idyllic surface of village life in Three Pines, finding long buried secrets--and facing a few of his own ghosts. 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 longtime 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?


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Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec digs beneath the idyllic surface of village life in Three Pines, finding long buried secrets--and facing a few of his own ghosts. 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 festi Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec digs beneath the idyllic surface of village life in Three Pines, finding long buried secrets--and facing a few of his own ghosts. 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 longtime 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?

30 review for How the Light Gets In

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tabatha Hibbs

    While I enjoy a good series, there are few books that are part of a series that leave me with a book hangover when I am finished with them. How the Light Get In left me with that hangover. I finished it this afternoon, and since that time I've not wanted to read anything. I've just wanted to live with the emotional reverberations this book created within me. I have read the entire series, and I suspect that some of this reaction is a cumulative effect: I've spent a lot time with these characters While I enjoy a good series, there are few books that are part of a series that leave me with a book hangover when I am finished with them. How the Light Get In left me with that hangover. I finished it this afternoon, and since that time I've not wanted to read anything. I've just wanted to live with the emotional reverberations this book created within me. I have read the entire series, and I suspect that some of this reaction is a cumulative effect: I've spent a lot time with these characters, and there are many I care deeply about. I suspect part of the reaction is that the book reads as though it may be the last in the series, and I'm actually okay with that. It ended perfectly, although not without pain and loss, grace and redemption. What has drawn me to Penny's work all along is her profound belief that despite the darkness there is goodness and that there are people in the world who live that goodness even when it costs them much to do so. A friend once bashed Inspector Gamache because he wasn't damaged enough to be interesting. I argued that one does not have to be damaged to be interesting. One only has to be authentic to be interesting, and Gamache is authentic. He is not perfect, but he is true to himself and to his beliefs. All of these elements: darkness, goodness, grace, redemption, the struggle to be the authentic self weave through this book in ways both profound and subtle. While some might say the ending Penny wrote is predictable and treat this predictability as a bad thing, I argue that the ending is one that is authentic to the world that Penny has created in this series and to the seeds of love, kindness, belief, and loyalty that Gamache has shown throughout the series. In Penny's world, the light does get in, and, as always when I've finished one of her novels, I want to live in that world of light.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Redfern

    I would give this book 10 stars or more if I could. When I was approved for the egalley, being the mature professional librarian that I am, I went up to one of my coworkers who also reads the series and basically said Nya! Nya! I got to read the book early. That is the level of devotion that this entire series inspires in its readers. After the emotional ending of the previous book, I was prepared for this one to be heavy duty but I had no idea how much this emotion this book would evoke. I liter I would give this book 10 stars or more if I could. When I was approved for the egalley, being the mature professional librarian that I am, I went up to one of my coworkers who also reads the series and basically said Nya! Nya! I got to read the book early. That is the level of devotion that this entire series inspires in its readers. After the emotional ending of the previous book, I was prepared for this one to be heavy duty but I had no idea how much this emotion this book would evoke. I literally sat on my couch for hours barely able to take a breath because I was so caught up into the story. Looking back at the previous books, one can see all of the clues leading up to the finish of this book but it is absolutely stunning to see how they all come together. When this book begins, Gamache is seemingly hanging on by a thread. His agents have been scattered all through the department and he has a group of disrespectful yahoos working for him. But his enemies haven't won the war, only the first skirmish. Gamache still has some fight left in him and he has friends in powerful places. As in all of Ms. Penny's books, there are side stories that seem to have no reflection on the main plot but everything, I mean everything is important! Inspector Gamache gets involved in the disappearance of a woman who had visited Three Pines and planned to return but never showed up. As he digs deeper into her life, he discovers facts about her life that will surprise all who knew her. Readers over a certain age will remember the actual situation that inspired this story line and what a huge story it was in its day. Anyone who has followed this series will be crazy while reading this book, so just leave them alone and be prepared for a lot of emotion after they are done. While one part of Gamache’s life is resolved, the ending opens up a lot of questions about what the future holds for Gamache and all of us loyal readers!

  3. 5 out of 5

    switterbug (Betsey)

    For readers unfamiliar with Louise Penny's mystery series, this is #9 with Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. Although this is only my second foray into her Quebec crime series (my first being her last book, BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY), I was impressed with her ability to create multiple plots and weave them together. There's a fresh murder to solve in the town of Three Pines (where some of her series takes place), as well as an arc that started several books ago--the malfeasance of the Sûreté du Québec (po For readers unfamiliar with Louise Penny's mystery series, this is #9 with Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. Although this is only my second foray into her Quebec crime series (my first being her last book, BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY), I was impressed with her ability to create multiple plots and weave them together. There's a fresh murder to solve in the town of Three Pines (where some of her series takes place), as well as an arc that started several books ago--the malfeasance of the Sûreté du Québec (police dept). additionally, Armand's close colleague and personal friend, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, is suffering from addiction problems. HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN takes us back to Three Pines, where I met several quirky/eccentric people for the first time, but am well aware that they are repeating characters, (or sometimes just former ones). Penny does a solid job of bringing new readers into this small village and allowing us to meet the inhabitants naturally and unaffectedly. She doesn't broadcast their histories with awkward exposition, but rather lets pieces of their past unfold with the present events. That takes subtlety and finesse, something that Penny astutely possesses. The truculent poet, Ruth, for example, may be on the periphery of a scene periodically, and then take center stage. Penny juxtaposes scenes and events that progress the various plots and develop the characters with riveting tension. The murder of septuagenarian, Constance Pineault, who had just recently visited Three Pines bookstore owner, Myrna, brings Gamache back to investigate. This is right before the Christmas holidays, where the deep snow and cold air tends to create gatherings at the warm village bistro. At the same time, Gamache is struggling to keep his decimated homicide department together. He has been undermined by Superintendent Sylvain Françoeur, who has effectively fouled Gamache's reputation and is honing in for the final blow. Armand's relationship with Jean-Guy has also been maimed, thanks to Françoeur and Jean-Guy's torment with his own personal demons. Penny also devotes ample space to suspenseful cyber hacking, and does it nimbly and accessible to even the low-tech reader. My nails were bitten to the quick! And she demonstrates the truth in human nature, as colleagues claw each other with raw vitriol, and yet show genuine compassion, too. Treachery; suspense; still voices; moving targets; exquisite plotting--the reader will be satisfied AND nonplussed in equal measure by the end of the book. I don't want to spoil this potent novel for anyone, but I will say that I am glad I read BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY first, because I was already involved before this book began, with a gestating inevitability that has been underpinning much of Gamache's current directives. I am speculating that this is Penny's most heightened and cataclysmic book to date. As an end note, Penny tells us that the title of this book is based on a Leonard Cohen song called Anthem. "Ring the bells that still can ring Forget your perfect offering, There's a crack in everything, That's how the light gets in." Besides those beautiful words germane to the substance of this book, the title itself is apropos to one of the definitions of anthem: a hymn sung alternately by different sections of a choir or congregation. An anthem it is.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    Louise Penny impresses as she pulls on a major event in Quebec history, weaving it effectively into the premise of this next novel in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series. Major changes have begun with the Homicide squad of the Sûreté du Québec, including the removal of Inspector Jean Guy Beauvoir. It would seem that the fallout from their case at a rural priory created more ripples than anyone could expect, with Chief Superintendent Francoeur still sharpening his knives with hateful eyes f Louise Penny impresses as she pulls on a major event in Quebec history, weaving it effectively into the premise of this next novel in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series. Major changes have begun with the Homicide squad of the Sûreté du Québec, including the removal of Inspector Jean Guy Beauvoir. It would seem that the fallout from their case at a rural priory created more ripples than anyone could expect, with Chief Superintendent Francoeur still sharpening his knives with hateful eyes focussed on Gamache. Newly promoted Inspector Isabelle Lacoste accompanies Gamache on a pre-Christmas jaunt to Three Pines, where they respond to a call from Myrna Landers, the local bookshop owner. It would seem that Constance Pineault was expected the day before at lunch with Myrna and has yet to show up. While this may not seem like much, Constance has not made contact and his known for her punctuality. Gamache agrees to make some inquiries back in Montreal, where he discovers that Pineault has been found slain in her home. After agreeing to take the case for himself, Gamache returns to Three Pines, where he discovers that Pineault is not who she appears to be. It would seem that locals know her secret, that she is actually Constance Ouellet, one of the Ouellet quintuplets that made headlines in the middle of the Depression. Gamache sifts through much of the information available, as well as scores of documents long sealed, to learn more about the Ouellet quints and how they were ‘sold’ to the Quebec Government, thereby turning them into a public spectacle. Surely, Constance wanted nothing more than to live outside of the limelight as soon as she could, though someone must have wanted to extinguish that light for some unknown reason. Meanwhile, the story arc surrounding that bloody raid gone wrong has reached its zenith, with Gamache using covert means to finger the individual who leaked the video of the event. Gamache learns snippets of Inspector Beauvoir’s new cases, all of which include dangerous raids that could easily neutralise his former second-in-command. Might Gamache have to make the ultimate move and how does this all link to the Arnot case, which filled the pages of early novels in the series? Penny continues to dazzle with layered narratives that keep the reader gasping for breath as much comes to a head in the intense closing chapters of this novel. Highly recommended to series fans who have a great handle on the characters and writing style. I hold firm in my suggestion that new readers begin where the series began and progress accordingly. This series keeps finding new ways to impress me, particularly with this exploration of one of Quebec’s black marks of the mid-20th century. Penny touches on some of the events that occurred with these quints, likely mixing fact with fiction to keep the story moving forward. As always, Chief Inspector Gamache plays a central role in the novel and one can see the intensity surrounding the two major events that have overshadowed his investigations finally coming to a head. Gamache doesn’t let anything derail his concentration, though there is a strong sense that he wants these monkeys off his back, however that might be possible. His determination with a new and severely pared-down team shows his determination to find a killer without letting the politics deter him. Using his sharp skills, Gamache exemplifies his superior skills, even as those around him begin to lose faith in his work. The handful of others around him remain questionable characters, including Inspector Lacoste and former black sheep Agent Yvette Nichol. Both these women hold integral parts in the novel, though readers should not expect smooth sailing or strong support for their superior. The Three Pines residents retain their unique personalities, though there is little that surprises in this piece. Some development and character movement is apparent during the one novel hiatus, something that the attentive reader will notice early in this piece. The story has two significant narratives that run in parallel, complementing one another. Penny balances them, though neither can be seen as taken a backseat to the other. Readers should expect a bumpy ride as the novel pushes forward and takes little time for those who need time to process, while also inundating the attentive reader with much Quebec history and shaming society all these years later. Far from derailed or rogue, as some would have me believe, this series gets better as it progresses. Kudos, Madam Penny, for another stellar novel. Chief Inspector Gamache and Three Pines are in great hands and I cannot stop wanting more, particularly with that cliffhanger. Thankfully, there are still a handful of novels left in my binge. Like/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at: http://pecheyponderings.wordpress.com/ A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    Louise Penny is my favorite mystery author, and this is the best book yet! Read my review at on my library page: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cook Memorial Public Library

    A 2013 staff fiction favorite recommended by Jo, Andrea, Connie, Jane, Mary Ann, Sonia and Ellen. Jo's review: I adore Louise Penny’s Chief Inspector Gamache series. I want to move to Three Pines, the imaginary, serene village in Quebec that somehow ends up having an unusual number of murder investigations. I want to eat in the bistro and stay at the inn and shop in the bookstore. I want to argue and share insults with Ruth, the local curmudgeonly poet. Most importantly, I want to have deep conver A 2013 staff fiction favorite recommended by Jo, Andrea, Connie, Jane, Mary Ann, Sonia and Ellen. Jo's review: I adore Louise Penny’s Chief Inspector Gamache series. I want to move to Three Pines, the imaginary, serene village in Quebec that somehow ends up having an unusual number of murder investigations. I want to eat in the bistro and stay at the inn and shop in the bookstore. I want to argue and share insults with Ruth, the local curmudgeonly poet. Most importantly, I want to have deep conversations over a café au lait with Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, Penny’s thoughtful, compassionate protagonist. A great novelist transports the reader into a fictional world with characters who are unforgettable. That’s exactly what Penny has done with her wonderful world in Quebec. Although Penny is considered a mystery writer, she also is a great novelist who adeptly studies the light and dark in her characters. She introduced readers to Three Pines in her first novel, “Still Life’’, which I have placed in many library patrons’ hands with excitement when I find out they haven’t read Penny. “How the Light Gets In’’ is the ninth and best book in the series yet. Gamache begins investigating a murder of a once-famous celebrity who also was a friend of the bookstore owner in Three Pines. While he uncovers clue after clue, he also deals with enemies in his own Sûreté du Québec police department who are trying to destroy his career. He faces the wrenching realization that he may not be able to help his former colleague, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, defeat his personal demons. The writing is wonderful, the plot is intricate, and the character development is breathtaking. When I finished the last page, I said to myself, “Wow.’’ Many characters from previous books return, which is why I always encourage patrons to start with the first book in the series. “How the Light Gets In’’ will be among my favorites of 2013. I can’t wait for the tenth book so I can escape once again in Louise Penny’s vivid imagination. Check our catalog: http://encore.cooklib.org/iii/encore/... the light gets in penny

  7. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    SPOILERS BELOW Yes, I gave this one only three stars. I have read and really liked the other books in the series, but I thought this one was subpar -- not bad but not as excellent as its predecessors. Here's why. 1. Penny's writing style seemed almost a caricature of itself. All of those sentence fragments. Done for emphasis. Getting on my nerves. Time after time. In an overly dramatic way. I don't recall being so aware and irritated by the writing in past books but the jerky style of this one gra SPOILERS BELOW Yes, I gave this one only three stars. I have read and really liked the other books in the series, but I thought this one was subpar -- not bad but not as excellent as its predecessors. Here's why. 1. Penny's writing style seemed almost a caricature of itself. All of those sentence fragments. Done for emphasis. Getting on my nerves. Time after time. In an overly dramatic way. I don't recall being so aware and irritated by the writing in past books but the jerky style of this one grated on me. It intefered with my ability to lose myself in the story, and that's a big flaw for me. 2. The plot lines just didn't hold together. There are really two separate tracks in this story, one involving the death of a famous quintuplet (think Dionne quints) and one involving the continuing politics and corruption that Gamache has fought against in the Surete. The former was a far more interesting story to delve into, although the solution to this murder seemed rushed and forced, almost an afterthought to the corruption story. The second plotline focuses on Gamache's attempts to uncover and counteract an ongoing plot that reaches the highest levels of Canadian government, as well as the Surete. I found this entire story line to be silly. It didn't make sense from the very beginning (the whole business about the Cree reservation and the dam? nonsensical), it didn't hang together well, and it made me think of a cartoon like Underdog or Powerpuff Girls, with an evil genius trying to carry out some nefarious plan so he can take over the world. Unfortunately the focus of the second half of the book is mostly on the corruption storyline, and it left me shaking my head in disbelief. Even the ending is just too much: ludicrous, not well thought out, a too-clever-by-half solution to an bizarre and unbelievable problem. 3. The character of Gamache is starting to become less real and less believable, and more of a superhero. Everything he does is perfect, he never makes a mistake, he is always a gentleman and noble and patient and wonderful in every way. (Could it be Mary Sue syndrome?) No one could ever be that one-sided and perfect and it makes him seem like some fantasy superhero rather than a genuine human being--especially in the context of this novel, where he must deal with so many challenges. Other characters (the imperfect ones, like Nichol) were much more believable and compelling. 4. The ending was just too pat and perfect from an emotional standpoint, as well as a plot standpoint. 5. The book is less of a police procedural, becoming more like a thriller with the corruption storyline. I hope Penny goes back to a more traditional police procedural in any future books. 6. I'm really, really sick of everyone quoting the work of an imaginary poet. The same line, over and over again. ENOUGH ALREADY.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

    While checking Goodreads to see how many ratings Louise Penny’s very new novel has received (over 2,000 so far), I couldn’t help noticing that it has earned a collective rating of 4.65. That eye-popping score just had to be one of the highest ratings I have noticed. For the sake of comparison, I decided to check the Goodreads ratings of some of the best books ever. Thomas Fagles’ brilliant translation of The Odyssey earned a 3.65; Toni Morrison’s Beloved has a 3.69; Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dallowa While checking Goodreads to see how many ratings Louise Penny’s very new novel has received (over 2,000 so far), I couldn’t help noticing that it has earned a collective rating of 4.65. That eye-popping score just had to be one of the highest ratings I have noticed. For the sake of comparison, I decided to check the Goodreads ratings of some of the best books ever. Thomas Fagles’ brilliant translation of The Odyssey earned a 3.65; Toni Morrison’s Beloved has a 3.69; Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway merits a 3.76; David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas rates a 4.04; and Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried tops this group of five favorites with a 4.09. Respectable scores all, but none even close to Penny’s 4.65. What can account for the extraordinarily high rating of this very fine book? Don’t get me wrong; I love reading Louise Penny, and I think How The Light Gets In, her ninth Gamache novel, is her best so far. But these scores got me thinking: why does this book outscore my five great books listed above? Why does it outscore (by 0.4 points or more) Penny’s own first eight novels? Here is my best attempt to solve that mystery. Penny’s books hit us where we live, that is, in our belief that somewhere there must be a place as magical and comforting as Three Pines, that somewhere there must be a man as compassionate and professionally competent as Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. Three Pines isn’t on the map; those who find their way there do so because they somehow need to be there. A good example would be Myrna Landers, the psychotherapist turned bookseller of used and new books. She arrived there by chance at a time of personal need, a time when she was wearying of her profession. She felt so welcome in Three Pines she opened a bookstore and stayed. Now she is a core character appearing in all the books set in Three Pines. The town bistro is the comfiest place on earth with its twin hearths at either end of the room and a menu consisting entirely of comfort gourmet food. The service is beyond excellent; during snowstorms Gabri (a co-owner of the bistro) walks through the snow delivering hot chocolate and crispy croissants to those who cannot walk to the bistro to get their breakfasts. We never read about septic tank service providers or school board fights; instead, Three Pines is home to artists, poets, and craftsman farmers and their families. Chief Inspector Gamache, Penny’s lead character, heads the homicide department of the Montreal office of the Sûreté of Québec. There he takes in broken-winged police officers unappreciated by the department at large and trains them to be the very best homicide detectives. Through Gamache’s instruction they come to embody humility and wisdom by learning and using Gamache’s core four statements: I was wrong, I’m sorry, I don’t know, and I need help. Penny herself on her website says that if there is just one thing she wishes her readers would take from her books, it’s that kindness exists. And if we read her books, we believe it does. Just look at Gamache. While the Gamache books are indeed murder mysteries, it almost always seems that what goes on around the murder is somehow infinitely more important than the mere trying to figure out who done it. The interpersonal relationships of people is paramount, even more so in this ninth book than in any of its predecessors. Yes, there is a mysterious murder in How the Light Gets In, and the victim (and her murderer) turn out to be very interesting indeed. But that seems almost incidental to the more pressing plot elements focusing on the problems within the Sûreté. Resolving those issues which concern Gamache’s very place in this world seems entirely more important than solving the murder. Her readers certainly agree, even though some might wonder at the end of this book in which direction the next book might go. I trust that Penny knows her way, and I can’t wait to see where she’ll lead me. Then there’s the writing itself. While Penny is not trying to rival Toni Morrison or David Mitchell, she writes a stylish, literary, and lucid prose filled with insight into the human condition. And her books have been getting better. It matters if you read them in order, and if you do, you will watch a master writer honing her craft. This ninth book soars above the eighth. Can anyone continue to improve as much as Penny has, even though I her very first book (Still Life) is both eloquent and excellently well-written. I bet Penny can.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Phrynne

    How the Light Gets In is possibly my favourite of this series so far! It had everything I look for in these books - Three Pines, snow (lots of), Armand Gamache being his wonderful self, great police work, lots of excitement and a duck. It was pretty essential to have read the previous books in order to get the most out of this one. Some long standing plot lines were brought to a conclusion and the characters are so much better for having known them a long time. Three Pines is a character in itse How the Light Gets In is possibly my favourite of this series so far! It had everything I look for in these books - Three Pines, snow (lots of), Armand Gamache being his wonderful self, great police work, lots of excitement and a duck. It was pretty essential to have read the previous books in order to get the most out of this one. Some long standing plot lines were brought to a conclusion and the characters are so much better for having known them a long time. Three Pines is a character in itself, especially at Christmas with log fires, hot chocolate and good friends. There was a lot of action and considerable suspense and by the last quarter of the book there was no way I was going to stop reading just because it was the middle of the night and I had to get up early. I read through to the last delicious page and went to sleep happy.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Margitte

    "Ring the bells that still can ring Forget your perfect offering There is a crack, a crack in everything That's how the light gets in"...... Leonard Cohen Ingenious and sinister. These words form part of the official blurb for this ninth book in the Inspector Gamache series. The intrigue and animosity around Chief Inspector Armand Gamache are closing in when his enemies, with his senior manager, Francoeur, as the front runner in the Sureté de Quebec, slowly pulls the plug on his honorable career "Ring the bells that still can ring Forget your perfect offering There is a crack, a crack in everything That's how the light gets in"...... Leonard Cohen Ingenious and sinister. These words form part of the official blurb for this ninth book in the Inspector Gamache series. The intrigue and animosity around Chief Inspector Armand Gamache are closing in when his enemies, with his senior manager, Francoeur, as the front runner in the Sureté de Quebec, slowly pulls the plug on his honorable career. They have dismantled his department, spread his agents into every other division, such as Traffic, Serious Crimes, Public Safety, Emergency Response, Cyber Crime and brought in their own people, watching a respected and admired division getting gutted. He takes it in his stride, not commenting, not reacting. Always polite and calm. He does not get distracted from the latest murder case which brings him back to Three Pines. Myrna's friend, and also ex-patient, Constance Pineault, has a secret she wishes to share with her after many years. She asks Myrna, the bookstore owner in Three Pines, if she can come back to Three Pines for the Christmas Season, but never returns. Inspector Gamache is called in. Three Pines becomes his safety net - a village so hidden that is not even indicated on any maps and almost non-detectable from space. While the mystery around the famous Constance is investigated, Gamache must deal with the hostile forces bringing his lifelong dedication and reputation to an end. He also follows the destructive path of Inspector Jean-guy Beauvoir as it is opened up for him by the people who are manipulating him to establish Camache's downfall. The events is kicked off by a metaphoric incident in the Ville-Marie Tunnel that is supporting the city. Audrey Villeneuve, an employee in the department of Transport, discovers a secret which will destroy the city and change the history of Montreal forever. "She could see it. Hear it. Feel it happening. The first sign would be a blast as drivers hit their brakes. The truck ahead would veer, skidding, slamming sideways. An unholy shriek would bounce off the hard walls and race towards her, all-consuming. Horns, alarms, brakes, people screaming... ...Audrey's eyes widened. This has never happened before. Moving through the tunnel was bad enough. Stopped in it was inconceivable. Her brain froze. "It'll be all right." But she couldn't hear her voice, so thin was her breath and so great the howl in her head ..." The cracks. Dear God, cracks. And the half-hearted attempts to plaster over them, but hide them ...The most important aspect in this book is that all the previous threads are pulled together in this one and leaves the devoted readers with a sense of contentment and even happiness. In fact, I could stop reading this series here and now, and live happily ever after on the good memories. Louise Penny's books can be read as stand-alones, but each one of them picks up a thread from a previous book, developing all the characters. This book, in my opinion, needs the previous two, to fully explain the relationship between Gamache and Beauvoir. My personal opinion: The intrigue surrounding the scandal of corruption, murder and mayhem in the police department, went a little too far, pulling this saga out of the bucolic, yet high voltage field of all the previous ones in the series. I did not appreciate the new element, of high profile politics and destructive elements in society, bringing Penny's writing into the folds of international bestselling oevre of high-speed action, mega catastrophes and surreal actions. That is not the reason why I love her books so much, and if she moves more into that direction, my days in Three Pines will be numbered. When Wilbur Smith left behind his unique stories told in his unique voice, I stopped buying his books. It's as simple as that. The bestselling template used by editors are simply not my style. My loss of devotion to her books will undoubtedly not be a catastrophe since millions of new readers will be gained and that's okay too. For her. One person's loss is another person's gain. I just hope that her unique writing style will not get lost in the newly-acquired fame. Overall though, this book was a tremendously enjoyable read. Rich in prose and intrigue. Multi-leveled issues is addressed. Harmony and happiness form an underlying thread weaving through the tumult and scandal and mayhem. Honor and dignity's two sides are exposed. Friendships are tested. Sanity wins in the end. My Three Pines-fix did not disappoint! I am as hooked as I was with Still Life, the first book in the series. Louise Penny remains my all-time favorite murder mystery writer with this particular series.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    I love this book! I was fortunate to receive an advanced copy of Louise Penny's latest mystery novel "How the Light Gets In", the ninth in the series about Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and the Homicide Division of the Surete du Quebec. I had already reserved a hard copy for the August 2013 release date because this is one author I buy in hardcover; the better to savor her writing. This truly gifted author has the ability to make you FEEL - so much so, that this is almost more novel than myster I love this book! I was fortunate to receive an advanced copy of Louise Penny's latest mystery novel "How the Light Gets In", the ninth in the series about Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and the Homicide Division of the Surete du Quebec. I had already reserved a hard copy for the August 2013 release date because this is one author I buy in hardcover; the better to savor her writing. This truly gifted author has the ability to make you FEEL - so much so, that this is almost more novel than mystery - although there are three compelling mysteries entwined in this latest book. In talking about this book, Ms. Penny says "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." I guarantee she will make you feel all this and so much more. She will bring you to the edge of your seat, make your heart pound in anticipation and ache as you feel the suffering of her always well-constructed characters. Because she also lets you feel hope and joy, the struggle between the light and the dark is that much more vivid. This book opens as Christmas approaches and the author deftly portrays the joy and anticipation of the season played off against the sadness as Gamache's elite squad is dismantled and scattered, while unscrupulous forces are at work in the Surete. Who will settle for nothing less than Gamache's destruction? and that of his next in charge Jean-Guy Belavoir? A terrible alliance that has been 30 years in the making will once again bring evil into the heart of the tiny village of Three Pines and threaten all that the inhabitants hold dear. To those who have read all the previous books in the Chief Inspector Gamache series, you will not be disappointed, as her writing somehow is brought to an even higher level, her plots are even more complex, her characters more finely drawn. We know these people and we care about them; we feel with them. I highly recommend this book, but if you find yourself curled up in your chair, unable to stop reading far into the night, remember you were warned.... This is writing at its' very best. Bravo Ms. Penny, you are a Master!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kaye

    what to say about "How The Light Gets In." Truthfully, it leaves me speechless. It's full of phrasing any writer would die to claim as their own. It made me laugh out loud on one page, only to have me burst into tears of pure emotion two pages later. I know I keep saying her writing just keeps getting better with each book, but I find it to be true. I love her writing, and I love her stories. I feel an attachment to the residents of Three Pines and hope they'll live in the pages of more and more what to say about "How The Light Gets In." Truthfully, it leaves me speechless. It's full of phrasing any writer would die to claim as their own. It made me laugh out loud on one page, only to have me burst into tears of pure emotion two pages later. I know I keep saying her writing just keeps getting better with each book, but I find it to be true. I love her writing, and I love her stories. I feel an attachment to the residents of Three Pines and hope they'll live in the pages of more and more books for many years to come. There's still much to be learned about each of them. My only complaint is having to wait so long in between! (I am such a petty girl). For fans who prefer their Penny in Three Pines, this book's for you. For those who just love Penny wherever she takes us, you are going to thank her for this one. Most of you who have fallen in love with these books know by now that Louise Penny's books are about terror. And, to quote what she says about them, they're also about goodness, and kindness. In this latest entry she gives us a healthy dose of all these things and she touches every emotion with a strength unknown to most writers,, in my most humble opinion. The title "How The Light Gets In" comes from Leonard Cohen's "Anthem." "Ring the bells that still can ring, Forget your perfect offering, There's a crack in everything, That's how the light gets in." Louise Penny shows the cracks in heartbreaking clarity. We finish this novel understanding the cracks and bathed in purest light. I love this book more than I have words to share.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    "There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." —Leonard Cohen This is the ninth entry in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series and the second time that I have read this book. As enjoyable as it was the first time I read the book and was introduced to Armand Gamache and the village of Three Pines the second time around was even better. There were many events that took place prior to this story and the only way to gain a full understanding of what happened and why we are wher "There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." —Leonard Cohen This is the ninth entry in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series and the second time that I have read this book. As enjoyable as it was the first time I read the book and was introduced to Armand Gamache and the village of Three Pines the second time around was even better. There were many events that took place prior to this story and the only way to gain a full understanding of what happened and why we are where we are is to read the earlier books in the series. I had a deeper appreciation as I read this book for the second time. Christmas is approaching and the snow is a dazzling pure white lit by bright festive lights. Carols are sung, friends gather together in front of the hearth sipping hot chocolate. But for Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec shadows have fallen. His friend and lieutenant Jean-Guy Beauvoir hasn't spoken to him in months. Most of his best agents in the homicide department have left and forces seem to lining up against him. He is considering retiring. Then he receives a message from Myrna Landers, his friend from Three Pines, that a friend failed to show up for Christmas. He welcomes the opportunity to get away from Montreal. Myrna's missing friend was known as Constance Pineault. But that was not her original name. Once she was one of the most famous persons in Quebec, in North America, and perhaps the world. When it is discovered that she has been murdered Inspector Gamache begins to dig deeper into her past life. The one she tried to hide from. Who would want to kill her? And why? The murder of an elderly woman with a hidden past is not the only mystery in this story. There is plenty of political intrigue too. There is corruption at the highest levels in the Surete de Quebec and political offices. Gamache is hot on the trail and it seems everything is going to reach a climatic conclusion in the small village of Three Pines. A place so remote that there is no internet. No e-mail. No cell phones. Totally cut off from everyone. It is up to Inspector Gamache, a handful of trusted colleagues, and the residents of Three Pines to uncover the truth. What will be the cost to Gamache, his few trusted friends, and the village of Three Pines? Louise Penny does an excellent job of developing characters and place. When you read one of these books you feel as though you know the characters and care about them ... excluding corrupt and evil Chief Superintendent Francoeur of course. You wish that Three Pines was real and that you could stay at the B&B and have a meal at the bistro. She even makes winter sound idyllic. Like stepping into a Norman Rockwell painting. I am left anticipating reading The Long Way Home and finding out what happens next with Armand Gamache, friends, and Three Pines.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Joseph

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I am kind of surprised by the remarkably high reviews this novel has received especially since it's as if Lee Child kidnaped Louise Penny and wrote the last fifty plus pages of the novel. The conclusion begs belief since there is way too much exposition to tie up an already outrageous plot. What is even more disturbing is the pat happy ending appended to a critical supporting character struggling in the throes of drug addiction who all of sudden is sharing bon mots with his boss and mentor as be I am kind of surprised by the remarkably high reviews this novel has received especially since it's as if Lee Child kidnaped Louise Penny and wrote the last fifty plus pages of the novel. The conclusion begs belief since there is way too much exposition to tie up an already outrageous plot. What is even more disturbing is the pat happy ending appended to a critical supporting character struggling in the throes of drug addiction who all of sudden is sharing bon mots with his boss and mentor as best man and now father-in-law after causing him such psychic pain over the course of the novel. I have seem Hallmark cards less schmaltzy than this. The integrity of Inspector Gamache as envisioned by Penny-a literate, thoughtful, and humane individual- is diminished by this sort of cheap sentiment. In addition, the technology-related subplot was written as if Penny read an "Encryption For Dummies" book and decided she felt competent enough to structure key scenes around it. Alas, compared to the beautiful, thoughtful, humane characters and literary writing that usually marks the Gamache series, this book is a huge disappointment to the otherwise superlative series.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    I absolutely love this series as I am sure you can see by my rating, but I am always sad when I am done because now I have to wait for another year or so for a new one. I become so immersed in Three Pines and these people's lives it is often a shock to realize they are not real, but are characters in a novel. I wish they were real, I wish Three Pines was a place I could visit. Part of this story, concerned quints born during the Great Depression, and though there were real quints born, only the I absolutely love this series as I am sure you can see by my rating, but I am always sad when I am done because now I have to wait for another year or so for a new one. I become so immersed in Three Pines and these people's lives it is often a shock to realize they are not real, but are characters in a novel. I wish they were real, I wish Three Pines was a place I could visit. Part of this story, concerned quints born during the Great Depression, and though there were real quints born, only the idea of them sparked this part of the story. These are character driven novels and the characters are unique and wonderful, full of insight, courage and love. This is a place where people come when they are at the end of something and looking for something different. It is a place not easy to find and modern technology has a way of not working here. It is a true quiet zone. Has a wonderful bookstore, and I can;t help feeling that Ruth and her duck may be the two best characters ever written. If you have not read these, start at the beginning. They get better with each successive book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Maine Colonial

    You shouldn't be reading this book unless you're already familiar with the Armand Gamache/Three Pines series, so I'll get right into the setup. It begins shortly after The Beautiful Mystery ended, and things are just as grim as you would imagine for Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. His longtime enemies at the Sûrété du Québec are circling, sharklike, and taking bites out of his Homicide team. All of his team members have been moved to other departments, with the exception of Isabelle Lacoste, and You shouldn't be reading this book unless you're already familiar with the Armand Gamache/Three Pines series, so I'll get right into the setup. It begins shortly after The Beautiful Mystery ended, and things are just as grim as you would imagine for Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. His longtime enemies at the Sûrété du Québec are circling, sharklike, and taking bites out of his Homicide team. All of his team members have been moved to other departments, with the exception of Isabelle Lacoste, and the officers moved to his team in their place are slackers, insubordinate and obviously playing for the bad guys. Gamache's second-in-command, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, has made a complete break with Gamache, is now working for Gamache's arch-enemy, Superintendent Francoeur, and is again hooked on painkillers. The sharks have isolated their prey and are coming in for the kill. Considering what his office has become, it is almost a relief to Gamache when Myrna Landers, Three Pines's flamboyant bookseller, asks for his help to find a missing friend. This seemingly simple case unexpectedly becomes a last chapter in the story of Québec's most famous baby boomers, the first quintuplets to survive their birth (obviously based on the Dionne quintuplets). The Sûrété corruption plot that we've been following for this entire series takes center stage in this book, and it's a nail-biter that puts all of the characters under make-or-break stress. For those who have been wondering about the reach of the corruption and what its long-term goals are, this will be a particularly satisfying read. Though some call Louise Penny's books cozies, those who are familiar with the series know that's completely wrongheaded. She has transformed the police procedural and village mystery genres into not a mash-up, but something unique, original and genuine. There is no distance between the reader and the lives of the characters; their thoughts and emotions, what they eat and drink, how they interact with each other and, most important, how they react when bad things happen. Penny is such a keen observer that it's all too easy to believe that you can travel to Three Pines, sit down at the Bistro and join in the conversation with all these characters, or walk the green with them and watch the village children playing hockey. My annual visit was all too short and I can't wait to return next year.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    In the 9th book in the series Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is a troubled guy: his best homicide detectives have been transferred out of his squad and he's been saddled with a bunch of lazy losers; his former mentee Lt. Jean-Guy Beavoir is not speaking to him and is once again abusing prescription drugs; he's still trying to ferret out corrupt individuals in the Sûreté du Québec (police department) and in return the powers that be want him gone; and he's landed a homicide investigation involvin In the 9th book in the series Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is a troubled guy: his best homicide detectives have been transferred out of his squad and he's been saddled with a bunch of lazy losers; his former mentee Lt. Jean-Guy Beavoir is not speaking to him and is once again abusing prescription drugs; he's still trying to ferret out corrupt individuals in the Sûreté du Québec (police department) and in return the powers that be want him gone; and he's landed a homicide investigation involving elderly Constance Oullet, the last member of the once famous Oullet quintuplets. Turns out Constance Oullet recently visited the village of Three Pines, where Gamache has good friends and where he adopted his beloved German Shepherd Henri. Gamache simultaneously investigates the Oullet murder and assembles a secret squad that retreats to Three Pines in an effort to foil an evil plot hatched by the above-mentioned corrupt individuals. The story is well-crafted and engrossing though there are some slow spots about the lives of the quints and the 'voyeur-industry' that sprang up around them. The characters are well-drawn and the residents of Three Pines are the kind of loyal friends we'd all like to have. Every book needs a light side and there's an endearing scene where Henri (the dog) falls in love with Rose (the duck). All of Gamache's determined activity leads to an excellent, exciting conclusion. A good mystery. You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot....

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nicole~

    "And a man's foes shall be they of his own household." - Matthew 10:36 It's Christmas time when Constance Pineault comes to Three Pines to visit her friend, Myrna. She's bowled over by the bucolic village and its people. The atmosphere is beatific, she's impressed by the warmth of the village crowd with whom she would not normally have associated. Four days later, she's found dead in her home, apparently murdered. But, Constance Pineault was not her true name; she had a secret past - a past so se "And a man's foes shall be they of his own household." - Matthew 10:36 It's Christmas time when Constance Pineault comes to Three Pines to visit her friend, Myrna. She's bowled over by the bucolic village and its people. The atmosphere is beatific, she's impressed by the warmth of the village crowd with whom she would not normally have associated. Four days later, she's found dead in her home, apparently murdered. But, Constance Pineault was not her true name; she had a secret past - a past so sensational, it might well reveal her murderer. After attending a Christmas office party, Audrey Villeneuve drives to Champlain Bridge and jumps to her death, leaving a husband and young children to grieve. There's no suicide note to explain her decision to end her life, nothing to signify the despair that would drive her to suicide at such festive times. Who hurt you once/ so far beyond repair/ that you would greet each overture/ with curling lip? Chief Inspector Gamache is extremely concerned this Christmas season as his homicide department is under "reconstruction", being "gutted, bastardized" and Gamache himself to be transferred out. His investigations into the deaths are hampered by lack of staff and trustworthy colleagues. There is corruption within the Sûreté, and loyalties are divided. Tension and distrust mount between Gamache and Chief Superintendent Sylvain Francoeur, who hinders Gamache's every move. The smell of merde drives Gamache to make drastic decisions from which there is no turning back. Then shall forgiven and forgiving meet again/ or will it be, as always was, / too late? As I'm introduced to Gamache, I get visions of Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot, of old world grace and charm, eloquence, brilliant intuitiveness, and ingrained old fashioned manners. Gamache, in the dangerous profession of dealing with violent crime, where a second's delay could mean the difference between life and death, would take the time to inquire most genteelly: "May I use your phone, please?" Indeed, he has manners - anachronistic as they may seem - they prove to be a unique and pleasant quality. His passion as a law enforcer is also mixed with deep caring for his town of Three Pines and its eccentric group of people, some of whom have long been his dear friends. I'm not acquainted with the reasons for the disastrous events that lead to the rift and hatred between he and his ex- second- in -command Jean-Guy Beauvoir, a man he previously hoped would become his daughter's husband, but in one remembered scene (I guess it occurred in the previous novel) when he thought Jean- Guy was dying, Gamache kissed him on the forehead and said, "I love you." This was extremely touching. It, for no other reason (although there were other reasons), made me want to read more Gamache novels. This was my first Louise Penny novel and therefore the first encounter with Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté de Québec, the main character in Penny's award winning whodunnit series, centered around the pastoral village of Three Pines. Penny lucid writing has been compared to Agatha Christie; Gamache to Poirot. Ms. Penny's reply to that was she was aiming for Inspector Maigret of Georges Simenon's acclaimed mystery series. I can see that, too. Read Oct, 2013

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    I just now finished reading How the Light Gets In, and I am spent. My emotions have survived a roller coaster ride that has taken me to the dark edge of despair to the bright light of hope, and then they have been flipped over and over again. If you have read the previous eight books of this series, then you have already fallen in love with Armand Gamache and his supporting cast of characters, many of whom live in the fiction world's most beloved village of Three Pines. And, because of that love I just now finished reading How the Light Gets In, and I am spent. My emotions have survived a roller coaster ride that has taken me to the dark edge of despair to the bright light of hope, and then they have been flipped over and over again. If you have read the previous eight books of this series, then you have already fallen in love with Armand Gamache and his supporting cast of characters, many of whom live in the fiction world's most beloved village of Three Pines. And, because of that love, there is nothing for it but to become immersed in this current story to the point of feeling all the anguish and joy that it contains for your favorite characters. I not only read the story, I lived it. Number eight in the series, The Beautiful Mystery, left reader with a troubling cliff hanger. Inspector Jean-Guy Beauvoir had returned to his pain pill addiction with a good hard push from a manipulating Chief Superintendent Francoeur. Chief Inspector Gamache had sent Jean Guy back to Quebec in hopes that Beauvoir would get help. In How the Light Gets In, the suspense of that outcome is answered in the beaten-down, pill-popping form of Gamache's once second-in-command. Now working for Francouer, Jean-Guy has turned against Gamache and the two no longer speak. Gamache's crack homicide unit has slowly been dismantled by Francoeur, leaving only Inspector Isabelle Lacoste to help Gamache amidst new, untrained, and disloyal team members. But, Three Pines is blessedly the same peaceful village removed from the corruption and turmoil of the world outside its isolated valley. Gamache is called to Three Pines by Myrna Landers, who owns the local bookstore, to investigate the disappearance of a friend from Montreal who was overdue for her arrival in the village for a Christmas visit. When a late arrival turns into a murder, Gamache begins to unravel a back story of national interest, but he is able to contain its secrecy. The deeper, more distressing problem/mystery with which Gamache must deal and try to unravel is what the corrupt Francoeur and his team are up to, a matter that threatens to involve and destroy all that Gamache holds dear, even his safe haven of Three Pines. There is a ticking clock that must be stopped, but it must first be discovered who is the puppeteer holding the strings and what is the means by which the final blow will be struck. Louise Penny has accomplished what I thought impossible, a story that continually disturbed me and, yet, a story I absolutely embraced with complete enthusiasm. She can combine the terrible with the heart-warming better than any other author. The inhabitants of Three Pines--Clara, Myrna, Gabri, Olivier, Ruth and her duck Rosa--along with Gamache and his circle of friends and family--Reine-Marie, Annie, Jean-Guy, Isabelle, Yvette, Therese, and Jerome--are so much more than characters in a book. They are friends we are privileged to visit and from whom we glean hope, not only in their world, but ours, too. The quote by Leonard Cohen upon which the title of the book is taken conveys that hope perfectly and is yet another gift from this book. "There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in."

  20. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    I can't believe it. I just can't. But here it is: I'm done. I'm done with Three Pines. After 8 novels mostly set in this lovely remote Quebec village, interesting characters and storylines, it was looking as if Louse Penny couldn't lose me if she tried. If you read my review for her previous book, The Beautiful Mystery, you may remember I cut into Nancy Pearl, a well known US Librarian and book reviewer/recommender. I took her to task on the comment she made about this series, how the setting in T I can't believe it. I just can't. But here it is: I'm done. I'm done with Three Pines. After 8 novels mostly set in this lovely remote Quebec village, interesting characters and storylines, it was looking as if Louse Penny couldn't lose me if she tried. If you read my review for her previous book, The Beautiful Mystery, you may remember I cut into Nancy Pearl, a well known US Librarian and book reviewer/recommender. I took her to task on the comment she made about this series, how the setting in Three Pines was "cloying" (I don't recall how many books she was into the series at that point). I couldn't have disagreed more. Each time I picked up a new Penny novel, to be once again in the village was again and again a comfort for me. Until now. Cloying? Jesus. If only it was just that. I still can't believe how this novel annoyed me on so many levels. I'm going to have to hide some of these behind spoiler tags. How did How The Light Gets In annoy me? Let me count the ways: It's early morning in Three Pines. A visitor wakes at 6am after an overnight snowfall and goes to the window. There's Olivier already out shoveling walkways, and has totally cleared off her car. Aaaaw. And there's Gabri, out delivering coffee and bagels to the villagers who can't make it out to the Bistro. Oh, and he's shoveling off everyone's porches to boot. Give me a break. Gamache returns to his B & B room at 12:30am, after telling Gabri earlier in the evening he was ok, didn't need anything to eat, and Gabri has an early morning. Yet, in his room are two ham sandwiches, cookies, and hot chocolate. Aaaaw. This, yes, cloying behaviour of the villagers was running so rampant as to be nauseating. At any given point I was expecting a unicorn to come prancing out of the woods. Penny's annoying habit of throwing brief French words into dialogue. Look, most of these characters are francophones. They are obviously speaking French to one another, so what is the point of throwing in a "Oui" or "C'est ca"? Seriously. (view spoiler)[ How long did the Getting Internet to the Village activities take? Seemed like 200 pages. Holy crap, Louise. Get on with it. (hide spoiler)] Poetry. My God, I hate poetry. This novel innundates the reader with it. Over and over with the same damn quotes. And in what world is everyone, and I mean everyone in the area, digging poetry and making it soooooo relevant to the case at hand. Everyone in this story seems so annoyingly refined with their loves of poetry, classical music, and art. God, LET ME OUT!!! (view spoiler)[ About the one of the plotlines. Really? You expect me to buy into the fact that companies can be awarded contracts for MAJOR bridge and road maintenance and the work doesn't get done but hundreds of millions exchange hands, and NO ONE NOTICES THE WORK NOT DONE? Hello...taxpayers? Municipal politicians? Journalists? Come on. Oh, and yeah...for the crescendo, the grand plan: Blow up a bridge with bombs and then blame the government for poor maintenance so the people will finally vote Quebec out of Canada and you can be King of Quebec. Yeah: no one will blame THE BOMBS. Seriously, Louise? (hide spoiler)] (view spoiler)[ The whole business of the team trying to save files while at the other end, the bad guys are erasing them. This went on for a while. Maybe I'll give Louise a pass on this one. I'm an IT guy, in one of the most advanced and secure environments in the country. Do you know how long it takes to delete a bunch of files? The time it takes to type: rm -rf And these guys would have had backups so any hesitation to do this would have been stupid. (hide spoiler)] (view spoiler)[ For all the work and effort and RISK of gaining access to the Surete's system. This could all have been avoided had Jerome the arse mentioned the Premier in the first place. They risked everything to find out what Jerome already knew. WTF? (hide spoiler)] The villagers are so selflessly protective of the Surete. To the point they're risking their lives. Yes, it's getting annoying. So senior Surete officers need to get to Three Pines pronto. But no one seems to know exactly where this tiny village exists. Hmm...let's see, somewhere south of Montreal, north of Vermont, ummm.... THERE HAVE ONLY BEEN NINE FREAKING MURDERS THERE IN AS MANY YEARS. And, this, la piece de resistance: (view spoiler)[ And so, at the end, all is well. Jean-Guy has married Annie, and at the reception he dances. With Gamache. Yes. With. Gamache. And resisting to urge to LAY HIS HEAD ON HIS SHOULDER. Jesus Christ. Full disclosure: My stepson is gay and happily married to his partner. They kissed and danced at their wedding. It was very nice. This is what gay dudes do. NOT STRAIGHT ONES. (hide spoiler)] And there you have it. I am dumbfounded at the 4.41 rating (the highest in the series) for this novel. Is this a case of familiarity breeds contempt? Perhaps. Perhaps there's just something wrong with me. But I'll have you know that while it pained me to shoot down a work by the lovely Ms Penny, I have to be completely honest with how I feel. And I feel I won't be reading more of this series for a long, long time, if at all. One of the biggest reading disappointments I've ever had. (The quint plotline barely saves this novel from a one-star review. But I'm rounding down.)

  21. 5 out of 5

    LJ

    First Sentence: Pandora was still pretty. A suspected suicide is found at the base of the Champlain Bridge. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is still dealing with the forces at the highest level of the Sûreté du Québec set on destroying his career. He is without his college and friend Jean-Guy Beauvoir, yet determined to learn what is the motive. A trip to Three Pines is prompted when Gamache receives a call of Myrna, owner of the used bookstore. An acquaintance of hers had visited and was due back First Sentence: Pandora was still pretty. A suspected suicide is found at the base of the Champlain Bridge. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is still dealing with the forces at the highest level of the Sûreté du Québec set on destroying his career. He is without his college and friend Jean-Guy Beauvoir, yet determined to learn what is the motive. A trip to Three Pines is prompted when Gamache receives a call of Myrna, owner of the used bookstore. An acquaintance of hers had visited and was due back for Christmas but hadn’t returned or been heard from. These three seemingly disparate threads come to be one of Gamache’s most dangerous cases of his life. It is not easy to describe the images that go through the mind of a phobic, yet Ms. Penny does and does it brilliantly. That is just the beginning of another book by this incomparable author. There are some who mistakenly classify Ms. Penny’s books as “cozies.” They are not. They are multi-layered character studies. Even though set in the seemingly idyllic town of Three Pines, her stories reinforce the fact that darkness can intrude anywhere. Penny’s characters are wonderful. They are not perfect people but ones which are very human, with strengths, weaknesses, faults, and enormous depths. Ruth is a literary treasure. Gamache is a man of integrity and principle; someone to be admired and exemplified yet with blind spots of his own. The town of Three Pines is a character onto itself. It may be imaginary, yet the town and its residents, are brought to life. Her descriptions are evocative…”But this was the snow of her childhood. Joyful, playful, bright and clean. The more the merrier. It was a toy.” At the same time, there is a sense of plaintiveness here as well…”Why do decent young men and women become bullies? Why do soldiers dream of being heroes but end up abusing prisoners and shooting civilians?...Because everyone else does…Corruption and brutality is modeled and expected and rewarded.” That’s only one example of Ms. Penny’s voice and superb dialogue. She is one of those rare authors whose writing often compels you to read it aloud to others, both because of its excellence and its message. Why do I quote so much of her work? How could I even begin to express things as perfectly? The multi-threaded plot has a complexity that gives real depth to the story. There were a couple instances where I thought I’d caught an inconsistency or wondered whether something could have been done another way, only to realize one should always trust Ms. Penny as her choices are the exact right ones. There are unexpected, powerful twists, but never done in a way that seems manipulative. At times, the protagonist is as surprised as the reader. There is tension, drama and tremendous suspense. Ms. Penny, in an interview for the television series, made reference to..."these books are love letters to where I live, to the village I live in, to the people I live with..." I don't think she realized how much they would also become love letters to those of us who love her books. “How the Light Gets In” is an excellent story of contrasts and the question of good overcoming evil; of light and darkness. This may be Ms. Penny’s best book yet, although we’re talking in minute comparisons of excellence from her previous books. However, this is not where a new reader should start the series. Although each book could stand on its own, the entire series should really be considered as a whole and begun at the first book. HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN (Pol Proc-CI Armand Gamache-Canada-Contemp) - Ex Penny, Louise - 9th in series Minotaur Books, 2011

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    If this is your first Louise Penny, put it down! Go back, start with Still Life, and enjoy this delectable series before you read this book. This is the crescendo, #9 in the series. The intelligent, competent, thoroughly civilized and compassionate Armand Gamache is on the trail of the murderer of the last surviving Quebec Quintuplet, Marie-Constance who was in her seventies. He is also about to close in on corruption in the highest reaches of the Surete de Quebec where he is a Chief Investigat If this is your first Louise Penny, put it down! Go back, start with Still Life, and enjoy this delectable series before you read this book. This is the crescendo, #9 in the series. The intelligent, competent, thoroughly civilized and compassionate Armand Gamache is on the trail of the murderer of the last surviving Quebec Quintuplet, Marie-Constance who was in her seventies. He is also about to close in on corruption in the highest reaches of the Surete de Quebec where he is a Chief Investigator. And then, of course another suicide?/murder? off the Champlain Bridge into Montreal captures his attention. We are treated to a sojourn in the Eden of the mystery genre, Three Pines, with it's enchanting entourage of locals. Woven into the plots is a fascinating story of cyber-sleuthing. And Jean-Luc Beauvoir, Armand's estranged second in command, is back. What could be a better way to spend your summer holiday!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Stacy

    A wonderful mystery/suspense novel. It took me a while to "read" (this was an audiobook), through no fault of the book.... I am new to audiobooks, so I would listen to a cd, a few days would pass and I would forget what had happened and would have to start over... and over.... and over. But it was well worth it because the story is VERY good. If you like mysteries, I would definitely recommend it. (and I am going to keep at audiobooks, lol to become a better "audial" reader). Inspector Gamache ha A wonderful mystery/suspense novel. It took me a while to "read" (this was an audiobook), through no fault of the book.... I am new to audiobooks, so I would listen to a cd, a few days would pass and I would forget what had happened and would have to start over... and over.... and over. But it was well worth it because the story is VERY good. If you like mysteries, I would definitely recommend it. (and I am going to keep at audiobooks, lol to become a better "audial" reader). Inspector Gamache has been called to the little, not-on-the-map village of Three Pines because Myrna's friend Constance was supposed to come to visit for Christmas. Constance is elderly and come to find out is a Ouellet (pronounced sort of like "Wee-lay) quints (that author Louise Penny says was inspired by the real Dionne quints -- 2 of the real ones are still living). Of the Ouellet quints, Constance is the last surviving sister and is missing. Inspector Gamache unravels a sordid tale involving the tragic family... (no spoilers here!) Meanwhile, Inspector Gamache has also been trying to figure out what the heck is going on with his department that he presides over. All of his police have been transferred out by higher-ups and it seems as if one or more of his superiors is trying to get him to quit. They are getting at him in anyway they can to effect him-- getting his ex-son-in-law addicted to drugs (who he looks at like a son), to monitoring him, even tracking his movements, but it is because they are afraid of him. A year earlier he had foiled a plot to destroy a large dam that would have created untold damage and loss of life, and they were afraid that he would discover not only that they were behind it, but why they wanted to do it and what they had planned to do next, which was worse. They were also afraid that he would uncover their decades of corruption and misappropriation of government funds and the corruption went very high up the chain of command indeed. I won't tell anymore so as not to ruin it for anyone, I will just say that I was on the edge of my seat until the very end. I liked the way the narrator (Ralph Cosham) told the story... you felt as if you were there with Inspector Gamache. His inflections in the different character's tones, etc.-- I really felt as if I knew each of the characters to some degree. I was amazed to learn at the end of the book, in an interview between the author and the narrator, that he NEVER reads the book ahead of time-- he is reading it cold as it is being recorded. He has an amazing knack for making a story come to life. I won this book in a giveaway and am ever so glad I did! I so much enjoyed it!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Obsidian

    Well that was a bust. This entire book from beginning to end just felt lazy. I rather Penny had written a one off with Gamache trying to take down the evil doers and we could then get a full fledged mystery next time. Instead we had Gamache and company half assing a murder investigation while Gamache and others (Yvette Nichol, Jerome Brunel, Therese Brunel) go to take down the evil empire. Seriously. I needed some Star Wars music for half of this book since the evil doers (Sylvain Francoeur and ot Well that was a bust. This entire book from beginning to end just felt lazy. I rather Penny had written a one off with Gamache trying to take down the evil doers and we could then get a full fledged mystery next time. Instead we had Gamache and company half assing a murder investigation while Gamache and others (Yvette Nichol, Jerome Brunel, Therese Brunel) go to take down the evil empire. Seriously. I needed some Star Wars music for half of this book since the evil doers (Sylvain Francoeur and others) were over the top evil doers. I just have no words for the IQ points I lost while reading this book. To top it off, we get a resolution to the murder mystery via a letter that Gamache gives to Myrna. So even Penny didn't really give a damn about the murder. In "How the Light Gets In" Louise Penny's ninth Chief Inspector Armand Gamache book, we have Gamache at a crossroads in his career. Still reeling from freaking Jean Guy deserting him after the events of the last book (see "The Beautiful Mystery"), Gamache is also dealing with Francoeur breaking up Gamache's homicide unit by sending Gamache's people away to other departments. Gamache appears to be a broken man and is doing what he can to root out the evil conspiracy that is still affecting the Suerte. When Myrna calls Gamache because a friend of her's does not turn up to celebrate Christmas like she said she would, Gamache realizes that Three Pines would be the perfect place (it's not) to hide some friends of his for the final reckoning between him and Francouer. Sorry, I am just rolling my eyes here as I type. When Gamache starts looking into Myrna's missing friend, she turns up dead (murdered actually) and it leads Gamache into investigating a set of famous Quints. I realized after the fact when someone told me, that Penny used the real life Dionne quintuplets and their lives as inspiration. I would have loved to read that I initially thought we were getting with Gamache and the rest of Three Pines looking at these women who were famous just because they were born as quintuplets and what harm was done by forcing them to be popular. What harm was done with them being away from their parents. I started to feel resentful every time the book went back into the conspiracy that Gamache was investigating. So take all of that and let's look at the characters. I don't even recognize anyone anymore. I swear that Gamache and Jean Guy would have been better off as two lovers instead of a supervisor and subordinate. Jean Guy is still going on about Gamache leaving him during the raid (that we have heard about since book freaking 6) and blaming Gamache for betraying him though Jean Guy would have done anything for him. He's an overly dramatic ass in all of his scenes since book #7 (Jean Guy). At one point Jean Guy pulls a damn gun on Gamache and Gamache is still worried about him. Best believe if you pull a weapon on me that I am not going to be all my poor wounded bird and be okay with you after that. Ugh this book drives me insane. Gamache still treats Agent Nichol condescending as hell. I don't know what it is, but he's entire way of interacting with her is rude and vaguely misogynistic. I doubt Penny realized she wrote Gamache that way, but she did. Gamache is all over the place in this one. I didn't get the same feeling from him I had in other books. This Gamache was practically Dirty Harry deciding he would do whatever it took to bring down the bad guys in this one. He even gets into fights with Therese Brunel a bunch of times. Only satisfying part was Therese knocking him down a peg or two. I still want to know where Gamache's wife was? She was missing in action for a good 90 percent of the book. I guess out of harm's way, but if that was the case, why was Annie just driving around still mooning over Jean Guy? Oh you finally get to know who leaked the video of the raid. I was not surprised since I guessed who did it in book #6 and just rolled my eyes about it. The writing was repetitive. I hope you like reading about Ruth's terrible ass poem in reference to one of the Quints, you will read it a lot. I hope you like Jean Guy just whining for most of the book, cause that happened a lot too. You also get a lot of Jerome being 'scared' and the name 'Arnot' is said about a billion times. The flow was awful. We don't spend nearly enough time on the murder mystery and we just get a total BS ending regarding that anyway. When the timeline jumps ahead several months it's not even mentioned. There were so many plot holes with the murder mystery I don't even want to get into it here since this review is long enough. Same issue I had with the damn conspiracy. The setting of Three Pines was a miss for me in this one. We are missing so many people who have been in other books. What happened to the couple running that hotel? They were not even mentioned in this one. We have Clara, Ruth (God I hated Ruth in this one), Ruth's duck (don't ask), Myrna, Olivier, Gabriel, and just a few other Three Pines residence. I just didn't even get why Gamache thought it was a great idea to put the entire village in harm's way. The ending was a joke and a half. We get a wedding of a couple I was actively rooting against. And I can't with the BS redemption of Jean Guy. Someone explain how in the world he would not have (rightfully) been pushed out of the police force. The only good thing I can say about this book is that women in the end, ended up taking over the Suerte which made me happy. I would have loved a book that followed them after this and this could have been the last Gamache book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Penny Watson

    So, I read it. HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN by Louise Penny, Inspector Gamache Series #9. After waiting patiently for many months, following a heart-wrenching cliffhanger at the end of THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY, I finally got to dive back into this captivating world. And let me tell you, it was worth the wait. And let me tell you WHY it was worth the wait. Trust. Trust in Gamache--steady, gracious, loyal, brilliant inspector. Trust in Louise Penny--amazingly-talented author who elevates the common mystery into so So, I read it. HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN by Louise Penny, Inspector Gamache Series #9. After waiting patiently for many months, following a heart-wrenching cliffhanger at the end of THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY, I finally got to dive back into this captivating world. And let me tell you, it was worth the wait. And let me tell you WHY it was worth the wait. Trust. Trust in Gamache--steady, gracious, loyal, brilliant inspector. Trust in Louise Penny--amazingly-talented author who elevates the common mystery into something incredible. Trust in the story arc. That it won't get lost, go too far, string out the reader and leave us hanging. Again. Trust in Three Pines. A magical town in Canada, with secrets and fears and love and steaming cups of hot chocolate. And friendship. And courage. Once again, Penny has woven two storylines together...the mystery and the overlying story arc which has haunted Gamache for a very long time. The story arc that has built so much tension and worry for the readers, we wondered how Penny would ever resolve this conflict without devastation. Without death. Without tragedy. Well, I think that Louise Penny has a romantic soul. Because she has managed to wrap up a seemingly impossible problem in the most wonderful, hopeful, optimistic...and romantic way possible. And I'm not talking about romance between a man and woman. I'm talking about romance in the larger sense of the word. Someone who believes in goodness and light and happy endings. To be honest, I almost felt the mystery portion of this book to be a bit of a distraction. The overlying story arc was so powerful and intense, it overshadowed everything else. But the mystery also mirrored the same issues of lies, deceit, greed, and power that play into the larger picture. I finished this book with tears on my face, and utter satisfaction. And two other things that always happen when I finish one of her books. One, an appreciation for simple moments and the simple things in life. The beauty of fresh snow, the lusciousness of home-made stew, a feather mattress on a bed, sharing a glass of scotch with a friend. There is something so very appealing and lovely about Three Pines, it inspires me no end. And finally, as a writer, I always finish one of Louise Penny's books and sigh with pleasure. And a newly found vigor to hone my craft, tell a story, become the best writer I can be. I really don't care if you love romance, YA, literary fiction, biographies, poetry, horror. If you have never read a mystery in your life, I implore you to embrace Penny's Gamache series. STILL LIFE is #1. Penny has created an incredibly seductive world, filled with beautiful prose, quiet moments, stunning revelations, and a reminder of the strength of the human spirit. Grade: A Blissfully, blissfully happy, Penelope

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jaanaki

    It has been a year since I completed Louise Penny's " A Beautiful Mystery", the predecessor of this wonderful book. I kept avoiding this book because I could not accept the fact that Jean Guy Beauvoir abandons Gamache and a Gamache mystery without Beauvoir at his side is unacceptable to me. Gamache and Beauvoir are like two sides of the same coin,one does not exist without the other aka Holmes and Watson . Penny's success lies in the fact that she has beautifully brought out the emotional bondin It has been a year since I completed Louise Penny's " A Beautiful Mystery", the predecessor of this wonderful book. I kept avoiding this book because I could not accept the fact that Jean Guy Beauvoir abandons Gamache and a Gamache mystery without Beauvoir at his side is unacceptable to me. Gamache and Beauvoir are like two sides of the same coin,one does not exist without the other aka Holmes and Watson . Penny's success lies in the fact that she has beautifully brought out the emotional bonding and relationship that detective and sidekick have which has never been taken seriously in other detective novels.Would Watson die for Holmes or feel jealous whenever Holmes tries to be kind to someone else in the same vein?Does he consider Holmes as a father figure like how Beauvoir looks at Gamache ? Gamache at one point says that he himself constantly feels Beauvoir,s presence with him even though he is not there and he is unable to bear not the pain but the weight of the emotion. The entire book is based on Leonard Cohen's lines from the Anthem , " There is a crack in everything and that is how the light gets in ". How true, that .The book starts with cracks.There is a crack in Gamache's relationship with Beauvoir and Beauvoir's relationship with Anne .Gamache's department has been split.He is no longer as strong as he used to be. And yet, it is through these cracks that the light enters and all turns out well at the end. This story is in a sense a completion of a story arc that has been developing from the previous books. This is a book to be savored word by word. Penny has a knack for describing human relationships, their weaknesses, interactions and frailties. Not a single word is wasted and no line is unnecessary in the entire story. She shows us that heroes can be found in unlikely places even in the form of a demented poet running around with a duck , people have to be sometimes rescued even from themselves and love and patience conquers all. My best Gamache till date.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tanja Berg

    Rating 5* out of 5. The first books this year - and it's the end of September - to have me bawl my eyes out. That happens about once a year, with books. It's a rare treat. I'm still blubbering. One of the reasons, of course, is that I've come such a long way with these characters. I know and love them so well. For once, this was truly mind-blowing. The politics wasn't annoying, it was the decisive part of the story. On his way out to Three Pines to interview Myrna, who's long-ago therapist patien Rating 5* out of 5. The first books this year - and it's the end of September - to have me bawl my eyes out. That happens about once a year, with books. It's a rare treat. I'm still blubbering. One of the reasons, of course, is that I've come such a long way with these characters. I know and love them so well. For once, this was truly mind-blowing. The politics wasn't annoying, it was the decisive part of the story. On his way out to Three Pines to interview Myrna, who's long-ago therapist patient Constance did not show up for a visit as planned, he passes an accident on a bridge. A woman, Audrey Villeneuve, is being pulled out of the waters. Dead. Presumed suicide. Constance also turns up dead, and it is quickly revealed that she's the last of the famous Quebec quintuplets. Born to a barren woman during the Depression and deemed a miracle. She was finally about to open up to someone and killed as a result. Armand Gamache is finished in the Sûreté. His department has been gutted and his agents dispersed into other departments. The Superindentend Francoeur is waiting to put the last nail in Gamache's coffin, by psyching-out and ruining Inspector Beauvoir, the previous second in command. When Gamache and his last few friends hack into some restricted files though, the result is surprising. The long road of politics comes to a head in this book. Can Beauvoir be saved or his he too deeply mired in drugs for that to happen? Anne Gamache has already thrown him out, demanding he clean up. His heart is cold in regards to Armand Gamache. All the threads finally tie together. This is the climax of all the previous books and unfinished threads. There is no way to fully understand this book unless you've been with it from the start. So if you haven't read Louise Penny's previous books - do so first. This book is most definitely worth waiting for. The final chapter. I'll go and cry some more now.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ware

    For some time time Chief Inspector Armand Gamache has been on the outs with his department leadership. The fact that the homicide unit was universally recognized as the finest in Canada did not immunize him from the methodical reassignment of his most trusted investigators to other assignments in the Sûreté du Québec. Although he has found himself surrounded by spies and lackeys, yet Gamache remains outwardly calm and unperturbed. Gamache's enemies attempt to get his estranged aide Jean-Guy Beau For some time time Chief Inspector Armand Gamache has been on the outs with his department leadership. The fact that the homicide unit was universally recognized as the finest in Canada did not immunize him from the methodical reassignment of his most trusted investigators to other assignments in the Sûreté du Québec. Although he has found himself surrounded by spies and lackeys, yet Gamache remains outwardly calm and unperturbed. Gamache's enemies attempt to get his estranged aide Jean-Guy Beauvoir to slip over the edge, which with Beauvoir's damaged mind and body should be easy pickings. Through all of this the Chief Inspector endures. The murder of an elderly woman, once one of the most famous people not only in Canada but in the world, sends Gamache to an isolated town where his most trusted lieutenants join him. It is there in the deep north that the real work begins. This novel is a testament to the art of great genre fiction. Like all top mystery writers, Penny knows that the themes are as important as the plot. Here the themes are about loyalty, love, ambition, and deception. The plot develops slowly and then thunders through a tiny village in Quebec where for an instant, it is the most important place in the world.

  29. 5 out of 5

    ☮Karen

    More than any other in the series, this book rehashes multiple plots from the older books. Things you thought were over and done before, in fact are not. That can be a good thing if you are interested in learning more about those stories, or a bad thing if you feel it becomes plodding. I wavered. There were some questions from past books I was happy to see covered, and there were lots of details on other former plotlines that became repetitive. But then ... POW!! A curveball is thrown at us, and More than any other in the series, this book rehashes multiple plots from the older books. Things you thought were over and done before, in fact are not. That can be a good thing if you are interested in learning more about those stories, or a bad thing if you feel it becomes plodding. I wavered. There were some questions from past books I was happy to see covered, and there were lots of details on other former plotlines that became repetitive. But then ... POW!! A curveball is thrown at us, and the intrigue goes up tenfold. It ends with resolutions of multiple stories, except will Gamache be retiring, or not? Following my audio version, there was an interesting conversation between Louise Penny and Ralph Cosham, the voice of Gamache. Did you know he never read the books prior to doing his narrations? He thought it would diminish the authenticity if his initial reactions weren't recorded. A great talent who will be missed.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Wyndy

    Aaahh . . . how comforting it is to be back in Three Pines, reading my 9th book in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series. Three authors quickly come to mind who have never disappointed me: Kent Haruf, Willa Cather and, oddly enough, Louise Penny. I love this series - the gourmet food, the relaxing B&B, Ruth and her pet duck and her Scotch and her F-bombs, the snow, the skating, the ingenious murders, and of course . . . the Chief Inspector. I space these books out carefully because event Aaahh . . . how comforting it is to be back in Three Pines, reading my 9th book in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series. Three authors quickly come to mind who have never disappointed me: Kent Haruf, Willa Cather and, oddly enough, Louise Penny. I love this series - the gourmet food, the relaxing B&B, Ruth and her pet duck and her Scotch and her F-bombs, the snow, the skating, the ingenious murders, and of course . . . the Chief Inspector. I space these books out carefully because eventually they will end. Penny always weaves a factual, historical thread through her novels, and the murder mystery here is loosely based on the real-life Dionne Quintuplets who made history in Ontario in 1934 for being the first quintuplets to survive infancy. In How The Light Gets In, Caroline Pineault Ouellet, the last surviving Ouellet quint, is murdered while packing her suitcase for a return visit to Three Pines. Gamache is given the assignment and settles in for an extended visit to the village to investigate the who and the why. Weaving through the murder investigation is the side story of Gamache's escalating feud with Chief Superintendent Francoeur and the ongoing personal crises of Inspector Jean-Guy Beauvoir. Without spilling any beans, I will say that this book ends with a huge bang. Another intelligent and entertaining 4-star novel from Louise Penny. "There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in."

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