If you are a fan of mystery books you have probably heard of Louise Penny and her Inspector Gamache series. And if you are about to start reading Louise Penny’s works, you are at the right place. Here, in this post, you will find the extensive list of Louise Penny books in order along with synopses of all the books.
But before we get into all of that, let us provide you with some short background information about the Canadian author who had 14 New York Times, Mail and Globe #1 best-selling books published.
Who Is Louise Penny? A Short Biography of the Author
Born and raised in Toronto, Louise Penny was introduced to books, crime fiction in particular, by her mother. She grew up reading the works of some of the greatest crime and mystery writers of all times – Agatha Christie, Michael Innes, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Georges Simenon. Despite being an avid reader and having the desire to write, writing wasn’t Louise Penny’s first choice.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in Applied Arts (Radio and Television), she spent 18 years of her life working as a journalist and radio host, before pursuing her childhood passion for writing. However, when she finally did decide to write (in her 40s), she made her mark in the field with her very first book.
Louise got married to Michael Whitehead, who was the head of Hematology at Montreal Children’s Hospital, at the age of 35. A courageous, thoughtful, kind, and generous man; he, according to Penny, was the inspiration behind the character ‘Armand Gamache’. Ever since Michael’s death in 2016, Louise Penny has been living near a small village in south of Montreal with her dog Bishop.
Commonly known as Inspector Gamache books, here are the gripping and thrilling tales of crime and murder that Louis Penny has been known for:
Still Life (2005)
The book that turned out to be the beginning of a 15-book series set around the life of Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, Still Life begins with a suspicious death in the peaceful village of Three Pines.
When Jane Neal was found dead in the woods, the people of Three Pines were convinced that it happened due to a hunting accident. However, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, the head of the homicide department of Quebec’s provincial police force, who came along with his team to investigate the case, smells something foul.
Was Jane Neal’s death the result of careless bow-hunting or is there something dark lurking in the woods of Three Pines? Join Armand Gamache and his team on an exciting and terrifying journey of finding the truth.
A Fatal Grace (2007)
Residents of Three Pines need Inspector Gamache, this time to investigate the death of infamous CC de Poitiers.
What’s different about this case?
She was electrocuted in the presence of the entire village and no one saw anything!
While Inspector Gamache is trying to resolve the mystery, he doesn’t know that there is something worse coming his way.
The book has also been published with an alternative title – Dead Cold.
The Cruelest Month (2008)
Its Easter time in Three Pines and some villagers have decided to celebrate it in a different way – with a séance.
While they start excitedly at the Old Hadley House, things didn’t end the way they wanted to. One of their fellows dies, apparently due to fright. But, was it really the fear that caused his death?
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surete du Quebec is to find out. But, he doesn’t know that it won’t be as easy as it appears to be and he will have to face ghosts, of his own and others, to discover the truth.
A Rule against Murder (2009)
In this enthralling tale of crime and mystery, Inspector Gamache unexpectedly finds himself on the crime scene at Manoir Bellechasse , a luxurious and isolated inn where he and his wife had gone to celebrate their wedding anniversary. The wealthy and respectable Finney family, who had come to the same inn to remember their late father, has lost another member and Inspector Armand has many people to suspect. But, finding the culprit requires the Chief Inspector of Quebec to unearth many long- buried secrets.
An old-fashioned locked-room/drawing-room kind of murder mystery, the book will keep you hooked till the last page.
The 3rd in the series, A Rule against Murder has also been published with the title of The Murder Stone.
The Brutal Telling (2009)
The wise and intelligent Inspector Gamache returns to the Three Pines to resolve the mystery of a stranger’s murder, who was found dead in the town’s bistro.
While no one in the area seems to know the man, Inspector Gamache will have to sift through the lies to uncover the truth.
Bury Your Dead (2010)
A historian who has been trying to find the remains of Samuel de Champlain, the founder of Quebec, comes to the city, but ends up being killed.
Is there something else, a secret, buried at the Champlain’s resting place that someone wants to remain undiscovered?
Chief Inspector Gamache, who has come to the city to recover from the haunting memories of his last case, has to find out!
The Hangman (2010) – A Short Story
A novella in the Inspector Gamache series, the story revolves around the murder case of a man who was found hanging from a tree in the woods of Three Pines.
An easy read, this short book was published between the 6th and 7th parts.
A Trick of the Light (2011)
A woman’s body is found in the garden of Clara Morrow in Three Pines when she’s preparing for her solo show at the famous Musée in Montreal. While her broken neck makes it evident that she was murdered, Inspector Gamache is having a hard time finding the culprit. Even when the facts begin to expose, the Chief Inspector and his team members aren’t sure if they have uncovered the truth or is it just another trick.
The Beautiful Mystery (2012)
In the 8th book of the Globe and Mail and New York Times bestselling series, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is called to investigate the murder of a monk who belonged to Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups; a monastery no outsider has ever been allowed to enter.
In an interesting turn of events, Inspector Gamache and his partner Jean-Guy Beauvoir will find out who’s trying to ruin the peace of the monastery. But, they have to confront the demons before they could unveil the truth.
How the Light Gets In (2013)
Chief Inspector of the Quebec’s homicide department is called to Three Pines by Myrna Landers when an old friend of hers, who was to join her for Christmas, didn’t show up. Mystified and intrigued by the lady’s reluctance to reveal her friend’s name, Inspector Gamache returns to Three Pines and is surprised to find out that the missing person was once a world-famous personality. But, no one knows her except a poet named Ruth Zardo.
What happens next? Who’s behind the disappearance of this once world-famous woman?
Inspector Gamache has to go deep into the woods to find out!
The Long Way Home (2014)
Armand Gamache is now happily spending his retired life in the peaceful and beautiful village of Three Pines. But, he has to put on his detective cap once again when his neighbor, Clara Morrow, asks him to help her find his husband who didn’t show up, as promised, on their first separation anniversary.
Together with his former colleagues, Jean-Guy Beauvoir and Myrna Landers, Gamache begins a long journey to distant parts of the land to discover the unpleasant truth behind the disappearance of Myrna’s artist husband.
The Nature of the Beast (2015)
Everyone in Three Pines is shaken to the core when 9-year-old Laurent Lepage, known for telling unbelievable tales of seeing beasts and dinosaurs in the village, disappears. The search for the boy takes Armand Gamache deep into the forest where he discovers something that is connected with the crimes, betrayals, and murders of the past.
The tale of mysteries and secrets will keep you enthralled until the last page.
A Great Reckoning (2016)
What appears to be just an old map takes Armand Gamache on a frightening journey at the end of which he discovers five dead bodies –of a professor and four young cadets from Surete academy. But, things become even worse when Gamache himself is suspected of being involved in the crime.
Will he be able to clear his name and find the real culprit?
Read the book to find out!
Glass Houses (2017)
The story begins with the appearance of a strange figure in Three Pines and then his sudden appearance and discovery of a dead body.
Armand Gamache, now the Chief Superintendent of the Surete du Quebec, has to resolve the mystery to uncover the truth.
Kingdom of the Blind (2018)
In this nail-biting account of mystery and crime, Gamache goes to an abandoned farmhouse, upon invitation, only to find out that he and two other people from Three Pines have been nominated by a woman they had never met as executors of her will.
But, the story only begins here. Gamache finds out a lot more peculiar and potentially destructive things. Join Armand Gamache on his journey to saving his position and reputation.
A Better Man (2019)
The latest book in the epic thriller series from the maestro of crime fiction begins with Armand Gamache’s return to the homicide department as the head. But, he is welcomed by a number of horrid incidents – spring floods and the disappearance of a young girl.
With crisis piling upon crisis, Gamache finds it hard to deal with everything. On top of it all, he is being brutally criticized by the media.
How the wise detective deals with the surprising turn of events? You’ll have to read the book to find out!
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