Donna T. (Tacoma, WA)
Good Mystery Series
Louise Penny is a new author for me, so I am very pleased to find her and her series of mystery novels with Chief Inspector Gamache. The plot at first appears simple with seemingly unconnected crimes. But it moves quickly to a fast paced and intricate story line. The characters are very well developed and I grew to really like the "good guys". It was like I wanted to reach thru the pages and give them a hug and say "It's OK, it will all turn out right." Which it did, and I took away a warm feeling for that lasted for several days. There are great moral questions presented here that will make for fascinating conversations at book club meetings.
Randi H. (Bronx, NY)
How the Light Gets In -- highly recommended
Author Louise Penny just keeps getting better and better. In this, the 9th book in the Inspector Gamache series, she weaves a tale of suspense that left me on the edge of my seat. The characters are richly drawn and the story drew me right in. I was unable to put the book down.
Although it would be fine to read How the Light Gets In without having read the previous books in the series, I would strongly recommend starting with book 1, Still Life. There are many sub-plots woven into the books that will deepen your appreciation of the characters and the choices they face if read from in order.
Elizabeth K. (Glenshaw, PA)
How The Light Gets In
Although I would have had a clearer picture of the plot if I had read the previous books, I immediately became engulfed into the world of Armand Gamache. The description of the village Three Pines was so vivid I could picture it all. Interwoven in the main plot was the murder of one of the elderly Ouellet quintuplets which brought to mind the lives of the Dionne quints.
I look forward to reading both the earlier and the future books of Louise Penny.
Jan B. (Portland, OR)
How the Light gets In
I am a forever fan of Chief Inspector Gamache. His thoughtfulness, and his respect for humanity won me over from the very first book.
In this ninth mystery by Louise Penny, How the Light gets In, we find that Gamache has been disempowered by his superiors, by gutting his department of all those who were trained and worked for him, with others who have no respect for Gamache or for the department they work in. Gamache keenly feels that his superiors are up to no good, and has been trying to unravel what is really going on. Because of the Christmas season, he is handed a case that is out of his jurisdiction. What looked like a possible suicide, becomes much more, and it takes Gamache to weave all the small pieces of this case with what is happening at the highest levels of his work.
This tale returns to Three Pines, where his friends do what it takes to help him even though they have no idea of what is truly at stake.
It is gripping, edge of your seat, storytelling, so give yourself time, as you won't want to put it down.
Phyllis R. (East New Market, MD)
I loved this book! It is the ninth Insp. Gamache mystery, and will be most enjoyed by regular readers. However, it is an excellent novel and could be enjoyed by first time readers. The characters are vivid and the setting memorable. Much of the novel takes place in the village of Three Pines near Montreal, a place where no electronic signals can penetrate, no cell phones, no computers. It represents the idyllic past, without intrusion from the modern world. The mystery seems to involve legendary quintuplets, but this is just a part. A complex plot against Gamache comes to fruition, as does his defense against it, with surprising allies. The outcome of this story shows that, as Penny says "Goodness exists."
Jeanne B. (Takoma Park, MD)
There is a Crack in Everything
This is a lovely book by a deeply compassionate and seasoned author. Although this was my first Inspector Gamache mystery, I had no trouble following the many plot lines from earlier books, which were deftly woven throughout the story. And her characters. They are just incandescent! My favorite: the seemingly bitter and demented old poet, Ruth, and her companion duck, Rosa. The story is tightly plotted, but Penny writes from a very emotional place. The pacing feels slow, almost contemplative at times, and she lavishes a great deal of attention on small details. This had the effect for me of dissipating any real buildup of suspense, which is why I gave the book four stars instead of five. It was still a very rewarding read.
Alice R. (Alexandria, VA)
How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny
I really enjoyed How the Light Gets In. This was the first time I had read a Chief Inspector Gamache novel. Armand Gamache is the head of the homicide division at Surete du Quebec, the police force for that Canadian province.
Being a first-time Gamache reader was no problem. Due to Louise Penny's great character development, I soon became familiar with all the characters. In How the Light Gets In there are two storylines: the first, of course, is a murder mystery; the second is about Gamache personally and the challenge(s) he is currently facing at the Surete.
A one-time world famous celebrity has been murdered. Ms. Penny expertly intertwines Gamache's investigation of this case with the problem he is having at work. His leadership is being challenged by a superior, and he has also lost his former second in command, who happens to have been his best friend and future son-in-law. His investigation will lead him to Three Pines, a small village located outside Montreal, where he has spent much time before and has many friends. Sound complicated? Well, it's not. You will soon become comfortable with Gamache, his friends and associates, and will accompany him eagerly as he not only investigates the murder, but also uncovers a sinister plot.
Mystery, action, suspense. I'm hooked. The success of a series such as this is determined by the affinity you develop with the main characters. I will be reading another Gamache novel very very soon.