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The Madness of Crowds: Book summary and reviews of The Madness of Crowds by Louise Penny

The Madness of Crowds

Chief Inspector Gamache #17

by Louise Penny

The Madness of Crowds by Louise Penny X
The Madness of Crowds by Louise Penny
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Book Summary

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache returns to Three Pines in #1 New York Times bestseller Louise Penny's latest spellbinding novel.

You're a coward.

Time and again, as the New Year approaches, that charge is leveled against Armand Gamache.

It starts innocently enough.

While the residents of the Québec village of Three Pines take advantage of the deep snow to ski and toboggan, to drink hot chocolate in the bistro and share meals together, the Chief Inspector finds his holiday with his family interrupted by a simple request.

He's asked to provide security for what promises to be a non-event. A visiting Professor of Statistics will be giving a lecture at the nearby university.

While he is perplexed as to why the head of homicide for the Sûreté du Québec would be assigned this task, it sounds easy enough. That is until Gamache starts looking into Professor Abigail Robinson and discovers an agenda so repulsive he begs the university to cancel the lecture.

They refuse, citing academic freedom, and accuse Gamache of censorship and intellectual cowardice. Before long, Professor Robinson's views start seeping into conversations. Spreading and infecting. So that truth and fact, reality and delusion are so confused it's near impossible to tell them apart.

Discussions become debates, debates become arguments, which turn into fights. As sides are declared, a madness takes hold.

Abigail Robinson promises that, if they follow her, ça va bien aller. All will be well. But not, Gamache and his team know, for everyone.

When a murder is committed it falls to Armand Gamache, his second-in-command Jean-Guy Beauvoir, and their team to investigate the crime as well as this extraordinary popular delusion.

And the madness of crowds.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[B]rilliant...Seamlessly integrating debates about scientific experimentation and morality into a fair-play puzzle, Penny excels at placing her characters in challenging ethical quandaries. This author just goes from strength to strength." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

This information about The Madness of Crowds was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

Write your own review

Trish

Timely and thought provoking
In my opinion, Penny tackles a variety of topics - would be great for book club discussions.

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Author Information

Louise Penny Author Biography

Photo: Jean-Francois Bérubé

Louise Penny's first novel, Still Life, won the New Blood Dagger, Arthur Ellis, Barry, Anthony, and Dilys awards. Her second book, A Fatal Grace, won the 2007 Agatha Award for Best Novel, as did her third, The Cruelest Month. Her next, A Rule Against Murder, was a New York Times bestseller, followed by The Brutal Telling, which was a New York Times, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, and National Indie bestseller. Louise lives in a small village south of Montreal.

Pronunciation Guide: Louise Penny's website provides a wealth of interesting information about her and her books including a pronunciation guide to the characters and places referenced in her books.

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache Series (to 2020)

  1. Still Life (2005)
  2. Dead Cold (2006) aka A Fatal Grace
  3. The Cruellest ...

... Full Biography
Link to Louise Penny's Website

Other books by Louise Penny at BookBrowse
  • The Nature of the Beast jacket
  • The Long Way Home jacket

17 more...

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