STITCH LINES...... Ramblings on life as a quilter, stitcher, traveler, gardener and lover of books, cats and fine chocolate....

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

On My Bookshelf

My love for Louise Penny and her mystery novels continues to grow and grow. I last wrote about her series here when I was finishing the fifth book in her series... I am now on the tenth. This fall I have read  A Trick of the Light, The Beautiful Mystery and How the Light Gets In, and am now well into The Long Way Home. I have read a few other books in between (yes, sadly, I am way behind on reviews here) but I just cannot stay away from this series. And as I have said before, each one gets better. (With each one I keep thinking she can't possibly get any better, and she keeps proving me wrong!) My favourite of these last three is definitely How the Light Gets In. I could not read the last hundred pages fast enough, all the while not wanting to reach the end because then it would be over.  :(
Again, I won't go into detailed plot summaries here, but the same cast of characters appear in each book, Chief Inspector Gamache and other officers of the Sûreté du Québec, and the colourful villagers of  Three Pines. Penny has a wonderful ability to "grow" each distinct character and with each novel we gain more insight into their personalities, their hopes and fears, their weaknesses and insecurities.
Three Pines artist Clara Morrow is a central character in A Trick of the Light, as she is finally having her solo art show at a Montreal gallery. She is on a "high" after such a successful opening, until an old friend is found murdered in her garden the next morning...
The Beautiful Mystery is one of only several in the series so far, that is not set in Three Pines. Rather, Gamache and Beauvoir are investigating a murder in an isolated monastery, deep in Quebec's wilderness. Two dozen Gilbertine monks live there in seclusion and silence, and one of their own has been murdered... by one of their own, it seems. Despite the secluded peaceful setting, there is a great deal of conflict in this novel, conflict among the Gilbertine Order, conflict between Gamache and his superior Francoeur, and conflict within Beauvoir as he unravels with a drug dependency...
How the Light Gets In returns to Three Pines just before Christmas when villager Myrna Landers reports that an expected guest has failed to arrive for the holidays. Gamache is intrigued when Myrna seems reluctant to reveal who her guest is, and agrees to stop by her Montreal home, where he finds her body. Although her murder and true identity are the main plot line, even more riveting is what is happening to Gamache. His elite team has been decimated, his right hand man Beauvoir has turned against him, and it seems evil in the department is going to bring Gamache down. Although Penny writes each of her novels as a "stand alone" you really owe it to yourself to read them in order, as the relationships between the Sûreté officers and the conflict in their department has been steadily building and it comes to a head in this novel. You'll get a lot more out of this book if you understand how they got to this point...
Maintaining momentum in a lengthy series is not easy but Penny has no trouble keeping her readers coming back for more. I for one am hooked, and bedtime is coming earlier each night as I head upstairs with book in hand...
 
Peace,
Linda

"There's a crack in everything.. that's how the light gets in." ~ from Anthem by Leonard Cohen.
RIP Leonard

13 comments:

Vee said...

I listened to an audio book in this series and cannot, for the life of me, remember the name. I do remember that it was formulaic in that Gamanche was teaching a subordinate what to look for at a crime scene. Though it was well written, the genre is not my favorite so I did not get hooked.

Pamela Gordon said...

This sounds like a great series Linda.Is it available at Chapters?

Jennifer said...

Aren't they great stories! Armand Gamache sounds like someone who would be very interesting to sit down and chat with, preferably in the bistro at Three Pines with all the other characters swirling around.

Joyce F said...

Impossible to pick a favorite of this series! I've read them all and looking forward to the next which won't be out I don't believe until next summer.

Beverly Wood said...

I really enjoyed this series as well. I just finished her latest, A Great Reckoning. You are correct when you say they keep getting better.

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

I'm going to look for this series when I go to the paperback book exchange. Hopefully I can find the first one to give this series a try. I think the series will appeal to me. I love a good mystery.
xx, Carol

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

You know that I love this author and all of these books! They are like potato chips! heehee! I just finished a mystery by David Rosenfelt, the Andy Carpenter series and I love them too. (they are lighter and have a lot of humor) I love to read mysteries the most! Hugs, Diane

Anonymous said...

While I too love a good mystery, I see her writing as literature. Louise Penny has a wonderful way with words and her characters are charming as well as each chapter so beautifully crafted. In the Long Way Home, she makes a statement 'We are living in the wreckage of the future' and no truer words have been spoken. When I learned the result of the election stateside, her quote immediately came to mind.

Linda

Linda H said...

"Anonymous Linda", you are so right. That quote is very fitting for these times we find ourselves in. I too worry about the future, with what is happening stateside.

Sara - My Woodland Garden said...

These books do sound interesting and something both my mother and I would enjoy. They haven't been translated into Finnish yet, but it seems one can easily order them through local bookshops.
Thank you for your comment today! Fairy lights are really needed in these gloomy days. Leonard Cohen is very much missed also here.
Have a lovely weekend! Hugs!

Mary Bolton said...

My sister introduced me to this series, read them in order! she said.....Haven't been able to put them down! All the way to The Nature of the Beast. Fabulous reads.

Donna said...

Hello from Bathurst....I have just been catching up on your news from Fredericton......I am so happy for your new status as a grandmother.i also have been indulging in a Louise Penny marathon......and loving every line! I read a couple a few years ago, then couldn't find more....now, thanks to an app on my IPad ( overdrive),I borrow the ebooks from NB Libraries, so I am all caught up,except for her latest A. Great Reckoning....saving it for my Christmas list! Have a very Happy Christmas, is Noah bringing his parents home for Christmas?

Linda H said...

Donna, please call or email me. You are a No Reply Commenter, I don't have your phone number and I think your email addy has changed so I have no way to contact you. We need to have a "catch up" chat...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...