Sunday, September 18, 2011

Review: A Trick of the Light: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penny

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (August 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312655452
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312655457

Product Description



"Penny has been compared to Agatha Christie [but] it sells her short. Her characters are too rich, her grasp of nuance and human psychology too firm...." --Booklist (starred review)

“Hearts are broken,” Lillian Dyson carefully underlined in a book. “Sweet relationships are dead.”

But now Lillian herself is dead. Found among the bleeding hearts and lilacs of Clara Morrow's garden in Three Pines, shattering the celebrations of Clara's solo show at the famed Musée in Montreal. Chief Inspector Gamache, the head of homicide at the Sûreté du Québec, is called to the tiny Quebec village and there he finds the art world gathered, and with it a world of shading and nuance, a world of shadow and light.  Where nothing is as it seems.  Behind every smile there lurks a sneer. Inside every sweet relationship there hides a broken heart.  And even when facts are slowly exposed, it is no longer clear to Gamache and his team if what they've found is the truth, or simply a trick of the light.

About the Author



Louise Penny, author of the New York Times bestselling Chief Inspector Gamache novels, worked as an award-winning journalist for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation before leaving to write crime fiction. Her first mystery, Still Life, was the winner of the New Blood Dagger and the Arthur Ellis, Barry, Anthony, and Dilys Awards; and was also named one of the five Mystery/Crime Novels of the Decade by Deadly Pleasures magazine. Louise went on to become the first writer ever to win the Agatha Award for Best Novel four times, as well as a second Anthony Award for The Brutal Telling and the Dilys and Arthur Ellis Awards for Bury Your Dead. Her novels  are bestsellers in the United States and Great Britain and have been translated into fourteen languages. She lives with her husband, Michael, in a small village south of Montréal where she writes, skis, and volunteers.

My Review

I have been looking forward to the release of the latest Chief Inspector Armand Gamanche Novel by Louise Penny with great anticipation and I have not been disappointed.  I was thrilled to see A Trick of the Light debut at number 4 on the New York Times Fiction Bestsellers list.  If you have not discovered this series yet then you are missing out on one of the greatest crime novelist of our time.  I read this novel as slowly as possible and savoured every word.

The village of Three Pines in the Eastern Townships of Quebec is off the beaten bath but beloved by those who know it.  I have been waiting for Penny to explore the relationship of Peter and Clara in light of the fact that Clara is proving to be a much more brilliant artist than her husband.  Peter is such a selfish man and Clara has been such a giving soul that I have been looking forward to Clara's one woman show in Montreal. 
After the opening of Clara's show, her childhood friend and nemesis is found murdered in the garden of Clara and Peter's home.  But it isn't the murder that take center stage but the relationships between all the characters in the story.  Penny is able to delve into the psyche of each of her characters in portray them in a way few authors are able.  The reader understands each person completely;  their disappointments in life,  their triumphs, their deepest thoughts are revealed. The masks are lifted and everyone's true characters are laid bare for the reader to see.  And what is it that everyone needs just as much as love...well to belong.  Don't we all just want to belong somewhere? 

The ending is pure perfection.

Louise Penny is a gem!  This book as well as the entire series is amazing.  I cannot get enough of Three Pines and its wonderful characters.  Bravo Bravo Bravo!!!  Absolute perfection once again Ms. Penny.  I'm already waiting for the next one!

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