Published by Minotaur Books
Publication date: August 29th 2017
There’s nothing like stumbling upon an established author, falling in love, and finding out they have a substantial backlist of books. It’s even better when the books are part of a series because it means getting to go back to the beginning without having to wait for the next book—guaranteeing great reading for a long time. And in these days of meh/blah reading, having an author you can count on, whose books are readily available is the ultimate reading security blanket. I’ve just experienced this with Louise Penny, who many of you may already know. Her mystery series centers around Armand Gamache, a member of Quebec’s police force and the tiny village, Three Pines, where he lives with his wife, and an array of quirky, interesting friends and neighbors.
In her latest, Glass Houses, Gamache is now the Chief Superintendent and responsible for all units in the department. His promotion is seen as a move against the widespread corruption for which the Quebec government has become known. It’s also seen as a last ditch effort against the massive drug problem the region faces. This was Gamache’s focus until a mysterious figure robed in a hooded black cape and mask appeared in the village square in Three Pines. It did nothing and said nothing, merely stared at various buildings without moving. Its presence causes unrest amongst the villagers, but things get substantially worse when it disappears and a body is found in the local church.
Here’s where things get tricky in reviewing mysteries—I can’t say much more without giving away all the best bits. Suffice it to say, Penny is wonderfully adept at creating a baklava of a book—lots and lots of layers dripping with goodness and surprise. If you are a Penny fan, then you already know how well she fleshes out every aspect in her books. Yes, there’s a dead body and a murderer in Glass Houses, but these are just two of the many elements that come together for the kind of reading you don’t want to put down. The people of Three Pines are all wonderfully distinct, each contributing to the novel with their humor, foibles and eccentricities. If you haven’t read her before, don’t let that stop you; this novel stands on its own as a compelling mystery fraught with tension. If you are already a fan, this is a welcome return to a people and place well worth visiting.
I’ve read some of her work, and really enjoyed it, but not this one; I will check it out!
I read the first in the series a long time ago and for some reason have not continued. I will say that Louise Penny is a god damn delight of a person and she’s one of those folks you love to see have the success she has. Maybe this will prompt me to take one up again.
I saw an interview with her for this novel and she was fascinating. Plus, she introduced HRC at a 2016 event in Montreal so I love her.
Sarah's Book Shelves says
Good God…how do you come up with this stuff?!! “creating a baklava of a book—lots and lots of layers dripping with goodness and surprise.” Just gorgeous. You need to write a novel, my dear!
And – Modern Mrs. Darcy is always raving about Louise Penny, but she and I usually don’t agree on the mystery genre so I’ve never tried her. Now I will!!
LOL- I had recently watched the Great British Baking Show and the challenge was baklava! So, it stuck in my head (and made me hungry for some!).
I think you would like Penny, there’s a great blend of humor in there.
Susie | Novel Visits says
I haven’t read anything by Louise Penny, but this sounds very good. I’m so glad you’ve found some great reads lately. Can’t wait to see what you have to say about THIF!
I’ve got that review percolating in my head! I hope to have it up by Monday.
You know I have yet to read a Louise Penny book and here I live in Canada — so I better get on the ball soon. I will start with her two first ones — since I have them on my shelf.
My mom enjoys Louise Penny too. I see her books all the time but I haven’t read her.
I’m hooked, but I went to my library website to look for the first book in the series and every single title has over 100 holds! Boo.
Delighted you found her! Her character development is virtually unparalleled.
You knew?! How could you not tell me about her?!