Chief Inspector Armand Gamache

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Chief Inspector Armand Gamache
Still Life paperback book cover.jpg
Cover art for Still Life, the first book in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache book series.

Author Louise Penny
Language English
Genre Mystery
Publisher Minotaur Books
Published 2005–present
Media type Print (hardcover, paperback), Audiobook, Ebook
No. of books 13

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is the main character in a series of mystery novels written by Canadian author Louise Penny. The series is set around the life of Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of Sûreté du Québec, the provincial police force for Quebec. Books in the series have been nominated and received numerous awards.[1]

The first book in the series, Still Life, was released in 2006 and won the New Blood Dagger award, Arthur Ellis Award, the Dilys Award, 2007 Anthony Award, and the Barry Award. All subsequent novels in the series have won major crime-writing awards in three countries.[2] Many have also made the New York Times Best-Seller List, debuting as high as #1.[3][4]

Summary[edit]

The Chief Inspector Armand Gamache book series is written by Louise Penny. Prior to writing full-time, she worked 20 years as a radio journalist and host for CBC Radio in Thunder Bay, Ontario and Winnipeg, Manitoba.[2] Penny originally began writing a historical novel, but changed to mystery writing after finding trouble finishing. She entered the first book of the series, Still Life, in the "Debut Dagger" competition in the United Kingdom, placing second out of 800 entries.[5]

The series is based on the character of Chief Inspector Armand Gamache.[6] The stories take place usually in the village of Three Pines, with Gamache investigating the murders of various people in each novel. Gamache is said in the first book Still Life to have learned English while studying for a Bachelor’s degree at Christ's College, Cambridge.[7]

The books have been described as "character-driven" mysteries that explore the relationships between characters with each book in the series.[6] Three Pines is a fictional location set in the province of Quebec, with Penny setting up the characters using the history of old Canada to show their personalities and backgrounds.[1] In the series, a few of the plots are set outside of Three Pines.[1]

The Chief Inspector Armand Gamache book series contains little or no sex or violence and has been referred to as a kinder and gentler alternative to modern crime fiction.[8]

Books[edit]

There are a total of 13 books in the series, all published by Minotaur Books, an imprint of St. Martin's Press. The first book was released in 2005, not in the U.S., with the most recent in 2017. There is also a short novella called The Hangman which features Insector Gamache and is set in Three Pines. This does not form part of the series and was written as a simple story for adults learning to read English.[9]

No. Title Publisher Year ISBN
1Still LifeMinotaur Books2005ISBN 978-1410448972
Still Life is the debut novel in the series and introduces the character Chief Inspector Armand Gamache.[10] The story takes place in the town of Three Pines and one of the beloved residents, Miss Jane Neal, was shot in the heart with an arrow.[10] Neal is an archery enthusiast and retired school teacher and Gamache must investigate to solve the murder.[10] The novel was the winner of several awards, including the New Blood Dagger award, Arthur Ellis Award, the Dilys Award, 2007 Anthony Award, and the Barry Award.[2] (This book was adapted as a 2013 film starring Nathaniel Parker as Gamache.) 
2A Fatal Grace
(Dead Cold), Canadian title
Minotaur Books2007ISBN 978-0312352561
Inspector Gamache investigates after CC de Poitiers, a sadistic socialite, is fatally electrocuted at a Christmas curling competition in the small Québécois town of Three Pines. CC, who had a “spiritual guidance” business based on eliminating emotion, was hated by seemingly everyone, including her husband, lover, and daughter. The crime links to a vagrant’s recent murder as well as to the pasts of several other villagers. 
3The Cruelest MonthMinotaur Books2008ISBN 978-1585366040
The novel, set in the small Canadian town of Three Pines, takes place around the Easter season. A group of friends visits a haunted house, hoping to rid it of the evil spirits that have haunted it, and the village, for decades. One of them ends up dead, apparently of fright. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his team from the Sûreté du Québec investigate the old house and the villagers of Three Pines. The novel also gives us more insight into a past case and its aftermath. 
4A Rule Against Murder
(The Murder Stone), Canadian title
Minotaur Books2009ISBN 978-0312614164
Gamache is visiting Manoir Bellechasse to celebrate Canada Day.[11] After solving his previous murders in the Spring, Fall, and Winter, he must now face the hot Summer while on vacation. As soon as Gamache settles into his hotel, a murder takes place when a statue falls on its victim.[11] Despite the bloody body, the statue has no blemish, leaving Gamache to investigate it as a homicide. Nominated for an Arthur Ellis Award as Best Novel for 2009.[11] The book was also the first in the series to make the New York Times Bestseller List. 
5The Brutal TellingMinotaur Books2009ISBN 978-1410423047
The Brutal Telling takes place in Three Pines with a body being discovered on the floor of the local bistro.[12] No one in the town claims to know the victim who was bludgeoned to death. Gamache discovers the victim lived deep in the woods and suspects one of the locals as the suspect.[12] The book was the winner of the 2009 Agatha Award and the 2010 Anthony Award, as well as reaching the New York Times Best-Seller List.[4] 
6Bury Your DeadMinotaur Books2010ISBN 978-1585366040
Gamache is in Quebec City to enjoy the winter carnival.[1] He is on leave after being involved in a shootout with a terrorist gang.[13] While there, the body of an amateur archaeologist draws Gamache into investigating his death. He also revisits the murder he solved in The Brutal Telling, the previous novel in the series.[13] The book won the 2010 Agatha Award, the 2011 Anthony Award, the 2011 Macavity Award, the 2011 Arthur Ellis Award, and the 2011 Nero Award. It was also a bestseller on the New York Times, London Times, and USA Today lists to name a few.[14] 
7A Trick of the LightMinotaur Books2011ISBN 978-1410441072
Gamache finds himself investigating the murder of Lillian Dyson, an artist who is found dead.[15] her childhood friend Clara Morrow is the main suspect, an artist herself who spent most of her life in the shadows of her husband.[8] The book was nominated for a Macavity Award, Anthony Award, and the Agatha Award.[8] It also reached #4 on the New York Times Bestseller List.[16] 
8The Beautiful MysteryMinotaur Books2012ISBN 978-0312655464
The Beautiful Mystery has Gamache investigating the death of a monk.[17] The monk is a member of the Gilbertine Order which was believed to be an extinct order.[17] Gamache and his partner must travel by airplane and boat into the remote forests of northern Quebec to investigate the mystery.[17] The book won the 2013 Macavity Award for Best Mystery and the 2013 Anthony Award.[18] The book also reached #2 on the New York Times Bestseller List. 
9How the Light Gets InMinotaur Books2013ISBN 978-0312655471
Gamache comes to Three Pines looking for a safe haven.[19] He is isolated by his corrupt supervisor and winds up luring two of his friends to Three Pines after their safety becomes an issue in an undercover operation.[19] The book was nominated for an Edgar Award and an Agatha Award, as well as debuting at #1 on the New York Times Best-Seller List.[3][18] 
10The Long Way HomeMinotaur Books2014ISBN 978-1250022066
Gamache has retired from the force amid corruption within the department. He is summoned by Clara Morrow, one of the main characters in the book A Trick of the Light, whose husband has gone missing.[20] The book reached #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List.[21] 
11The Nature of the BeastMinotaur Books2015ISBN 978-1250022080
Gamache has retired and settled to live in Three Pines. He is drawn out of retirement by the death of Laurent Lepage, a nine-year-old boy known best in the town for crying wolf.[22] His most recent claim was finding a gun with a winged monster on it in the woods. Gamache is allowed to work on the case, even though he is no longer officially a detective.[22] It also reached #3 on the New York Times Bestseller List.[23] 
12A Great ReckoningMinotaur Books2016ISBN 978-1250022134
When an intricate old map is found stuffed into the walls of the bistro in Three Pines, it at first seems no more than a curiosity. But the closer the villagers look, the stranger it becomes. Given to Armand Gamache as a gift the first day of his new job, the map eventually leads him to shattering secrets. To an old friend and older adversary. It leads the former Chief of Homicide for the Sûreté du Québec to places even he is afraid to go. But must. 
13Glass HousesMinotaur Books2017ISBN 978-1250066190
When a mysterious figure appears in Three Pines one cold November day, Armand Gamache and the rest of the villagers are at first curious. Then wary. Through rain and sleet, the figure stands unmoving, staring ahead.

From the moment its shadow falls over the village, Gamache, now Chief Superintendent of the Sûreté du Québec, suspects the creature has deep roots and a dark purpose. Yet he does nothing. What can he do? Only watch and wait. And hope his mounting fears are not realized.

But when the figure vanishes overnight and a body is discovered, it falls to Gamache to discover if a debt has been paid or levied. 
14Kingdom of the BlindMinotaur Books2018ISBN 978-1250308122
Book will be released November 27, 2018. When a peculiar letter arrives inviting Armand Gamache to an abandoned farmhouse, the former head of the Sûreté du Québec discovers that a complete stranger has named him one of the executors of her will. Still on suspension, and frankly curious, Gamache accepts and soon learns that the other two executors are Myrna Landers, the bookseller from Three Pines, and a young builder.

None of them had ever met the elderly woman.

The will is so odd and includes bequests that are so wildly unlikely that Gamache and the others suspect the woman must have been delusional. But what if, Gamache begins to ask himself, she was perfectly sane?

When a body is found, the terms of the bizarre will suddenly seem less peculiar and far more menacing.

But it isn’t the only menace Gamache is facing.

The investigation into what happened six months ago—the events that led to his suspension—has dragged on, into the dead of winter. And while most of the opioids he allowed to slip though his hands, in order to bring down the cartels, have been retrieved, there is one devastating exception.

Enough narcotic to kill thousands has disappeared into inner city Montreal. With the deadly drug about to hit the streets, Gamache races for answers.

As he uses increasingly audacious, even desperate, measures to retrieve the drug, Armand Gamache begins to see his own blind spots. And the terrible things hiding there.[24] 

Awards and recognition[edit]

In addition to numerous books making it to the New York Times Bestseller List, Penny has won multiple awards for the book series. She has won the Anthony and the Agatha Awards 5 times each and the Canadian Arthur Ellis Award twice. She was also a finalist for the Edgar Award for How The Light Gets In. The books have also earned her numerous Macavity Awards, and been nominated for numerous others.[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Sankovitch, Nina (27 September 2012). "Reading the Beautiful Mysteries of Louise Penny". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 22 July 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c Kirchhoff, H.J. (9 September 2011). "Everyone loves author Louise Penny's Armand Gamache". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 22 July 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Fallow, Allan (12 September 2013). "Woman on Fire: Louise Penny Hits #1". AARP Blog. Retrieved 22 July 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Picker, Lenny (30 August 2010). "Good Fortune Leads to Great Crime". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 22 July 2015. 
  5. ^ "Louise Penny's second chance". Quill and Quire. Retrieved 22 July 2015. 
  6. ^ a b O'Donnell, Lisa (7 July 2015). "Debut novels, nonfiction highlight Clemmons library reading list". Winston-Salem Journal. Retrieved 22 July 2015. 
  7. ^ "A murder by any other name". Beyond Words - Canada's Official Languages Newsletter, May 2012. Retrieved 18 June 2017. 
  8. ^ a b c Anderson, Patrick (4 September 2011). "Louise Penny's 'A Trick of the Light' A cozy mystery". The Washington Post. Retrieved 22 July 2015. 
  9. ^ "THE HANGMAN - grade 3 level novella". Louise Penny. Retrieved 5 November 2017. 
  10. ^ a b c Stasio, Marilyn (23 July 2006). "Unhappy Families". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 July 2015. 
  11. ^ a b c "The Murder Stone - Mysterious Reviews". Mysterious Reviews. Retrieved 22 July 2015. 
  12. ^ a b Shapiro, Ellen (12 October 2009). "Picks and Pans: Books". People Magazine. Retrieved 22 July 2015. 
  13. ^ a b Kirchhoff, H.J. (10 August 2010). "An intricate blend of history and mystery". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 22 July 2015. 
  14. ^ "Bestsellers October 17, 2010". The New York Times. 17 October 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2015. 
  15. ^ Craig, James (7 October 2011). "Book Review: A Trick of the Light". Washington Times. Retrieved 22 July 2015. 
  16. ^ "Bestseller List". The Daily Herald. 18 September 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2015. 
  17. ^ a b c Corrigan, Maureen (9 September 2012). "Book World: The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny". The Washington Post. Retrieved 22 July 2015. 
  18. ^ a b Williams, Wilda (23 September 2013). "Bouchercon 2013: Louise Penny Goes on a Crime Award Spree". Library Journal. Retrieved 22 July 2015. 
  19. ^ a b Stasio, Marilyn (30 August 2013). "Winter's Blame - Louise Penny's how the Light Gets In and More". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 July 2015. 
  20. ^ Isherwood, Charles (28 August 2014). "Trailing an Artist Who Lost His Way". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 July 2015. 
  21. ^ SaSvari, Joanne (14 August 2015). "Mystery writer Louise Penny mapping out her future". The Vancouver Sun. 
  22. ^ a b "The Nature of the Beast - Book Review". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 22 July 2015. 
  23. ^ Cowles, Gregory (4 September 2015). "Inside the List - Sunday Book Review". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 October 2015. 
  24. ^ http://www.gamacheseries.com/kingdom-of-the-blind/
  25. ^ "Louise Penny Award List". Stop, You're Killing Me. Retrieved 15 October 2015. 

External links[edit]