"There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in." (Leonard Cohen)
Christmas is approaching, and in Québec it’s a time of dazzling snowfalls, bright lights, and gatherings with friends in front of blazing hearths. But shadows are falling on the usually festive season for Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. Most of his best agents have left the Homicide Department, his old friend and lieutenant Jean-Guy Beauvoir hasn’t spoken to him in months, and hostile forces are lining up against him.
When Gamache receives a message from Myrna Landers that a longtime friend has failed to arrive for Christmas in the village of Three Pines, he welcomes the chance to get away from the city. Mystified by Myrna's reluctance to reveal her friend's name, Gamache soon discovers the missing woman was once one of the most famous people not just in North America, but in the world, and now goes unrecognized by virtually everyone except the mad, brilliant poet Ruth Zardo.
As events come to a head, Gamache is drawn ever deeper into the world of Three Pines. Increasingly, he is not only investigating the disappearance of Myrna’s friend but also seeking a safe place for himself and his still-loyal colleagues. Is there peace to be found even in Three Pines? And at what cost to Gamache and the people he holds dear?
©2013 Three Pines Creations, Inc. (P)2013 Macmillan Audio
Rarely have I enjoyed any books as much as Louise Penny's the Chief Inspector Gamache series. I've been saving the most recent release, The Long Way Home, because I don't want to say good bye to this cast of characters. A very big part of the success of these audiobooks for me was the most excellent performance of narrator, Ralph Cosham. It is my fervent hope that Louise Penny is not done entertaining us with Gamache and the wonderful residents of Three Pines.
If you have never listened to a book then you need to listen to any of Louise Penny's with this narrator, Ralph Cosham. It is a match made in heaven!
I took numerous French courses and to listen to Ralph pronounce the French is a joy. To hear Ralph you are immersed in the story in Quebec and Three Pines.
I love books!
Wow, it's hard to know what to write in a review of Louise Penny's books, it feels like I've already said ti all. The books are great, they suck you in, and if you are listening or reading the books this far into the series, you must be hooked like me. The biggest news at the time of me writing this review is that the narrator, Ralph Gosham, passed away this week while I was in the middle of this book. At the end of the book there is a discussion between Penny and Gosham. An interesting point was that Gosham began narration of each book as he reads the book for the first time. He said he got the same feel a listener would be doing it that way. He narrates the next book in the series. But for many, if not most, of we listeners to the series, the narrator is the Chief Inspector. I would guess the publisher will have a very hard time coming up with a new narrator to make a seamless transition. Good Luck with that as I'm sure we all want books in the series to keep on coming.
Have really enjoyed all of the Louise Penny books. Have listened to them all at least twice. Of course, with this book, the relationship between Gamache and Jean-Guy - the need to protect and save someone you love who is out of control - was very touching.
With all the books, the great story, the mystery, the wonderful, rich characters - really just enjoy it all.
As stated above, Ralph Cosham really does bring Inspector Gamache to life. But, he seamlessly goes from Ruth to Olivier to Clara to the entire town - he brings it all to life.
Louise Penny's books are never one-dimensional, as some books we've listened to with the super-star detective who never makes a mistake. So I'd say when listening to a Louise Penny book, it's kind of like life - ups, downs, laughs, surprises and some tears - but sometimes tears of joy.
You can never go wrong with a Louise Penny book. Her writing and Ralph Cosham's reading are just a joy.
An avid reader, demanding of the story, characters and narrator. Mysteries and historical fiction are my favorites.
If you are unfamiliar with this series, stop NOW and start with the first book "Still Life." You must read these books in order.
The Chief Inspector Gamache novels are police mysteries that take place in or near a small village in Quebec. (There is a bit of French tossed in, but knowledge of the French language is absolutely not required.) A murder will be solved by the end of the book, and I always enjoy the "mystery" aspect of these books.
But the characters and the complex plots are just as important.
Louise Penny has created a world with characters I know well and care deeply about. She has developed a main character (Armand Gamache) who has quickly become one of my favorites, ever, and I am a life-long reader. And she has woven the intricacies of storyline from book one to book nine (book 10 is about to be released) in such a way that I have to believe she saw the entire tapestry right from the beginning.
Add to these accolades the perfect narrator (Ralph Cosham), and you can see why this series is so special.
These books have EVERYTHING! Excellent writing, humor, drama, fascinating characters, mystery ... Start this series today.
A librarian who loves to read, whether in print or in the air
I really love Louise Penny's books about Armand Gamache, his detectives and the village of Three Pines. The 9th title in the series, it brought a lot of overarching stories to a close. It will be interesting to see where she takes the series next. You must read these in order!
Myst/thrillers and ✨fun fantasies✨are my favorites but always open for a good story.
I was so sad when this ended, it felt like visiting family had just said goodbye. As always Louise Penny brings us full circle with her lovely writing. A return to Three Pines, a murder mystery surrounding the last of an elderly, famous quintuplet, and the exposure of a conspiracy of epic proportion. For me this was one of the best books in the series and I cannot wait for the next one to come out.
Ralph Cosham is the perfect voice for Chief Inspector Gamache. The stories would not be the same without him. He is an amazing narrator and I find it fascinating that he narrates from his first reading of the books. This a wonderful series but should be read from the beginning to be able to fall in love the incredibly wonderful characters.
Just finished this one on the drive in to work this morning. This is the second in this series that I have listened to, the first one being Still Life. I have read the others and have decided that listening to Ralph Cosham IS the way to enjoy these books!
So glad Jean Guy finally got his act together. And LOVE Ruth!
When it is revealed that Gamache's department remained supportive of him, despite best attempts to divide the team.
Loved this story. I could hardly wait to listen to the next few chapters each day to learn what happened to the beloved characters. Louise Penny has a special gift for mystery writing and I plan to follow her.
The Louise Penny Three Pines series with Gamache et al - particularly with Ralph Cosham narrating - is one of the best series I have EVER (in 40+ years) listened to or read. I rarely write book reviews, since a reader's or listener's reaction to any book is necessarily subjective, but this series (and this - so far - last book in the series) deserves attention. When I learned that a new/next book in this series is scheduled to be released in August 2014, I was THRILLED - and when I saw that the narrator is "yet to be determined" I thought, "you gotta be kidding - it HAS to be Ralph Cosham - no one else can make these characters come alive the way he does!" But I know that even if it ends up being a different narrator, the story itself will make this book a mandatory purchase for me.
I own all the books in hard copy also, as they are worth re-reading and re-listening. It is not necessary to read them in order, but it is VERY HELPFUL TO DO SO (and makes the inside jokes much funnier, since you'll know the backstory behind them), so it's worth going back & starting over from the beginning. The characters have become part of my family, and I care about their actions and choices and love them despite (or because of?) their realistic flaws, and can't wait to learn what happens next.
I cannot strongly enough recommend this series both to fans of mystery novels and to fans of awesome (literally: awe-inspiring) character development. Louise Penny is a supremely talented author whose books are rare gifts. Don't miss out.
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