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Publisher's Summary

"...the events in Glass House challenge Gamache's conscience unlike any of the previous audiobooks, with Bathurst prying open the hero's heart and soul and laying it bare for listeners to experience at a visceral level." — Audiofile Magazine

AN AUGUST 2017 LibraryReads PICK!

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.

Months later, on a steamy July day as the trial for the accused begins in Montréal, Chief Superintendent Gamache continues to struggle with actions he set in motion that bitter November, from which there is no going back. More than the accused is on trial. Gamache’s own conscience is standing in judgment.

In Glass Houses, her latest utterly gripping audiobook, number-one New York Times bestselling author Louise Penny shatters the conventions of the crime novel to explore what Gandhi called the court of conscience. A court that supersedes all others.

©2017 Three Pines Creations, Inc. (P)2017 Macmillan Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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Louise Penny..unparalleled

I have read all 13 of her books and had the privilege to hear her in person. She never fails to deliver: A great storyline, endearing characters, and mystery to the end.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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glass Houses

Worth the wait. loved the introduction of the historical figure in black. Gives the story a"mysterious" twist .And. I love revisiting Three Pines with its serenity and familiar characters and all their "back stories"!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Clever, thoughtful and a pleasure to read

Very happy to read Glass Houses, the latest treat in the Three Pines series of detective novels featuring Armand Gamache, his family and friends, his team at the Montreal Securite and the villagers of Three Pines. I cannot recommend these books highly enough, but do not expect fast action adventure style crime. They are clever, thoughtful, meticulously planned and the prose is a pleasure to read.

The crimes addressed in these books vary between those that result from personal situations, but others recognisable as directly associated with the harsh effect of breakdowns in society or political actions in our modern world.

Glass Houses deals with the unavoidable fact that police forces worldwide are losing the battle against organised crime. They face a never ending war against criminals with vast resources of power and wealth behind them, and informants and spies at every level of society. I found this book hard to put aside, because it is very tense and I was concerned for many of the characters, but it has proved one of the very best in the series.

As the books progress the characters grow a little older, go through various life experiences, good, bad, funny or sad and we are drawn in effortlessly to share them and to care about them. Not caring in a sentimental way, these characters are realistic, down to earth and straight talking. They are endearing because we can find parts of ourselves in most of them, not just the best, but maybe among the scared, lonely, angry, sweary or grouchy bits.

In each book Louise Penny introduces new intriguing facts about some unusual aspect such as about Canadian life, international tradition, or a particular trade to add to the general enjoyment and this book is no exception, but I will not spoiler.

The narrator, Robert Bathurst is excellent. His reading is clear, conveying the essence of each character well, he adds to the pleasure of this book.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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So good!

I love these stories and these characters. With in minutes of finishing Glass Houses I was longing for the next book.
The only crime novels that make you feel good.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Complex, Nuanced, and Expertly Paced

This was truly a wonderful addition to what is a fascinating and endlessly entertaining series. it was a compelling story, and the story's structure and the jumping back and forth to different moments in time was masterfully executed. The readers uncover a new layer to Gamache slowly, page by page. Louise Penny's story-telling offers the readers smaller vignettes within the story that speak to the decency, compassion and virtues inherent in human lives and relationships. What begins with an investigation into a bizarre murder of a visitor in Three Pines takes the reader on a journey to medieval Italy, to the world of speak easies and the Prohibition Era, and through the courts during the course of a winding and complex murder trial. It was a wonderful read, and Robert Bathurst does an exemplary job of giving voice to the characters.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Kind of lost

Any additional comments?

I am a relatively appreciative fan of the series. In fact, it is definitely included in my top-three among a pretty long list of series that I keep up with and look forward to. This book kind of lost me a bit. "Glass Houses" seemed disconnected from the order I expected. I expected that a character -or maybe a handful of characters- introduced in "A Great Reckoning" would have been followed into the next book and I thought that Gamache's tenure at the academy was far too short. <br/><br/>I know that Three Pines is a character in its own right and spending too much time at the academy would diminish the roll of Three Pines but the introduction of the academy was a welcome departure and seemed to be able to lend itself to different ideas. I expected that the series would end up landing Gamache where he belonged -in command of the Surete- but, to be surprised with learning of his new command without having had the benefit of learning how it came about felt a bit hollow. It feels like Gamache's formal promotion to the top-job could have spanned an entire book itself as the plot or some type of parallel plot. Instead, it felt like a few lines were used to fast-forward his career and seemingly skip what surely could have been a great story.<br/><br/>It's likely that this is just a personal preference that most wouldn't agree with... but, I found that switching between past and present was kind of stressful (that doesn't include the usual "flashback" stuff that's been present in most of the series). I'm guessing that the past/present thing would probably lend itself a much better tactic if "Glass Houses" went the way of a screenplay but it seemed to complicate things a bit too much. When I listen to the books I tend to relax and enjoy the story; That didn't happen here. The more linear style of the other books was working for me... no need to fix something that wasn't broken.<br/><br/>I've been a little critical... so, know this... I still ultimatley ended up enjoying "Glass Houses." It was just harder to like (if that makes any sense). The Gamache/Three Pines series remains one of the best out there. Robert Bathurst continues to be a solid narrator and is probably the only possible Ralph Cosham replacement. I will continue to suggest the series to family and friends and I'll keep my fingers crossed that the series continues and it possibly gets back to its typical format.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Stunning revelations, thoughtful police work.

For most of the Three Pines series the characters and village overpower really good mysteries. (This is not criticism, because every book in the series features great mysteries and equally clever police work.) Glass Houses breaks the trend with the mystery unfolding, after the fact, in the trial of the murder. It is clever storytelling at its best.

Inspector Gamache is now the head of Montreal police. This is another place Penny shines, by exposing Gamache's genius and discipline in police politics and investigation above his personality. We know from past novels he does not covet power. For the first time we are exposed to just how cunning and brilliant he is by how he runs the police force.

A good murder mystery, a better police story, Glass House stands out as my favorite novel in the series. It is an extraordinary work.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

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Another Three Pines/Gamache 5 star mystery!

Author Louise Penny is a treasure. Glass Houses is the 13th novel in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache/Three Pines police procedural series and it may be the best so far. I have read or listened to all 13 and Glass Houses presents the first time Armand Gamache has faced the ethical dilemma of whether to do what is moral although it is illegal. Although there is a murder to be solved Glass Houses is really about the devastation and deaths caused by recreational opiates such as heroine and fentanyl in Quebec as well as in Vermont. (Vermont has the worst drug issue of any US state as measured both by percentage of residents using recreational opiates and opiate deaths as percentage of the population.) Gamache and his team go after and shut down many of the recreational opiate users using a unique and illegal method. Glass Houses is also the most violent novel in the series.

All of the Three Pines characters are present plus Gamache's daughter and her husband John-Guy (Gamache's police partner) and their young family. The Three Pines series is character driven and the characters are wonderfully well developed.

The first ten novels in the series were narrated by the great British-American actor Ralph Cosham who died very soon before the release of Book 10, The Long Way Home. British actor Robert Bathurst has narrated the most recent three Three Pines novels. After the release of those three there are always some Audible listeners who complain about Bathurst. Bathurst does a very good job, and since Ralph Cosham cannot narrate from the grave we need to get accustomed to it.

There are two very worthwhile additions after the end of the novel. The first are some comments by Louise Penny and the other is an interview of Penny by narrator Bathurst.

I love Louise Penny's novels and characters. All of them have my highest possible recommendation.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Disappointing

I continue to read Louise Penny mysteries because other mystery-loving friends recommend them, but I admit I am not a big fan. The Canadian rustic setting and small village characters are interesting, but the protagonist is heroic to an unconvincing degree. The 13 1/2 hours of this audio version could have been edited down by half- it was very slow-paced and repetitive as if the author did not trust us to really understand what the main characters were thinking. While the actual murder was unique and interesting, it seemed a minor subplot and there were not enough clues to keep you guessing. The final conclusion was a dud. The narrative was a head-scratching mess. With so much time and point-of-view-shifting, it was often difficult to keep the characters and timeline straight. Small spoiler: I found it irritating that while the trial filled a good portion of the novel, the identity of the defendant was not revealed until near the end- turns out it really didn't matter. In the first few pages the protagonist hinted that he had an alternative solution to the war on drugs, but this did not materialize.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Not my favorite Penny

Penny usually wins for being deeply specific, both for place and character. In this story the places were the usual parts of 3 Pines with little of it really coming to life, and even the church root cellar (the new discovery) somehow failed to seem really present or interesting. The bistro, though mentioned a lot, never sprang to life for me as it usually does, when I feel I was actually there the night before, observing all the trivial realities of the place and its many visitors and the food.
And the group around whom the story is woven, the politician and her friends, remained indistinguishable and murky. I couldn't tell you what a one of them looked like and cannot recall any of their names. Such a sad contrast to previous books where featured characters have stepped out of the pages and become so familiar and fascinating. Cici for one.

I really did not like this one very much despite a central, interesting premise. It all felt shallow and cursory. And the Gamache /Jean-Guy relationship felt like a completely predictable repetition of the previous books, despite Jean-Guy's gaining of maturity and a spare tyre. I also missed, outside of the Ruth Zardo scenes, any humor, and usually I'm laughing out loud while wiping away a tear. Oh well. No path is all smooth. Will certainly try another in the series if one comes along.

And as a PS: I agree with all the Canadians who can't fathom why our British Bathurst is preferred to a Candian reader/actor. Having the right accents and syntax would make the world of difference.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful