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Publisher's Summary

"Robert Bathurst's narration is calm, collected, and earnest, reflecting the blend of emotion and professionalism that Gamache embodies as an investigator. It's perfect for listeners seeking both captivating intrigue and insightful reflection." (BookPage)

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache returns to Three Pines in #1 New York Times bestseller Louise Penny's latest spellbinding novel

You’re a coward.

Time and again, as the New Year approaches, that charge is leveled against Armand Gamache.

It starts innocently enough.

While the residents of the Québec village of Three Pines take advantage of the deep snow to ski and toboggan, to drink hot chocolate in the bistro and share meals together, the Chief Inspector finds his holiday with his family interrupted by a simple request.

He’s asked to provide security for what promises to be a non-event. A visiting Professor of Statistics will be giving a lecture at the nearby university.

While he is perplexed as to why the head of homicide for the Sûreté du Québec would be assigned this task, it sounds easy enough. That is until Gamache starts looking into Professor Abigail Robinson and discovers an agenda so repulsive he begs the university to cancel the lecture.

They refuse, citing academic freedom, and accuse Gamache of censorship and intellectual cowardice. Before long, Professor Robinson’s views start seeping into conversations. Spreading and infecting. So that truth and fact, reality and delusion are so confused it’s near impossible to tell them apart.

Discussions become debates, debates become arguments, which turn into fights. As sides are declared, a madness takes hold.

Abigail Robinson promises that, if they follow her, ça va bien aller. All will be well. But not, Gamache and his team know, for everyone.

When a murder is committed it falls to Armand Gamache, his second-in-command Jean-Guy Beauvoir, and their team to investigate the crime as well as this extraordinary popular delusion.

And the madness of crowds.

A Macmillan Audio production from Minotaur Books

©2021 Louise Penny (P)2021 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about The Madness of Crowds

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

BORING!!!

Louise Penny is one of my favorite authors. ALL off her novels are in my Audible library. THE MADNESS OF CROWDS would make a superb 9 hour audio book, but it is a bad 15 hour audio book. Louise Penny can do better than this; I know because she has done better than this with 16 prior Three Pines novels.

27 people found this helpful

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A Boring Diatribe

As a long time LP fan, I was disappointed & bored. The last thing I want to listen to is one more person’s commentary on the pandemic or politics, let alone both. I have struggled with it from the start and writing it off at chapter twelve.

Hopefully this is a poor effort, rather than a trend. LP’s genius was writing books we wanted to read, set in a place we want to spend time. This book misses that mark completely and sounded to me, like just one more tired and unsolicited opinion about current events, thinly veiled as mystery fiction.

26 people found this helpful

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Where is the Three Pines we know & love?

Between politics, COVID, unemployment, and a genuinely bad last year, I couldn’t wait for this book to be released. I have treasured every book in the series. This book is like turning on CNN or FOX NEWS. And, it took all of the joy of reading about the characters in the books with it.

21 people found this helpful

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Excellent book and series bad audio

I absolutely love this series! I got audible just to listen to this series. However, this recording contains many skips. Everytime the scene changes, the audio stats in the middle of a sentence. In fact, it sounds like it starts in the middle of a conversation. I'm not 100 percent sure I know what's going on. Very poor audio. I'm disappointed.

17 people found this helpful

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So Relieved! Still a Beautiful Escape!

As a long term Louise Penny fan I have to admit I was so anxious after reading the blurb when I pre-ordered months ago! It seemed that this might be steeped in politics that I need desperately to escape. Had I waited a year just to have my anxiety over the world amplified? I admit I had to move through a third of the book before I was able to relax and settle into Three Pines.
I had tears in my eyes at the conclusion and I would urge anyone who may have set this aside to take heart and pick it up again. All will be well.

I did give this a less than perfect performance rating because there were some skips and a few times it seemed an accent changed but Robert Bathhurst continues to infuse his narration with skill and heart.

11 people found this helpful

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So Far I'm Loving This Book

I'm four hours into the book. I'm enjoying the subject matter and the performance. I've had no issues with the audio at all. No skips or other problems. Perhaps if there are audio problems deleting the book and downloading again will help

9 people found this helpful

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The weakest of the series

I am a huge fan of Louise Penny and eagerly looked forward to this book. Unfortunately the book falls far short of expectations. Although the actual murder and investigation have many of her signature elements, the overall feel of the book is that of a plodding narrative. It was very slow to develop and if I hadn’t been such a fan of the author, I would have given up on the story.

7 people found this helpful

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Brings a much needed full view of this topic.

First, we finally know the Gamache dog is a dog! I am attached to all the beings in Three Pines. So good to be there in winter and holiday time. Moving ahead in time all the great folks reveal more of themselves to us and we need that as the in our time horrors stories of war, inequalities and covid. This novel broadens my understanding of just how much we need both the topic discussed and how much we “get by with a little help from friends”. Enjoyed narration and pacing.

7 people found this helpful

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Truly unexpected story

At first, when I saw the early description, I thought I was going to avoid this book. But I couldn’t resist it. I soon recognized that the story line was quite different than what I had imagined. I should have trusted that Louise Penny would not rely on cliches and conventional storytelling. While expecting a take on current affairs, I was astonished to find the current affairs transformed by a utilitarian scientist very much in the mode of Peter Singer. As usual, Louise Penny’s humanist self shows in every scene.

I continue to miss the original narrator. RB, while being excellent, is no match. I continue to wish that a different narrator had been chosen.

6 people found this helpful

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  • P.
  • 08-29-21

Another brilliant work

I leave in northern New York, on the edges of Quebec and Vermont so I was first drawn to Louise Penny very early because of her books’ “local” interest. But they are universal in tone, geography, and subject. Her latest captures the intense anxiety and paranoia of the COVID plague in the context of family, politics, ambition and fear-mongering.
To additional layer of international responsibility for war crimes and human rights is a thought provoking subtext. Who are we to be self-righteous and why do we refuse to see human frailty , even in the most courageous? Another great and thoughtful book. Thank you, Louise Penny.

5 people found this helpful