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A Trick of the Light (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #7)
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A Trick of the Light (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #7)

4.28  ·  Rating Details  ·  19,419 Ratings  ·  1,843 Reviews
"Hearts are broken," Lillian Dyson carefully underlined in a book. "Sweet relationships are dead."

But now Lillian herself is dead. Found among the bleeding hearts and lilacs of Clara Morrow's garden in Three Pines, shattering the celebrations of Clara's solo show at the famed Musée in Montreal. Chief Inspector Gamache, the head of homicide at the Sûreté du Québec, is calle
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published August 30th 2011 by Minotaur Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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Clara Baldwin Yes, I totally agree with the others that replied. Read in order! I just finished #7 and I'm still waiting for something to happen from the first book…moreYes, I totally agree with the others that replied. Read in order! I just finished #7 and I'm still waiting for something to happen from the first book and I don't want to miss anything! So many wonderful characters to get to know.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Richard Derus
Apr 14, 2016 Richard Derus rated it really liked it
Rating: 4.875* of five

The Book Report: At the end of Bury Your Dead, Clara Morrow learned some news that sets in motion the plot of this latest Gamache-in-Three-Pines book. It is the kind of news that leads a person to plan a big, exciting party in her back garden, inviting tout le monde to share food and drink. The party was a smashing success, that is, until the next morning: Peter and Olivier are returning from a very important errand when their return is interrupted by the discovery of a bod
I have no idea why I want to grab the next book in this series the minute I am closing the current one. Let's face it, the series has become quite formulaic and the characters are all the same. Yet, after every book I still want to pack my bags and move to the murder capital of Canada, namely Three Pines. For such a small town, it is really riddled with violent deaths. The only reason why it is known is for its murders. The town was never surveyed; it is no where to be found on any GPS or sat na ...more
Alan Bradley
Aug 29, 2011 Alan Bradley marked it as to-read
Flavia’s followers will know that I’m a huge fan of Louise Penny, who has now won – among many other awards – an astonishing four consecutive Agatha Awards for her Armand Gamache series.

A new book from Louise is like Christmas in summer – a treat to be eked out and made to last. Interested?

Well, fetch the fireworks! Send up the skyrockets! – today is publication day for “A Trick of the Light”, the seventh in the series, and I, for one, can’t wait to get my hands on it.

Since Louise is, in many wa
Sep 12, 2011 Nancy rated it liked it
Oh no, no, no, Louise Penny. (Before you Louise Penny fans kill me, I must explain.) I have loved this series since it first came out and preordered a hardbound copy of this back in May. Louise is exceptional in her ability to bring the reader into the scene. You can taste the food, see the location, and smell the environment. She still has that ability in this novel and I was transported to Three Pines once again. BUT where is she going with her characters? I am so unhappy with the direction sh ...more
May 14, 2011 Kaye rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this. I keep using the word "stunning" for Ms. Penny's work time and time again. AND I keep saying "this one is the best one yet." Big sigh.

A Trick of the Light is STUNNING and yes, it is the best one yet. HOW does she keep doing this? And continually top her own work? I have no idea other than the fact that she must be one of those angels walking the earth we hear about from time to time.

I'm not going to try to do a review - I'll leave that for the revie
Aug 11, 2011 Cynthia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Light Pours In

“Trick of the Light” is a fascinating story. At it’s center are two relationships, one is a marriage, the other a working relationship. Both are longstanding and have been very productive, loving and supportive. Both are in serious peril of d disintegrating. Against this backdrop Chief Inspector Gamache is searching for a killer. This is the first Penny book I’ve read and it won’t be the last. In my opinion it ranks right up there with Patricia Highsmith and Barbara Vine (Ruth
Apr 30, 2016 Dana rated it it was amazing
My favorite in the series so far!
Jan 11, 2013 Beth rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I am a big fan of the Chief Inspector Gamache series and of Louise Penny's beautiful writing, but this book disappointed me for a few reasons. First of all, the author didn't play fair with the reader, which is a pet peeve of mine when I find it in mystery novels. I hate it when the reader is privy to all of the sleuth's thoughts and discoveries until a vital clue is found, then all of a sudden that isn't shared with the reader, so the reader is prevented from being able to solve the puzzle on h ...more
Jun 26, 2011 Laura rated it it was amazing
The Inspector Gamache series just gets better and better!

In the past few books, the author has been doing more of the longer character arcs than in previous ones (sort of the way Elizabeth George has been doing with her Inspector Lynley/Barbara Havers series). Still, you can pick up any one of the books and not feel as though you *had* to read previous ones to understand what's going on.

We're still dealing with the aftermath of the factory raid, and Gamache's unfortunate arrest of Olivier, but
Sep 04, 2011 Tina rated it it was amazing
Louise Penny is - in my opinion - one of the best mystery writers writing today (I'd place her with Elizabeth George and, another Canadian favorite, Gail Bowen). I adore her books.

For me, the beauty of her books is that, while the mystery is obviously the overall plot guide, Ms. Penny also weaves in various minor plot lines related to her characters - which means you have stories within stories. This is much like Elizabeth George. I'd say that Ms. Penny goes a step further though, and makes her
Lewis Weinstein
Apr 03, 2014 Lewis Weinstein rated it really liked it
Louise Penny writes a terrific story. In this one, Inspector Gamache is back in Three Pines to investigate another murder. This one leads to interesting disclosures regarding the contemporary art world and AA, with perceptive comments on both. The returning characters of Three Pines are all entangled in new, sometimes supportive and often fragile relationships. It is an intelligent group of mature individuals which allows Penney a broad canvass to display her own intelligent writing. A thoroughl ...more
First Sentence: Oh, no, no, no, thought Clara Morrow as she walked toward the closed doors.

Artist Clara Morrow’s first major art show in Montreal was stressful enough, without finding a body in her garden in Three Pines the following morning. Although uninvited to the local after-party, the woman is one Clara and her husband, Peter, had both known. Inspector Armand Gamache and his second, Jean Guy Bouvier transition from being friends of this small community’s residents, to being investigators l
Diane S ☔
Sep 22, 2011 Diane S ☔ rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
4 1/2 Three Pines is a village in Canada that can not be found n any map, yet reading her mysteries is like coming home and revisiting friends you have not seen for a while. Penny mixes regular people and their human failings with humor, love and insight. Her story lines explore the mystery needing to be solved with psychological insights into their motives and personalities. Just love her writing.
Mar 15, 2014 Travis rated it liked it
Having read Louise Penny's "Bury Your Dead," which I liked (but didn't think was great), I decided to read the follow-up, "A Trick of the Light," but finally gave up on it halfway through and just asked my wife to tell me how it ended. "Bury Your Dead" had interesting-enough protagonists, but I thought its real virtue was the history of Quebec that Penny seamlessly wove into the narrative. The mystery itself certainly wasn't all that compelling. This book shares the same main police characters ( ...more
Mary Ronan Drew
Dec 04, 2012 Mary Ronan Drew rated it it was amazing
Nathaniel Parker is Armand Gamache.

Louise Penny's mysteries are finally being filmed for TV, something aficionados of her books have been eagerly waiting for. At the left is a librarything photo of Louise Penny and Nathaniel Parker (aka Inspector Lynley) in the Quebec town of Standbridge East, where Still Life was filmed. It will be released in Canada in 2013. . . .

To read the rest of my review, go to my blog at:

Mar 01, 2014 Lori rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio
I love this series and I have been trying to savor every book since there are only 2 more that are out! There was so much going on in this story, I don't want to give anything away but I can't wait to start the next book to see how everyone is doing. I'm really worried about Jean Guy!
Kathy Davie
Dec 03, 2014 Kathy Davie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
Seventh in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache cozy mystery series and revolving around the people of Three Pines village in Canada. It's been six months since the shoot-out.

In 2012, A Trick of the Light won the Anthony Award for Best Novel and was nominated for the Macavity Award for Best Mystery Novel and the Dilys Award. In 2011, it was nominated for the Agatha Award for Best Novel.

My Take
This is what it takes to be a great author. To be willing to sabotage a sweet character's triumph, a woman
Karen Mundo
Sep 16, 2011 Karen Mundo rated it it was amazing
At first, I had trouble getting into these books (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Quebec Surety) but then I grew to love them... and I have developed such respect for the author. She was a journalist/commentator for the CBC and has a deep knowledge of things Canadian. Her Gamache is a man of such intelligence and integrity, I so wish he was real. Of course, one of the things I like about him is he is dedicated to his wife, Reine Marie.
Penny has a blog at her web site that anyone who reads
Apr 09, 2013 BetseaK rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who love the cozy mystery genre
Ah-hm... I'm not quite sure that it's fair of me to review this book. My attention to it was drawn by the numerous awards it won, but ... to tell you the truth... I chose it primarily because I wanted to escape the reality for a while. In that sense, this cozy mystery in the style of Agatha Christie, set in a picturesque village in French Canada, was a perfect place to go. There was a murder, of course, yet no blood and gore. What pulled me through the story were bits of humor in descriptions of ...more
Dec 04, 2011 Marlene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I drove to South Carolina last week in the urbane company of Chief Inspector Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec. My trip to Collection Development Mini-Conference in Columbia was the perfect opportunity to listen to the latest unfortunate incident in Three Pines, Québec, where murder seems to be a cottage industry.

A Trick of the Light is the most recent book in Louise Penny's series featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. For some reason, an awful lot of murders seem to occur in the rather small
Mar 29, 2014 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Louise Penny has a way of bringing you into her stories of "Three Pines" and tucking you in with the characters. This addition is flooded with artists and critics, quite an eclectic group of the talented and those that wish they were. One of the subplots that surround this murder mystery is a look into the depth of alcoholism and how its destructive tentacles can reach into so many innocent lives.
Chief inspector Gamache and Jean Guy Beauvoir, his second, are recuperating physically and mentally
Sep 01, 2011 Mason rated it it was amazing
I enjoy books that keep you guessing, keep you changing your choice118471773 of killers, and then surprises you at the very end.

A TRICK OF THE LIGHT by Louise Penny is a book like that. There are numerous suspects, each with strong motives and ample opportunity. Just when you decide on one suspect, a new lead is revealed that takes you in another direction.

Artist Clara Morrow finally has a solo show at the famed Musee in Montreal. All of the right people from the art world are there. Afterwards,
Kasa Cotugno
Having heard Louise Perry's praises sung loud and clear, I must admit I approached this audio recording with a bit of skepticism. I was also concerned in that i had only read oe of her Armand Gamache novels, and although intrigued, was fearful I did not have enough of the backstory to understand many of the references let alone the characters' motivations., She is such a deft writer, so skillful in her plotting and visualizations, that I found myself totally immersed from start to finish. The au ...more
Jann Barber
Jan 17, 2012 Jann Barber rated it liked it
I "stole" this book during a Christmas book swap. I thought I had read some of Louise Penny's books before, but none seem to make any bells ring in my brain.

I enjoyed this book, although I kept wondering if the book before this one in the series covered the horrible incident that was referred to over and over in which Gamache and some of his agents were caught in a gun fight, several were killed and others badly wounded, including Gamache. I might have to check the library to see if this was par
Sep 17, 2011 Susan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-suspense
Louise Penny has delivered yet another amazing mystery novel in "A Trick of the Light", reminding me once again why I feel she is one of the best (if not THE best). While I tried to exercise restraint...this compelling story would not let me go and I finished it in one day. It is not just that she is a masterful storyteller, but her words are crafted with such of my favorite lines " Agent Isabelle Lacoste hit the key and the printer began to growl, as though it had a foul taste in its ...more
May 27, 2013 Monica rated it really liked it
Another good book in Louise Penny’s series starring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. A murder that has its motive in the past. Returning characters who continue to grow and develop. Story lines that move from one book in the series to the next. Penny is a pro at creating atmosphere with just a few words. I generally don’t read cozy mysteries and up to now I haven’t thought of this series as “cozy”…however, it will be interesting to see if Penny can continue to write about Three Pines without slip ...more
Apr 14, 2016 Ms.pegasus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Louise Penny fans
Shelves: mystery, fiction
Louise Penny explores the subjectivity of perception in this, the seventh book in the Inspector Gamache series. Her mystery takes us inside the closely circumscribed world of art where capricious judgements abound and trust is the prevalent but often counterfeit currency. For a well-adjusted artist, the result can be unsettling. For an insecure artist, it could prove fatal — literally as well as spiritually.

Penny examines how her characters deal with forgiveness as a starting point. Recapping in
Jun 18, 2016 Linda rated it really liked it
This is the seventh of twelve books in the Arnaud Gamache series (to date). In order to read any but the first of these books, which could easily be billed as the Three Pines series, it's necessary to accept the premise that a remote, off the map village, almost fairy tale-like in its charm, could truly be the site of so many vicious crimes. But this is no cozy mystery series; rather, each entry is a well crafted, elegantly written police procedural featuring complex characters, many of whom app ...more
Oct 05, 2014 Sherry rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-this-year
A good read by one of my new favourite mystery writers. I like books that explore character and Louise Penny does this well. I would have given this a five if the ending hadn't disappointed me. The solving of this mystery seemed a bit false as the killer confesses while a melodramatic storm raged outside . A bit too gothic for an otherwise realistic piece of fiction.
K's Corner
Mar 05, 2015 K's Corner rated it really liked it
This was good but not great. The first few chapters start off really fast. There is a murder. A dead body is found in a garden. This happens the morning after a grand party attended by almost everyone in town. Then things start to slow down. For the remaining 90% of the book, it goes on and on with all the characters linked to the party, directly or indirectly and all of their idiosyncrasies. By the end you're just like okay, I don't care to read anymore, I just need to know who did it and why. ...more
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  • The Dark Vineyard (Bruno, Chief of Police #2)
  • A Lonely Death (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #13)
  • Elegy for Eddie (Maisie Dobbs, #9)
  • The House at Sea's End (Ruth Galloway, #3)
Many of Louise Penny's books are published under different titles by UK/Canada and US publishers.
She lives with her husband, Michael, and a golden retriever named Trudy, in a small village south of Montreal.

Her first Armand Gamache novel, "Still Life" won the New Blood Dagger, Arthur Ellis, Barry, Anthony and Dilys Awards.

* Agatha Award: Best Novel
o 2007 – A Fatal Grace – Winner
o 2008 –
More about Louise Penny...

Other Books in the Series

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #1)
  • A Fatal Grace (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #2)
  • The Cruelest Month (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #3)
  • A Rule Against Murder (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #4)
  • The Brutal Telling (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #5)
  • Bury Your Dead (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #6)
  • The Beautiful Mystery (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #8)
  • How the Light Gets In (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #9)
  • The Long Way Home (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #10)
  • The Nature of the Beast (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #11)

Share This Book

“Despite himself, Beauvoir laughed. "There is strong shadow where there is much light."


But most he loved a happy human face.”
“Where other women ... were lovely, Annie Gamache was alive.
Late, too late, Jean Guy Beauvoir had come to appreciate how very important it was, how very attractive it was, how very rare it was, to be fully alive.”
More quotes…