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How the Light Gets In (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #9)
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How the Light Gets In (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #9)

4.45 of 5 stars 4.45  ·  rating details  ·  10,298 ratings  ·  1,989 reviews
The stunning, ingenious and sinister new novel in the internationally bestselling Inspector Gamache series.


As a fierce, unrelenting winter grips Quebec, shadows are closing in on Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. Most of his best agents have left the Homicide Department and hostile forces are lining up against him.


When Gamache receives a message ab...more
Hardcover, 405 pages
Published August 27th 2013 by Minotaur Books (first published July 1st 2013)
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Philip As I've said before it is almost a must to read these books in order. This is actually not a series but a serial, like the old "Perils of Pauline" at…moreAs I've said before it is almost a must to read these books in order. This is actually not a series but a serial, like the old "Perils of Pauline" at the Saturday morning movies, with each book being the next chapter and picking up one of the plot lines from the previous book.(less)
How the Light Gets In by Louise PennyNight Film by Marisha PesslBurial Rites by Hannah KentFangirl by Rainbow RowellSongs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford
September 2013 Library Reads
1st out of 10 books — 248 voters
How the Light Gets In by Louise PennyLeaving Everything Most Loved by Jacqueline WinspearSpeaking from Among the Bones by Alan BradleyDeath of Yesterday by M.C. BeatonNever Laugh As a Hearse Goes By by Elizabeth J. Duncan
most anticipated mysteries 2013
1st out of 148 books — 558 voters

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Community Reviews

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switterbug (Betsey)
For readers unfamiliar with Louise Penny's mystery series, this is #9 with Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. Although this is only my second foray into her Quebec crime series (my first being her last book, BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY), I was impressed with her ability to create multiple plots and weave them together. There's a fresh murder to solve in the town of Three Pines (where some of her series takes place), as well as an arc that started several books ago--the malfeasance of the Sûreté du Québec (po...more
Sharon Redfern
I would give this book 10 stars or more if I could. When I was approved for the egalley, being the mature professional librarian that I am, I went up to one of my coworkers who also reads the series and basically said Nya! Nya! I got to read the book early. That is the level of devotion that this entire series inspires in its readers.
After the emotional ending of the previous book, I was prepared for this one to be heavy duty but I had no idea how much this emotion this book would evoke. I liter...more
Tabatha Hibbs
While I enjoy a good series, there are few books that are part of a series that leave me with a book hangover when I am finished with them. How the Light Get In left me with that hangover. I finished it this afternoon, and since that time I've not wanted to read anything. I've just wanted to live with the emotional reverberations this book created within me. I have read the entire series, and I suspect that some of this reaction is a cumulative effect: I've spent a lot time with these characters...more
Louise Penny is my favorite mystery author, and this is the best book yet!

Read my review at on my library page:
I love this book! I was fortunate to receive an advanced copy of Louise Penny's latest mystery novel "How the Light Gets In", the ninth in the series about Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and the Homicide Division of the Surete du Quebec. I had already reserved a hard copy for the August 2013 release date because this is one author I buy in hardcover; the better to savor her writing. This truly gifted author has the ability to make you FEEL - so much so, that this is almost more novel than myster...more
Cook Memorial Public Library
A 2013 staff fiction favorite recommended by Jo, Andrea, Connie, Jane, Mary Ann, Sonia and Ellen.

Jo's review:

I adore Louise Penny’s Chief Inspector Gamache series. I want to move to Three Pines, the imaginary, serene village in Quebec that somehow ends up having an unusual number of murder investigations. I want to eat in the bistro and stay at the inn and shop in the bookstore. I want to argue and share insults with Ruth, the local curmudgeonly poet. Most importantly, I want to have deep conver...more
what to say about "How The Light Gets In." Truthfully, it leaves me speechless. It's full of phrasing any writer would die to claim as their own. It made me laugh out loud on one page, only to have me burst into tears of pure emotion two pages later. I know I keep saying her writing just keeps getting better with each book, but I find it to be true. I love her writing, and I love her stories. I feel an attachment to the residents of Three Pines and hope they'll live in the pages of more and more...more
Oct 01, 2014 Margaret rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone who's read the first 8 Gamache mysteries.
Recommended to Margaret by: Linda
While checking Goodreads to see how many ratings Louise Penny’s very new novel has received (over 2,000 so far), I couldn’t help noticing that it has earned a collective rating of 4.65. That eye-popping score just had to be one of the highest ratings I have noticed. For the sake of comparison, I decided to check the Goodreads ratings of some of the best books ever. Thomas Fagles’ brilliant translation of The Odyssey earned a 3.65; Toni Morrison’s Beloved has a 3.69; Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dallowa...more
For some time time Chief Inspector Armand Gamache has been on the outs with his department leadership. The fact that the homicide unit was universally recognized as the finest in Canada did not immunize him from the methodical reassignment of his most trusted investigators to other assignments in the Sûreté du Québec. Although he has found himself surrounded by spies and lackeys, yet Gamache remains outwardly calm and unperturbed.

Gamache's enemies attempt to get his estranged aide Jean-Guy Beau...more
Diane S.
I absolutely love this series as I am sure you can see by my rating, but I am always sad when I am done because now I have to wait for another year or so for a new one. I become so immersed in Three Pines and these people's lives it is often a shock to realize they are not real, but are characters in a novel. I wish they were real, I wish Three Pines was a place I could visit.

Part of this story, concerned quints born during the Great Depression, and though there were real quints born, only the...more
Maine Colonial
You shouldn't be reading this book unless you're already familiar with the Armand Gamache/Three Pines series, so I'll get right into the setup. It begins shortly after The Beautiful Mystery ended, and things are just as grim as you would imagine for Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. His longtime enemies at the Sûrété du Québec are circling, sharklike, and taking bites out of his Homicide team. All of his team members have been moved to other departments, with the exception of Isabelle Lacoste, and...more
Penny Watson
So, I read it.

HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN by Louise Penny, Inspector Gamache Series #9.

After waiting patiently for many months, following a heart-wrenching cliffhanger at the end of THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY, I finally got to dive back into this captivating world.

And let me tell you, it was worth the wait.

And let me tell you WHY it was worth the wait.


Trust in Gamache--steady, gracious, loyal, brilliant inspector.

Trust in Louise Penny--amazingly-talented author who elevates the common mystery into so...more

Yes, I gave this one only three stars. I have read and really liked the other books in the series, but I thought this one was subpar -- not bad but not as excellent as its predecessors. Here's why.

1. Penny's writing style seemed almost a caricature of itself. All of those sentence fragments. Done for emphasis. Getting on my nerves. Time after time. In an overly dramatic way. I don't recall being so aware and irritated by the writing in past books but the jerky style of this one gra...more
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I just now finished reading How the Light Gets In, and I am spent. My emotions have survived a roller coaster ride that has taken me to the dark edge of despair to the bright light of hope, and then they have been flipped over and over again. If you have read the previous eight books of this series, then you have already fallen in love with Armand Gamache and his supporting cast of characters, many of whom live in the fiction world's most beloved village of Three Pines. And, because of that love...more
Aug 04, 2013 Mary rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: crime

If this is your first Louise Penny, put it down! Go back, start with Still Life, and enjoy this delectable series before you read this book. This is the crescendo, #9 in the series. The intelligent, competent, thoroughly civilized and compassionate Armand Gamache is on the trail of the murderer of the last surviving Quebec Quintuplet, Marie-Constance who was in her seventies. He is also about to close in on corruption in the highest reaches of the Surete de Quebec where he is a Chief Investigat...more
4.5 - 5 stars

Because so many threads of previous stories having to do with Chief Inspector Gamache and several other characters are woven into this book, I highly recommend that readers treat themselves to the full complement of previous Louise Penny mysteries before they pick up HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN. Even though I read them all this year, I wish I'd gone back to the earlier books for details and for some minor characters' previous stories. [I think I'm already setting myself up to re-read the...more
Tanja Berg
Rating 5* out of 5. The first books this year - and it's the end of September - to have me bawl my eyes out. That happens about once a year, with books. It's a rare treat. I'm still blubbering. One of the reasons, of course, is that I've come such a long way with these characters. I know and love them so well. For once, this was truly mind-blowing. The politics wasn't annoying, it was the decisive part of the story.

On his way out to Three Pines to interview Myrna, who's long-ago therapist patien...more
WOW, didn't think this superb author could so outdo herself with a better book than she has written so far, but HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN is definitely a masterpiece of plot, suspense, and character development from Louise Penny!!

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his deputy, Jean-Guy Beauvior , have been in a precarious relationship for some time now, resulting from a botched raid where Beauvoir was almost killed. Beauvoir, who loves Gamache's daughter, has gotten mired in drug use, and has turned...more
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

My first ever Chief Inspector Gamache novel was The Beautiful Mystery, which is #8 in the series.I fell in love with Louise Penny's writing and Chief Inspector Gamache and have started on the series from the beginning, recently finishing Still Life.How the Light Gets In does not disappoint. The storytelling is luminescent, the plotting taut and filled with suspense, the characters charming and emotional. I cried for Jean-Guy, I laug...more
First Sentence: Pandora was still pretty.

A suspected suicide is found at the base of the Champlain Bridge. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is still dealing with the forces at the highest level of the Sûreté du Québec set on destroying his career. He is without his college and friend Jean-Guy Beauvoir, yet determined to learn what is the motive. A trip to Three Pines is prompted when Gamache receives a call of Myrna, owner of the used bookstore. An acquaintance of hers had visited and was due back...more
Valerie Campbell Ackroyd
Now I understand why Penny ended her last book, The Beautiful Mystery, as she did. How the Light Gets In is a magnificent tour de force although I wonder if anybody who has not lived in Montreal, is unfamiliar with Quebec politics, really understands what a magnificent job she has done in evoking that particular corner of the world. While it has made me very nostalgic for happy times in the Eastern Townships, I don't know if I will cross Champlain Bridge or drive through the Ville Marie and not...more
"Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in"......
Leonard Cohen

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...more
Sigh...I finished this book late last night and hate to give it up! It's that good. I will honor the author's request of not spoiling any of the story. I can say it has so much - mystery of course, some thrills, some sadness, some happiness and love. And the characters we love. I left it with a tear in my eye. If you read this series, get to this book! If you've not read it, you really need to read from the beginning as it makes this book so much the better and enjoyable.

Highly Recommend!
Judie Mcdonald
How The Light Gets In

This long awaited and much anticipated sequel in Louise Penny’s Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series does not disappoint. Chief Inspector Gamache of the Surete du Quebec embodies the Surete motto, “Service, Integrity, Justice”, as well as possessing intelligence, kindness and compassion. Unfortunately, there is evil among the higher echelon of the Surete. In this stand alone story, Gamache is confronting that evil as well as trying the solve the murder of the last remaining...more
When you combine the wonderful writing of author Louise Penny and the mesmerizing voice of narrator Ralph Cosham, you have a masterpiece. Penny’s latest Chief Inspector Gamache novel, HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN, is a fine example of their talented work.

Cosham brings the characters to life with his rich French/Canadian accent. His cadence is captivating. His vocalization of the emotions throughout the book enhance Penny’s fascinating story. Between Cosham’s charming voice and Penny’s fervent details,...more
"And a man's foes shall be they of his own household."
- Matthew 10:36

It's Christmas time when Constance Pineault comes to Three Pines to visit her friend, Myrna. She's bowled over by the bucolic village and its people. The atmosphere is beatific, she's impressed by the warmth of the village crowd with whom she would not normally have associated. Four days later, she's found dead in her home, apparently murdered. But, Constance Pineault was not her true name; she had a secret past - a past so se...more
This isn't really a 5-star book, but I am trying to encourage anyone who hasn't yet discovered this mystery series by Louise Penny. The publishers call it the Armand Gamache series, but most readers I know refer to it as the Three Pines series. They all involve murders that must be solved by Chief Inspector Gamache, head of homicide for the Surete du Quebec. But they are absolutely anchored by the cast of characters residing in Three Pines, a lovely village outside of Montreal that is not on any...more
I have been waiting all summer for this book to be published and I was not disappointed. While the book is about terrible people doing terrible things, a lot of it finding ways to destroy other people, often slowly and tortuously there are moments of great warmth and I loved that Ruth and Rose are agents of redemption. And the repeated reference to Leonard Cohens poetry added more warmth to this story with its strong subplot. Penny's plot has lots of twists and turns but there is also humor and...more
Kate Hilton
4.5 stars. I'm a big fan of Louise Penny and the entire Chief Inspector Gamache series. The recurring secondary characters grow more interesting with each book (I am particularly attached to the alcoholic poet, Ruth), and this story brings a stunning resolution to the conspiracy plot that has been building for several books now. If you are already hooked on the series, you will find this a very strong addition. If you are new to the series, you are lucky to have 9 whole books ahead of you! Start...more
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Suggestions for other series 14 74 Oct 18, 2014 05:37AM  
Best Novels of 2013? 5 96 Feb 28, 2014 04:48AM  
52 weeks, 52 books: Week 37: How the Light Gets In 6 75 Dec 01, 2013 12:36AM  
52 weeks, 52 books: My review of How the Light Gets In 1 46 Sep 17, 2013 07:23AM  
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  • The Sound of Broken Glass (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #15)
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  • Proof of Guilt (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #15)
  • The Golden Egg (Commissario Brunetti, #22)
  • Speaking from Among the Bones (Flavia de Luce, #5 )
  • A Dying Fall (Ruth Galloway #5)
  • Pagan Spring (A Max Tudor Mystery, #3)
  • Just One Evil Act (Inspector Lynley, #18)
  • A Question of Identity (Simon Serrailler, #7)
  • Deadly Appearances (A Joanne Kilbourn Mystery #1)
  • The Buzzard Table (Deborah Knott #18)
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
More about Louise Penny...
Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #1) A Fatal Grace (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #2) Bury Your Dead (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #6) The Brutal Telling (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #5) A Rule Against Murder (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #4)

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“Our lives are like a house. Some people are allowed on the lawn, some onto the porch, some get into the vestibule or the kitchen. The better friends are invited deeper into our home, into our living room.'

'And some are let into the bedroom,' said Gamache.”
“Until the Quiet Revolution gave women back their bodies and Quebeckers back their lives. It invited the church to leave the womb and restrict itself to the altar. It almost worked.” 1 likes
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