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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)

4.41  ·  Rating Details ·  25,721 Ratings  ·  3,270 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
Paperback, 432 pages
Published July 29th 2014 by Minotaur Books (first published July 1st 2013)
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Diana There is so much wonderful character development and so many story threads that run from story to story, it would be a shame to read them any way but…moreThere is so much wonderful character development and so many story threads that run from story to story, it would be a shame to read them any way but in order.
Jann For anyone who sees daily the decaying infrastructure around Montreal it is not a stretch. Obviously we have to eliminate our current leaders from our…moreFor anyone who sees daily the decaying infrastructure around Montreal it is not a stretch. Obviously we have to eliminate our current leaders from our imaginations but we know the construction industry is constantly in the news for various infractions. We know that many former individuals have left their positions in disgrace so the possibility that several bad apples could collude to make long term plans to grab power and line their pockets in the process exists. Whatever happened to 'suspension of disbelief' for those of you who didn't like it? This is fiction and if we expect all crime books to be plausible then we might have quite boring reading and might as well just read the newspapers. (less)
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Community Reviews

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Tabatha Hibbs
Sep 11, 2013 Tabatha Hibbs rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-mysteries
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
Sharon Redfern
Jun 02, 2013 Sharon Redfern rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Apr 06, 2013 Jo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Louise Penny is my favorite mystery author, and this is the best book yet!

Read my review at on my library page:
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
Jun 26, 2013 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel, mystery
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
"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
Ingenious and sinister. These words form part of the official blurb for this ninth book in the Inspector Gamache series. The intrigue and animosity around Chief Inspector Armand Gamache are closing in when his enemies, with his senior manager, Francoeur, as the front runner in the Sureté de Quebec, slowly pulls the plug on his honorable career
May 13, 2013 Kaye rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 27, 2013 Margaret rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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

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
Diane S ☔
May 26, 2013 Diane S ☔ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 05, 2013 Nicole~ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"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
Maine Colonial
Jul 07, 2013 Maine Colonial rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
Sep 07, 2013 Joseph rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
Oct 25, 2015 ☮Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, read-in-2015
More than any other in the series, this book rehashes multiple plots from the older books. Things you thought were over and done before, in fact are not. That can be a good thing if you are interested in learning more about those stories, or a bad thing if you feel it becomes plodding. I wavered. There were some questions from past books I was happy to see covered, and there were lots of details on other former plotlines that became repetitive. But then ... POW!! A curveball is thrown at us, and ...more
Sep 04, 2013 Ware rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Penny Watson
Aug 26, 2013 Penny Watson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 28, 2013 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Megan Baxter
Apr 22, 2014 Megan Baxter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a very special series, and Louise Penny a truly remarkable mystery writer. I read mysteries, on occasion, but they're not books to which I get greatly attached. Generally, they are light fluff. I'm not sure you could have convinced me that reading a mystery would reduce me to big soppy tears for most of the last two chapters.

But that's what happened here.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to thi
Kathy Davie
Feb 06, 2015 Kathy Davie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ninth in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache mystery series set in Montreal and revolving around the inspector, his family, and his coworkers.

My Take
It's a story within a story about family. There are families bound by blood while others are bound by a common goal or a similar outlook. It's a binding that isn't always positive, as Penny points out in Matthew 10:36 with its warning that "a man's enemies will be the members of his household". The series-long conflict that has been messing up Gamach
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 LifeHow 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 lau
Tanja Berg
Sep 27, 2013 Tanja Berg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: murder-mystery
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
"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
Up to this point my favorite book in the series was Bury Your Dead, but this one now ranks right up there with it. While Bury Your Dead touched me emotionally more than any other book in the series, this one wins the prize for suspense. I think if I didn't have any other responsibilities in life I could have read this one straight through; I was that enthralled and that eager to find out how the storylines would be resolved. The fact that this book closed out the arcs that had run through the pr ...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
This was my introduction to Louise Penny and Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and it was a very enjoyable introduction. The only negative is that this is the 9th book in the series and I felt like I came to the party late. While the main character in the series is Armand Gamache the town of Three Pines and it's residents are a joy and are very integral to the story. This is a murder mystery but I often found myself thinking how nice it would be to pay a visit to Three Pines. To stay at the B & ...more
Aug 28, 2013 Ronna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
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
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The Three Pines: How The Light Gets In #9 7 9 Feb 13, 2017 10:12PM  
Around the Year i...: How the Light Gets In, by Louise Penny 2 20 Aug 17, 2016 01:40PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: #78 - How the Light Gets In (Gamache #9) 1 3 Jun 27, 2015 05:28PM  
52 weeks, 52 books: Week 37: How the Light Gets In 7 96 Jun 24, 2015 05:31AM  
Suggestions for other series 18 140 Mar 28, 2015 09:19AM  
Beverly Library R...: Monthly Staff Pick 2 8 Nov 10, 2014 01:55PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: #99 - How the Light Gets In 1 3 Nov 02, 2014 06:21AM  
  • The Sound of Broken Glass (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #15)
  • Through the Evil Days (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #8)
  • Leaving Everything Most Loved (Maisie Dobbs, #10)
  • A Dying Fall (Ruth Galloway, #5)
  • The Golden Egg (Commissario Brunetti, #22)
  • Blue Lightning (Shetland Island, #4)
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 13 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)
  • A Trick of the Light (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #7)
  • The Beautiful Mystery (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #8)
  • The Long Way Home (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #10)
  • The Nature of the Beast (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #11)

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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.”
“How much more courage it took to be kind than to be cruel.” 10 likes
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