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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)

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  44,460 ratings  ·  4,819 reviews
Christmas is approaching, and in Québec it's a time of dazzling snowfalls, bright lights, and gatherings with friends in front of blazing hearths. But shadows are falling on the usually festive season for Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté de Québec. Most of his best agents have left or been transferred out of the Homicide Department; his old friend and lieutenan ...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)
Evaine Living in Quebec, in the Montreal suburbs and having lived through much of the history in the Gamache books, I find the 'conspiracy plotline' very…moreLiving in Quebec, in the Montreal suburbs and having lived through much of the history in the Gamache books, I find the 'conspiracy plotline' very believable and the characterizations of all the members of the plot very real. I recognise these people. It felt very real to me. :) (less)

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Average rating 4.43  · 
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 ·  44,460 ratings  ·  4,819 reviews

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Tabatha Hibbs
Sep 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it it was amazing
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)
Jul 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Louise Penny impresses as she pulls on a major event in Quebec history, weaving it effectively into the premise of this next novel in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series. Major changes have begun with the Homicide squad of the Sûreté du Québec, including the removal of Inspector Jean Guy Beauvoir. It would seem that the fallout from their case at a rural priory created more ripples than anyone could expect, with Chief Superintendent Francoeur still sharpening his knives with hateful eyes f ...more
Paula Kalin
What a wonderful book. This is my introduction to the Chief Inspector Gamache series. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Ralph Cosham and really enjoyed his French Canadian accent. His voice made the listening experience that much better.

Louise Penny's eccentric characters in the village of Three Pines make such an interesting story. I'm looking forward to starting this series from the beginning to learn more about the background of the characters.

How The Light Gets In is one of the finest
4.5 stars

After the misery of the previous book in this series, I am happy to report that it was a one-time fluke (so far) and Penny is now back to her usual wonderful writing in this book! I'm also going to keep saying this until I turn blue in the face: if you aren't reading this series, you are missing out.

Gamache is both more broken and more forceful than we have ever seen him before. The 'case' being investigated is inspired by a real-life event that even I, an American, knew about, which w
Apr 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Louise Penny is my favorite mystery author, and this is the best book yet!

Read my review at on my library page:
Sep 18, 2013 rated it liked it

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
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5000-books
How the Light Gets In is possibly my favourite of this series so far! It had everything I look for in these books - Three Pines, snow (lots of), Armand Gamache being his wonderful self, great police work, lots of excitement and a duck.

It was pretty essential to have read the previous books in order to get the most out of this one. Some long standing plot lines were brought to a conclusion and the characters are so much better for having known them a long time. Three Pines is a character in itse
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
Oh my word!! What an episode! Heart pounding, breathtaking, chilling reading from Louise Penny in this the 9th of the Armand Gamache series. The best so far in my humble opinion!

When Myrna contacted Chief Inspector Armand Gamache it was for his help. Good friends by now, Armand left Montreal immediately and headed for Three Pines. The story Myrna told Armand was the beginning of a case that went back decades – on the back of another that Armand had been following, digging, searching for a long t
"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
Sep 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
May 08, 2014 rated it really liked it

In this 9th book in the 'Chief Inspector Armand Gamache' series, the detective investigates the death of an elderly quintuplet. The book can be read as a standalone, but familiarity with the characters and background is a bonus.


Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is a troubled guy: his best homicide detectives have been transferred out of his squad and he's been saddled with a bunch of lazy losers.

His former mentee Lt. Jean-Guy Beavoir is not speaking to him and is once again abusing prescriptio
Jun 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
"There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." —Leonard Cohen

This is the ninth entry in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series and the second time that I have read this book. As enjoyable as it was the first time I read the book and was introduced to Armand Gamache and the village of Three Pines the second time around was even better. There were many events that took place prior to this story and the only way to gain a full understanding of what happened and why we are wher
Diane S ☔
May 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it it was amazing
"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 s
Maine Colonial
Jul 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 26, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery-suspense
I can't believe it. I just can't. But here it is:

I'm done. I'm done with Three Pines.

After 8 novels mostly set in this lovely remote Quebec village, interesting characters and storylines, it was looking as if Louse Penny couldn't lose me if she tried. If you read my review for her previous book, The Beautiful Mystery, you may remember I cut into Nancy Pearl, a well known US Librarian and book reviewer/recommender. I took her to task on the comment she made about this series, how the setting in T
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 bac
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great to be back in Three Pines. I would say that this is probably my favorite series. Going back to Three Pines is always a delight but this time the work being done there is of crucial importance.

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is often commented on for his kind eyes and his faith in people. Some see these attributes as signs of weakness and laugh at him because of them. What they don't see is his ruthlessness. He will stop at nothing to take down those who are in positions of trust and betray
Jan 02, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Well that was a bust. This entire book from beginning to end just felt lazy. I rather Penny had written a one off with Gamache trying to take down the evil doers and we could then get a full fledged mystery next time.

Instead we had Gamache and company half assing a murder investigation while Gamache and others (Yvette Nichol, Jerome Brunel, Therese Brunel) go to take down the evil empire.

Seriously. I needed some Star Wars music for half of this book since the evil doers (Sylvain Francoeur and ot
Penny Watson
Aug 26, 2013 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
May 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful mystery/suspense novel. It took me a while to "read" (this was an audiobook), through no fault of the book.... I am new to audiobooks, so I would listen to a cd, a few days would pass and I would forget what had happened and would have to start over... and over.... and over. But it was well worth it because the story is VERY good. If you like mysteries, I would definitely recommend it. (and I am going to keep at audiobooks, lol to become a better "audial" reader).

Inspector Gamache ha
Jul 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 Investiga
It has been a year since I completed Louise Penny's " A Beautiful Mystery", the predecessor of this wonderful book. I kept avoiding this book because I could not accept the fact that Jean Guy Beauvoir abandons Gamache and a Gamache mystery without Beauvoir at his side is unacceptable to me. Gamache and Beauvoir are like two sides of the same coin,one does not exist without the other aka Holmes and Watson . Penny's success lies in the fact that she has beautifully brought out the emotional bondin ...more
Tanja Berg
Sep 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
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The Three Pines: How The Light Gets In #9 13 66 Aug 22, 2018 04:01PM  
Suggestions for other series 23 187 Jul 21, 2017 08:16PM  
Around the Year i...: How the Light Gets In, by Louise Penny 2 24 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 97 Jun 24, 2015 05:31AM  
Beverly Library R...: Monthly Staff Pick 2 8 Nov 10, 2014 01:55PM  

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LOUISE PENNY, a former CBC radio journalist, is the #1 New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling author of fourteen Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels. She has been awarded the John Creasey Dagger, Nero, Macavity and Barry Awards, as well as two each of the Arthur Ellis and Dilys Awards. Additionally, Penny has won six Agatha Awards and five Anthony Awards, and has been a finalist for an Ed ...more

Other books in the series

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache (1 - 10 of 15 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)
“How much more courage it took to be kind than to be cruel.” 18 likes
“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.”
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