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The Nature of the Beast

(Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #11)

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  37,020 ratings  ·  3,862 reviews
Hardly a day goes by when nine-year-old Laurent Lepage doesn't cry wolf. From alien invasions, to walking trees, to winged beasts in the woods, to dinosaurs spotted in the village of Three Pines, his tales are so extraordinary no one can possibly believe him. But when the boy disappears, the villagers are faced with the possibility that one of his tall tales might have bee ...more
Hardcover, 376 pages
Published August 25th 2015 by Minotaur Books
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Cathy You could try one in the middle -- but I wouldn't start with the last one -- you won't appreciate the nuances of the characters, or really understand …moreYou could try one in the middle -- but I wouldn't start with the last one -- you won't appreciate the nuances of the characters, or really understand why they do/say what they do. I read the sixth one first -- then stopped and went back and binge read from the first one on. It is a beautiful series and you deserve to enjoy each and every step along the way.(less)
Becky Yes read them in order. Two of the books in the middle of the series are somewhat connected. If you don't read them in order, it will hamper the story…moreYes read them in order. Two of the books in the middle of the series are somewhat connected. If you don't read them in order, it will hamper the storyline for those books. (less)

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Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Three Pines, Quebec is a town that should emanate peace and tranquility. But seriously, this town must have the highest per-capita murder rate in all of Canada! Yet I’d still move there in a heartbeat!

Even in retirement, Armand Gamache can’t escape the intrigue of a murder investigation. And certainly not - now that it’s right at his front door, here in lovely Three Pines.

When a young boy is hit by a car and left for dead on the side of the road, Armand knows there may be more to this than a si
Aug 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, canadian
Note from the author:

"The Nature of the Beast is a book I’ve been waiting a long time to write. The circumstances had to be just right for all the characters in Three Pines, for it all to come together. In this book we find out many things about the villagers, including who hurt Ruth Zardo, once, ‘so far beyond repair.’

Some readers, I think, will find it a departure for the series, but the fact is, I try hard to make each book different from the last. So that the characters, the series, and I gr
“In the beams of their flashlights, Gamache could see [x]’s face. His eyes. Bright, but not overexcited. He seemed almost calm, in control.

This was his natural environment. The belly of the beast. This was where [x] belonged.”

This is the eleventh of Penny’s wonderful Chief Inspector Gamache series, and true to form, it has the same remarkable balance between good and evil, peace and chaos. No person, no place is entirely without fears and flaws. Good people live and love and thrive, but good
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 5000-books
I do so love this series and I am really sorry that I am gettting close to the end of what is currently available. I will miss my monthly meeting with Armand Gamache et al.

The Nature of the Beast is a great read, full of the atmosphere of Three Pines. I must admit I always like the books set in the village the best. The mystery seems a little outrageous at times, just a little unbelievable, until you get to the end and discover that the events are factual. Gerald Bull was a real man and really i
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Louise Penny carves new pathways towards success in her well-established Canadian police procedural series, taking the reader in directions previously unimagined. The town of Three Pines is gearing up for its next theatrical production, set to open in a few short weeks. Armand Gamache is interested in seeing the production, but all that sours when he learns who’s penned this play, discovering a truth its director had hoped to keep under wraps. When a young boy rushes into the Bistro to tell of a ...more
Mar 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
I love Louise Penny. Every late August, she publishes a new book in the Inspector Gamache series, which means that I get to spend Labour Day weekend with this great cast of characters in Three Pines or wherever she sets the story in Quebec. At number 11, The Nature of the Beast is another great addition in the series. This one is set in Three Pines, where Gamache has now retired with his wife Reine Marie. There are two parallel mysteries, one involving the death of 9 year old Laurent who claims ...more
Every year it becomes harder to summarize Louise Penny's exceptional books. While How the Light Gets In may have represented a culmination of Chief Inspector Armand Gamache's fight against good and evil, even in retirement in Three Pines, he continues to take part in the ongoing battle. And, Gamache, representing Everyman, stands as witness to the knowledge that we all have the potential for evil, the potential for good, and, in The Nature of the Beast, the awareness of our own cowardice in the ...more
Cathrine ☯️
May 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Update 6/6/18 Please note the * and bold print line turned out to be total trash talking. No fake news was ever sooooo wrong!

Book #11 in a most beloved series. I recommend this to anyone familiar with the previous installments. Definitely start from the beginning for more thorough enjoyment.

I keep thinking that as much as I love Penny’s world of Three Pines there must come a time when the series has run its course. The last one, #10, was probably my least favorite so I went into this a bit
I listened to the audiobook for the eleventh in Louis Penny's Chief Inspector Gamache series, as I usually do, and really missed narrator Ralph Cosham. I was surprised the author chose a British actor to replace Cosham after he passed away. One of the joys of listening to this series for me was Cosham's wonderful French Canadian accent. As Chief Inspector Gamache is French Canadian it only makes sense to keep the narrator with the same accent. Tough to listen to was Ruth's voice.

The Nature of th
Maybe it was the change in audiobook narrator (RIP Ralph Cosham!), maybe it was the fact that the book was set in Three Pines but barely went into any depth with the reoccurring characters that are native to that town, or maybe it was the emotional reactions that felt 'off' throughout the book. Either way, I didn't enjoy this book as much as I hoped I would. I rated the prior book 3 stars too, so I am really hoping this is not a downward trend for a series I have otherwise really enjoyed.
Jul 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bayb-2018

In this 11th book in the 'Chief Inspector Armand Gamache' series, Gamache is retired and living in the Québec village of Three Pines.

There he gets involved in a situation that has dire international implications.....and costs a child his life. The book provides enough background information to be read as a standalone.


Chief Inspector Armand Gamache was once head of the homicide department at the Sûreté du Québec. After spending years rooting out corruption at the Sûreté, and having recover
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, 2018
Armand Gamache, formerly Chief Inspector of the Quebec Sureté is now retired in the idyllic village of Three Pines. Idyllic that is until a young boy finds something monstrous in the woods and a day later is found dead. Of course when Gamache's old colleagues arrive to investigate he is pulled into the search for the killer and the origins of the monster in the woods.

It's good to be back with these old friends in the cosy village of Three Pines (which nonetheless seems to have a somewhat high cr
Aug 31, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction-crime
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carol Jean
Aug 26, 2015 rated it liked it
I used to like the books in this series a lot more. This one begins promisingly with the question of whether a work of art should in any way be judged by the actions of its creator. But then it meanders off into a long story about a megagun which, frankly, lost my interest almost immediately.

Penny's descriptions of her characters' emotional tizzies have always struck me as a bit melodramatic, and that flaw persists. There are some excellent tensions among the villains, but over all the book just
Lewis Weinstein
Sep 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
As always, Gamache is in charge (even after he retired) and the complex story moves with increasing pace and urgency. Gamache's interview of a serial killer is a tense classic. Three Pines is a very scary place full of fascinating characters. The premise is bizarre, except that it is apparently based at least in part on a true incident.
In the village of Three Pines there once was a boy who cried wolf. Nine year old Laurent Lepage told tall tales. Alien invasions, walking trees, dinosaurs spotted in the village. Hardly a day went by where he wasn't telling the residents of Three Pines one of his stories. And like the boy who cried wolf no one believed him. Including the story of a gun bigger than a house. When Laurent disappears and is later found dead retired Chief Inspector Armand Gamache questions whether this time Laurent's ...more
Aug 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
After the artwork descriptions of the last book, I didn't think it could get any worse. It did. For me, it certainly did. The death of a 9 year old starts the story. But this time the real core is atrocity and super weapon descriptions par excellence in verbose exactitude. Always tied in with our Fleming (pat serial killer) history, Bible quotes from Revelation and sundry negatives of numerous past associations all around. Jolly good time. NOT!

I'm afraid that no amount of feel good high end eats
The death of a vibrant, imaginative young nine-year-old boy in the small village of Three Pines was shocking. An accident they said. Was it only recently retired Chief Inspector Armand Gamache who could see it was more than that; that it was murder?

Superintendent Isabelle Lacoste and Inspector Jean-Guy Beauvoir soon arrived in Three Pines and the investigation began. Their discovery deep in the forest not far from where the boy’s body had been found was astounding. Apart from realizing that youn
Amy Imogene Reads
Mar 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I loved this one too. I can’t get over the fact that this crazy plot line has some basis in Canadian fact.

The eleventh book in the Armand Gamache series, The Nature of the Beast almost needs no introduction—I assume if you're reading this, you're mostly familiar with the world and series. BUT in case you're not, shoo! Spoilers! Go read the others and come back!

The beginning of this book was one of the weirder ones for me, which feels odd to say as i
Jan 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It is always a pleasure to return to Three Pines in Quebec. The characters are my old friends, and I feel right at home. I am welcomed by the season, the weather, the food and drink, the fireplace. It's great to see how the characters' lives have changed with time, or to look back in a life to see what experiences that character had lived through. There is always something new revealed about them. Given the comfort I felt with the location and the recurring characters, the murder story created t ...more
The historical aspects in this book are based on real events, as far-fetched as it might seem. Despite the freedom and democracy that the New World ensured its inhabitants, lethal evil also got a foothold in our hearts and mind. Not all people sought goodness and peace. Some forms of power-abuse culminated in monstrous atrocities. Terrifying, awe-inspiring and hopeful. This is the only words tumbling into my keyboard right now to explain the essence of the plot in the book.

Back in Three Pines ag
Jul 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
Unbelievable!! I do not want to put any descriptors about the storyline in this review. It will spoil the end (and I mean the end-end, the author's note). I thought this storyline was a bit far-fetched. What and why was Louise Penny writing about this? That's just a crazy idea. Again, the author's note answered my questions, made me give this 5 stars, and caused me to shake my head and declare: unbelievable!
Oct 23, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a wonderful series mostly set in the lovely scenic, idyllic and peaceful (did I say peaceful?) village of Three Pines in Quebec.

Three Pines has a village cast of mixed characters and personalities, which all interact with each other. Our beloved and retired Armand Gamache and his wife now live there. Those who’ve read the series know about their past history and how and why they’ve come to reside in this quaint little village.

This story begins with a young boy, Laurent, who is a rather
Ivonne Rovira
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A boy may cry wolf time and again, but that doesn’t mean there couldn’t be a wolf actually the village’s edge. Laurent Lepage, a 9-year-old so suffused with imaginary exploits that no one takes him seriously, disappears from Three Pines, a beautiful but tiny village in Canada’s Eastern Townships. Armand Gamache may be enjoying a well-deserved retirement from his position as chief inspector of the Sûreté du Québec in the same village, but his clever mind and resourcefulness are as sharp as ever. ...more
Nov 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Sometimes censorship is justified. What? This coming from Armand Gamache in the opening chapters is quite a shocking statement; and rather than give out too many details of what prompted this, I'll just say that this part of the book was something I've given some thought to in the past. Would you read a book (here its a play) if it was written by a convicted criminal for profit, or should it never have been published at all? Reviews influence what you will and will not read, but do you actually ...more
Nov 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
It pains me to give a book in this series a 2 star...but it was not my cup of tea. My least favorite of the bunch.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommended to Lilisa by: Melissa
Was so looking forward to the 11th Armand Gamache book. Notwithstanding the fact that I still love Louise Penny’s beautiful writing style and the characters she’s developed, this plot around which the story is woven seems a bit farfetched for the village of Three Pines and the threads don’t quite hang together. A young boy is murdered after he’s supposedly discovered something dreadful in the forest. No one believes nine-year old Laurent Lepage who is prone to wild imaginings and tall stories. B ...more
Aug 25, 2015 rated it liked it
I have read all the Louise Penny books set in the charming village of 3 Pines. Having enjoyed and even loved most of them, I was very excited to hear this would be published in late August and preordered it. Her writing is exquisite when she describes the village and gets deep into the hearts and minds of those who live there.
I can't say I enjoyed this book as much as some of the previous ones. I thought the plot was overly complicated and too many new characters were introduced. Some parts be
Joe Jones
Apr 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Grab a seat by the fire and have Gabri bring you a warm croissant and apple cider as murder once again comes to Three Pines. The stakes are higher than ever as old secrets threaten to tear about our favorite fictional town and maybe much more. Louise Penny once again tugs on our heartstrings in another stellar entry in this series.
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LOUISE PENNY is the author of the #1 New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling series of Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels. She has won numerous awards, including a CWA Dagger and the Agatha Award (seven times), and was a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Novel. In 2017, she received the Order of Canada for her contributions to Canadian culture. Louise lives in a small village south of ...more

Other books in the series

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache (1 - 10 of 16 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)
  • How the Light Gets In (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #9)
  • The Long Way Home (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #10)

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