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A Great Reckoning

(Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #12)

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  42,511 ratings  ·  4,784 reviews
When an intricate old map is found stuffed into the walls of the bistro in Three Pines, it at first seems no more than a curiosity. But the closer the villagers look, the stranger it becomes.

Given to Armand Gamache as a gift the first day of his new job, the map eventually leads him to shattering secrets. To an old friend and older adversary. It leads the former Chief of
Hardcover, 389 pages
Published August 30th 2016 by Minotaur Books
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Cynthia K I'm a huge fan of the CBC and cannot believe that the people who cast and set this program have ever read any of the books. It was a great disappointm…moreI'm a huge fan of the CBC and cannot believe that the people who cast and set this program have ever read any of the books. It was a great disappointment; the town they used as the background would have been like using a suburb of New York City as a stand in for Woodstock. And there are some utterly gorgeous little towns in the Eastern Townships that would have been so much more believable.
Also, the casting didn't even try to match the book character to an actor. There's no way it could have been perfect because a book is a journey with your mind, but Myrna was far too thin and stylish, Ruth far to nice and attractive, and Clara not nearly artsy enough.
Thanks ... I've been dying to get that off my chest (and I watched it when it first aired!)!(less)
Karen Publishers make advance copies available so they can create a buzz ready for publication date.

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Mar 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I had a really good time on our annual date, Armand. Either I'm old enough to find the familiar uplifting and comforting or maybe you're just really good at keeping things fresh and interesting. Whatever it is, this was definitely one of our best dates. I hope Reine Marie isn't too jealous...

At the end of every August, my consolation for seeing the end of the summer is that Louise Penny publishes a new mystery featuring Armand Gamache and the village of Three Pines. I love the series. I love the
Diane S ☔
Jun 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
To say she has done it again is an understatement. I very seldom rate mysteries five stars but in this case it is well deserved. Gamache accepts a job as the head of the Surete, the school where cadets train. But why and what does he hope to accomplish there? Some of the most well known players from previous books return. There is a murder and a map, a new cadet with ties to Gamache. Three Pines is featured prominently in this one, the characters, the church. Old mystery, new mystery.

Louise Pen
Aug 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a character driven mystery crime novel which engages the reader effortlessly. Louise Penny returns to Three Pines, and the eccentric, wonderful and comical characters that reside there. Armand Gamache, after almost dying in his efforts to cleanse the dirty cops in the Quebec Surete, has a new challenge in his life. He is the Commander of the Surete Training School for which his wife Reine-Marie is grateful as she imagines he will be safe. However, Armand's unenviable task is to root out ...more
"Things are strongest where they're broken," said Commander Gamache, his voice deep and calm and certain.

I must tell you.

I don't know where the magnitude of strength came from that propelled Louise Penny to write this most beautiful of life sonnets to her husband, Michael. She penned A Great Reckoning while her husband battled dementia. "Dementia is a marauder, a thief. But every hole it drills has been filled by our friends. By practical help and emotional support."

And her beloved character of
Sep 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have read the previous 11 Armand Gamache books, and they all led to the events and revelations in this, the 12th. I felt like I was coming home as I started the book. I wanted to go slow and immerse myself in Three Pines, and I was successful until I had to know the secrets and I couldn't stop reading. Many people talk about certain books as if they were peeling away layers of an onion. To me, this story was like a rose, opening petal by petal.

Armand has found a new purpose as the Commander o
Aug 20, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5*. Armand Gamache has recently taken over as the commander of the Sûreté Academy for the training of new cadets. He begins his new position by firing many of the inferior and no doubt corrupt Professors. But he keeps one on, the one suspected of fraud, kickbacks, and an unorthodox way of training the new cadets. Gamache is desperate to discover the evidence he needs to put this Professor behind bars for a very long time However, things rarely go as planned and once a murder takes place everyt ...more
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 5000-books
In my review of the previous book in this series I wished that Armand Gamache would soon come out of retirement and get back to what he is really good at - taking charge and solving crimes. I got my wish and after sifting through a number of offers for very senior positions Gamache chooses one nearest to his own heart as Commander of the Surete Academy.

Action in the book is divided between Three Pines and the Academy which made me happy. There is an interesting twist when Gamache himself is susp
Cathrine ☯️
Oct 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
5★ Shining so brightly!
While the author was writing this 12th book in her Inspector Gamache series her husband was in the last stages of Alzheimer’s disease and passed away shortly after its publication. In the acknowledgements she writes tenderly and lovingly about him and the many friends, neighbors, and colleagues whose help and emotional support were invaluable to her. That list included “Armand, Reine-Marie, Clara, Myrna, Gabri, Ruth, et al.”
Those of us who love this series can understand
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Louise Penny shows her creative side in reimagining the central characters in her well-established Canadian police procedural series, taking the reader on a mysterious journey in which only Armand Gamache could find himself. Gamache has decided that a life of retirement might not yet be for him. While huddled around a pile of paperwork, the former Chief Inspector has to make the final decisions on new admission to the Sûreté du Québec Police Academy. Having accepted the role of the academy’s com ...more
“They stomped their feet, brushed wet snow off their coats, and slapped their hats against their legs. It was a singular Québec jig learned in the womb.”

Hardly unique, but typical of the kind of scene readers are so familiar with in Three Pines, the village in Québec that doesn’t exist in real life, or even on Canadian maps in the series. In this novel, we learn what happened to it, as well as to a village first called Roof Trusses. That’s right. Roof Trusses.

Gamache is now Commander of the
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
Robert Bathurst does a great job of narrating Louise Penny's A Great Reckoning, #12 in The Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series.

This is only my second Louise Penny and I have to admit to being enamoured by Gamache's steely yet gentle personality, his sense of honour.

Central to this story is an old orienteering map discovered hidden in the wall of the old Bistro at Three Pines, a town that appears on no map other than this one.

This tale of murder is intricately wound with false trails and leads
Dec 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks
This is one of the best books in the series! Now that I am caught up...I have to wait a year for the next book to come out and return to one of my favorite spots, with my favorite characters, in Three Pines.
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canadian-fiction
Every time I read a title in this series, I think how could it possibly be better than the last, and yet it is. Penny writes with a depth of complexity that reaches out and draws the reader in.

In this latest title Gamache has taken his quest to clean up police corruption to its very beginning, the police academy. Where better to stop corruption than to prevent it from starting. It soon becomes clear that it won't be an easy task, old foes and forces are still at work.

When murder arrives at the
By the time you get to the 12th novel in a series I often find myself losing interest and that the stories just aren't as good as they were. Not with this series. If anything the series seems to get stronger. I feel like I know the characters and they could be friends. Louise Penny has a superb gift for describing scenes and people so that you feel like you are right there ... enjoying the food, sitting in front of a fire, and are part of the conversation. These are stories of relationships and ...more
It is always terrific to return to Three Pines, the neighbourly if eccentric cast and catch up with Armande Gamache and his family. Louise Penny has created a unique series, close to being "cozy" and driven by the Inspector's keen intelligence and compassionate soul. At the same time, the mysteries are intense and multi-layered, with unexpected solutions.

In the latest book in the series, Armande Gamache has accepted a job with the Police Training Academy. Le Sûreté has recovered from the corrup
Nov 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing

A new Louise Penny novel is like getting together with a group of old friends. She paints her characters so well that you feel you know them as real people. In this latest book in the series, Armand has taken over the commander position of the Surete Academie. As with all her books, the action is as much interior, in thought, as it is external. We are witness to all Armand’s decisions, some quite risky, to bring the Academy out of the quagmire.

Penny introduces us to several students, Amelia in
It's always wonderful to be back with the somewhat eccentric folk of Three Pines and it was good to see Armand Gamache recovered and ready to take on a new challenge. He has taken the position of Commander of the Sûreté Academy determined to stamp out the cruelty he has seen in it's more recent police graduates. He makes a few risky decisions in which staff to sack and who to recruit, which backfires somewhat when there is a murder.

Back in Three Pines, an unusual map has been found in the walls
First Sentence: Armand Gamache sat in the little room and closed the dossier with care, squeezing it shut, trapping the words inside.

No longer the head of homicide for the Sûreté du Quebec, Armand Gamache has finally decided on his next position, and the people with whom he wants to work. It's a position where he feels he can made a difference and a correction to something gone very wrong. When one person dies, the situation becomes even more dire then simply uncovering the facts behind the crim
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love the Fall. It’s the season where the weather is more moderate--better for running. Football starts. There’s usually a new iPhone coming out, pumpkins can be found everywhere from front porch stoops to fancy coffee drinks, and it is the season where the new books from my authors (usually mystery series) are released.

Louise Penny is right on schedule this September with her newest Chief Inspector Armand Gamache mystery, A Great Reckoning and it’s sensational. I can’t say this series is unde
Carol Jean
Sep 08, 2016 rated it it was ok
EVERY FREAKIN' ONE OF HER BOOKS I start out enjoying the characters and the tension and end up face to face with a completely unbelievable situation. And that damn old poet and her duck. And that stupid fairy-tale village. ARRRGGGGHHHH. By now I should know better.
These books are so hard to review because no matter what I say, no matter how inconsequential it may seem, I don't want to give away anything at all that might be spoilerish for someone. As the title hints, some things that have gone unanswered are answered, about Three Pines' history especially. There's also a murder to solve, this time at the Sûreté academy, where Gamache has just started a new career. The murderer could be one of the cadets, a professor, or even Gamache himself. Anyone and ev ...more
Aug 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love this series, but this book is possibly the best in the series yet. Emotional, layered, and thoughtful.
Elaine Crockett
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
I'm in the minority, but I thought this book would be terrific, and frankly, it isn't, and it certainly isn't what I expected based on the glowing reviews. I couldn't get past the half-way point because I felt no connection to these characters. The Chief Inspector is TOO perfect and the foul-mouthed old woman is TOO imperfect. And so it goes with the characters, everyone seemingly "good" or "bad." Maybe this series is an acquired taste because it has many wonderful reviews from fans who obviousl ...more
4.5 stars

Wow. As usual, the combination of Ms. Penny's sublime prose & a twisty mystery with several sub plots creates a story that guarantees you'll be packing this with you everywhere until you're done. The last book almost felt like she was ending the series. It answered a lot of questions, tied up story lines & I wondered if Armand & Reine-Marie were riding off into the sunset over Three Pines.
Here, they're back in fine form with a sinister murder taking centre stage. Wonderful moments of h
Alex Cantone
“Ill-prepared, insolent young agents were showing up in the lowest ranks of the Sûreté, and being promoted. One or two could be considered normal in a population, but there were too many. The academy had become a nursery, a factory, a training ground and a conduit for brutality… fostered an environment where that sort of behaviour was normal, valued and rewarded.”

In A Great Reckoning Chief Inspector Gamache is lured out of retirement to take over as Commander of the police academy to root out co
Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I purposefully took my time with this book, savoring every chapter. You can't define this book or this series as only mysteries but as true literary works of art. 12 novels, 10 of which I gave 5 shining stars and list as some of my favorites! This story describes a place where I could see myself living, croissants I wish I was eating, characters I wish were my friends and others who feel like family. At points this book made me laugh out loud, at another time I was brought to the edge of tears b ...more
The mystery of the old map, hidden behind the wall of the bistro in Three Pines, for at least 100 years, was an enigma that hadn’t seemed that important at the beginning. But when Armand Gamache began his new job at the Sûreté academy, it suddenly took on an importance that was surprising. The cadets of the academy – four in particular – were involved. Gamache knew that but he didn’t know how or why. It was when one of the professors was murdered and Inspector Jean-Guy Beauvoir and Chief Inspect ...more
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, series, crime
Evil is unspectacular and always human,
And shares our bed and eats at our own table,
And we are introduced to Goodness every day,
Even in drawing-rooms among a crowd of faults;
He has a name like Billy and is almost perfect,
But wears a stammer like a decoration:

And every time they meet the same thing has to happen;
It is the Evil that is helpless like a lover
And has to pick a quarrel and succeeds,
And both are openly destroyed before our eyes.

-Herman Melville

An old map hidden in a wall
A stained glas
Mandy Radley
Apr 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So, I've now read them all as far as they go and all I can say is bring on the next one. I don't want to say too much and give anything away with the story line for those that are still reading it. I have enjoyed this series so much I'm sorry that I've now got to wait for the next one, on the other hand it means I can now read some of the books that have accumulated on my kindle. I can't recommend this series enough.
Jan 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
I love Louise Penny's Chief Inspector Gamache series very much - Gamache is such a wonderful antidote to the brooding, noirish detective we so often see. I am working my way right through this series, in which the author combines an winning cast of quirky central characters, an unforgettable location in the rural Quebec village of Three Pines, and fast-paced, dramatic and often unbearably tense action. She sure knows how to put favourite characters in jeopardy! Great entertainment.
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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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