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A Great Reckoning

(Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #12)

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  30,360 Ratings  ·  3,722 Reviews
Bestselling author Louise Penny pulls back the layers to reveal a brilliant and emotionally powerful truth in her latest spellbinding novel.

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
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Kindle Edition, 384 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…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.

Community Reviews

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Esil
Mar 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Diane S ☔
Jun 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Paromjit
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
Linda
"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
...more
Frances
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
Brenda
Sep 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Phrynne
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Cathrine ☯️
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
...more
Dana
Dec 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
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Sharron
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Jim
Aug 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
DeB MaRtEnS
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
...more
☮Karen
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
Truman32
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Suzanne
Aug 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Love this series, but this book is possibly the best in the series yet. Emotional, layered, and thoughtful.
Liz
Nov 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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
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LJ
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
...more
Carol Jean
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.
Kevin
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
Sandy
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
...more
Elaine Crockett
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
Margaret
Dec 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5/5

Proclaimer: I don’t usually read mysteries, but every year I look forward Louise Penny’s latest Armand Gamache novel. This year’s arrival is A Great Reckoning, Gamache #12. And while some of her books are stronger than others, I love them all, without exception. (Just so you know where I’m coming from.)

My previous favorite Louise Penny novel was her ninth, How the Light Gets In. In that book she spent most of her time resolving issues at the Sûreté and focusing on deep analyses of the majo
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Jacque
Sep 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm such a fan of Louise Penny's books! As I anxiously anticipate each new title, I worry just a little that I'll be disappointed, but only because my expectations are so high. Well, I vow to stop doing that! This one may be my favorite so far. You can read the synopsis elsewhere, so I won't repeat it here. The story is complex, with the beloved characters in attendance as well as some interesting new ones. Once again, Penny keeps the murder's identity well disguised. The clues are there, but sh ...more
Gill
Dec 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I've read and enjoyed a couple of other novels in the Inspector Gamache series.

I had heard very good reports about this latest one in the series (number 12), and the reports were certainly correct. I was gripped by the story from the first chapter. The first day I was reading it, I had to make myself go to bed rather than stay up half the night finishing it. The following day I 'cleared the decks' of things to do and read it to the end.

This can be read as a stand alone novel or as part of the s
...more
Mandy Radley
Apr 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Lesa
I have a great problem with Louise Penny's A Great Reckoning. I read it twice, and still have no idea how to review it without spoiling the book. And, because I feel as if the book jacket summary is confusing, that doesn't help. It's a superb book, as beautiful as all of Penny's other writings, but a difficult one to discuss.

Once again, Penny combines two storylines, bringing the outside world to Three Pines. It all begins with a discovery in the wall of the bistro, newspapers and magazines. And
...more
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
I thought this was one of the stronger in the series.

I should like to visit Three Pines, were it not for the murder rate. (Though not room with Ruth Zardo, thank you. You can book me at the B&B next to the bistro.)
debra
Aug 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really WONDERFUL!!!!!! See Diane S's review to see why it is so great.
PS A big THANK YOU to Diane S for making my reviews so easy to "write" -due to the excellence of hers!!!!
Nigel
Briefly - realistically 4.5/5 but happily rounded up. I'm inclined to think that this is maybe the best Louise Penny book I've read in the series.

In full - This is another tale of Armand Gamache and Three Pines. I came late to this series and Louise Penny however I felt at home immediately with the writing and characters. I've since read most of the earlier books and I would suggest reading them in order. It would be possible to read them as standalone books mostly (although one or two really do
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Around the Year i...: A Great Reckoning, by Louise Penny 3 29 Mar 07, 2017 10:30AM  
Around the Year i...: A Great Reckoning, by Louise Penny 2 13 Feb 01, 2017 01:25PM  
The Three Pines: A Great Reckoning #12 3 20 Jan 21, 2017 03:56AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: #53 A Great Reckoning 1 13 Oct 20, 2016 05:08AM  
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LOUISE PENNY, a former CBC radio journalist, is the #1 New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling author of thirteen 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 14 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)
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“Don’t believe everything you think.” 22 likes
“Don’t believe everything you think,” said Gamache, before releasing the hand and opening the door. “Pema Chödrön. A Buddhist nun.” 9 likes
More quotes…