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A Trick of the Light (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #7)

4.3  ·  Rating details ·  28,007 Ratings  ·  2,466 Reviews
“Hearts are broken,” Lillian Dyson carefully underlined in a book. “Sweet relationships are dead.”

But now Lillian herself is dead. Found among the bleeding hearts and lilacs of Clara Morrow's garden in Three Pines, shattering the celebrations of Clara's solo show at the famed Musée in Montreal. Chief Inspector Gamache, the head of homicide at the Sûreté du Québec, is calle
Audiobook, Unabridged
Published August 30th 2011 by Macmillan Audo (first published 2011)
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Jamie Archer Read in order! If you were to read only one or two, you could read them stand-alone, but if you intend to read most or all, definitely in order! There…moreRead in order! If you were to read only one or two, you could read them stand-alone, but if you intend to read most or all, definitely in order! There is such a beautiful development of characters that takes place starting from book one going forward. The books later in the series are much richer if you have in mind the history of Gamache, the other characters, and 3 Pines. I am on book #7, and each time I come back to the next book, it is like coming home. Happy reading!(less)
Becky Yes, they were considering naming the child after Armand's father if he was a boy, but at the end of the book they had a girl. Armand did make up with…moreYes, they were considering naming the child after Armand's father if he was a boy, but at the end of the book they had a girl. Armand did make up with Daniel before the baby was born and told him he would be ok with the name, though it turned out not to matter. (less)
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I have no idea why I want to grab the next book in this series the minute I am closing the current one. Let's face it, the series has become quite formulaic and the characters are all the same. Yet, after every book I still want to pack my bags and move to the murder capital of Canada, namely Three Pines. For such a small town, it is really riddled with violent deaths. The only reason why it is known is for its murders. The town was never surveyed; it is no where to be found on any GPS or sat na ...more
The Hook - I almost feel guilty about the review I am going to write about A Trick of Light. I feel guilty because Louise Penny’s Armand Gamache Novels are winning awards all over the board for best mystery writing and yet, the mystery is secondary to me. It is hard to determine what is most important in this series, the humor, the people, the locale or references to art, food, nature or in this case, the exploration of light and dark and all its connotations. My pleasure comes not from the solv ...more
In Bury Your Dead Clara Morrow's one woman art show appeared to be dead but then she met someone who set in motion and even better art show at a Montreal Art Museum which is where this story opens. The art show is followed by a party back at Three Pines for invited guests. The next morning Clara discovers the body of a dead woman in her garden. She is wearing a bright red dress and at first no one recognizes her or remembers seeing her at the party. When she is identified it turns out that she i ...more
Alan Bradley
Flavia’s followers will know that I’m a huge fan of Louise Penny, who has now won – among many other awards – an astonishing four consecutive Agatha Awards for her Armand Gamache series.

A new book from Louise is like Christmas in summer – a treat to be eked out and made to last. Interested?

Well, fetch the fireworks! Send up the skyrockets! – today is publication day for “A Trick of the Light”, the seventh in the series, and I, for one, can’t wait to get my hands on it.

Since Louise is, in many wa
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4000-books
This is definitely a series which is improved by reading the books in order. By this stage, book 7, the reader and the characters have become friends and Three Pines a place to look forward to visiting.

I really enjoyed A Trick of the Light and read it in one evening though I must admit I stayed up very late indeed to finish it! I was well rewarded though by that last little bit about Ruth. I do hope it really is what she has been waiting for!

The theme of this book is probably forgiveness and the
Megan Baxter
Apr 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I dabble in reading mysteries - I enjoy them, but I don't generally seek them out.

Louise Penny is an exception to this rule. These days, she's the one mystery author I will actively seek out, often borrowing copies of her books we've given to my mother or mother-in-law. Her books are always a pleasure to read, combining well-crafted mysteries with wonderful characters.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came
Richard Derus
Aug 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 4.875* of five

The Book Report: At the end of Bury Your Dead, Clara Morrow learned some news that sets in motion the plot of this latest Gamache-in-Three-Pines book. It is the kind of news that leads a person to plan a big, exciting party in her back garden, inviting tout le monde to share food and drink. The party was a smashing success, that is, until the next morning: Peter and Olivier are returning from a very important errand when their return is interrupted by the discovery of a bod
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
This is another well-written and suspenseful installment in this wonderful series. I never tire of Louse Penny's stories. It's been rewarding to follow and keep up with Gamache and his newest endeavors, and Three Pines is a welcome place. I love the humor and warmth in Louise Penny's writing. I'm ready to read number 8! Thanks to Goodreads, the author, and the publisher, I received a complimentary copy of this book.
Nov 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An Intriguing Whodunit.
The author has won several awards for her novels, and after reading A Trick of the Light, my first crime novel purchased in several years, I can appreciate why. I enjoyed this book very much as the story had an intriguing murder mystery to solve along with several interesting characters each with their own sorrows and tales to divulge. Move over Detective Poirot, Chief Inspector Gamache is indeed a force to be reckoned with.
Sep 12, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh no, no, no, Louise Penny. (Before you Louise Penny fans kill me, I must explain.) I have loved this series since it first came out and preordered a hardbound copy of this back in May. Louise is exceptional in her ability to bring the reader into the scene. You can taste the food, see the location, and smell the environment. She still has that ability in this novel and I was transported to Three Pines once again. BUT where is she going with her characters? I am so unhappy with the direction sh ...more
Aug 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Light Pours In

“Trick of the Light” is a fascinating story. At it’s center are two relationships, one is a marriage, the other a working relationship. Both are longstanding and have been very productive, loving and supportive. Both are in serious peril of d disintegrating. Against this backdrop Chief Inspector Gamache is searching for a killer. This is the first Penny book I’ve read and it won’t be the last. In my opinion it ranks right up there with Patricia Highsmith and Barbara Vine (Ruth
May 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this. I keep using the word "stunning" for Ms. Penny's work time and time again. AND I keep saying "this one is the best one yet." Big sigh.

A Trick of the Light is STUNNING and yes, it is the best one yet. HOW does she keep doing this? And continually top her own work? I have no idea other than the fact that she must be one of those angels walking the earth we hear about from time to time.

I'm not going to try to do a review - I'll leave that for the revie
Apr 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite in the series so far!
Nov 08, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I am a big fan of the Chief Inspector Gamache series and of Louise Penny's beautiful writing, but this book disappointed me for a few reasons. First of all, the author didn't play fair with the reader, which is a pet peeve of mine when I find it in mystery novels. I hate it when the reader is privy to all of the sleuth's thoughts and discoveries until a vital clue is found, then all of a sudden that isn't shared with the reader, so the reader is prevented from being able to solve the puzzle on h ...more
Jun 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Inspector Gamache series just gets better and better!

In the past few books, the author has been doing more of the longer character arcs than in previous ones (sort of the way Elizabeth George has been doing with her Inspector Lynley/Barbara Havers series). Still, you can pick up any one of the books and not feel as though you *had* to read previous ones to understand what's going on.

We're still dealing with the aftermath of the factory raid, and Gamache's unfortunate arrest of Olivier, but
Sep 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Previously on Goodreads, my review for book 6

On Friday, June 2nd, 2017, I got an email letting me know that my work library would be hosting an author event with Louise Penny on September 5th.
I think that was the first time I felt twisted up and punched in the throat over Mom since she died.
It was more than just the "We were reading these together" story, though; there's some residual guilt that's not warranted but I can't get rid of, regardless.

After she'd first started chemo, or maybe she was
Lewis Weinstein
Louise Penny writes a terrific story. In this one, Inspector Gamache is back in Three Pines to investigate another murder. This one leads to interesting disclosures regarding the contemporary art world and AA, with perceptive comments on both. The returning characters of Three Pines are all entangled in new, sometimes supportive and often fragile relationships. It is an intelligent group of mature individuals which allows Penney a broad canvass to display her own intelligent writing. A thoroughl ...more
May 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's good to be back with Armand again. I've been catching up with the series steadily and enjoyed all the books I've read. This one I found particularly good. In addition to the usual themes of Three Pines this one has a focus on alcoholism and I found that aspect powerful and I'm guessing well researched. There is the ongoing issues of trouble in the Surete although that is background theme for this one.

There is comfort for me in a Gamache book and Louise Penny manages to bring in a deep sens
Alex Cantone
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-challenge
”… you might be underestimating the art world. Don’t be fooled by the veneer of civility and creativity. It’s a vicious place, filled with insecure and greedy people. Fear and greed, that’s what shows up at vernissages. There’s a lot of money at stake. Fortunes. And a lot of egos involved. Volatile combination.”

Once again the tiny village of Three Pines, hidden in the Eastern Townships south of Montréal is host to a murder (a Canadian Midsomer?) and Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, Inspector Jean
First Sentence: Oh, no, no, no, thought Clara Morrow as she walked toward the closed doors.

Artist Clara Morrow’s first major art show in Montreal was stressful enough, without finding a body in her garden in Three Pines the following morning. Although uninvited to the local after-party, the woman is one Clara and her husband, Peter, had both known. Inspector Armand Gamache and his second, Jean Guy Bouvier transition from being friends of this small community’s residents, to being investigators l
Sep 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Louise Penny is - in my opinion - one of the best mystery writers writing today (I'd place her with Elizabeth George and, another Canadian favorite, Gail Bowen). I adore her books.

For me, the beauty of her books is that, while the mystery is obviously the overall plot guide, Ms. Penny also weaves in various minor plot lines related to her characters - which means you have stories within stories. This is much like Elizabeth George. I'd say that Ms. Penny goes a step further though, and makes her
Diane S ☔
Sep 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
4 1/2 Three Pines is a village in Canada that can not be found n any map, yet reading her mysteries is like coming home and revisiting friends you have not seen for a while. Penny mixes regular people and their human failings with humor, love and insight. Her story lines explore the mystery needing to be solved with psychological insights into their motives and personalities. Just love her writing.
I had skipped right over this one in my reading of the series, so have been meaning to listen to it for some time.

Another murder, this one in Clara's garden. But this was all about relationships. Clara's and Peter's relationship takes a turn. There's a focus on A A members making amends. And a major character is out of one relationship and headed toward a new one, while at the same time headed for disaster.

Very glad to get caught up finally.
Oct 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tbr-2017
Well we have some fall-out still from the shooting that killed some members of Armand Gamache's homicide unit. Jean-Guy is reeling from a lot of changes in his personal life that are not affecting his health. Gamache is troubled by changes going on with his daughter, Annie and with a former friend of his in Three Pines as well. A murder victim is found in Three Pines (again) that ends up revealing a lot about some of the residents there. I have to say that there was some minor-shake up in the se ...more
Roman Clodia
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Clara Morrow finally has her long-awaited exhibition - but the after-party is spoiled by a dead body in the garden...

Penny continues to put her characters through the emotional wringer in this book (which really needs to be read after the earlier episodes): both Gamache and Beauvoir are still suffering from the aftermath and fall-out of the factory raid, and Beauvoir's emotional life becomes more prominent.

The Morrows, too, are faced with harsh realities as Clara's success takes its toll on thei
Jul 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this series. The people who live in Three Pines, Quebec become more real to me with every book I read. They are so complicated and individual and I love every one of them. I would love them every one if I lived there and I wish I did. I tried to guess who the murderer was and couldn't although it seemed very plausible when I found out who it was. I highly recommend you read this one and all the rest of Penny's books. I can't wait for the next one!
Sep 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This series just gets better and better. Characters you can imagine being enemies and others that would be dear friends, a village where you want to live, food you want to eat...truly amazing writing that brings everything out in vivid color. Penny does a masterful job adding details like fine brush strokes to characters you thought you knew.
This is a nasty view of the petty infighting and jealousies behind the curtains of the art world. Echoes the best works of Agatha Christie.
4.75 rounded up to 5

Absolutely fantastic. The best in the series so far. Penny's books are such a delight to read. Far more than just regular "whodunnits" Penny's books explore the depths of human relationships, history, spirituality, pain, forgiveness, and so much more.

The bad news is that this is the 7th book in the series, and this is a series which really does need to be read in order so you can't just jump into to this one if you're looking for a good book. The good news is that the series
Nov 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nov 2017 Once again, a 5 star favorite. Ms. Penny makes each character complex, complicated and neither all good or all bad. Very hard to find the bad guy when so many could have done it. Only problem is I end up eating at 3 in the morning, sometimes.
Mar 15, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having read Louise Penny's "Bury Your Dead," which I liked (but didn't think was great), I decided to read the follow-up, "A Trick of the Light," but finally gave up on it halfway through and just asked my wife to tell me how it ended. "Bury Your Dead" had interesting-enough protagonists, but I thought its real virtue was the history of Quebec that Penny seamlessly wove into the narrative. The mystery itself certainly wasn't all that compelling. This book shares the same main police characters ( ...more
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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
More about Louise Penny...

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)
  • 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)
  • The Nature of the Beast (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #11)

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“Where other women ... were lovely, Annie Gamache was alive.
Late, too late, Jean Guy Beauvoir had come to appreciate how very important it was, how very attractive it was, how very rare it was, to be fully alive.”
“Despite himself, Beauvoir laughed. "There is strong shadow where there is much light."


But most he loved a happy human face.”
More quotes…