Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Better Man (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #15)” as Want to Read:
A Better Man (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #15)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Better Man

(Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #15)

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  31,766 ratings  ·  3,907 reviews
Catastrophic spring flooding, blistering attacks in the media, and a mysterious disappearance greet Chief Inspector Armand Gamache as he returns to the Sûreté du Québec in the latest novel by #1 New York Times bestselling author Louise Penny.

It's Gamache's first day back as head of the homicide department, a job he temporarily shares with his previous second-in-command, Je
Hardcover, 437 pages
Published August 27th 2019 by Minotaur Books
More Details... Edit Details
Featured Notes & Highlights

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Better Man, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Malissa By book 15, I might lean towards yes. Especially as this book covers the dynamics between Jean Guy and Gamache which has been great and tumultuous. AN…moreBy book 15, I might lean towards yes. Especially as this book covers the dynamics between Jean Guy and Gamache which has been great and tumultuous. AND why Gamache is "returning" to his old role and how people around him feel about that. This series is as much about relationships as it is about the crime. You're jumping in the deep end but probably no matter what this will be a great book. Highly recommend starting from the beginning if you can. (less)
Lana Billy Williams makes appearances in the early books in the series, too. Dead Cold/A Fatal Grace, for example. There's a running joke about how Gamache…moreBilly Williams makes appearances in the early books in the series, too. Dead Cold/A Fatal Grace, for example. There's a running joke about how Gamache can never understand what he's saying because of his dialect/accent. "Norfolk and whey" and "Whale oil beef hooked." :)(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.31  · 
Rating details
 ·  31,766 ratings  ·  3,907 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of A Better Man (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #15)
Diane S ☔
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lor-2019
Everytime I start reading a Louise Penny novel I am confronted with a dilemma. Do I read it quickly because really I don't want to put it down, or do I read it slowly because I don't want it to end? How does she do it? This is the 15th I the Three Pines series and it keeps getting better and better. In this one, I my opinion, she outdid herself, combining some important issues of the day, with an outstanding, difficult to solve mystery. The issues of climate change, abuse and the devastation it ...more
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Louise Penny is a treasure when it comes to the world of crime fiction, this is a stunning addition to this stellar series set in the village of Three Pines in Quebec, Canada, featuring the incomparable and wise Chief Inspector Gamache, having now been demoted by those more spineless, self serving and ambitious, wanting to besmirch the reputation of a man they perceive as having too much power and a threat. They never expected Gamache to accept the demotion to Head of Homicide from being Chief b ...more

In the midst of a threat from devastating Spring floods, Vivienne Godin, 25 and pregnant, is missing, her father is frantic, and her drunken, abusive husband, Carl Tracey, is suspected at having a hand in her disappearance. As the father of a daughter the same age, Gamache finds himself increasingly unable to stay objective as they search for the missing woman. Mistakes are made. A side plot included vicious social media attacks on Gamache for his past actions.

At the same time Clara is publicly
karen Moore
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: general-fiction
I was SO disappointed by this book. I have loved this series, and have been looking forward to "A Better Man" for months, and it was just such a let-down.

Her writing style seemed to change, and this book is filled with sentences. Broken up. Into multiple sentences. For no reason. So, so many sentence fragments. I do that occasionally, in texts, to emphasize a point, but doing it constantly throughout the book makes the technique lose all sense of emphasis and just gets really annoying.

Also (an
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
After getting my hands on the latest Louise Penny novel, I could not wait to get started. This explosive series, set in rural Quebec, gives not only the feel of a wonderful mystery but also hones in on all things Canadian. After serving his suspension, Armand Gamache is back in his position as Chief Inspector within the Sûreté du Québec, though there is a whispered power struggle within Homicide. While many are worried about how it will resolve itself, Gamache wants only to work and agrees to in ...more
After finishing #15 in the Inspector Gamache series, I am sadly saying goodbye.

I’m tired of Armand Gamache getting into trouble with the higher-ups in command. I liked it better when he was solving murders and quoting poetry. In this book Gamache and his sidekicks, Jean-Guy Beauvoir and Isabelle Lacoste, all get together to find a woman who has disappeared, which is unusual in itself, as it is not known if she is dead or not. Also, over the years Jean-Guy and Isabelle have been promoted and the
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5000-2019
Just returned from my annual visit to Montreal and Three Pines. Sadly it only took a day, but I met all my old friends again and caught up on all the gossip. I really should have made the trip last longer. Now I have a whole year to wait until the next time.

Poor Gamache and Clara, both attacked and vilified by social media. Beauvoir, Annie and little Honore, bags packed and off to live in Paris. Rising river levels and the race to save the province, but especially Three Pines, from flooding. All
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ew
Our date came a bit early this year, Armand, which makes it bitter sweet. Sweet because I got to catch up with you and our friends in Three Pines a little earlier in the summer than usual. Bitter because our time together is already over until next year.

I found this year’s dose of Louise Penny got off to a slow start. Armand Gamache is struggling, as usual, with his place in the Quebec police, and the mystery at the centre of A Better Man focuses on a seemingly straightforward missing person cas
Jul 06, 2020 rated it liked it

In this 15th book in the 'Chief Inspector Armand Gamache' series, the detective is once again set to become Head of Homicide of the Sûreté du Québec. The book can be read as a standalone but familiarity with the series is a plus.


Armand Gamache, who resides in the Canadian village of Three Pines, was Chief Superintendent of the Sûreté du Québec until he engineered a risky drug operation. The plan succeeded, but at a terrible cost. As a result, self-serving politicians suspended Gamache for
"He knew that few people would look at him and imagine the wreckage he'd crawled out of not all that long ago."

Louise Penny shifts the current in A Better Man with our beloved Armand Gamache not as sure-footed, not as dynamic, not as on top of his game as in previous novels. Indeed, it's a turnabout that was difficult for the readers to embrace in the beginning portion of this book. I felt that things were a bit unsteady for the community of Three Pines in which I consider myself a card carrying
2.5 stars
I have always been a Louise Penny enthusiastic reader and always awaited her new books with lots of anticipation and happiness. So I am totally bummed that I didn't like this book as much as I had hoped.

I know that different readers have contrasting reactions to stories and in that we see how people are different in what they read and feel. It makes reading a book so very interesting because we can view divergent opinions and ways of looking at things.

What I found in this story that s
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
I adored Louise Penny's early books -- read them in print and listened in audiobook whilst driving. The hole in the ceiling where the rain gets in... occurred last year with Kingdom of the Blind. This year, the coup de grace, A Better Man.

My admiration for Louise Penny and her creation of Three Pines and its inhabitants -- around which I built a wonderful vacation last year, traveling a great distance to get to know the eastern townships (highly recommended!) -- is so high that I offer these su
Apr 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-of-2020
Louise Penny writes mysteries like no other. They are as much philosophical treatises as crime stories.
This time around, Gamache is returning after a nine month suspension and a demotion. It’s early spring and all of Quebec is about to flood. Serious, 100 year floods. “Gabri paled. It was, he knew, a sign of the End of Days. Ruth refusing booze.”
A father reports his pregnant daughter missing and Gamache takes up the case. No matter his position, Gamache is a mentor, a teacher. He is always a c
Penny (Literary Hoarders)
This will more than likely be the last book I finish in 2019 (the decade!) and I couldn't have chosen a better one to end with!

Penny always seamlessly blends social issues into her mysteries and blends them well into the lives of all in Three Pines. Here she takes on the issue of climate crisis - flooding - and also (the scourge of) social media. She has a deft pen for it (a master, which I discovered how much so when reading The Birds That Stay). It's never clunky and it's always on point and
Cathrine ☯️
Oct 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: favorite-author, arc
3 🌲🌲🌲
There is a small sideline story in this mystery concerning Clara Morrow. She has lost her muse and is being attacked in social media as a no longer noteworthy artist, producing mediocre work, riding the wave of her previous acclaim. Hmmm…
Insert deep breath here—Merde!
Friends know I love the series but this one left me feeling underwhelmed.
There was much redundancy and rehashing of previous themes, life lessons, and dialogue. I felt it overly proselytized on previous content to the point of
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
*4.5* stars. It is always a joy to read a new book by Louise Penny, and to be transported to her stellar creation, the fictional village of Three Pines, Quebec and its residents. I not only appreciate the atmospheric storytelling where I can visualize the place and people, but I want to live there. I feel that I already know the villagers. This is the 15th book set in Three Pines, and the author has maintained her usual high quality.

These books are police procedural/mysteries. With each new on
Jean-Guy Beauvoir was in his final weeks before he moved with Annie and Honore to Paris for their new life. His new job. But there would be one more case before his departure and it started with the spring thaw, flooding and desperation from the authorities to save communities. And a missing woman. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache was by Jean-Guy’s side in these last weeks as they traded words, information, theories and more; as was Isabelle Lacoste, who was still recovering from injuries that alm ...more
Mary Beth
Sep 30, 2019 rated it liked it

Review to come soon!
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
"With some surprise Gamache realized that he had become part of the refuse he'd spent his career salvaging. But that didn't mean he was useless. Just, maybe, repurposed"

"Things are strongest when they're broken"

Armand Gamache is back. He has been demoted from Chief Superintendent of the Sûreté du Québec and finds that he is once again Chief Inspector and head of homicide. A job that he will share with his former second-in-command, and son-in-law, Jean-Guy Beauvoir. There are some who thought he
Aug 30, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
First Sentence: "Merde."

Inspector Armand Gamache may be bruised by the events of the past, but he is not beaten. He may no longer have the authority he once did, as evidenced by those in charge ignoring his recommendation to keep citizens safe from the rising river waters due to torrential rains, but he still has the respect of the team who once reported to him, and of his son-in-law and temporary superior, Jean-Guy Beauvoir. A fellow officer is concerned about the disappearance of her close fri
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It took me less than 24 hours to read this 448-page book. Nuff said.
Sheila Beaumont
This 15th entry in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series is my favorite. In fact, every new book in this series is my favorite. I don't know how Louise Penny does it, but somehow each book is even better than the previous one. I love her characters, and I can't wait to find out what they get up to in the next book.
Lydia Ingram
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
I was rather heartbroken by how disappointing this book was. It drags. And drags. And drags. But that’s only part of the problem.

It’s highly derivative of her early work, like a warmed-over plate of last week’s leftovers. Whereas her early books each had a unique and lovely theme that offered fresh perspectives and a multi-layered, textured, immersive reading experience, “A Better Man” offers the opposite. Penny seems to have long ago run out of new ideas. I am sorely disappointed that she keep
Kari Ann Sweeney
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, audio-books, 2019
picked up the latest book in the Inspector Gamache series from the library on pub day last week. (Not so humble brag). Every time I start a new Louise Penny book my inner dialogue says, "Slow down, savor it! You'll have to wait a year for the next one." This time I succeed better than in the past and spread it out over a couple of days.
I adore this series. Yes- the series starts a bit slow. But in my opinion it is worth the reading investment. Over 15 books, Three Pines and the characte
Amy Imogene Reads

This might be too harsh, but I knew who had committed the crime by the first third of the story, so I found the second half way more tedious than necessary. I loved the side plots, and I loved the interpersonal relationships, but the murder mystery? Too on the nose.
Armand Gamache is not in charge in this book but he is still the one everyone looks to for guidance and correct procedure. A murder investigation is hindered by a great flood, the likes of, only seen every 100 years. All the regular characters are represented but I wish that there were more interactions between the Three Pines crew that I have grown to love and enjoy so much. A good ending earned this addition the fourth star for me. Another buddy read with my great book pal Mary Beth.
Aug 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Louise Penny really generates some great crime fiction and I enjoyed this book. The continuing characters are once again solving a murder in Three Pines, Quebec, Canada. This time a young woman married to a known abusive husband, is killed. Jean-Guy Beauvoir is in charge of the investigation. Gamache is working with him, but was demoted from and is now in charge of Homicide. The usual Three Pines residents are still around, Ruth Zardo, the foul-mouthed poet; Claire, the artist; Reine-Marie, Gama ...more
She has done it again. With a vengeance. Take the same backwater in Québec, the same core of main characters, and write fifteen crime stories with that. You will probably end up with predictable plots. But Louise Penny doesn’t. Not ever. A Better Man is here to prove it. Once more.
VERDICT: Louise Penny is a mystery in herself. Once again, for this #15 i the series, she managed to deliver a unique book, with an original plot. And red herrings. And many twists and layers.

See my review here
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Crime, Mysteries ...: This topic has been closed to new comments. A Better Man by Louise Penny - November 2020 1 12 Sep 23, 2020 10:39AM  
Play Book Tag: [pbA Better Man by Louise Penny, 4 stars 1 6 Jul 01, 2020 12:21PM  
SCPL Online Ficti...: Week 4 1 4 Jun 22, 2020 09:52AM  
SCPL Online Ficti...: Week 3 1 4 Jun 17, 2020 11:27AM  
SCPL Online Ficti...: Week 2 2 5 Jun 10, 2020 05:16AM  
SCPL Online Ficti...: A Better Man 2 6 Jun 02, 2020 10:25AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Long Call (Two Rivers, #1)
  • A Bitter Feast (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #18)
  • The Night Fire (Harry Bosch, #22; Renée Ballard, #3; Harry Bosch Universe, #32)
  • The Dutch House
  • Olive, Again
  • A Divided Loyalty (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #22)
  • The Old Success (Richard Jury, #25)
  • A Cruel Deception (Bess Crawford, #11)
  • This Tender Land
  • The Lantern Men (Ruth Galloway, #12)
  • The American Agent (Maisie Dobbs, #15)
  • The New Girl (Gabriel Allon #19)
  • Big Sky (Jackson Brodie, #5)
  • Trace Elements (Comissario Guido Brunetti #29)
  • Lady in the Lake
  • Hid from Our Eyes (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #9)
  • To the Land of Long Lost Friends (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #20)
  • Bloody Genius (Virgil Flowers, #12)
See similar books…
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)

Articles featuring this book

Want to read the latest and greatest in the mystery and thriller genre? We dug into our data to find readers' top 20 mysteries published in the...
53 likes · 11 comments
“Consequences,” said Gamache. “We must always consider the consequences of our actions. Or inaction. It won’t necessarily change what we do, but we need to be aware of the effect.” 10 likes
“Chief Inspector Gamache’s says there are ‘four sentences that lead to wisdom: I don’t know. I need help. I’m sorry. I was wrong.” 8 likes
More quotes…