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Fiction Traditional British

A Great Reckoning

A Novel

by (author) Louise Penny

Initial publish date
May 2017
Traditional British, International Mystery & Crime
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2016
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2017
    List Price

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Where to buy it


Instant New York Times bestseller:
#1 in Hardcover Fiction
#1 in E-book Fiction
#1 in Combined Print and E-book Fiction
"Deep and grand and altogether extraordinary....Miraculous."
The Washington Post
- The New York Times Book Review
- People
A Great Reckoning succeeds on every level."
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
#1 New York Times 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 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 Homicide for the Sûreté du Québec to places even he is afraid to go. But must.
And there he finds four young cadets in the Sûreté academy, and a dead professor. And, with the body, a copy of the old, odd map.
Everywhere Gamache turns, he sees Amelia Choquet, one of the cadets. Tattooed and pierced. Guarded and angry. Amelia is more likely to be found on the other side of a police line-up. And yet she is in the academy. A protégée of the murdered professor.
The focus of the investigation soon turns to Gamache himself and his mysterious relationship with Amelia, and his possible involvement in the crime. The frantic search for answers takes the investigators back to Three Pines and a stained glass window with its own horrific secrets.
For both Amelia Choquet and Armand Gamache, the time has come for a great reckoning.

About the author


  • Nominated, Macavity Award - Nominee
  • Winner, Agatha Awards - Winner
  • Long-listed, Goodreads Choice Awards
  • Long-listed, NPR Best Book of the Year
  • Long-listed, Washington Post Best Books of the Year
  • Long-listed, Kirkus Reviews Best Books of the Year

Contributor Notes

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 (six 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 Montréal.

Editorial Reviews

#1 New York Times Bestseller
#1 Globe and Mail Bestseller
New York Times Book Review 10 Best Crime Novels of the Year
The Washington Post Best Mystery Books and Thrillers of 2016
NPR’s Best Books of 2016
Seattle Times 10 Best Mysteries of 2016
Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction 2016
Publishers Weekly Best Mysteries and Thrillers of 2016
Winner of the 2016 BookBrowse Fiction Award
LibraryReads "Favorite of Favorites" Top 10 Books of 2016
Goodreads Best Mystery & Thriller of 2016 finalist
BookPage 10 Best Mysteries and Thrillers of 2016
Audible’s Best Mystery/Thriller of 2016
St. Louis Post-Dispatch 5 Favorite Audiobooks of 2016
BOLO Books Top Reads of 2016
"Deep and grand and altogether extraordinary....Miraculous."
The Washington Post
“Artful… powerful… magical.”
The New York Times Book Review
O, the Oprah Magazine
“Transcends the mystery genre.”
AARP, The Magazine
"Luminous prose, complex but uncluttered plots, and profound compassion."
Seattle Times
Charlotte Observer
“Satin prose… A splendid and moving novel.”
Richmond Times Dispatch
A Great Reckoning succeeds on every level."
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Louise Penny [is] legendary... The magic of Penny’s books lies in the details."
"This complex novel deals with universal themes of compassion, weakness in the face of temptation, forgiveness, and the danger of falling into despair and cynicism over apparently insurmountable evils."
Publishers Weekly (starred and boxed)
"A compelling mystery and a rich human drama in which no character is either entirely good or evil, and each is capable of inspiring empathy."
Booklist (starred)
"A chilling story that's also filled with hope a beloved Penny trademark.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred)
"Riveting...with characters of incredible depth who only add to the strength of the plot."
Library Journal (starred)
“Smart and Satisfying.”
Salisbury Post
“Delivers answers to perplexing puzzles…[with] engaging characters and richly layered plot.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Additional Praise for Louise Penny and the Armand Gamache Mysteries
“Penny sustains her high-wire act, creating characters of remarkable depth in an exhilarating whodunit.”
“Louise Penny is unsurpassed at building a sense of heart-stopping urgency."
The Charlotte Observer
“Penny, who raises the bar with each entry in this superb series, has always mixed murder and corruption with issues of morality...[S]he does so with her accustomed talent for a gripping plot, rich characterizations, arresting prose and thought-provoking questions of mercy, malice and the contradictions of the human race." —Richmond-Times Dispatch
"This series dominates best-seller lists and award lists for a reason. Penny tells powerful stories of damage and healing in the human heart, leavened with affection, humor and – thank goodness – redemption."
—Salem Macknee, Charlotte Observer
“Penny writes with grace and intelligence about complex people struggling with complex emotions. But her great gift is her uncanny ability to describe what might seem indescribable – the play of light, the sound of celestial music, a quiet sense of peace.”
New York Times Book Review

User Reviews

Engaging and character driven

This is an engaging character driven mystery crime novel. It follows a man who is trying to clean up a corrupt system. Murder ensues. But, it also includes a few extra bits of intrigue, including an historic mystery that feels a bit like a Agatha Christie. I enjoyed the characters, I enjoyed trying to guess the answers to the various mysteries, and I enjoyed the book.

This is the first of the Gamache series I've read (picked at random, because the first wasn't available at the time). I can't wait to read more of the series.

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