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Fiction Traditional British

How the Light Gets In

A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel

by (author) Louise Penny

Initial publish date
Aug 2013
Traditional British
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2013
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jul 2014
    List Price

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The #1 New York Times Bestseller
"There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." —Leonard Cohen
Christmas is approaching, and in Québec it's a time of dazzling snowfalls, bright lights, and gatherings with friends in front of blazing hearths. But shadows are falling on the usually festive season for Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. Most of his best agents have left the Homicide Department, his old friend and lieutenant Jean-Guy Beauvoir hasn't spoken to him in months, and hostile forces are lining up against him. When Gamache receives a message from Myrna Landers that a longtime friendhas failed to arrive for Christmas in the village of Three Pines, he welcomes the chance to get away from the city. Mystified by Myrna's reluctance to reveal her friend's name, Gamache soon discovers the missing woman was once one of the most famous people not just in North America, but in the world, and now goes unrecognized by virtually everyone except the mad, brilliant poet Ruth Zardo.
As events come to a head, Gamache is drawn ever deeper into the world of Three Pines. Increasingly, he is not only investigating the disappearance of Myrna's friend but also seeking a safe place for himself and his still-loyal colleagues. Is there peace to be found even in Three Pines, and at what cost to Gamache and the people he holds dear?
How the Light Gets Inis the ninth Chief Inspector Gamache Novel from Louise Penny.
One ofPublishers Weekly's Best Mystery/Thriller Books of 2013
One ofThe Washington Post's Top 10 Books of the Year
An NPR Best Book of 2013

About the author


  • Nominated, Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominee
  • Unknown, Edgar Allen Poe Award Nominee
  • Unknown, The Globe Books 100
  • Long-listed, Library Journal Best Books of the Year
  • Long-listed, Barnes and Noble Best New Books of the Year
  • Long-listed, Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year
  • Long-listed, Washington Post Best Books of the Year
  • Winner, NPR Best Book of the Year
  • Long-listed, Boston Globe Best Books of the Year
  • Nominated, Agatha Awards - Nominee
  • Long-listed, Apple iBooks Best of the Year
  • Long-listed, AudioFile Best Audiobooks
  • Long-listed, AudioFile Best Voices

Contributor Notes

LOUISE PENNY is the author of the #1New York TimesandGlobe 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

“A magnificent writer who deftly and sympathetically explores the dark desires, pains and joys of the human heart in each immaculately-crafted tale she writes.” —Cleveland Plain Dealer on How the Light Gets In
“Masterful...Once again, Penny impressively balances personal courage and faith with heartbreaking choices and monstrous evil.” —Publishers Weekly (starred) on How the Light Gets In
“Penny has always used setting to support theme brilliantly, but here she outdoes herself, contrasting light and dark, innocence and experience, goodness and evil both in the emotional lives of her characters and in the way those characters leave their footprints on the landscape. Another bravura performance from an author who has reinvented the village mystery as profoundly as Dashiell Hammett transformed the detective novel.” —Booklist (starred) on How the Light Gets In
“Highly recommended for mystery lovers, readers who enjoy character-driven mysteries, and those who like seeing good triumph and evil get its just desserts.” —Library Journal (starred) on How the Light Gets In
“Three Pines, with its quirky tenants, and luminous insights into trust and friendship...will hook readers and keep them hooked.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred) on How the Light Gets In
“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
“Gorgeous writing…fresh and fully realized.” —The Washington Post onThe Beautiful Mystery
“Penny proves again that she is one of our finest writers.” —PeopleonA Trick of the Light

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