How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny

How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny

Genre: Mystery
Series: #9 in the Inspector Armand Gamache series
Publisher: MacMillan Audio
Publication Date: 2013
Length: 15 hours, 2 minutes
Read by: Ralph Cosham
Source: Purchased

The Short Version:
A missing woman with connections to the village of Three Pines brings Armand Gamache back to town while at the same time he’s fighting to keep his job and his department intact.

Why I Read It:
This has become one of my favorite series and I can’t stop now.

The Book:
From the publisher:

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 friend has 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?

My Thoughts:
As always with this series, I thoroughly the audio version narrated by Ralph Cosham. Cosham’s voice is Armand Gamache to me even though the books are not written in first person.

This one feels like Louise Penny is wrapping up several long brewing story lines from the series. There is a new mystery regarding the death of Myrna’s longtime friend but that’s only part of this book.

Along with this is the continuation of Gamache’s years long battle of wills and wits with the corrupt leadership of the Sureté du Quebec. They’re pushing him to retire and he’s still trying to prove corruption in high levels. The threads go back years and Gamache’s former protégé Beauvior has become a puppet of the wrong side of this intra-organizational war.

Penny weaves the mystery of the death (and identity) of Constance in and around the building tension of Gamache’s efforts to determine exactly what his boss has been plotting. In fact, it’s really a minor plot compared to the wrapping up of many stories that have been building over the previous 8 books in the series. There were several times while listening to this that I mentally applauded the author for surprising me with a plot twist.

Once again Ralph Cosham’s narration was excellent. I can’t imagine reading these in print after experiencing them in audio. This continues to be one of my favorite all time series.

I have already started listening to the next one (The Long Way Home) because after the buildup of tension and final chapters of this one I just had to see where Armand Gamache’s story would go next.

4.5 stars Rating 4.5/5 for the book

4.5 stars Rating 4.5/5 for the narration