The Long Way Home by Louise Penny

Genre: Mystery
Series: #1 in the Inspector Armand Gamache series
Publisher: MacMillan Audio
Publication Date: 2013
Length: 12 hours, 8 minutes
Read by: Ralph Cosham
Source: Purchased

The Short Version:
Now retired, Armand Gamache is drawn into an investigation when his friend Clara asks him to help her find her husband.

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

The Book:
From the publisher:

Happily retired in the village of Three Pines, Armand Gamache, former Chief Inspector of the Homicide with the Sûreté du Québec, has found a peace he’d only imagined possible. But his peace is interrupted when his friend and neighbour, Clara Morrow tells him her artist husband Peter has failed to come home. She asks for Gamache’s help in finding him. Having finally found sanctuary, Gamche feels a near revulsion at the thought of leaving Three Pines. But he must.


Together with his former second-in-command, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, and Myrna Landers, they journey deeper and deeper into Quebec. And deeper and deeper into the soul of Peter Morrow. A man so desperate to recapture his fame as an artist, he would sell that soul. And may have. The journey takes to an area so desolate, so damned, the first mariners called it The land God gave to Cain. And there they discover the terrible damage done by a sin-sick soul.

My Thoughts:
In the previous book in the series Louise Penny wrapped up many long term story lines. This one works very well as an entry to the series for new readers who don’t want to go back and read the first 9 books.

Gamache’s role has changed with his retirement and that’s reinforced by the way he lets Clara determine how they will proceed to search for Peter. The amusing part is how Gamache’s former associate Jean-Guy Beauvior handles this (badly). Jean-Guy has been through a lot throughout this series and he’s always been one of my favorite characters.

Peter Morrow, however, has always been one of my least favorites. When I realized that he would figure heavily in the story in this one I was disappointed but I should have trusted Louise Penny. She managed to make this book about Peter Morrow without actually having Peter present in the action for most of the book.

I won’t say more about the story but I will say that I loved this book. If you haven’t read or listened to any of this series you should. If you don’t want to go back to the beginning and read the first nine this one will make an excellent starting point for new readers.

The audio format is the only way I have experienced this series and to me Ralph Cosham is the voice of Armand Gamache. His narration has been wonderful to listen to for all 10 books of the series.

Sadly between finishing this book and writing this review I learned that the wonderful Ralph Cosham passed away this week. On Wednesday of this week Louise Penny posted the sad news on her Facebook page. It was particularly sad to hear this while I still had his voice echoing around in my brain. It’s far to early to speculate about who will take over the audion narration duties of this series but no matter who is chosen he (or she) will have big shoes to fill. I will miss having Ralph Cosham read to me.

4.5 stars Rating 4.5/5 for the book

4.5 stars Rating 4.5/5 for the narration