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A Trick of the Light: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel (Chief Inspector Gamache Novels) Hardcover – Bargain Price, August 30, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 814 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, August 30, 2011
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Editorial Reviews


"The superbly gifted Louise Penny is on my secret shortlist of must-read authors, and A TRICK OF THE LIGHT proves why. Artist Clara Morrow is about to have a prestigious show of her paintings when her childhood friend is found murdered, and the finger of suspicion points to Clara. Chief Inspector Gamache is called to investigate, and using his trademark powers of deduction and his intuitive knack for the right question at the right time, he exposes the darkness that underlies the bright stars of Montreal's art world, where competition between friends, and even between husband and wife, can turn lethal. Ultimately, of course, it's Louise Penny who steals the show, and A TRICK OF THE LIGHT will not only keep you engrossed from start to finish, it will teach you something new about love, truth, and the human heart.” --Lisa Scottoline

“Penny, elevating herself to the pantheon that houses P.D. James, Ruth Rendell and Minette Walters, demonstrates an exquisite touch with characterization, plotting and artistic sensitivity. And there could be no better explanation of A.A. than you will find here.” --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Outstanding….With her usual subtle touch and timely injections of humor, Penny effectively employs the recurring motif of the chiaroscuro, the interplay of light and dark, which distinguishes Morrow's artwork and which resonates symbolically in the souls of the author's characters.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Like P. D. James, Penny shows how the tight structure of the classical mystery story can accommodate a wealth of deeply felt emotions and interpersonal drama.”—Booklist“Penny’s characters are sharply drawn, realistically complicated and heartbreakingly real. Wonderful, complex characters and sophisticated plotting makes this a perfect book. Do not miss it.”—RT Book Reviews



About the Author

LOUISE PENNY is The New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling author of eight previous Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels. She has been awarded the John Creasey Dagger, Nero, Macavity and Barry Awards, as well as two each of the Arthur Ellis and Dilys Awards. Additionally, Louise has won four Anthony Awards and five Agatha Awards, the most recent for The Beautiful Mystery, which debuted at #2 on the New York Times bestseller list. She lives in a small village south of Montréal.


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Product Details

  • Series: Chief Inspector Gamache Novels (Book 7)
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (August 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312655452
  • ASIN: B00740FEIM
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.3 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (814 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #866,782 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Maine Colonial TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Clara Morrow, at age 50, is far beyond the age when most artists are discovered. Yet, on the evening this novel opens, she is about to enter the prestigious Musée d'Art Contemporain in Montreal for a gala solo show of her work. Clara's nerves nearly get the best of her, but she gets through the experience and is soon able to return to her idyllic Eastern Townships home of Three Pines for a celebratory party with her Three Pines friends, and artists, gallery owners and artists' agents from Montreal.

In the "friends" category are Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Québec Sureté and his second-in-command, Jean-Guy Beauvoir. Gamache and Beavoir have become acquainted with Three Pines and its quirky residents during their investigations of several prior murders. (Penny amusingly acknowledges the incongruity of Three Pines being simultaneously a place of art, friendship and warm hospitality, and a locale with a frighteningly high murder rate, by having bookseller Myrna describe Three Pines as "a shelter[, t]hough, clearly, not a no-kill shelter.")

The celebratory mood of Clara's Three Pines party doesn't last. Early the next morning, it is brought to an abrupt end by the discovery of the murdered corpse of a woman in Clara's garden. The woman is identified as Lillian Dyson, Clara's childhood friend who cruelly betrayed her while they were in art college. Clara claims she hadn't seen or heard from Lillian in over 20 years.

Looking at means and opportunity leaves Gamache and Beauvoir with a wide field of suspects. They must focus on motive, which reveals a huge gap between the type of person Lillian is widely reported to have been 20 years earlier and how she is seen contemporarily by her new circle of acquaintance.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In this story about art, artists, love, hate, addiction, redemption and, yes, murder, readers will visit the beautiful and perhaps magical village of Three Pines, Quebec,a place that isn't on any maps and "...could only be found if you were lost." The plot is intricate and follows all the rules of mystery writing, with red herrings and false denouments, and would make a satisfactory read without any gourmet touches.

Yet, as always, Penny gives us characters that are so real and nuanced that, frankly, you want to go and, if not live with them, at least spend a few weeks of quality time. Calling them "real," is perhaps a disservice, because the central characters, especially Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of Sûreté du Québec, are in many ways the people we wish we could be. They are wise and kind and generous and damaged and flawed and trying their very best. They love and are loved, and have good friends with whom they share wine and simple meals (food is taken very seriously in these books!). The mental landscape of the characters is revealed through writing of such elegant and resonant clarity that the advancement of the story becomes synonymous with the development of a deep personal relationship with the characters. This story revolves around the first solo art show of 50-year-old but 'newly discovered' portrait artist and Twin Pines resident Clara Morrow, at the prestigious Musée d'Art Contemporain in Montreal. In the book, Clara's portraits are described by those who view them: at first, they see unremarkable-looking individuals that, upon closer consideration, are found to have depths of emotion and beauty of spirit that affect the viewer strongly, often with great joy.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
COZY, noun. a mystery novel that
-is set in a small town where everyone knows everyone else
-has a sleuth who is A) a well-loved amateur B) bright and well-educated/well-read and C) a woman
-offers police who rarely take the amateur sleuth seriously
-contains very little physical violence
-includes virtually no sex
-provides a solution arising from a chance remark or random observation which the sleuth links to the particulars of the case

Agatha Christie's Miss Marple books set the standard for the genre.

As an adjective, cozy describes a small space that is warm, comfortable, and safe. As a noun, it identifies a genre of mystery-writing that is rarely taken very seriously.

In this, our new millennium, however, the cozy is getting a make-over. The worst problem the genre faces is best illustrated by the popular "Murder She Wrote" TV series, where it seemed that not only Cabot Cove, but the entire state of Maine, would have to be depopulated so that Jessica Fletcher might trump the cops and solve yet another case. Even a willing suspension of disbelief balks when 39 is the body count rather than those titular steps.

Making the detective a professional is the only logical solution, and in the last 20 years any number of writes have embraced it. Embrace they might, but most of them then stub their narrative toes on the well-loved element. To fashion an amiable detective, writers tend to fall back on various forms of the verb "to bumble." (And, even more needless to say, this makes most of those detectives men, since no one finds a bumbling professional woman remotely lovable.)

Louise Penny's brilliance lies in her subversion of nearly all of these elements.
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