A Trick of the Light

A Trick of the Light

A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel

Book - 2011
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A New York Times Notable Crime Book and Favorite Cozy for 2011
A Publishers Weekly Best Mystery/Thriller books for 2011

"Penny has been compared to Agatha Christie [but] it sells her short. Her characters are too rich, her grasp of nuance and human psychology too firm...." -- Booklist (starred review)

"Hearts are broken," Lillian Dyson carefully underlined in a book. "Sweet relationships are dead."
But now Lillian herself is dead. Found among the bleeding hearts and lilacs of Clara Morrow's garden in Three Pines, shattering the celebrations of Clara's solo show at the famed Musée in Montreal. Chief Inspector Gamache, the head of homicide at the Sûreté du Québec, is called to the tiny Quebec village and there he finds the art world gathered, and with it a world of shading and nuance, a world of shadow and light. Where nothing is as it seems. Behind every smile there lurks a sneer.Inside every sweet relationship there hides a broken heart. And even when facts are slowly exposed, it is no longer clear to Gamache and his team if what they've found is the truth, or simply a trick of the light.

Publisher: New York : Minotaur Boooks, 2011.
ISBN: 9780312655457
Characteristics: viii, 339 p. ;,25 cm.


From Library Staff

Whereas Penny's superb Bury Your Dead (2010) was an elaborately constructed crime novel incorporating three freestanding stories, her latest in the Inspector Armand Gamache series is much more focused. The action, of course, is centered in Three Pines, the Brigadoon-like village outside of Montre... Read More »

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Aug 05, 2017

Another satisfying entry in the series, although a little confusing and a few too many coincidences. The writing is what I read Penny's books for, and to see how the residents of Three Pines evolve over time (as well as Armand and Jean Guy). It does harken back to events in previous novels, so reading these books in order helps.

rb3221 May 30, 2017

Greed, jealousy, petty infighting, addiction, change and forgiveness are themes that Penny explores in this novel. There are lots of suspects each with motive and opportunity that keeps the reader guessing right to the end.
Gamache, Beauvoir and Lacoste are back as are most of the core personalities from Three Pines. The back story when Gamache and Beavoir are almost killed continues as does the stormy marriage of Clara and Peter.
Another well written, very good read and highly recommended.

Jan 04, 2017

Always glad I've read the Inspector series in sequence, as Penney does a terrific job of building on the depth and background of each person even further as she works through the series. Terrific and believable characters. I very much appreciate her showing us how each person has worthwhile aspects to themselves while still showing their weaknesses. Loved this story.

Apr 16, 2016

Louise Penny is a great writer! I've read almost all of this series of her books, and thoroughly enjoyed them. There are lovely bits of humour, and many passages that really give you food for thought. Louise really holds your interest with her stories!

Dec 19, 2015

This is my 3rd Louise Penny novel, so I can't say I haven't tried.
What do people see in her? The writing is melodramatic. The characters, while colourful, are cliches (the wise chief inspector, the grouchy old woman, etc)
And, most of all, she relies on single-sentence paragraphs.
You would think she could learn how to develop a paragraph.

Sep 11, 2015

Another spectacular read that makes murder interesting and human, instead of only dark and twisted.

Dec 03, 2014

Another great Chief Inspector Gamache and Three Pines story by Louise Penney!

Dec 02, 2014

Very good!

kimres Jul 25, 2014

As usual, a wonderful read from Louise Penny.

Oct 26, 2013

yes, the first book is Still Life, the second is Fatal Grace. Love this author!

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Aug 18, 2015

"God," whispered Beauvoir. "No wonder people drink. This's about as much fun as drowning." p 166 (referring to an AA meeting.)

Aug 18, 2015

Fortin: "There're very few artists who are comfortable among other people. Most prefer to work away quietly in their studios. Whoever said, 'Hell is other people' must have been an artist."
"It was Sartre," said Gamache. "A writer." p 148


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Nov 05, 2011

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surete du Quebec has the murder of an artist in Three Pines to deal with. The question to ponder is: Do people change?

This story takes place in summer so, although there are secondary story lines, there aren't the usual inaccurate winter observations that I find annoying.

I gave this story a 7/10.

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