Tuesday, August 13, 2013


When you combine the wonderful writing of author Louise Penny and the mesmerizing voice of narrator Ralph Cosham, you have a masterpiece. Penny’s latest Chief Inspector Gamache novel, HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN, is a fine example of their talented work.

How The Light Gets InCosham brings the characters to life with his rich French/Canadian accent. His cadence is captivating. His vocalization of the emotions throughout the book enhance Penny’s fascinating story. Between Cosham’s charming voice and Penny’s fervent details, listeners are transported to Québec and Three Pines leaving all else behind.

In this ninth book, Christmas is approaching and Québec is a hub of festive activities, but life isn’t that joyous for Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. His Homicide Department has practically been dismantled, his friend and lieutenant Jean-Guy Beauvoir will have nothing to do with him, and forces from higher up are closing in on him.

Myrna Landers from Three Pines contacts Gamache concerning her friend that has failed to arrive for Christmas. He welcomes the change of scenery. In Three Pines Gamache soon discovers more than he imaged. The missing woman was once one of the most famous people in the world. She has changed her name and her appearance and was unknown to all expect Myrna and Three Pines’ resident crazy poet Ruth Zardo.

As he searches for the killer of Myrna’s friend, Gamache is also trying to find the thread that has unraveled his department and his world. As he and his few still-loyal colleagues dig deeper, an unthinkable plot begins to emerge. Is the exposure of a corrupt superior and others worth the risk to Gamache, his career and those he loves?

Penny has the knack for beginning with seemingly unrelated events that cascade into major turning points. She gives tidbits that take you to the brink and then dangle you over the edge.

Her detail descriptions are vivid and breathtaking. Penny’s characters are well-developed, realistic, and extremely likable - as well as ones you’ll hate. Her ability to bring the characters’ many traits, both good and bad, to surface adds to the complexity of the story. Characters so plausible I catch myself disagreeing or pleading with them as they take actions I wish they won’t. Totally enamored by these characters I hold my breath for fear of what they are about to do, not do.

HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN moves at a steady pace. Switching between numerous on-going events, readers/listeners have no problem keeping up. The action is fast-pace with highs and lows for a roller coaster ride of emotions and adventure. Just as you catch your breath, the ground drops from beneath you for another twist in the plot. The ending came with a series of surprises that left me wondering, hoping.

This is the ninth installment in the Chief Inspector Gamache series, but can be read as a stand alone. There are numerous references to prior events, but enough background is given to keep new readers up to speed and refresh the memories of returning fans.

As the temperature reaches 90-plus in the lower 50 states, I eagerly escape to Three Pines, its quaint residents, snow-covered landscape, and the calming presence of Chief Inspector Armand Gamache.  

Author Louise Penny’s website is http://www.louisepenny.com/
How The Light Gets In by Louise Penny, A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel #9, Performed by Ralph Cosham, Macmillan Audio, @2013, ISBN: 978-1427233011, Unabridged, 12 Discs, Listening Time: 15 Hours

FTC Full Disclosure - This audio book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. 

NOTE: HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN is scheduled for release August 27th. Pre-order your copy now!!
Thanks for stopping by today. Author Cristiane Serruya was scheduled to visit with us today, but due to unforeseen circumstances wasn’t able to. Hopefully we can reschedule her visit for a later date.


  1. Mason - I really like Louise Penny's work very, very much. Thanks for sharing your review of this one; I'm very much looking forward to reading it myself :-).

  2. ANOTHER author we both love! That seems to happen a lot, huh?

    And I truly do adore Louise Penny's work. This one may be my favorite.


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