In A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is once again called to the small village of Three Pines to investigate a murder. The deceased is Lillian Dyson, killed in Clara Morrow’s garden during a party. The celebration is in honor of Clara’s solo show at the famed Museé in Montreal and the art world has descended on the town, a world full of jealousies and hidden agendas. As secrets are exposed, Gamache and his team have to sift through the evidence, lies and suspects to find the truth.

Reason I chose this book:

This is the 7th of Penny’s Inspector Gamache mysteries, a series I love, so I had no choice but to read it. Listen to it actually, read by Ralph Cosham.

Reasons I liked and/or disliked this book:

While this is not my favorite in the series, I had a hard time putting it down. I kept looking for more chores to do around the house, just as an excuse to listen to the story. The characters are all so well-drawn, both the returning ones and those that will just show up in this book, I feel like I know them. I get drawn into their lives, into their feelings and thoughts, problems and loves.

While there is a whole group of folks new in this installation, the artists and dealers in town for the event, the old familiar folks are not overshadowed. A lot of the story revolves around Clara, and by extension her husband, Peter, but I have to say I don’t like where Penny took their marriage. It fit with the plot and with their personalities, but I would have liked a different resolution.

Beauvoir, Gamache’s second in charge, also has many issues he’s dealing with in this book, things he’s trying to handle on his own. He’s a good man, but he’s in over his head dealing with the lingering pain, physical and mental, from a previous case and with the break-up of his marriage. I’m interested in seeing where Penny takes him. I’m hoping he gets some happiness soon, the last two books have been rough on him.

Penny’s books are always about more than just the mystery. This one deals with hope and disappointment, hurt and forgiveness, relationships. There’s a depth to them that a lot of mysteries, cozy or traditional just don’t have. She understands people, that we’re each a mix of black and white and grey. No one is perfectly good or perfectly bad.

Reasons I’m recommending this book:

While A Trick of the Light does work better as a stand-alone than the previous, I still would rather recommend the series as a whole. It’s one of those where, yes, you can read one book without having picked up the others and be okay, but they are so much richer and fuller if you start at the beginning, see the characters change and grow, understand the couple of arcs that carry through more than one of the books. Really, if you like mysteries, traditional or cozy, give this series a try. I can’t recommend it highly enough.


The kind folks at Macmillan Audio sent along a clip of A Trick of the Light. I love listening to this series, so I’m happy to share the clip with you. Just click to listen.

[wpaudio url=”″ text= “Trick of the Light” ]

Purchase the audio book on Amazon or IndieBound.

4½ out of 5 stars

Category: Mystery & Detective- Police Procedural

Website | Facebook | Amazon | IndieBound

Inspector Armand Gamache #7
First published 2010
11 hours 43 minutes read by Ralph Cosham

Book source: Library

Chief Inspector Gamache Series

  1. Still Life
  2. A Fatal Grace
  3. The Cruelest Month
  4. A Rule Against Murder
  5. The Brutal Telling
  6. Bury Your Dead
  7. A Trick of the Light


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