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Picture-Perfect Quebecois Village Mecca for Murderers
So far, Chief Inspector Gamache of the Surêté du Québec, hero of the nine novels in the mystery series that bears his name,  has led seven investigations in Three Pines, the fictional village in Quebec, Canada that is the usual setting for this series of cozy mysteries. Three Pines has everything necessary for the well-lived life--natural beauty, great food, caring, if cranky, neighbors, historic homes, a good book store.  It is also a magnet for murderers.

Gamache probes for emotional truth as well as for facts. What emerges is a rich world of complex characters: brave, funny, loving and, every so often, lethal.

Each book in this insightful cozy series is wittier, wiser and more wonderful than the last. My prediction? These books will stay in print forever. They're that good. ( And so are the meals dished up in the Three Pines bistro.)

Series Guide
If you can only read one, read Bury Your Dead (#6) because it is just a great book. But if you read it, you will want to read The Brutal Telling (#5) which is the beginning of a story that ends in #6. I like all of these so much I can't really pick.  You should save A Trick of the Light (#7) until you read an earlier one and get up to speed on the characters. If in doubt, begin at the beginning with A Still Life ( #1)A Rule Against Murder (#4) is also wonderful--a bit lighter than my favorite, Bury Your Dead (#6). Below, a list of the mystery novels in chronological order:

Still Life (2005, Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery Books #1)
Gamache and his team head to the village of Three Pines when a beloved citizen dies in suspicious circumstances.

A Fatal Grace (2007, Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery Books # 2, APA: Dead Cold)
A chilling murder at Christmas brings Gamache and the team back to town for another satisfying exploration of the darkness within the human heart.

The Cruelest Month (2007, Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery Books # 3)
When love turns to hate, all hell breaks lose in Three Pines and at Surêté headquarters in Montreal.

A Rule Against Murder (2009, Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery Books # 4, APA: The Murder Stone)
All the suspects gathered at the luxurious inn in the wilderness are carrying heavy baggage from childhood. But only one of them is a murderer. . .

The Brutal Telling (2009, Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery Books #5)
Until they discovered his corpse in the bistro, the good citizens of Three Pines were unaware that a man lived in the woods just over the hill from their village green.

Bury Your Dead (2010, Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery Books # 6)
Violent death follows Gamache to Quebec City where he has gone to recover emotionally and physically from a tragic encounter with a group of terrorists.

A Trick of the Light (2011, Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery Books #7)
Chief Inspector Gamache and his crack team of  investigators return to Three Pines when artist Clara Morrow finds a corpse in her back garden.

The Beautiful Mystery (2012, Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery Books #8)
The director of a world famous choir of monks is murdered in their isolated monastery.

How the Light Gets In (2013, Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery Books #9)
A sad Christmas for Gamache--his enemies are circling, his agents are deserting--who flees to Three Pines to investigate a missing person.

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The World's Most Compassionate Cop
Gamache may be the most compassionate investigator plying his trade in the pages of contemporary fiction.

Like most great detectives, he has a philosophy of murder. Gamache believes that murders happen when emotions curdle and turn into poison within the human spirit. So, as he interviews suspects, Gamache probes for emotional truth as well as for facts. What emerges is a rich world of complex characters: brave, funny, loving and, every so often, lethal.

Chief Inspector Gamache may be the last honorable officer in the Surêté du Québec. He refused to turn a blind eye when his colleagues  succumbed to corruption: now they will have their revenge. Can this cerebral and civilized cop prevail without losing his integrity--or his life?

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Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery Books
Set in Three Pines, Quebec, Canada
by Louise Penny
Books in the Chief Inspector Gamache Series
(From newest to oldest; Dates refer to publication in the US in English;
# refers to series order)
Above, from top to bottom:  
Quaint Quebec, Canada; Montreal Jazz Fest; Quebec City; Old Town Quebec City in snow
Quaint Quebec
Montreal Jazz Fest
Quebec City
Snowy night in Old Town, Quebec City
A Trick of the Light (2011, Gamache/ Three Pines #7)  by Louise Penny
The Brutal Telling (2009, Gamache/ Three Pines #5 ) by Louise Penny
Cliffhanger's 5 Heart Rating
Bury Your Dead (2010, Gamache/ Three Pines # 6)by Louise Penny
The Beautiful Mystery(2012, Gamache/ Three Pines #8) by Louise Penny
Cliffhanger's 4 Heart Rating
The Brutal Telling
(2009, Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery Books #5 )
by Louise Penny

WINNER! 2009 Agatha Award for Best Novel
WINNER! 2010 Anthony Award for Best Mystery

Is our Olivier a murderer? If you read this, you must also read the next in the series, Bury Your Dead (#6).



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Cliffhanger's 5 Heart Rating
The Beautiful Mystery
(2012, Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery Books #8)
by Louise Penny

This is a fine, fine story set in an isolated monastery. I only gave it 4 Hearts because it is Gamache and Jean Guy on their own-- no Three Pines at all. And I do love Three Pines.
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A Trick of the Light
(2011, Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery Books #7)
by Louise Penny
WINNER! 2012 Anthony Award for Best Mystery

Stunning! Cozies don't get better than this.

PLUS: Dog lovers will find much to appreciate here.
AND, fans find out:
--If Clara's life-long dream has come true
--If Peter has cracked yet
--If Olivier has forgiven Gamache
--If Rosa has  returned
--If Agent Nichol has  found a good dry cleaner?
--If Gamache has discovered Brebeuf's true feelings?
--If Ruth has brained Jean Guy with her cane yet

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Bury Your Dead
(2010, Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery Books # 6)
by Louise Penny

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER 
WINNER! 2010 Agatha Award for Best Novel  WINNER!  2010 Dilys Award  
WINNER!  2011 Anthony Award for Best Mystery
WINNER! 2011 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel WINNER!  2010 Macavity Award for Best Novel  WINNER!  2011 Nero Award

If you can only read one Three Pines mystery, read this one. It is simultaneously hopeful and heartbreaking. A great book.



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How the Light Gets In(2013, Gamache/ Three Pines #9) by Louise Penny
How the Light Gets In
(2013, Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery Books #9)
by Louise Penny

NOT YET REVIEWED

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The Cruelest Month (2007, Gamache/ Three Pines # 3)  by Louise Penny
Cliffhanger's 5 Heart Rating
A Rule Against Murder (2009, Gamache/ Three Pines # 4, APA: The Murder Stone) by Louise Penny
The Cruelest Month
(2007, Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery Books # 3) 
by Louise Penny
WINNER! 2008 Agatha Award for Best Novel

Highly recommended.  Full of  suspense and humor.



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Cliffhanger's 5 Heart Rating
A Rule Against Murder
(2009, Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery Books # 4, APA: The Murder Stone)
by Louise Penny

Fabulous!  Terrific mystery and a deep look into Gamache's past. Plus, Clara's in-laws are a hinky bunch! Fans of traditional "country house weekend" mysteries will appreciate the way Penny has updated the form.



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Still Life (2005, Gamache/ Three Pines #1)by Louise Penny
Cliffhanger's 5 Heart Rating
A Fatal Grace (2007, Gamache/ Three Pines # 2, APA: Dead Cold)by Louise Penny
Still Life
(2005, Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery Books #1)
by Louise Penny
WINNER! New Blood Dagger, Arthur Ellis, Barry, Anthony, and Dilys Award 
FINALIST! 2010 Barry Award for Best Novel of the Decade

Louise Penny breathes new life into a venerable form, the village cozy, with a cast of characters destined for immortality. 



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Cliffhanger's 5 Heart Rating
A Fatal Grace
(2007, Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery Books # 2, APA: Dead Cold)
by Louise Penny
WINNER! 2007 Agatha Award for Best Novel

VERY GOOD mystery. Satisfying story. A winner!

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Cliffhanger's 5 Heart Rating
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