Louise Penny is a Canadian author of mystery novels, who is best-known for her series of novels featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, who works for the Surete du Quebec. Penny is known for her more gentile style of writing compared to that of her contemporaries, and she has been likened to Agatha Christie in that respect, with the Inspector Gamache series of books replicating some of Christie’s traits, such as the use of idyllic villages, multiple suspects and less ‘traditional’ methods of murder.
Order of Inspector Gamache Series
|2||A Fatal Grace||2006|
|3||The Cruellest Month||2007|
|4||A Rule Against Murder||2008|
|5||The Brutal Telling||2009|
|6||Bury Your Dead||2010|
|7||The Hangman (Short Story)||2010|
|8||A Trick of the Light||2011|
|9||The Beautiful Mystery||2012|
|10||How the Light Gets In||2013|
|11||The Long Way Home||2014|
|12||The Nature of the Beast||2015|
|13||A Great Reckoning||2016|
Louise Penny was born in Totonto, Ontario, Canada on July 1st 1957. She was born into a family with a love for fiction. Her mother, in fact, was a keen reader of many genres, with crime fiction believed to be a favourite of hers. This love of crime fiction was passed on to Louise Penny, and she cites writers such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy L Sayers as being influential in her formative years as an inspiration to her later writing.
Although she always held a love of literature, Penny actually studied Applied Arts (Radio and Television) at Ryerson Polytechnic Institute and went into a career in the field she studied in, becoming a journalist and also a host for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. As part of her job with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Penny was often a long way from home, which led to her becoming dependent on alcohol to get her through her lonely periods. This continued until she was 35, when she got sober after admitting to her alcohol problem.
It was at this time Louise Penny met her husband, Michael Whitehead, and she left the CBC shortly after to pursue her career in writing, which had been a love of hers since her early years. At first, Penny tried her hand at writing historical fiction, but struggled with completing it. She then decided to go back to her true love, mystery writing, and that was when she came up with the first book in the Inspector Gamache series of books, Still Life, which was published in 2005. Still Life was a huge success, picking up several awards, most notably the New Blood Dagger from the Crime Writers’ Assocation, and the Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Crime Novel.
Buoyed by the success of Still Life, Penny continued the Inspector Gamache series with A Fatal Grace, which was published in 2007. The Cruellest Month, the third book in the Inspector Gamache series, was published the following year, 2008. In 2009, Penny published two books in the Inspector Gamache series, The Murder Stone and then The Brutal Telling. The sixth book in the Inspector Gamache series, Bury Your Dead, was published in 2010, followed by The Hangman and A Trick of the Light. The Beautiful Mystery was published in 2012 and How the Light Gets In was published in 2013, followed by The Long Way Home and then The Nature of the Beast in 2014 and 2015 respectively. All have enjoyed great commercial success and have been a huge hit with fans of mystery fiction worldwide, having been translated into over 20 languages.
Louise Penny is a great Canadian author, who was born on 1st July, 1958 in Toronto, Canada. Her love for writing started when she was very young. This is because she always read various mystery books by different authors like Agatha Christie and Michael Innes among others. She attended the Ryerson University, that was formerly known as Ryerson Polytechnical Institute, where she graduated with a bachelor of Applied Arts (Radio and Television). At the beginning of her career as a radio broadcaster, she took different postings at locations quite far from both family members and friends. In order to deal with this situation of isolation and loneliness, she started drinking too much. At the age of 35-years, she admitted to being an alcoholic addict. This was the time she quit alcohol for life. After her graduation, she worked with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for about 18 years. She later got married to Michael Whitehead, who was the head of hematology Montreal Children’s Hospital.
Louise Penny began her writing career back in 2005 and to date, she has done several books. This came after she got married and her initial books were historical novels, but she found them kind of tricky to finish. This was the reason she switched to writing mystery novels. Her pioneer novel was known as “Still Life”, that was published in 2005. Her first series is known as “Chief Inspector Armand Gamache” that has about twelve novels. Her latest book in the series is known as “A Great Reckoning” that was published in 2016. All her books are available online where you can grab a copy and enjoy reading these smart mystery books. Her novels have been written in about 23 different languages.
Louise Penny Awards
In her writing career, Louise Penny has won several awards as she writes excellent novels. Some of her recognized awards since she began writing. Her first award was with her pioneer book. She was nominated as the New Blood Dagger award winner. The same book also made her win the Barry award and Anthony award in 2007. Besides these, it was the same novel that she managed to win both the Dilys award and the Arthur award. In 2007, she was again nominated as the winner of the Agatha award, that she won for the second time in 2008. For the 3rd and 4th time, she was again nominated as the Agatha award winner in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013. The other award she has won includes the Edgar award and the Macavity award among others.
Louise Penny books into Movies/TV
The first novel in the Inspector Gamache series, Still Life, was made into a TV movie in 2013. It was entitled Still Life: A Three Pines Mystery and starred Nathaniel Parker as Inspector Gamache.
Best Louise Penny Books
Every single book that Louise Penny has done has been good to her, but based on the readers and awards, it is kind of easy to identify her best books. The first book, entitled as “Still Life” won about five awards, that no other book has won, hence it is one of her best books. The other best book based on general reader opinion is “The Cruelest Month”.
Still Life: This is the first book of the Gamache series that was published in 2005. The protagonist character in the novel is known as chief inspector Armand Gamache. Jane Neal has just been found dead in the forested areas, and Chief Inspector Armand Gamache drives his troops to the pleasant town of Three Pines to reveal insider facts and discover an executioner. Oliver and his accomplice Gabri are a hoot and amateur keen mouth Agent Nichol, well, she is something else, and afterward there’s Inspector Gamache’s last word about the investigation. Did they really find the murder of Jane Neal? Read more about this novel by getting the copy and you will find it very interesting.
The Cruelest Month: This is the third book of the series that has also won several awards besides being one of the top rated. It is spring time in Three Pines; a portion of the villagers have chosen to celebrate Easter with a séance at the Old Hadley House. They are aiming at freeing the town of its abhorrent spirits that have tormented it for a considerable length of time. All of a sudden one of the participants falls evidently frightened to death. This is due to the strange circumstances. In order to handle the situation, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his group from the Sureté du Québec are dispatched to this beautiful town. Once there, they test into the lives of the villagers, addressing and listening to them painstakingly with a specific end goal to discover reality, what they reveal is injustice and double-crossing. It is a smart novel that you will want to continue reading.
Louise Penny FAQs
Q: What nationality is Louise Penny?
A: The author Louise Penny is Canadian. She was born in Toronto, Ontario.
Q: What was the firth book published by Louise Penny?
A: Louise Penny’s first published book was Still Life, which was also the first book in the Inspector Gamache series of books. Still Life was published in 2005.