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Extended Audio Sample A Trick of the Light: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel Audiobook, by Louise Penny Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (4,943 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Louise Penny Narrator: Ralph Cosham Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Chief Inspector Gamache Novels Release Date: August 2011 ISBN: 9781427213211
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“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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The superbly gifted Louise Penny is on my secret shortlist of must-read authors, and A TRICK OF THE LIGHT proves why. Artist Clara Morrow is about to have a prestigious show of her paintings when her childhood friend is found murdered, and the finger of suspicion points to Clara. Chief Inspector Gamache is called to investigate, and using his trademark powers of deduction and his intuitive knack for the right question at the right time, he exposes the darkness that underlies the bright stars of Montreal's art world, where competition between friends, and even between husband and wife, can turn lethal. Ultimately, of course, it's Louise Penny who steals the show, and A TRICK OF THE LIGHT will not only keep you engrossed from start to finish, it will teach you something new about love, truth, and the human heart. Lisa Scottoline

  • Penny, elevating herself to the pantheon that houses P.D. James, Ruth Rendell and Minette Walters, demonstrates an exquisite touch with characterization, plotting and artistic sensitivity. And there could be no better explanation of A.A. than you will find here. Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
  • Outstanding….With her usual subtle touch and timely injections of humor, Penny effectively employs the recurring motif of the chiaroscuro, the interplay of light and dark, which distinguishes Morrow's artwork and which resonates symbolically in the souls of the author's characters. Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  • Like P. D. James, Penny shows how the tight structure of the classical mystery story can accommodate a wealth of deeply felt emotions and interpersonal drama. Booklist
  • Penny's characters are sharply drawn, realistically complicated and heartbreakingly real. Wonderful, complex characters and sophisticated plotting makes this a perfect book. Do not miss it. RT Book Reviews

  • “A deceptively charming whodunit, which observes the cozy plot conventions of a village mystery while delivering acute insights into the complicated motives of complex characters.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Stellar…With her smart plot and fascinating, nuanced characters, Penny proves again that she is one of our finest writers.”

    People (4 stars)

  • “Louise Penny elevates the small-town murder mystery to new heights in this seventh installment of her psychologically piercing series featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache.”

    Parade (Book of the Week Pick)

  • “A commanding and artful performance…For connoisseurs of mysteries, success is judged by the genre’s holy trinity: plot, people, and prose. When all three attain excellence, a fourth quality shines through: power…What lifts her work to the highest plane is the deep sense of humanity with which she invests her novels, and A Trick of the Light satisfies and surpasses that standard.”

    Richmond Times-Dispatch

  • “Superb…masterful…Penny continues to amaze with each novel. Wrapped in exciting plots and domestic details, her characters are people we want to follow through their very real joys and sorrows.”

    Cleveland Plain Dealer

  • “Penny’s characters are sharply drawn, realistically complicated, and heartbreakingly real. Wonderful, complex characters, and sophisticated plotting makes this a perfect book. Do not miss it.”

    Romantic Times (Top Pick)

  • “Outstanding…With her usual subtle touch and timely injections of humor, Penny effectively employs the recurring motif of the chiaroscuro, the interplay of light and dark, which distinguishes Morrow’s artwork and which resonates symbolically in the souls of the author’s characters.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Penny, elevating herself to the pantheon that houses P. D. James, Ruth Rendell, and Minette Walters, demonstrates an exquisite touch with characterization, plotting, and artistic sensitivity.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Like P. D. James, Penny shows how the tight structure of the classical mystery story can accommodate a wealth of deeply felt emotions and interpersonal drama…Top of the genre.”

    Booklist

  • “A gripping mystery.”

    Associated Press

  • A 2012 Macavity Award Finalist for Best Mystery Novel
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Selected for the September 2011 Indie Next List
  • A 2011 New York Times Notable Book for Crime Fiction
  • Winner of the 2012 Anthony Award for Best Novel
  • A 2011 Agatha Award Finalist for Best Novel
  • Winner of the 2011 Dilys Award
  • A Publishers Weekly Bestseller
  • A Washington Post Bestseller
  • A NPR Bestseller
  • A 2011 Arthur Ellis Award Finalist for Best Crime Novel
  • A 2011 Publishers Weekly Top 10 Book: Mysteries
  • A 2011 BookPage Best Book for Fiction
  • A 2011 iTunes Best Audiobook: Top 10
  • Winner of Anthony Awards - Winner, 2012
  • Nominated for Agatha Awards - Nominee, 2011
  • Nominated for Macavity Award - Nominee, 2012

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pamela | 2/6/2014

    " I love all Louise Penny. The character development, the progression of getting to know the Three Pines village and Gamache and his team and family. There's something about each one of these books that makes me think, laugh, cry, learn and want to read the next one. I feel quite at home with these wonderful books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisette | 2/4/2014

    " This was an enjoyable mystery, nothing earth-shattering, just plain enjoyable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Donna | 2/1/2014

    " I love these characters. I can't wait for the next Three Pines book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kate | 1/28/2014

    " I always feel like I would love to live in this quaint little town of Three Pines and be friends with all the wonderful eccentric and unique characters, that Louise Penny has created. This author manages to bring a sense of humanity and sensitive insights into the complex plot and all the discord that her characters are experiencing in their lives. I have read a few of the Inspector Gamache series and have enjoyed them all. If your looking for a good whodunit this one won't disappoint. Enjoy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Donna Burtwistle-Popplewell | 1/26/2014

    " Another great mystery featuring Inspector Gamache that profiles the Canadian art scene. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vicki L. | 1/26/2014

    " Makes you wonder why anyone would become an artist. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carmen | 1/17/2014

    " Love wall of the Inspector Gamache books. The characters are interesting, amusing and multi faceted. I don't really know who to compare this author to, but I hope that she writes many more books. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kate | 1/12/2014

    " Entire book group hated it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janet Aileen | 1/10/2014

    " Another clever, well plotted mystery, full of well defined characters and a trip into the art scene. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nurdy | 1/10/2014

    " Oh no, no, no, Louise Penny. (Before you Louise Penny fans kill me, I must explain.) I have loved this series since it first came out and preordered a hardbound copy of this back in May. Louise is exceptional in her ability to bring the reader into the scene. You can taste the food, see the location, and smell the environment. She still has that ability in this novel and I was transported to Three Pines once again. BUT where is she going with her characters? I am so unhappy with the direction she is taking the main characters that I'm not sure I have a desire to buy her next book. Felt like we were ending up a soap opera . . . will little Billy kick his drug habit or sabotage his mentor in the process, will Jane take Dick back, will Dick want to come back, did Spot come home - is that spot there? I think she was trying to create a cliff-hanging ending that would draw us back; but, to me, all she did was trivialize her characters. Feels to me like Ms. Penny is moving toward "Jumping the Shark." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matthew | 12/28/2013

    " Have I mentioned every one of these books has made me tear up at least once? In addition, I find myself wanting to meet these characters and visit Three Pines. They are exquisite. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sandra | 12/28/2013

    " Another fabulous book by Canadian Louise Penny. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Elaine | 12/14/2013

    " Didn't like this one as much as Still Life; probably won't read more in this series. A great mystery series is hard to find! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Harriet Bertsche | 11/6/2013

    " Loved it. It goes back to the type of story she wrote in the first one. (Still Life). The last one was a little dark. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 11/3/2013

    " I hope I find my Three Pines one day. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rebekah | 8/31/2013

    " So good! I love the very human characters, the quaint small town setting, the flowing food and drinks - everything. I want to find Three Pines and move there. Plus I can never figure out "who done it" ahead of time. Love, love, love this series! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patti | 1/11/2013

    " Despite the high homicide count, I want to live in Three Pines. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Martha Reed | 1/6/2013

    " As always, Louise Penny's latest moves to the top of my TBR pile. Her characters are detailed so subtly I savor each book in this series. I love dipping into the ongoing stories in Three Pines. Louise Penny adds a genuine taste of bittersweet foreshadowing to A TRICK OF THE LIGHT. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bill | 9/7/2012

    " You really need to read these in order to understand the interactions of the residents of Three Pines with Inspector Gamache. This is the best of the series! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vickie | 6/21/2012

    " A rich and stunning book.. I think that it is Penny's best yet. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lynn Kearney | 5/31/2012

    " Not her best, but there's some pleasure in familiar setting and familiar characters, even of at least one of them is behaving uncharacteristically! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kay | 4/2/2012

    " Better than the last, which was very good. Back in 3 Pines with familiar characters who we understand better with each book. I don't think I'v ever been moved to tears at the end of a mystery! I so love crotchety Ruth. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paulette Ponte | 11/15/2011

    " Great like the rest of the series. These books are best read in order. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alyson | 11/7/2011

    " Not my favorite Armand Gamache mystery, but it was still great. I want to move to Three Pines despite their high murder rate. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Megan | 11/5/2011

    " Louise Penny does it again, and leaves us wanting more. At Clara Morrow's art show, a woman tied to Clara in the past is murdered. There are many suspects,and many clues. Armand Gamache is left to wonder, is what we see real, or is it just a trick of the light, chiaroscuro? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jane | 10/28/2011

    " This might be the best one in the series. Very chiaroscuro. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Monica | 10/24/2011

    " Superb as always from Louise Penny, please write another one quickly!!


    peace. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kitty | 10/21/2011

    " If you like mysteries this is a great one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meredith | 9/10/2011

    " Goodness, so much left up in the air! What turn will Louise Penny take next! "

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About the Author
Author Louise Penny

Louise Penny is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels. She has won numerous awards, including a CWA Dagger and multiple Agatha Awards and was a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Novel. In 2017, she received the Order of Canada “for her contribution to Canadian culture.”

About the Narrator

Ralph Cosham (1936–2014), a.k.a. Geoffrey Howard, was a British journalist who changed careers to become a narrator and screen and stage actor. He performed in more than one hundred professional theatrical roles, and several of his narrations were named “Audio Best of the Year” by Publishers Weekly. He won seven AudioFile Earphones Awards, and in 2013 he won the coveted Audie Award for Best Mystery Narration for his reading of Louise Penny’s The Beautiful Mystery.