When it comes to mystery books, Louise Penny is one of the first names that come into our minds. The Canadian author has written many books in her writing career mostly featuring the character of Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. Her writing style is pretty good and she keeps her readers entertained with humor, seriousness, suspect, and mystery. Readers love the fact that they can also participate in the ongoing mystery in her novels and try to figure out the real culprit at the end of the story (most of the time you would be unable to guess).
Before becoming a full-time writer she worked as a journalist and host and it was only in 2005 when she debuted with her first novel Still Life. Her debut novel was successful and people liked her way of writing as well as the lead character Armand Gamache (most of her novels revolve around him).
She has also won many prestigious awards in her writing career which includes Agatha and Anthony Awards for Best Novel.
Although there are so many books of her that a new reader and someone who has never read Louise Penny’s book might get overwhelmed and get confused about where to start and that’s where we come in the picture. Here we have listed down some of the best Louise Penny books which you must read to get the best mystery novel.
Best Louise penny books
1. Still LifeStill Life is Louise Penny’s first book which was published in 2005 and there is always a charm with the first books of any author as you get yourself familiar with their writing style, you get to introduced to the characters and the interesting story lines. So it would be a great choice to pick Still Life as your first Louise Penny’s book.This book features the character of Inspector Gamache. The story of the book is set in the small town of Three Pines, Quebec. The story starts with the murder of Jane Neal, who is a popular member of the community and the case falls in the hands of Inspector Gamache. He must do everything in power to find the killer and brought justice to the victim and his family.The book won many awards including, New Blood Dagger, Arthur Ellis, Barry, and Anthony and Dilys Award.
2. Great Reckoning (2016)Great Reckoning is one of the best Louise Penny books that you can find. In this book, Inspector Gamache has found a unique case. An ancient map of Three Pines town has been gifted to Inspector Gamache. What first seems like a gift has now turned into a clue for something bigger that is going to happen in the town next.The map takes the inspector on a journey and really strange things start happening and there are a lot of secrets about this map as well. With all the mystery surrounding the map and the relationship of inspector Gamache with his current girlfriend, everything seems messed up so it would be interesting to see how Inspector Gamache handles everything on his plate.
3. How the Light Gets In (2013)Next on our list of best Louise Penny books is How the Light Gets In. The story of the book is set around Christmas time when everything seems so beautiful and everyone is so happy. But all of Gamache’s friends are disappearing and he finds him all alone. And just when he starts to hate the Christmas season, he gets a call from his old friends Myrna. Although it’s a work-related call as she tells him about her good friends who suddenly vanished.Gamache is more than happy to work and has a case in his hands to take his mind off from the other things. But will he be able to distract himself from all the problems he has been facing or worse will his personal problems affect his work?
4. A Fatal Grace (2006)Holidays are just around the corner and winter has arrived in Three Pines. But it’s not going to be a happy holiday season for everyone as a murder has taken place in the town and people are not very surprised because the victim is none other than CC de Poitiers who have more enemies than friends and no one liked her that includes her husband and her daughter. WWhat’s the most shocking thing about the murder is that it took place in a public place which leaves a question who could be that genuine to pull off the murder and how come no one saw anything? This is going to be an interesting case to read.
5. A Better Man (2019)The beautiful town of Three Pines is facing floods and water is rising every minute. And with this disaster, Inspector Gamache has a new role to play and make sure that everyone in his town is safe.A teenage girl went missing and his father is asking for help from the best person in the department which means Inspector Gamache has a new case. But he is in a dilemma whether he should maintain the order and resolve the chaos in his life or he should search for the missing girl.Penny has beautifully described the hard choice that an officer has to made and how a police officer is brutally criticized for his acts even though they are right. It would be interesting to see how Gamache handles the situation and made sure he made the right decision.
6. The Beautiful MysteryThe Beautiful Mystery is another top Louise Penny book that you shouldn’t miss out on. This time the mystery revolves around two dozens of monks who live their lives peacefully at the monastery where they produce their food and raise animals and are fully self-sufficient. They have also taken a vow of silence, although they are universally known for their haunting and beautiful chants.Everyone gets shocked when their leader is found dead. Gamache and his partner Beauvior have taken up the case but it’s not going to be easy as they have to race against the time or they may never find the killer. Will they be able to solve the case under the given timeline and circumstances?
7. Bury your DeadBury the Dead is another popular mystery novel by Louise Penny that you might find interesting to read. Everyone is a little extra happy around the winter with all the ongoing festivals and activities in the Three Pines. But unfortunately, Gamache is stuck with a case that went wrong and he has decided not to participate in any of the festivals.But his plans of staying at the home change when he finds out a historian who was working on the remains of Samuel de Champlain has been murdered. This is no ordinary case as it can raise the communal tension between the French and German, which gets Gamache involved in the case.This time it’s a bigger mystery and a lot of things are at stake including the letter that points out the failure of investigating in Gamache’s previous case. Are the two things connected or Gamache is just being paranoid?
8. The Long Way HomeThe Long Way Home is an interesting mystery novel to read and everyone has certainly enjoyed it.This time Gamache has gone to Three Pines after he retired to spend some quality and peaceful time. But nothing can be peaceful around Gamache. His neighbor Clara Morrow asks him for help when her husband didn’t come home. This one is Gamache’s career most personal case and it would be interesting to see how he will solve this without being an Inspector!
9. A Rule Against MurderA Rule Against Murder is a charming yet mysterious story that would keep you hooked to the book until you reach the end.Gamache and his friends finally got some time off and they are spending Gamache’s anniversary trip at a beautiful yet remote which is not very far from Three Pines. Gamache and his friends are partying hard and they just wanna have fun and forget about work. All is fun until they found a dead body that shocks everyone.Gamache has decided to take up the case and it resulted in digging up the past lives of his friends which isn’t very nice. The story takes an interesting turn when he finds more and more about the case as well as the second murder! The time is ticking and he might lose the killer if he dissent solves the case on time.
10. The Nature of the BeastThe Nature of the Beast has also made it to our list of top Louise Penny books. This time the books feature a nine-year-old boy, Laurent Lepage who is always telling the stories about the mysterious events happening in the woods of Three Pines. His tales include from Beasts to dinosaurs, which are so extraordinary and hard to believe.But everyone in the town gets worried when the boy went missing and everyone has just one thought in their head- what if the stories were true? When the search for the boy starts, they start to go deeper and deeper in the woods, and with that, some shocking things start to unveil. Everyone is shocked to find out the old cases of murders and betrayal and Gamache himself is caught up in all this.This one might be the most powerful and mysterious story by Louise Penny which will make you finish the book in one go.
11. The Cruellest MonthThe cruelest month, that is, springtime has begun in the Three Pines and everyone is looking forward to celebrating Easter and party hard. People are also hoping to get rid of the evil this year. But everything comes to an end when a person ends up being dead.Gamache is in a dilemma of where to start the investigation. And things start to get complicated when he faces his ghost and the complicated relationship of people around him. This one is a uniquely written mystery novel by Louise Penny which will impress you.
12. The Brutal TellingThe story starts with a warning that says Chaos is coming, Old Son!As everyone starts saying goodbye to the summers and people head back to the Three Pines after spending their holidays, a mysterious murder has taken place in the village Bistro and antique stores. And with that, Gamache got a new case to solve but this time it’s not going to be easy as no one claims to know the victim.Gamache has now one suspect to lead with and that is the owner of the store who has a lot to answer. But is he going in the right direction or he is giving time to the killer to escape or maybe commit another crime?
13. Kingdom of the BlindThe story starts with the Gamache being suspended and furious with nothing to do. Amid all this Gamache receives a mysterious letter that invited him to an abandoned farmhouse. The letter is from an elderly woman who has named Gamache and the other two people the executioner of her will. The thing is no one knows the elderly woman.When Gamache accepts the invites and reaches their they found the body and this adds more trouble for the inspector than ever. Gamache has so many questions and he needs the answer before anything bad happens regarding the investigation that happened six months ago gone wrong and for which he is facing suspension.
14. Glass HouseA mysterious figure has appeared in the Three Pines that has left everyone curious. The figure has been still and staring ahead through rain and sleets. Now it has started to form a shadow over the town, Gamache things that it is connected with something dark and has some deep roots. But what harms can be caused by a figure?
15. The HangmanLast but not least pick for the best Louise Penny book is The Hangman! A man has been found hanging on a tree. The hanging might look like a suicide but Chief Inspector Armand Gamache has something else in mind which suggests he has been murdered, but by whom?
ConclusionSo these are the best Louise Penny books that you wanna read. You can pick up any one of the above-mentioned books and you won’t be disappointed. The books are good enough for you to fall in love with her writing style and with the stories and characters.Thank you for visiting our page and we hope you liked the aforementioned Louise Penny books.