Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Louise Penny

Those of you who come here regularly know one of my all-time favourite, go-to authors is Louise Penny. Author of the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache books, also known as, the Three Pines series. Ever since I discovered Penny’s books, starting with Bury Your Dead, I’ve been in love with not only her writing, but her characters—and not just the central character of the Chief Inspector himself, Gamache. But all her characters, along with their flaws, foibles and fears; each and every one carefully crafted to showcase a broad range of character-types.

This amazing depth of character is what makes her work so compelling and readable; people (however real, or imagined) that we can identify with. Characters she uses to good effect to tell well-plotted and well thought-out stories that make her books unputdownable.

Penny’s series has featured on my Top Ten All Time Favourite Reads, along with my Top 5 “Unputdownable” Reads, and my Top 5 Favourite Male Characters. A feat no other author I’ve read, has achieved.

More about Penny:

I came to writing later in life. I was well into my 40’s before STILL LIFE, the first Gamache novel, was published. I am deeply aware of how lucky I am to be writing, and published, and enjoying success. And believe me, I am enjoying it. It would be such a shame not to appreciate such a gift.

Before being published I was a journalist with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. But Michael’s support allowed me to quit work to write.

He was not only the inspiration for the books, but he made them possible.

The order of the Gamache books, from first to most recent, is:

  • Still Life
  • A Fatal Grace/Dead Cold (same book, different title)
  • The Cruelest Month
  • A Rule Against Murder/The Murder Stone (same book, different title)
  • The Brutal Telling
  • Bury Your Dead
  • A Trick of the Light
  • The Beautiful Mystery
  • How the Light Gets In
  • The Long Way Home
  • The Nature of the Beast
  • A Great Reckoning
  • Glass Houses
  • Kingdom of the Blind
  • A Better Man (coming Aug 2019)

Main characters in the Three Pines series:

  • Armand Gamache – Chief Inspector Sûreté du Québec
  • Reine Marie Gamache – Armand’s wife
  • Jean-Guy Beauvoir – Armand’s #2 at the Sûreté du Québec
  • Isabelle Lacoste – of the Sûreté du Québec
  • Clara Morrow – Artist
  • Peter Morrow – Artist
  • Ruth – Poet
  • Myrna – Bookstore owner
  • Olivier – Bistro co-owner
  • Gabri – Olivier’s partner, who runs the B&B
  • Monsieur Beliveau – runs the General Store
  • Sarah – The baker – runs the Boulangerie
  • Henri – Gamache’s German Shepherd
  • Rosa – Ruth’s duck

Random facts:

Chief Inspector Gamache has a favourite saying he tells new recruits that, he says, can lead them to wisdom. Knowing when to say:

“I was wrong. I’m sorry. I don’t know. And, I need help.”

Words to live be, if you ask me.

I hope you enjoyed my author spotlight on Louise Penny, and look forward to sharing more authors with you in the future.


  1. Vicky says

    Ooh! It’s embarrassing to admit, but I’ve never heard of Louise Penny before 😨 will definitely have to fix that though! Her writing sounds super interesting 😀

    • Alexandra says

      Oh, well, I’m really pleased that you stopped by, and that this post has you interested in finding out more!

  2. Alexandra says

    Oh, that’s interesting. I’m glad they enjoyed the read. And yes, reading in sequence is so much better because you see the evolution of the characters through out. Anyway, I hope you find time to listen, and enjoy the story!

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