Louise Penny books In Order With Summaries

Are you looking for a great mystery novel?

Check out this list of Louise Penny books in order of publication. Louise Penny’s bestselling series of books offer thrilling mysteries and captivating stories.

In this post, we’ll provide the best order to read her books, with a summary of each. We’ll start with her first novel in 2005 up to A World of Curiosities, published on Nov 29, 2022.

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Louise Penny Books In Order Of Publication (2022)

1. Still Life (2005)

2. Dead Cold/Fatal Grace (2006) (same book, different title)

3. The Cruelest Month (2007)

4. A Rule Against Murder (2008)

5. The Brutal Telling (2009)

6. Bury Your Dead (2010)

6.5. The Hangman (2010)

7. Trick of the Light (2011)

8. The Beautiful Mystery (2012)

9. How the Light Gets In (2013)

10. The Long Way Home (2014)

11. The Nature of the Beast (2015)

12. A Great Reckoning (2016)

13. Glass Houses (2017)

14. Kingdom of the Blind (2018)

15. A Better Man (2019)

16. All the Devils Are Here (2020)

17. The Madness of Crowds (2021)

18. A World of Curiosities (2022)


Louise Penny Stand Alone Book

  • State of Terror (2021) Co-author Hillary Clinton


Louise Penny Books in Order With Summaries 

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache Books in Order with summaries.


1. “Still Life” Summary

Still Life, by Louise Penny, is a thrilling mystery novel set in a remote area of Quebec. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his team of investigators are called to investigate the suspicious death of Jane Neal, a local fixture in Three Pines just north of the U.S. border.

Despite the locals believing it was an accidental hunting accident, Gamache is convinced a darker force is at play. Penny introduces readers to the captivating Inspector Gamache and his unwavering commitment to justice through this story.

The novel offers readers an exciting journey as they follow Gamache in his pursuit of truth and a killer. Still, Life will keep you on the edge of your seat as it explores the mystery of Jane Neal’s death.

With its intriguing plot and characters, Louise Penny’s Still Life will surely be a great read.


2. “Dead Cold” Summary

Dead Cold by Louise Penny is a gripping mystery set in the small village of Three Pines. When a spectator at the annual Boxing Day curling match is killed, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache must investigate and unravel the secrets of the dead woman’s past.

With enemies on all sides and his position at risk, he must decide who to trust to find answers. As Gamache digs deeper, he will discover hidden histories and uncover a web of lies that leads to an unexpected conclusion.

A captivating murder mystery full of twists and turns, Dead Cold will keep readers guessing until the very end.


3. “The Coldest Month” Summary

The Cruelest Month is a captivating mystery novel by Louise Penny. It starts in the small village of Three Pines, Quebec, where Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his team investigate the murder of an elderly woman during Easter celebrations.

As they search for clues and piece together the puzzle, it slowly becomes clear that something sinister and dangerous lurks underneath the tranquil village. Through unexpected twists and turns, Gamache and his team uncover secrets from the past that will change their lives forever.

The Cruelest Month is a gripping story of suspense and intrigue that will keep readers on the edge of their seats until its thrilling conclusion.


4. ”A Rule Against Murder” Summary

In A Rule Against Murder, Chief Inspector Gamache is called in to investigate a murder at Manoir Bellechasse, an isolated inn near the village of Three Pines.

With some surprising guests and a terrible summer storm looming, it’s up to Chief Inspector Gamache to uncover long-buried secrets and hidden hatreds. He must face his demons as he races to solve the case, ultimately leading to a harrowing climax.

With twists and turns, this thrilling mystery will keep readers guessing until the very end.


5. “The Brutal Telling” Summary

The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny is a mystery novel centered on Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. When a murdered body is discovered at Olivier’s Bistro in Three Pines, Gamache is called to investigate.

He must follow the trail of clues and antiques throughout the wilderness, discovering secrets and lies all along the way before ultimately uncovering the truth behind the brutal telling.

With breathtaking suspense and gripping characters, this book keeps readers engaged from beginning to end.


6. “Bury Your Dead” Summary

Bury Your Dead is a suspenseful novel by Louise Penny, the New York Times bestselling author. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache takes time off duty to attend the Winter Carnival in the north and escape his hauntingly wrong investigation.

He finds himself in an obsessive academic search for answers at the Literary and Historical Society. Still, he is soon recalled to his hometown to investigate the mysterious case of Olivier, an innocent bistro owner convicted of murder.

With his past looming over him, Gamache is determined to solve the mystery and put to rest the events of this dark path. Will he be able to bury his dead? Read Bury Your Dead to find out! 🙂


6.5 “The Hangman” Summary

The Hangman by Louise Penny tells the story of Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his investigation into a dead man found in Three Pines. As he follows the clues, he discovers that the death isn’t an accident or suicide but murder.

Gamache uncovers more secrets from this small village’s past with each clue. Through twists and turns, Gamache eventually discovers why the dead man came to Three Pines and who was responsible for his death. This suspenseful mystery is an exciting read full of intense moments and unexpected plot twists.

Readers will be on the edge of their seats until they discover what happened in this small Quebec village.


7. “Trick of The Light” Summary

Trick of the Light is a gripping crime novel by Louise Penny. When Chief Inspector Gamache is called to Three Pines, he finds himself looking into the mysterious death of Lillian Dyson and uncovering secrets that people in the art world would rather keep hidden.

With danger lurking around every corner and no one being who they seem, Gamache must use his wits to uncover the truth and bring justice. Filled with intrigue, deception, and suspense, Trick of the Light is a captivating read that keeps you guessing until the end.


8. “The Beautiful Mystery” Summary

The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny is a gripping murder mystery set in the secluded monastery of Saint-Gilbert-Entre-Les-Loups. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and Jean-Guy Beauvoir of the Sûreté du Québec are called upon to investigate when the renowned choir director is murdered.

The community of cloistered monks, famous for their beautiful singing, is thrown into disarray. As Gamache and Beauvoir search for the killer, they uncover secrets that reveal cracks in the peaceful atmosphere of the monastery.

To restore peace, Gamache must confront his demons and those of the mysterious monastery.


9. “How the Light Gets In” Summary

In How the Light Gets In, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache faces hostile forces as he investigates a missing person case in Three Pines.

He discovers the missing person was once a famous individual and uncovers the truth about crime and injustice that lurks beneath the peaceful village’s idyllic surface.

With time running out, Gamache must use all his wit and instincts to protect himself, his colleagues, and the people of Three Pines. Amidst danger and darkness, he must find a way to bring light back into the world.

The book is full of mystery and suspense as readers take an emotional journey with Gamache as he searches for the truth. How the Light Gets In is a gripping read that will keep you captivated until the end.


10. “The Long Way Home” Summary

The Long Way Home is a novel by best-selling author Louise Penny. Set in the village of Three Pines, it follows retired Chief Inspector of Homicide Armand Gamache as he joins his old second-in-command Jean-Guy Beauvoir and friend Myrna Landers to search for Clara Morrow’s artist husband, Peter.

The trio’s journey takes them to the mouth of the St. Lawrence river, where they uncover secrets about Peter’s past that will change their lives forever. The book explores family, loyalty, and relationship themes and ultimately reminds us that sometimes the only way home is long.


11. “The Nature of the Beast” Summary

In The Nature of the Beast, Louise Penny takes readers to the quaint village of Three Pines, where a nine-year-old boy’s extraordinary tales are dismissed until he mysteriously disappears.

The former head of homicide for the Sûreté du Québec, Armand Gamache, and the villagers embark on a frantic search for the missing boy and uncover a series of events that lead to an old crime, betrayal, and a monster lurking in the shadows.

Gamache must face the possibility that his disbelief in the child’s tales may have contributed to what happens next. Will he be able to save Three Pines from this dark force?


12. “A Great Reckoning” Summary

A Great Reckoning is a thrilling novel by Louise Penny. When an old map is found in the walls of a bistro in Three Pines, Quebec, it leads former Chief of Homicide Armand Gamache to uncover shattering secrets.

During his investigation into a dead professor, Gamache discovers four cadets from the Sûreté academy, one of which is Amelia Choquet. He soon finds himself the focus of the investigation and must return to Three Pines to uncover the secrets behind a stained glass window.

This journey leads both Gamache and Amelia to a great reckoning with their pasts that will change everything.


13. “Glass Houses” Summary

Glass Houses is a crime novel set in the small town of Three Pines, Quebec. The story follows Chief Superintendent Armand Gamache as he investigates the mysterious appearance of a figure on a cold November day and the subsequent discovery of a body.

As the trial against an accused killer begins in Montréal, Gamache must face his conscience and the consequences of his actions. With secrets revealed and lives in danger, Gamache must uncover the truth before it’s too late.


14. “Kingdom of the Blind” Summary

Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny follows Armand Gamache as he is invited to an abandoned farmhouse and appointed one of three executors of a woman’s will. When the body of a stranger is found, Gamache begins to suspect that the strange will may hide something sinister.

At the same time, he is also tasked with retrieving a powerful drug that has gone missing. With the help of his allies and using increasingly daring measures, Gamache must uncover the truth behind the mystery before it is too late. ​


15. “A Better Man” Summary

In A Better Man, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec faces a complex case when an anguished father turns to Gamache for help finding his missing daughter.

As he resumes the search and deals with rising flood waters and an online onslaught against him, Gamache’s empathy for Vivienne’s father deepens, and he soon discovers a body.

When mistakes are made in the investigation, Gamache must confront the possibility that Vivienne’s killer may walk free. An emotional exploration of justice and empathy, A Better Man is a thrilling read.


16. “All the Devils Are Here” Summary

All the Devils Are Here is a mystery novel by the bestselling author Louise Penny. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his family are vacationing in Paris when they witness an attempt on the life of Armand’s godfather, Stephen Horowitz.

Together, they must unravel a web of lies and deceit to discover who is behind this attack and what secrets Stephen keeps. With suspense, action, and a thrilling plot, All the Devils Are Here keeps readers guessing until the end. ​


17. “The Madness of Crowds” Summary

The Madness of Crowds is a gripping mystery novel by Louise Penny. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his team are called upon to investigate a murder connected with Professor Abigail Robinson, whose repulsive agenda has sparked an intellectual debate and spread like wildfire among the residents of Three Pines.

With sides declared, debates become arguments that soon spiral into dangerous madness. It’s up to Gamache and his team to uncover the truth amidst this popular delusion and figure out who is truly responsible for the crime.


18. “A World of Curiosities” Summary

Chief Inspector Gamache and his assistant Jean-Guy Beauvoir investigate a cold case from their past when two young people arrive in the quaint village of Three Pines.

After discovering an old letter written by a long-dead stone mason describing terror, they find an attic room hidden inside the walls, a world of curiosities, and a hidden enemy.

As Gamache attempts to solve the mystery and protect the villagers, he must also face danger in his home. Will they uncover the truth before it’s too late?

Find out in A World of Curiosities by Louise Penny.


Louise Penny Stand Alone Summary

“State of Terror” Summary

State of Terror by Louise Penny and Hillary Clinton tells the story of Anahita Dahir, a young Foreign Service Officer at the State Department in Washington DC, who discovers an anonymous coded warning.

This leads to a terrifying series of terrorist attacks that threaten her government with nuclear weapons, Russian mobsters, and a rogue terrorist organization.

Anahita must unravel an intricate conspiracy to restore international security with the help of a passionate journalist and the newly appointed Secretary of State.

Together they must use their knowledge, skills, and determination to protect their country in this thrilling political mystery.


Who is Louise Penny?

Louise Penny is a New York Times best-selling novelist and one of our time’s most acclaimed crime writers. She has written fifteen novels in her Inspector Gamache series that have been translated into many languages and published across the globe.

Readers belove her books for their captivating storylines, complex characters, lush settings, and suspenseful atmosphere. Her works have won numerous awards, including the Agatha Award for Best Novel and the Anthony Award for Best Novel.

Louise Penny has brought joy to her readers with each new novel she releases, and fans eagerly await what is next for this brilliant author.

In addition to writing novels, Louise Penny also contributes articles on crime fiction to various publications and has been featured in many interviews and articles on the subject.

She is a sought-after speaker at literary events, and her books have received high praise from leading authors of our time.

Her international success has earned her recognition as one of Canada’s most celebrated authors.

Learn more about her and her books at the Louise Penny Website.


What About the Inspector Armand Gamache TV Show?

The Inspector Armand Gamache TV show is a mystery drama series based on the globally renowned book franchise by Canadian author Louise Penny.

The series follows the titular character Armand Gamache, who works as an investigator with the Surete du Quebec (the provincial law enforcement agency in Québec). He is assisted by his partners, Isabelle Lacoste and Jean-Guy Beauvoir, as they investigate complex crimes in rural Quebec.

The series is set in the fictitious town of Three Pines, a small village surrounded by woods and steeped in history. Armand uses his keen intuition and experience to solve cases while relying on his team’s unique skill sets to uncover the truth.

Along the way, he must battle corruption and political intrigue while uncovering secrets that will change people’s lives forever.

The show stars Oscar-nominated actor Robert Moreuil as Armand Gamache, Neve Campbell as Isabelle Lacoste, Maxim Roy as Jean-Guy Beauvoir, and Joanne Kelly as Chief Inspector Isabelle Lacoste. It premiered on CTV in Canada and Acorn TV in the US on April 12, 2021.

The series has been met with critical acclaim and is described by critics as “a gripping mystery drama with a human touch.”


What is the order of Louise Penny’s books?

The novels of Louise Penny can be read in any order you’d like. However, if readers would like to follow the chronological order of her books, they should start with Still Life (2005).

The next book is A Fatal Grace (2007), followed by The Cruelest Month (2008), and then Blessed are the Dead (2009).

From there, readers can move on to The Beautiful Mystery (2012), How the Light Gets In (2013), The Long Way Home (2014), The Nature of the Beast (2015), and A Great Reckoning (2016).

Louise Penny also wrote two standalone novels, A Trick of the Light (2011) and Kingdom of the Blind (2018). These books can be read at any point in her book series.


What is considered the best Louise Penny book?

That’s a difficult question to answer, as there are many great Louise Penny books! Her best-known works include Still Life, A Fatal Grace, Bury Your Dead, and The Brutal Telling. These novels feature the beloved Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his team in Three Pines Village, Quebec.


Do you have to read the Gamache series in order?

No, you don’t have to read the Gamache series in order. Each book stands alone and can be enjoyed without prior knowledge of the other books in the series. However, if you want to follow the characters more closely and better understand their development over time, it might be best to start at the beginning.


How many books are in the Three Pines series?

There are .18 books in the Pine series. Each book follows Chief Inspector Armand Gamache as he solves different mysteries in the village of Three Pines. 


Will there be a book 18 of Inspector Gamache?

Yes! The newest book in the series, A World of Curiosities, was published on Nov 29, 2022. In this novel by author Louise Penny, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his team of investigators as they unravel a decades-old mystery.


Best Louise Penny Book to start with

If you are looking for a great introduction to the brilliant work of Louise Penny, we recommend starting with ‘Still Life’, the first book in the popular Inspector Gamache series. In this captivating story, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is called upon to investigate the suspicious death of an elderly woman in a small village.



If you’re looking for a captivating and thrilling read, look no further than Louise Penny’s books. These books will keep you hooked with their intricate plots and compelling characters until the last page! So don’t hesitate.

Search this list of Louise Penny books to pick up a book today. And experience an unforgettable mystery adventure!

Want to shop for her books? Amazon is the best place to buy Louise Penny’s books. 

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