If you are looking for all Louise Penny books in order, you have landed on the right page, as you’ll find the ultimate guide to reading all her books in proper order!
Louise Penny has devised the perfect series for the voracious readers who love to read cozy mysteries and crime thrillers! Filled with the elements of family, friends, community, hope, murder, mystery, and contemporary issues like PTSD, drug addiction, and police corruption, Louise Penny has excelled in crafting a world unlike any other. We are talking about none other than the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series.
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is a mystery series written by Louise Penny. The series consists of 18 books, with the first book published in 2005 and the latest book released on November 29, 2022. Louise Penny has won several awards for the said series, including the Agatha Award (five times) and CWA Dagger, and was a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Novel. Louise Penny is the #1 New York Times, The Globe, and Mail bestselling author of the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels.
The entire series revolves around the life of a police detective named Armand Gamache and how he investigates and resolves the murder mysteries of people in each novel. The series takes place in the imaginary location of Three Pines, a small village in Quebec, Canada. While plenty of mystery thrillers are out there, the absence of violence makes Inspector Armand Gamache Series unique. The series is often referred to as “a kinder and gentler alternative to modern crime fiction.” So Inspector Armand Gamache Series is a pleasure to read for people of all ages!
If you are also planning on reading Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series in order, this article will help you!
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache Series:
The Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series consists of the following 18 books:
- Still Life (2005)
- A Fatal Grace (2006)
- The Cruelest Month (2007)
- A Rule Against Murder (2008)
- The Brutal Telling (2009)
- Bury Your Dead (2010)
- A Trick of the Light (2011)
- The Beautiful Mystery (2012)
- How the Light Gets In (2013)
- The Long Way Home (2014)
- The Nature of the Beast (2015)
- A Great Reckoning (2016)
- Glass Houses (2017)
- Kingdom of the Blind (2018)
- A Better Man (2019)
- All the Devil Are Here (2020)
- The Madness of Crowds (2021)
- A World of Curiosities (2022)
All Louise Penny Books in Order:
1. Still Life (2005)
Still Life is the first book in the Inspector Armand Gamache Series. The book has won several awards, including New Blood Dagger, Arthur Ellis, Barry, Anthony, and Dilys awards.
The book starts with the unexpected death of a 76-year-old retired school teacher named Jane Neal. Ben Hadley, the owner of the local archery club, found Jane’s body. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, along with his second-in-command Jean-Guy Beauvoir, investigates Jane’s mysterious death. After examining the crime scene, the detectives learn that an arrow killed Jane. Inspector Gamache also learns that Jane never allowed anyone to go beyond the kitchen in her home.
Was the killing of Jane an accident or a sinister murder scheme? Why does Jane never let anyone in her house?
2. A Fatal Grace (2006)
A Fatal Grace is the second book in the Inspector Armand Gamache series. The book is the winner of the 2007 Agatha Award for Best Novel.
It’s somewhere between December 22 and New Year’s Day that a woman named Cecilia “CC” de Poitiers is murdered. She was electrocuted while watching the annual curling tournament while standing on a frozen lake. No one saw who electrocuted her even though she was in front of the entire village.
Inspector Gamache investigates the case and understands that nothing that appears to be reality is true. With the whole town, CC’s daughter, and her husband hating her, how will the inspector find out about the murderer?
3. The Cruelest Month (2007)
The Cruelest Month is the third book in the Inspector Armand Gamache Series. It is the winner of the 2008 Agatha Award for Best Novel.
Gabri, a local of Three Pines, is hosting a séance (a meeting where people try to talk with the dead). Despite only a few people attending the séance, people enjoyed the session. So Gabri decides to host a greater séance at the alleged haunted Old Hadley House. But things do not go as planned, and a local woman, Madeleine, dies of fright.
Gabri stops the séance and calls the police. Inspector Gamache investigates the case and soon understands that the death was not an accident because someone had drugged Madeleine. Who would be cruel enough to kill someone during spring when nature is blooming?
4. A Rule Against Murder (2008)
Louise Penny’s A Rule Against Murder is the fourth book in the Inspector Armand Gamache Series.
It’s Inspector Gamache and his wife’s wedding anniversary, and they celebrate it each year in the luxurious inn called Manoir Bellchasse, situated outside the Three Pines. The rich and respectable Finney Family is also there for their own celebrations. Everything is going perfectly until a member of the Finney family is murdered, and Inspector Gamache has to investigate the case.
The victim is found crushed beneath a giant heavy statue. Who has this enormous power to lift such a heavy statue, and why would someone murder in a hotel? It’s up to the inspector to find out the truth!
5. The Brutal Telling (2009)
Next up in Louise Penny books in order is The Brutal Telling, the fifth book in the Inspector Armand Gamache Series. It was the winner of the Anthony Award for Best Novel in 2010.
A body is found in Three Pine’s bistro. Inspector Gamache takes up the case, and the owner of the restaurant, Olivier Brulé, is interrogated. Inspector Gamache discovers that there is more to Olivier’s story than he is telling. Gamache also discovers that Olivier had an estranged relationship with his father.
How has this relationship shaped the personality of Olivier? What is Olivier hiding, and aside from him, how many people are the suspects in this case? Read the book to find out more!
6. Bury Your Dead (2010)
The sixth book in Inspector Armand Gamache Series is named Bury Your Dead and is a winner of the Anthony Award for Best Novel (2011).
To recover from a case gone horribly wrong, Gamache goes on leave and travels to the Quebec Literary and Historical Society library. But after arriving at the Historical Society, he finds the body of Augustin Renaud in the basement of the building.
Renaud was a historian obsessed with finding the burial place of Samuel de Champlain, the founder of Quebec. Who murdered Renaud? Will Gamache be able to forgive himself and move on to the next case?
7. A Trick of the Light (2011)
A Trick of the Light is the seventh book in the Inspector Armand Gamache book series. It is the winner of the Anthony Award for Best Novel (2012).
It is Clara Morrow’s first-ever solo show at Musee d’Art. She is happy, hopeful, and nervous. Everyone at the show applauds her arts and abilities. Even her husband, an artist himself, is happy and jealous of her wife. But all of their celebrations end the next day when Clara and her husband find a dead body in their garden.
The dead body belongs to a woman they both knew and have preferred not to talk to her for the last 30 years. Why has this woman appeared here dead after 30 years? And who is behind the plot of murder?
8. The Beautiful Mystery (2012)
The Beautiful Mystery is the eighth book in the Inspector Armand Gamache Series. It is the winner of the 2012 Agatha Award for best novel, the 2013 Anthony Award for best novel, and the 2013 Macavity Award for best novel.
Frère Mathieu, the choir leader at the monastery of Saint-Gilbert-Entre-Les-Loups, is murdered. The twenty-three music monks are grieving the murder of their leader. Inspector Gamache has come to this place to investigate the murder of Frère. As the investigation proceeds, Gamache realizes that the monastery is not as united as it seems. Set in an ancient land, this beautiful mystery is sure to get you enchanted!
9. How the Light Gets In (2013)
How the Light Gets In is the ninth book featuring the compassionate inspector Armand Gamache, and the ninth book in Louise Penny books in order list!
It’s Christmas, and a former client-turned-friend of Myrna Landers is supposed to meet her. But she does not come and is missing now. Gamache investigates the case and finds the friend dead in her home, killed by a head blow while packing. The case became interesting by the fact that the victim was the last of the Ouellet quintuplets. She was exploited by a doctor and used by the government. With motives that are running wild but bizarre, Gamache finds himself in an unexpected position.
10. The Long Way Home (2014)
Next up on the list, we have The Long Way Home, the tenth book in the Inspector Armand Gamache book series.
After an unexpected traumatic event in the past, Gamache has decided to retire as the Chief Investigator to live his life happily with her wife. Clara Marrow, the artist, and neighbor of Gamache, seeks help from him. Clara says that she and her husband, Peter, separated a year ago but had decided to meet on the first anniversary of their separation. Clara says that the reunion date has come and gone, but her husband has not come. Gamache agrees to help.
Gamache soon discovers various hints and paintings that seem to be about places where Peter might have gone. Will Peter be found? Is he alive or dead? Read this epic book to find out!
11. The Nature of the Beast (2015)
The Nature of the Beast is the eleventh book in the Inspector Armand Gamache Series.
A 9-year-old boy named Laurent is murdered after he tells a tall tale about a monster wielding a gun in the forest. With the discovery that the seemingly tall tale was actually true, Gamache boards on a mission to investigate the murder of Laurent. While investigating, Gamache finds out about a giant missile launcher hidden in the forest. Who killed Laurent, and will Gamache solve the case and live his life peacefully?
12. A Great Reckoning (2016)
The next novel in Louise Penny books in order list is A Great Reckoning, the twelfth book in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache book series.
After retirement, Gamache accepted the command of the Sûreté Academy to train future officers. Gamache also keeps Serge LeDuc in the Academy. LeDuc was a former assistant at the Academy. Gamache also assigns four students to LeDuc to solve a mystery together. But one of the four students finds LeDuc dead.
LeDuc’s revolver had the fingerprints of Amelia (one of the four students) and Gamache. Now Amelia is missing, and everyone suspects Gamache of the foul act. Is Gamache a murderer? Where has Amelia gone? Will Gamache’s reputation ever recover after this murder?
13. Glass Houses (2017)
The thirteenth book, Glass Houses, is the next book in the Inspector Armand Gamache series.
Gamache has been recently appointed as the Chief Superintendent of the Surete du Quebec. He is in the witness box to testify in a murder trial. During the trial, it becomes evident that there is more at stake than anyone could ever imagine. The judge also senses tension between the Chief Crown Prosecutor and Gamache.
The book switched narratives between the courtroom and last November when the dead body of Katie Evans was found. What is Gamache trying to hide? Who killed Katie Evans? The gripping thriller will change your perspective on crime novels!
14. Kingdom of the Blind (2018)
Kingdom of the Blind is the fourteenth book in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache Series.
After being suspended due to a series of unexpected events, Gamache receives a letter that invites him to an abandoned farmhouse. Gamache then discovers that Bertha Baumgartner, a strange woman, has named him the executor of her will. Soon, Gamache finds the dead body of Anthony Baumgartner. The inspector also discovers a long-unresolved family dispute.
Who has killed Anthony? Why has Bertha left money for Gamache and some other strangers instead of her three children? How many more secrets is Gamache hiding?
15. A Better Man (2019)
A Better Man is the fifteenth book in the Inspector Armand Gamache Series.
Jean-Guy, Gamache’s son-in-law and the Chief Inspector of Homicide, is going to start a private job in Paris. So Gamache takes his previous position as the Chief Inspector. During a meeting, Agent Cloutier informs about Vivienne. Vivienne is missing, and she was married to an abusive husband. Cloutier and Gamache are assigned the task of finding Vivienne and interrogate her husband, Carl Tracy.
There are floods, and people find Vivienne’s body and her belongings in the water. Did Vivienne drown? Or was she murdered? If she was murdered, who may be the killer? Will Gamache solve this head-throbbing mystery?
16. All the Devil Are Here (2020)
All the Devil Are Here is the sixteenth book in the Inspector Armand Gamache Series.
Gamache and her wife are in Paris waiting for the birth of their granddaughter when Gamache hears about his godfather. His godfather, Stephen Horowitz, is hit by a delivery truck and is severely injured. Gamache finds out that his godfather was not hit by an accident – rather by clear intentions. So, Gamache starts to investigate.
The next day, Gamache and his wife find out that Stephen is living in a suite in a hotel instead of his apartment. In Stephen’s apartment, Gamache finds out the dead body of Alexander Plessner, a person whom Gamache does not know. Who killed that person, and why is someone trying to kill Gamache’s godfather?
17. The Madness of Crowds (2021)
The next entry in the Louise Penny books in order is The Madness of Crowds, the seventeenth book in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache book series.
The pandemic is over, and the Fictional Canadian Government has assigned Abigail Robinson with the task of analyzing how national stability can be achieved. Abigail presents her idea of euthanasia for the elderly and sick, which shocks Gamache. Because if Abigail’s idea was to be accepted, it meant that Gamache’s Down syndrome-affected granddaughter should be killed.
Riots and clashes start in Canada regarding Abigail’s ideas, and during a University lecture, someone shoots gunfire at Abigail. She was saved because Gamache pushed her. Gamache and his detectives discover Abigail’s disabled sister’s death several years ago. Gamache believes that the death was a murder cover-up. What will the events in the book lead to?
18. A World of Curiosities (2022)
A World of Curiosities is the eighteenth and the latest book in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache book series which was released in 2022.
The book starts with the murder of a drug-addicted prostitute. She prostituted her children, and when the mother’s health began to weaken, her children murdered her with a brick. The prostitute’s daughter, Fiona Arsenault, confessed and went to jail. Gamache never believed her because he suspected Fiona’s brother Sam to be the murderer due to his bizarre personality. Gamache also sponsors Fiona after she discovers an aptitude for engineering.
But all these kindnesses turn against Gamache as he soon finds himself in a place like no other. Will he be able to solve the case and live his life peacefully?
About The Author – Louise Penny:
Louise Penny is the author of the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache Series. She was born in Canada in 1958. Penny’s mother was a passionate crime fiction reader, so growing up, Penny was always surrounded by mystery books by Agatha Christie, Georges Simenon, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Michael Innes.
Penny graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Arts (Radio and Television) from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute (now Toronto Metropolitan University) in 1979. After graduating at 21, she started her 18-year career as a radio host and journalist with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).
Penny left CBC in 1996 to pursue her passion for writing. “Still Life” was her debut novel that opened new doors for her writing career. Soon with her magical writing abilities, she crafted the entire Inspector Armand Gamache series. She is also the #1 New York Times, The Globe, and Mail bestselling author for her book series. Her series has been adapted for a mystery TV series, Three Pines, by Amazon Prime Video. The TV series premiered on December 2, 2022, and is already receiving positive responses from the audience.
Louise Penny also wrote a novella named The Hangman, and is the co-author of the book State of Terror, with Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Only a few book series live up to the reader’s expectations, and the Inspector Armand Gamache series is undoubtedly one of them. Each book in the series is multilayered, with story arcs sure to amaze you.
Although these books are of murder mystery and crime thriller genre, at their core, they are all about hope, goodness, and a sense of community. With depth in characterization, progressing story arcs, compelling characters, and plotting scope, Penny has excelled in creating a unique series like no other. So, make sure to follow the reading guide featuring all Louise Penny books in order so you don’t miss out on any important details!