Glass Houses (No.13 Gamache Series) by Louise Penny #20booksofsummer

Winner of the Agatha Award for Best Novel in the US and awarded the Best Novel prize by Left Coast Crime.

Book blurb

When a mysterious figure appears in Three Pines one cold November day, Armand Gamache and the rest of the villagers are at first curious. Then wary. And finally, watching the unmoving figure, a pall settles over the pretty Québec village. 

Armand Gamache, now Chief Superintendent of the Sûreté du Québec, knows something is seriously wrong. Through rain and sleet, the figure stands unmoving, staring ahead. An accusation on the village green. Gamache knows there must be a purpose behind this odd act.

Yet Gamache does nothing. What can he do? Only watch and wait. And hope his mounting fears are not realized. 

But when the figure vanishes and a body is discovered, it falls to Gamache to discover if a debt has been discharged, or levied. 

Months later, on a steamy July day as the trial for the accused begins in Montreal, Chief Superintendent Gamache continues to struggle with actions he set in motion that bitter November, from which there is no going back. More than the accused is on trial. Gamache’s own conscience is standing in judgement.

As I’m a bit behind in my 20 books of summer book thoughts. I have The Madness of Crowds by Louise Penny (out on 24 August) to read and review courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley and want to have caught up before reading it. Which is why I added all of the ones I hadn’t yet read.

There are four books: Glass Houses, Kingdom of the Blind, A Better Man and All the Devils are Here. Well I’ve read them, yeah! In order to catch up I’m going to give you some very short thoughts for these books. Glass Houses is my eighth read.

My thoughts

A stranger dressed like the grim reaper stands on the Three Pines green. Is this figure, a modern day Cobrador, sending a message or taking revenge? Whatever it’s there for this figure is a disturbing presence and the villagers want it removed but, as no law is being broken, Gamache can do nothing.

When a body is found everything changes. Gamache is now Chief Superintendent of the Sûreté so it is Isobel Lacoste who heads up the investigation. Gamache is working, under the radar, on a major investigation.

The book opens at the murder trial of the accused and is told in flashback. Louise Penny has the knack of writing multiple storylines that are complicated, gripping and will keep you guessing right to the end incredibly well. You may think you know what’s happening and whodunnit but there is always a very neat change of direction or piece of information that changes everything bringing into play the connections and beautifully tying everything together. You also become incredibly invested with the characters who are so well written along with the setting which is wonderful. This book is no different and everything builds up to an ending that is tense, thrilling, heart-stopping and will have huge repercussions on all those concerned.

It’s so good to be back, after far too long, with Gamache, Jean-Pierre, Isobel, Reine Marie and all the characters in Three Pines. This is a wonderful series and Glass Houses is an absolutely cracking read.

Book: Purchased


Published: Little, Brown Book Group |13 November 2018

Buy: Your local bookshop | AmazonSmileUK |

Three Pines

Author: Louise Penny is the number one New York Times bestselling author of the Inspector Gamache series, including Still Life, which won the CWA John Creasey Dagger in 2006. Recipient of virtually every existing award for crime fiction, Louise was also granted the Order of Canada in 2014 and received an honorary doctorate of literature from Carleton University and the Ordre Nationale du Québec in 2017. She lives in a small village south of Montreal.

You can find out much more on Louise Penny’s website. Where you will also find the link to Louise Penny’s Facebook page and how to sign up for her newsletter.

You can join in with the fun leading up to The Madness of Crowds. Up next: Glass Houses and Kingdom of the Blind. See the images and join the conversation at!

“I live outside a small village south of Montreal, quite close to the American border. My husband Michael and I have long had dogs, all golden retrievers. Bonnie, Maggie, Seamus, Trudy and now Bishop. Some came as puppies, some were adopted as adults. All beloved.

Michael and I were together for 22 years and married for 20. He was the inspiration for Armand Gamache. Kindly, thoughtful, generous, a man of courage and integrity, who both loved and accepted love.

He developed dementia, and died peacefully at home in September 2016, surrounded by the love he’d put into the world for his 83 years.

So now it’s Bishop and me. But we’re far from alone. We have the village, and all our friends including My Assistant Lise, and the indomitable, happy spirit of Michael. And, of course, the company of Armand, Clara, Ruth, Gabri and Olivier et al.

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.”

Louise Penny


The Three Pines order, from the first to the most recent:





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