The Madness of Crowds

Chief Inspector Gamache Novel Book 17

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Pub Date 24 Aug 2021 | Archive Date 31 Jul 2021

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Description

The incredible new book in Louise Penny's #1 bestselling Chief Inspector Gamache series.

When Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is asked to provide crowd control at a statistics lecture given at the Université de l'Estrie in Quebec, he is dubious. Why ask the head of homicide to provide security for what sounds like a minor, even mundane lecture?

But dangerous ideas about who deserves to live in order for society to thrive are rapidly gaining popularity, fuelled by the research of the eminent Professor Abigail Robinson. Yet for every person seduced by her theories there is another who is horrified by them. When a murder is committed days after the lecture, it's clear that within crowds can lie madness.

To uncover the truth, Gamache must put his own feelings about the divisive Professor to one side. But with her ideas gaining ground, the line separating good and evil, right and wrong, is quickly blurring - especially when the case leads unexpectedly close to home ...

PRAISE FOR LOUISE PENNY AND THE INSPECTOR GAMACHE SERIES:

'Louise Penny is one of the greatest crime writers of our times' DENISE MINA

'She makes most of her competitors seem like wannabes' THE TIMES

'Gamache has become to Canada what Hercule Poirot is to Belgium' THE NEW YORK TIMES

'Louise Penny twists and turns the plot expertly tripping the reader up just at the moment you think you might have solved the mystery' DAILY EXPRESS

'The series is deep and grand and altogether extraordinary . . . Miraculous' WASHINGTON POST

'No one does atmospheric quite like Louise Penny.' ELLY GRIFFITHS

'An absolute joy' IRISH TIMES

The incredible new book in Louise Penny's #1 bestselling Chief Inspector Gamache series.

When Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is asked to provide crowd control at a statistics lecture given at the...


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Featured Reviews

A mystery set in Canada post pandemic. Still reeling from the aftermath of untimely deaths, lockdown, fear and uncertainty a scientist believes she has the answer to the crippling economic and financial burden facing the country. A population not yet recovered from the maelstrom of recent events ; many begin to accept the statistics quoted as fact and putting ethics aside are prepared to consider the unthinkable. A escalating wave of support is engineered through large scale rallies which inevitably attract both sides of the argument. In a gym housed in a university in a small community an attempted assassination takes place forming the beginning of a convoluted plot mired in past atrocities, family tragedies, and complex relationships. A prescient assumption of where the results of the pandemic could lead : into uncharted waters in order to regain financial stability in a world where stability has become non existent. Excellent in-depth characterisation of three dimensional individuals struggling to do the right thing whilst contemplating inconceivable choices. Descriptions of a frozen landscape alongside warm close families and friends embracing a life after the pandemic whilst dealing with a potential murderer in their midst involves a conundrum that appears impossible to resolve until the final denouncement. A five star read that raised many moral issues alongside a mystery covering several decades waiting to be solved. Many thanks to Author, Publisher and NetGalley for this ARC of this thought provoking book which I was unable to put down from beginning to end.

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Chief Inspector Armand Gamache protects lives when shots are fired at a talk by Abigail Robinson. The pandemic may be over but statistics are being used to fuel extreme views on forced euthanasia. Brilliant book that covers complicated issues and reveals that event from the past can affect the present. Enjoy.

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An excellent read and addition to this series. Well devised plot and characters. A book for the moment in time we find ourselves. Thoroughly enjoyed it

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I am a huge fan of Louise Penny but I approached this book with trepidation. My husband who had an underlying health condition died in January 2021, my Godaughter has Downs. However, I needed have worried, yes it was gruelling but it is meant to be. Such is the skill, sensitivity and depth of her writing that I became carried away, consumed by the happenings in Three Pines and the investigation of Armand Gamache. I am in awe of her talent. I would recommend this book unreservedly. It is thrilling, challenging and a real old fashioned who dunnit. It is her best yet. No spoilers.

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This was such an intelligent enjoyable murder mystery with many philosophical debates at its heart. This is the 17th novel in the series about Chief Inspector Armand Gamache but the first one I had ever read. I felt I could read it as a standalone but I enjoyed it so much I'd like to read the others in the series. Set in Quebec, Canada, just after Christmas, in the village of Three Pines a talk by a controversial Professor of Statistics, Abigail Robinson, at a local university really pushes Gamache to question everything he believes in. The pandemic has ended and no one has been left untouched by the isolaton, fear and death due to Covid. The pandemic is dealt with really well not sentimental or placing blame just exploring peoples reaction to the aftermath. Robinson has very controversial views and the novel explores the question of free speech, morality, the role of the police, disability, fatherhood and trauma. Gamache is a really good character and I enjoyed his internal crisis as he tries to solve a crime and recognise his bias and emotions. I could not put this novel down.

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Excellent addition to the Gamache series. I have read all the books in this series and always eagerly await the next. This one takes the unusual step of setting in the post pandemic world, which is a bold step given how raw and recent those events are for many of us. I am grateful to Ms Penny for not glossing over or ignoring what we have all been through in reality and weaving this into her book. I really enjoyed this further adventure with these well loved characters.t is a great book and I continue to be in awe of this authors talent and imagination.

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For admirers of Louise Penny another Gamache novel is something to look forward. This one is not quite “as normal” as Penny admits she was reflecting on the impact of Covid on people and their behaviour. So this will refer to that time, but Penny never does “simple” crime it inevitably has a deeper social and moral dimension. The story will start with Gamache and his family in Three Pines for the Christmas and New Year celebrations. There too will be seen the whole suite of the village residents (introduced before) gathering together but also reflecting on the impact of the year – and welcoming a new daughter born to Gamache’s daughter and son-in-law Jean Guy. A “celebrity” visitor will need to be welcomed in spite of her less than comfortable behaviour. In spite of the positive there are hints that things are not quite well in the world. Gamache is working on a confidential investigation – it will turn out to be on the cases of elderly people being abandoned to die in Care Homes during the pandemic. He will be summoned in the meantime to “police” a public talk to be held in a local university building just before New Year. He has supposedly been selected as he is “local” and asked for. But things will soon turn very toxic. It appears that the academic speaker, an economist, had been commissioned to prepare a report on the recovery of the economy post Covid. The report had been first officially shelved and then leaked on the internet where it is going viral. It then becomes clear that she had recommended that in support the “new post-covid recovery” that older and physically disabled others should be euthanized. She had thereby created a huge virulently divisive political battle. In effect a “small local” talk is evolving it to a much larger and infinitely more controversial event and movement. The speaker is coming to international prominence. Gamache is responsible for policing this “quiet” event as things start to escalate. None of the senior University staff will act to prevent the talk going ahead – in the face of increasingly virulent demands of “rights of free speech” few would now dare. Gamache begins to wonder who arranged this talk and what their agenda might have been. During the (far from quiet) talk there is a shooting incident and this will have to be investigated and prosecuted. Meanwhile the lecturer is unrepentant and insists in coming to the Three Pines New Year celebrations. A killing will follow. This novel explores family and community and how people deal with differing opinions. Mass euthanasia is not a happy thing to discuss; as most people would regard it as totally unacceptable, until of course it happens in their own back yard. Others are perfectly prepared to allow it happen by either the front or back door. But in Covid times when there are already discussions of personal “freedoms” against the safety of others in the community it becomes worryingly closer. For Gamache’s family too there is another message as their new baby has Down’s syndrome – and her parents had been offered the chance to medically terminate the pregnancy. What is the difference between thinking of this as a possibility and actually doing it? Who have possible “mercy killings” hidden in their family‘s past? A sub plot (and community secrets) will also emerge of medical research in the past that left women severely damaged and through research a few otherwise silenced local “survivors” will be identified. This tale, like life itself is not simple or single stranded. But around this is the classic Penny novel. One that discusses the importance of family, friends and community. Life can be long and the impact of family actions even longer. Through the eyes of the Gamache family you should not expect others to be perfect, but hope that most will live with compassion and kindness. A person has to live through the life they are given and that is not always comfortable, but essentially the important thing is how you choose to live it and how you treat other people in both good and bad times. Are the crimes depicted here likely? – Worryingly they maybe as Penny always speaks to the moral issues of the time. No doubt living in Canada can make one mightily worried at the wide and aggressive political divergences appearing in her neighbours to the south. But then crime novels do not have to be soft, even wrapped in depictions of close community, they can ask hard questions of the reader.

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I would like to thank Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for an advance copy of The Madness of Crowds, the seventeenth novel to feature Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté de Quebec. Gamache is asked to provide security at a lecture by statistics professor Abigail Robinson. “Why?” he wonders until he learns what she will be discussing, an idea that is gaining support all the time, that society cannot financially support all its inhabitants and the logical conclusion to that conundrum. A few days later a body is found and Gamache has to investigate the strong feelings Abigail Robinson and her feelings evoke. I thoroughly enjoyed The Madness of Crowds, which is an engrossing and thought provoking read with plenty of permutations. To be honest, not much happens in the novel, there is a crowd disturbance at the lecture, a murder and a tense denouement and, yet, I couldn’t put it down because it’s all about the personalities, human nature and more broadly humanity. I found it riveting because the author has a keen eye for people and a strong understanding of what makes them tick so, time after time I was captivated by her acute observations and apt applications. The title refers to a book that tries to explain mass delusion and how obvious falsehoods or faulty reasoning become accepted as truth in certain segments of the population, no matter how outrageous. The obvious example in real time is American politics, but here the author uses forced euthanasia and eugenics as her example, inspired, no doubt, by the madness of herd immunity theory. Abigail Robinson’s theories provoke a wider debate in the novel about death, murder, unforced euthanasia and family love. It’s fascinating and made me really think about it, offering so much more to the debate than I had ever thought of. That’s the background that informs the plot, which, at a basic level, consists of interviews, theorising about who had a motive and uncovering a good few secrets about a monstrous event in Canada’s past. I had no idea who the killer was, couldn’t hazard a guess and was totally hooked on every twist and turn. I loved The Madness of Crowds for the way it made me think and the way it delivers some universal truths. I don’t feel that I have done justice to the way the author effortlessly links her novel to real life while making it fun with her quirky characters and the village that doesn’t appear on maps. I have no hesitation in recommending it as a good read.

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I read this in the bath, in bed and under my desk in the office. I loved it. There is something so beautiful about the way this book is written that, whilst the topic makes you so uncomfortable, it keeps you turning the pages late into the night, The ending keeps you guessing all the way through, and every time you think you have solved the murder before Gamache, you discover you are still miles away. Post pandemic world, stats are reviewed and the premise that for the survival of the nations, some believe it would be better to concentrate resources on the fittest and the strongest- essentially ending the lives of those who are unwell and frail. This idea takes root and along with the idea comes murder,

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The Madness of Crowds- Louise Penny- Crime thriller MINE Netgalley- 24th AUG When a statistician is giving a lecture at a hall in a village outside Quebec, the last thing the police expect is trouble. However the speaker has a theory about post covid and has been stirring up feelings- social media as ever spreads things even quicker than a virus. The police limit the number of people and everyone is searched so how on earth did firecrackers and a gun get into the hall and having been fired narrowly miss the target- the speaker herself? Chief Inspector Armand Gamache was at the scene- something everyone thought would be a non event which they tried to cancel beforehand to no avail. Three pines village has a distinguished visitor- a nobel peace prize winner- but Haniya has a very hard side to her as well as the saintly side, having endured much in her short life. This is brilliantly written and a page turner. Much is narrative rather than action but done to keep the reader's interest and the pages turning easily. Although one of a series, -this is number 17-this does stand alone ( I hadn’t read the others). To write a novel about post covid is a brave and interesting scenario when we are just coming out of it in reality and the world is a different place for all sorts of reasons, some of which is reflected in the book- of people's mindsets etc. A clever concept and one very well executed. One to keep the grey matter active and wonder about the madness of crowds. (rest of links on publication)

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Well having ready all other Inspector Gamache books I was hoping for another and this did not disappoint. I love these characters, They are not sickly sweet or the usual crime novel recovering alchoholics divorcee, which i do love too, but these are so believable and if you can call a crime novel gentle they are. I hope that this isnt th elast one!

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I received this book from the publishers via Netgalley for a review. A cracking read, this was my first Louise Penny novel and thoughly enjoyed it.

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Another great Louise Penny book. This series is great and every book is just stunning with its writing and plots. Highly recommend. Thanks a lot to NG and the publisher for this copy.

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I chose to read this after reading ‘All the Devils are Here’. The Armand Gamache series does not exclude a reader who is joining on a later book, and this has been one of its strengths - that you can pick up the latest and be absorbed into the story and settings. I found the storyline challenging in the fact that it is embedded in recent history, and that makes the possibilities of the storyline more real to me. I read this book within a day, finding time to read more as I wanted to see how the story developed. I thoroughly enjoyed this read! Thank you NetGalley!

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It's always a joy to pick up Louise Penny's latest in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, Head of Homicide at the Surete, series set in the stunning Canadian location of the Three Pines village in Quebec. This addition has contagion as the central theme running through it, here the people have emerged from the horrors of Covid, but its impact continues as rising numbers begin to support the unpalatable lunatic theories and ideas being put forward by the seemingly normal and innocuous statistics professor, Abigail Robinson. She is at the heart of a fast growing divisively infectious febrile climate of high emotions. Robinson is but one of many others in the history of Canada, such as the now pariah and shamed McGill psychiatry professor who carried out unethical, devastating experiments that destroyed the lives of countless ordinary people, whilst others stood by doing nothing. Such people illustrate just how normal the monsters in our society can appear to be. The likes of Robinson are a reflection of our contemporary realities, particularly in the age of social media being used to spread discord through manipulated facts and outright lies, where people will do anything to attain and maintain power. Gamache has been asked to oversee Robinson's talk at the university, something that really shouldn't have needed his involvement. The wintry conditions of snow and freezing cold over the festive period should have ensured few attendees, but people travel from far and wide to hear Robinson. Chaos and mayhem result, and its only through good fortune that no-one is seriously hurt, but murder is to follow during New Year celebrations at the Auberge. As Gamache, Jean Guy and Isabelle investigate, the emotive conflicts and debates penetrate their professional and personal lives, raising questions such as whether murder can be motivated by love, and how far is it permissable to venture to prevent the deaths of thousands? Three Pines has a fascinating visitor, a Nobel peace prize nominee, the Sudanese 'hero', the 23 year old Haniya Daoud, the expectations of a 'saint' are rudely shattered by the reality of someone so damaged by past traumas and horrors that can barely be imagined, making almost everyone in the village want to avoid her. What Haniya has seen and experienced suggest that she is a monster on the side of the angels, making her a suspect in Gamache's inquiries. This was a wonderfully compulsive, entertaining and engaging read, even though it trawls through the darkest side of humanity. It is always a joy to reacquaint myself with the residents of Three Pines, none more so than the poet Ruth, of whom there are key insights here, and her duck, Rosa. I am already eagerly anticipating my next visit to Three Pines. Many thanks to the publisher for an ARC.

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So we're back in Three Pines post-Covid, which is a bold move on Louise Penny's part, as this little corner of the world seems to be ahead of the real world in recovery. The plot revolves around a statistics professor, Abigail Robinson, who has come up with a plan for economic recovery and for minimising damage from any further pandemics - but it is a plan abhorrent to many, and has public opinion divided. Inspector Gamache is asked to provide security for one of her events. Once again, murder and mayhem ensues, with Three Pines at the centre. (I do like the way Ms Penny gently pokes fun at herself over the number of murders in such a tiny village). Ghosts from the past are woken, and feelings become very personal for both Gamache and Beauvoir, as well as for the suspects. As usual, the characterisation is superb, with new faces as well as the old and familiar ones, and the plot is intricate and interesting, with numerous twists and turns before the denouement. I have read all of the Inspector Gamache novels this year, and I'm now a bit lost, having to wait a year for the next one! With thanks to NetGalley and Hodder and Stoughton for the e-ARC of this book.

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Whether you consistently read Louise Penny’s Gamache series or you came to this story alone, you know you’re in for a good read. As a standalone you won’t feel lost not knowing the lead character’s past, but I know you’ll be selecting a few from the series after finishing this excellent read. The beginning of the book takes in one day’s actions over what first appears to be a large number of pages, but then as a reader, you realise you’ve bene taken in by the writer and they have you hook, line and sinker. You just have to turn to the next page. Louise Penny helps you consider each potential murderer, but equally discounts most of them as you read. However, you know it must be one of them.. I didn’t guess, but then I suspected quite a few potential suspects, which isn't helpful, but then I'm not the detective here! The clues are all in there, but it’s only as you read through more of the book do you find out the real answers as to why and how. Even though I received a free copy of this book, it doesn’t alter my review. This is a well thought through story, It gets so deep that you’ll know the characters back to front and even form a liking for those you should absolutely hate. If there are any in the previous books in this series that I’ve missed, I will go back quickly and correct that error of judgement.

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Inspector Gamache from the Quebec police investigates the murder of Debbie Schneider, a friend of Professor Abigail Robinson, whose lectures advocate compulsory abortion of imperfect foetuses and compulsory euthanasia of elderly people with poor quality of life. A great mix of suspects from Professor Robinson herself to Haniya Daoud, damaged by the violence seen in her home country. This is the first Inspector Gamache book I’ve read. Will read the first in the series now!

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I have read Louisa since she began but found the two prior to this one somewhat dull. Madness is superb. The theme of disposing of the elderly, infirm or imperfect foetus/child isn’t new. Orwell did it and Huxley but until now I’ve never seen these ideas in a murder mystery. It is wonderfully written and very thought provoking. There’s a horrid logic to the ideas.

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The Ever Knowing Gamache... Book seventeen in the long running Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series and a compelling entry addressing some very difficult and delicate themes when a seemingly mundane lecture becomes more dangerous than anyone could have thought possible. Ever suspenseful, clever sharp dialogue, a snappy and unpredictable plot, twists and turns aplenty and the ever empathetic, upstanding and knowing Inspector is the ideal protagonist. A worthy addition to this long running series - if you have read this series then you may have your favourites but each mystery is always hugely satisfying, stylishly written and never, ever disappoints.

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As a huge Louise Penny fan I was so excited to receive this advanced copy and I wasn’t disappointed! Returning to the warmth and comfort of Three Pines was very welcome as was the addition of new characters. I felt that the treatment of the pandemic was well judged and it tied in beautifully with the main themes of the story. The topic is controversial and one I think that will provoke considerable discussion but this is no bad thing.As ever it left me wanting more and wanting to reread to réabsorba the wisdom that always permeates these lovely novels. Thank you for this copy

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The first post Covid Christmas season, and in Three Pines Armand Gamache is called to police a talk by a statistician in the small university nearby. The likelihood of trouble or even much of an audience is doubtful, but Professor Robinson’s figures about the cost of rebuilding Canada in the wake of the pandemic has led her to conclusions that are controversial, and it appears that someone wants to put a stop to the spread of her message: shots are fired and only by the swift action of the police is a potentially deadly panic averted. Protecting the professor means keeping her in the heart of a community where almost all of the potential suspects are well-known to the police team, but many of them have reason enough to take against her distasteful proposals… The village setting in wintry Quebec is an ideal backdrop for murder, limiting the number of potential suspects, and complicating the investigation with their inter-relatedness and past secrets. Gamache is an appealing investigator, thoughtful, intelligent and well-read, supported by the contrasting members of his team and surrounded by a close-knit family. This is a tense, gripping read which kept me turning the pages. Amazingly, it was my first encounter with Armand Gamache but I will certainly be seeking out the previous novels, as I enjoyed this one so much. Highly recommended.

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I haven’t read any of the previous Gamache novels but I loved the reflective way the case was examined and the team’s sensitivity. This felt different from most detective stories. This is the first book that I have read examining the fallout from the pandemic and the outcome and the way it was handled is surprising and concerning, there are people in the world feeling that this allows the possibility of culling groups of society. I thoroughly enjoyed the small town approach and the fact that everyone knew everyone else. This both helps and hinders the progress of the case. Definitely recommended

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You don’t know what emotion to feel next when reading this story. You are taken through every emotion possible not unlike the main characters. Do you follow the crowd just because it’s a professional person leading you? C I Armand Gamache and his team are given security at a University lecture by Professor Abigail Robinson about statistics. Why? The lecture becomes more dangerous than anyone thought and when the main participants join up in Three Pines for a New Years Eve party murder follows. The main residents of Armand’s home Three Pines are out in force but all will pitch in with their own views to Professor Abigail Robinson’s ideas. Armand usually a steady pair of hands to root out the murderer is hampered by his own personal opinions of the protagonist in this book. Part of a long running series which are well worth visiting for fleshing out our Three Pines characters. I found it difficult to put this book down even with a difficult subject matter. It will be as difficult to wait for your next visit to 3 Pines. I was given an arc of this book by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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What to say about this book - about the whole Inspector Gamache series? To say I was bereft when the book ended would be a true understatement, it was such a joy to be back in the company of Armand Gamache, Jean-Guy, Isabelle, and their families and friends in Three Pines. As always, the plot was thoughtful, sensitive and tackled big issues without ever becoming ‘preachy’. I don’t know how Louise Penny does it, but this new book is every bit as brilliant all the others. If you are new to her writing this book will stand perfectly well on its own, but do start with the first and read through the series to fully appreciate the wonderful characters, plots and descriptions of Three Pines, the small village in Quebec. I can imagine this series being turned into superb films, but really hope it’s not as the writing is so superb that the reader will see the characters and settings in their minds, and that is why reading is such a great joy, and these books such a huge pleasure.

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This book is set in a small village just outside of Montreal post Covid. The chief of the Homicide Surete lives there and become involved in an almost murder attempt.. This is a real murder mystery. A who done it as good as any Agatha Christy. Twists and turns until the very end. Well worth a read.

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This is the first Gamache novel I've read, but it won't be the last. Although obviously part of a series, it can also be a 'stand-alone' so it doesn't matter if you haven't read any others. It is set now, post pandemic, but there is still that sense of 'new normal', things not being quite the same, but also an underlying sense of unease. All the characters, even ones that only appear fleetingly, are rounded, and not stereotypical. It even raises questions to the reader about ethics, how we treat or judge others. A fulfilling read. Highly recommended. With thanks to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for an ARC.

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This is a marvellously intriguing and enthralling book. It is set post Covid so that experience is referenced at stages during the book without being overly heavily mentioned, but this gives poignancy to the thesis being expounded by the statistician which backdrops what is also a murder mystery investigation. There are multiple layers to this book and all of the characters are so well written about that it is not difficult to actually form mental pictures of them. I was kept guessing for almost all of the book as to the outcome as it twisted and turned and I can only say I enjoyed it thoroughly.

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This is without doubt my favourite series; the ones set in Three Pines particularly as this one is. All the familiar characters are here for those who have read previous books (although not essential). It is set post Pandemic with life returned to a new normal. Unsurprisingly it is dark and the subject both pertinent and controversial but there are also touches of hope and continuity. It starts with a Statistics lecture and evolves into a plot covering past and present with a current murder to solve and older deaths which may or may not be murder, not revealed until the end. L.P’s writing is beautiful and measured, every word is in the right place, a master storyteller. It is a book I shall return to, and that happens rarely. Thanks to Hodder&Stoughton and NetGalley for an ARC in return for an honest review and this is my own opinion.

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I would give this book ten stars if I could. Louise Penny is one of my favourite authors, and this is one of my favourite books in the series. I love the residents of Three Pines, and how each novel tells you a little bit more about each of them, and moves their lives along. Louise Penny writes with such sensitivity and kindness, there is always more to think about than just the story itself. I really admire the way she has approached this particular book, and the time in which it is set., it is very hopeful at a difficult time.

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A most enjoyable whodunnit from a writer I had not read before and whom I heard recently talking on World BBC Bookclub about her first novel (Still Life) and her latest (The Madness of Crowds). I was impressed by her world views and comments, and that is the reason I decided to read this book (and I will continue reading the series, now in order!). The author has created a rather full, interesting world in Three Pines, a small village in Southern Quebec - the police, headed by Chief Inspector Gamache, his family, neighbours, the fabric of the village, its landscape... this is also a quirky, thinking community. I particularly enjoyed the combination of a straightforward mystery with compelling ideas (the way the author introduces ¨the issue¨ is real fun - you don't have it spelled out for a few chapters so making your own mind about its actuality) The central ideas are really serious and are explored in a rather deep yet entertaining manner. It has to do with the aftermath of Covid... in a tremendously apposite way, but not only! the value of life, the end-justifies-the-means ideologies, the weak and the strong... I do not want to give anything away, because it is such fun to go into the story blind! suffice it to say that the cast contains scientists, chancellors, Nobel-prize nominees, painters, poets... and a number of deaths... There were some longueurs to my taste towards the end, and one or two inverosimilitudes but they do not retract from an excellent, intelligent, entertainment. I recommend it heartily! With many thanks to Hodder & Stoughton via NetGalley.

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Ah, a new Louise Penny Inspector Gamache book - the feeling of coming home. With wonderful insights, a storyline which never lets up it’s pace, and some new truisms to ponder, the madness of crowds maintains pace and energy from start to finish. I adore these books. They are the crime version of Alexander McCall Smith’s Scotland St series. Read the series in order and get to know and love all the characters in three pines from the beginning. I envy new readers.

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Gamache and his family are back in Canada from France, and the pandemic is over, although Gamache will always have the memories of that horrific time. All the family are back in Three Pines for the holiday, and things are getting back to normal, with sledging, ice skating and hot chocolate at the Bistro. Chief inspector Gamache is back in the Surete with Jean-Guy and Lacoste at his side, but he wonders why he has been asked by a local university in Quebec to provide security for a statistics lecture between Christmas and New Year, when he and everyone else should be spending time with their families.. When Gamache looks into Professor Abigail Robinson and her statistical analysis he tries to get the lecture cancelled. It goes ahead, but not without incident. When a woman is murdered within a few days of the lecture Gamache knows that there is something else going on. Both support and derision for Professor Robinson comes from different quarters, and Gamache and his team have to dig deep to uncover what has been hidden for years, with some of ideas hitting very close to home. Louise Penny has written empathetically about the pandemic and what will happen after it has been declared officially over. It was good to be back in Three Pines and see the characters from there - along with a visitor from Sudan who is determined to be rude to everyone. Another page-turner from Penny with twists and turns along the way. A great read! Thanks to #NetGalley and @Hodderbooks for the chance to read this proof copy.

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I have read this series of books from the beginning and loved every one. Not just the storylines but the characters in the books. The first few books were simple murder stories, but introduced us to all the various characters that would appear throughout all the books. As the series went on the stories got darker and more thought provoking but always there was the wonderful way Louise Penny blended everything together. You get to know all the various people and their lives even if they only appear in a few pages of the book. I still go back and read one of the chapter of the book before this All The Devils Are Here as there is something about that chapter that just holds the reader. This book I found disturbing in some parts, frightening in others about what society could come to, but through all that it’s a book you can’t put down and need to reach the end. If anyone asked me my favourite author it would have to be Louise Penny, I follow lots of series of books but none have ever held me like these do or made me feel close to the characters of the book Can’t wait for the next one.

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