A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny (#7 Armand Gamache)

A Trick of the Light (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #7)

A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny

Published:  2011



A Trick of the Light is the 7th in the Armand Gamache (Three Pines) Detective Series by Louise Penny.  Penny has often been compared to Agatha Christie.  The mystery aspect is spot on, but I prefer Louise Penny, as her characters are deeper, and very current.

We see many of the characters in different lights in this book.  Different lights, different stages of anger, acceptance, forgiveness, and healing.  The question is….can a person really change?

When Clara finally gets her solo Exhibition at the Musee d’Art Contemporain in Montreal, not everyone is pleased.  Clara’s husband Peter, finally shows his true colour, and it is green with envy.  At the after-party, Clara’s childhood friend, turned mean-spirited art critic, turned alcoholic, turned up dead in Clara’s backyard.  Was she there to congratulate Clara, make amends to her, or do her more harm?  Between the gallery owners, the art dealers, and the artists themselves, a lot of people had reasons to wish Lillian Dyson dead.  Most of them didn’t get along with each other, much less the victim. Their arrogance, pettiness and egos know no bounds.

Louise Penny explores the world of the alcoholic in this book, and does so admirably, with humor, sensitivity and grace.

As well, this book delves further into the relationships of our beloved Three Pines Family. Olivier has still not forgiven Gamache for erroneously having him arrested and put in prison.  Ruth has not yet forgiven Olivier for all of his lies, and Clara doesn’t even know some of the lies Peter has told.

Gamache and Beauvoir are still suffering from their wounds, both physical and emotional, that came from the horrific police raid that went so wrong, killing four of their fellow officers.  They are both handling things in their own way.  Unfortunately, this is starting to test their close bond.

Louise Penny again brought an interesting murder mystery to Three Pines. As good as that plot, the many emotions that our characters are portraying adds to the tension of the overall story.

I can not get enough of this series.

Re-Read: March 2017


Favorite Quotes from A Trick of the Light:

“People do change, Chief Inspector. But you need to know something.” She lowered her voice. “It’s not always for the better.”

“Chiaroscuro. It means the contrast between light and dark.”

“Was it real, or just a trick of the light? Hope offered, then denied. A particular cruelty.”


About the Author:   Louise Penny is a Canadian author, born in Toronto, but presently living outside of Montreal.   She was a journalist and radio host for CBC.  Her awards for writing keep coming.  Her beloved husband Michael Whitehead, the former head of Haematology at Montreal Children’s Hospital, passed away in September of 2016.  He had dementia.


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