Louise Penny Popular Books

Louise Penny Biography & Facts

Louise Penny (born July 1, 1958) is a Canadian author of mystery novels set in the Canadian province of Quebec centred on the work of francophone Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec. Penny's first career was as a radio broadcaster for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). After she turned to writing, she won numerous awards for her work, including the Agatha Award for best mystery novel of the year five times, including four consecutive years (2007–2010), and the Anthony Award for best novel of the year five times, including four consecutive years (2010–2013). Her novels have been published in 23 languages. Early life and career with the CBC Penny was born in Toronto, Canada, on July 1, 1958. Her mother was an avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction, with a particular liking for crime fiction, and Louise grew up reading mystery writers such as Agatha Christie, Georges Simenon, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Michael Innes.Penny earned a Bachelor of Applied Arts (Radio and Television) from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute (now Toronto Metropolitan University) in 1979. After graduation, aged 21, she embarked on an 18-year career as a radio host and journalist with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). Literary career Penny left the CBC in 1996 to take up writing. She started a historical novel but had difficulty finishing it, and eventually switched to mystery writing. She entered her first novel, Still Life, in the "Debut Dagger" competition in the United Kingdom, placing second out of 800 entries. The novel won other awards, including the "New Blood" Dagger award in the United Kingdom, the Arthur Ellis Award in Canada for best first crime novel, the Dilys Award, the Anthony Award and the Barry Award for Best First Novel in the United States. Penny continues to write, garnering major crime novel award nominations for almost every one of her novels and subsequently winning several of those awards.Her work features Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, head of the homicide department of the Sûreté du Québec. The novels are set in the province of Quebec but feature many hallmarks of the British whodunit genre, including murders by unconventional means, bucolic villages, large casts of suspects, red herrings, and a dramatic disclosure of the murderer in the last few pages of the book.In 2009, Penny helped to launch a new award for aspiring Canadian mystery writers, the Unhanged Arthur for Best Unpublished First Novel. Personal life At the start of her broadcasting career, Penny took postings at locations far from friends and family, and to help deal with feelings of loneliness and isolation, she increasingly turned to alcohol. At the age of 35, she admitted to an alcohol problem and has been sober since. Shortly afterwards, she met her future husband, Michael Whitehead, head of hematology at Montreal Children's Hospital, on a blind date. Whitehead was diagnosed with dementia in 2013 and Penny took on the role as his primary caregiver. He died on September 18, 2016.Penny currently lives in Knowlton, a small village in Quebec's Eastern Townships about 100 km from Montreal, Quebec. Honours In 2013, she was made a Member of the Order of Canada "for her contributions to Canadian culture as an author shining a spotlight on the Eastern Townships of Quebec". In 2017 she was made a Member of the Order of Quebec. Adaptations For several years, Penny resisted selling the TV or movie rights to her books, afraid of losing creative control of her characters. However, when approached by PDM Entertainment and Attraction Images and offered a position as executive producer during film production, she changed her mind and agreed to sell them the rights to her first two novels. Still Life went into production in the fall of 2012, with British actor Nathaniel Parker cast as Chief Inspector Gamache. The movie aired on CBC TV in 2013. In September 2021, production of Three Pines began in Montreal and rural Quebec, starring Alfred Molina. After airing only one season, the series was cancelled by Prime Video. Works Inspector Gamache series Still Life (2005) – Winner of the New Blood Dagger award, the Arthur Ellis Award, the Dilys Award, the 2007 Anthony Award, and the Barry Award A Fatal Grace (Alternate title: Dead Cold and White Out as the television episode) (2007) – Winner of the 2007 Agatha Award The Cruelest Month (2008) – Winner of the 2008 Agatha Award; nominated for the 2009 Anthony, the 2008 Macavity Award, and the 2008 Barry Award The Murder Stone (A Rule Against Murder in U.S.) (2009) – Nominated for an Arthur Ellis Award The Brutal Telling (2009) – Winner of the 2009 Agatha Award, and the 2010 Anthony Award Bury Your Dead (2010) – Winner of the 2010 Agatha Award, the 2011 Anthony Award, the 2011 Macavity Award, the 2011 Arthur Ellis Award, and the 2011 Nero Award A Trick of the Light (2011) – Nominated for a Macavity, an Anthony Award, and an Agatha Award The Hangman (2011) – A novella in the Inspector Gamache series, written at a third grade level for emerging adult readers. The Beautiful Mystery (2012) – Winner of the 2013 Macavity Award for Best Mystery How the Light Gets In (2013) – Nominated for an Edgar Award and an Agatha Award The Long Way Home (2014) – Inspector Gamache's friend Clara enlists him to find her missing husband, Peter. The Nature of the Beast (2015) – Quebec ballistics scientist and international artillery expert Gerald Bull's assassination and his supergun are central plot elements – Nominated for an Anthony Award, an Agatha Award, and winner of Left Coast Crime's Best World Mystery A Great Reckoning (2016) – A map found in the walls of the local Three Pines bistro leads Gamache to shattering secrets on his new job as the superintendent of the Sûreté Academy. Glass Houses (2017) – A dark figure appears in Three Pines and leads Gamache to an old wives' tale and murder. Kingdom of the Blind (2018) – Gamache, Myrna and a young builder are named executors of a will for a woman none of them has ever met. A Better Man (2019) All the Devils Are Here (2020) – set in Paris – Winner of the 2020 Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel The Madness of Crowds (2021) A World of Curiosities (2022) The Grey Wolf (2024)Other works State of Terror (2021), co-written with Hillary ClintonReferences Further reading Ledford-Miller, Linda. "The Dangers of Village Life: The Novels of Louise Penny". The Nashwaak Review [1] 38–39 (January 2018): 297–313.External links Official Website St. Martin's Author Profile Feature in SHOTS Crime & Thriller Ezine "Louise Penny Tells All" Louise Penny at IMDb. Discover the Louise Penny popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Louise Penny books.

Best Seller Louise Penny Books of 2024

  • No Strangers Here synopsis, comments

    No Strangers Here

    Carlene O'Connor

    Readers of Tana French, Lucy Foley, and Dervla McTiernan will be spellbound by the USA Today bestselling author’s unsettling, atmospheric suspense novel set in Ireland’s rugged cou...

  • The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook synopsis, comments

    The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook

    Kate White, Harlan Coben, Gillian Flynn, Mary Higgins Clark & Brad Meltzer

    Enjoy over 100 recipes and murderously fun facts from legendary mystery authors like Sue Grafton, Louise Penny, Harlan Coben, and James Patterson! With art deco embellishments and...

  • How to Write a Mystery synopsis, comments

    How to Write a Mystery

    Mystery Writers of America

    From 70 of the most successful mystery writers in the business, an invaluable guide to crafting mysteriesfrom character development and plot to procedurals and thrillers“this is a ...

  • The Crypt Thief synopsis, comments

    The Crypt Thief

    Mark Pryor

    It’s summer in Paris and two tourists have been murdered in Père Lachaise cemetery in front of Jim Morrison’s grave. The cemetery is locked down and put under surveillance, but the...

  • The Wild Inside synopsis, comments

    The Wild Inside

    Christine Carbo

    A haunting crime novel set in Glacier National Park about a man who finds himself at odds with the dark heart of the wildand the even darker heart of human nature.It was a clear ni...

  • The Wall of Winnipeg and Me synopsis, comments

    The Wall of Winnipeg and Me

    Mariana Zapata

    Der riesige TIKTOKHype endlich auf Deutsch!Vanessa Mazur weiß, dass ihre Kündigung das einzig Richtige war! Schließlich war ihr Job als Assistentin (und Köchin und Putzfrau und So...

  • Proof synopsis, comments


    Beverley McLachlin

    From the former Chief Justice of Canada and #1 bestselling author of Full Disclosure comes a razorsharp thriller featuring defense attorney Jilly Truitt as she defends a highprofil...

  • The Bookseller synopsis, comments

    The Bookseller

    Mark Pryor

    Who is killing the celebrated bouquinistes of Paris? Maxan elderly Paris bookstall owneris abducted at gunpoint. His friend, Hugo Marston, head of security at the US embassy, looks...

  • Payment in Blood synopsis, comments

    Payment in Blood

    Elizabeth George

    “The Lynley books constitute the smartest, most gratifyingly complex and impassioned mysteries now being published.”Entertainment WeeklyThe career of playwright Joy Sinclair comes ...

  • Stolen Beginnings synopsis, comments

    Stolen Beginnings

    Susan Lewis

    Marian Deacon has always been overshadowed by her cousin Madeleine, a glamorous, selfish model who will stop at nothing to reach the top. But their ordinary lives suddenly change w...

  • You Remind Me of Me synopsis, comments

    You Remind Me of Me

    Dan Chaon

    With his critically acclaimed Among the Missing and Fitting Ends, awardwinning author Dan Chaon proved himself a master of the short story form. He is a writer, observes the Chicag...

  • The Paper Bark Tree Mystery synopsis, comments

    The Paper Bark Tree Mystery

    Ovidia Yu

    SHORTLISTED FOR THE CWA SAPERE BOOKS HISTORICAL DAGGER'Simply glorious. Every nook and cranny of 1930s Singapore is brought richly to life' CATRIONA MCPHERSON 'Charming' RHYS BOWEN...



    Meridith Montague

    Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache Best Reading Order With Summaries and Checklist for your Reader Updated in 2022. This is the musthave reader’s guide for all Louise Penny Inspecto...

  • The Dark Vineyard synopsis, comments

    The Dark Vineyard

    Martin Walker

    The second installment in the delightful, internationally acclaimed series featuring Bruno, Chief of Police: When a bevy of winemakers descend on SaintDenis the idyllic t...

  • The Last Tea Bowl Thief synopsis, comments

    The Last Tea Bowl Thief

    Jonelle Patrick

    For three hundred years, a stolen relic passes from one fortuneseeker to the next, indelibly altering the lives of those who possess it. In modernday Tokyo, Robin Swann’s life has ...

  • Heart of the City synopsis, comments

    Heart of the City

    Robert Rotenberg

    In the latest thrilling crime novel from bestselling author Robert Rotenberg, Homicide Detective Ari Greene discovers the bludgeoned body of Toronto’s most reviled developer behind...

  • The Cannonball Tree Mystery synopsis, comments

    The Cannonball Tree Mystery

    Ovidia Yu

    'One of Singapore's finest living authors' South China Morning Post'Simply glorious. Every nook and cranny of 1930s Singapore is brought richly to life' CATRIONA MCPHERSON'Charming...

  • Ill Will synopsis, comments

    Ill Will

    Dan Chaon

    NATIONAL BESTSELLER Two sensational unsolved crimesone in the past, another in the presentare linked by one man’s memory and selfdeception in this chilling novel of literary suspe...

  • Well-Schooled in Murder synopsis, comments

    Well-Schooled in Murder

    Elizabeth George

    “The Lynley books constitute the smartest, most gratifyingly complex and impassioned mystery series now being published.”Entertainment Weekly When thirteenyearold Matthew What...

  • Denial synopsis, comments


    Beverley McLachlin

    CityLine Book Club Pick for SeptemberFrom the former Chief Justice of Canada and #1 bestselling author of Full Disclosure comes a taut new thriller starring toughasnails defense at...

  • Caged Bird synopsis, comments

    Caged Bird

    Katy Morgan-Davies

    'I was the shadow child no one ever saw...'From the day she was born until she escaped aged 30, Katy MorganDavies knew nothing but a life in captivity. Her father was the deluded a...

  • Hillary synopsis, comments


    Elizabeth Curtis Sittenfeld

    Was wäre geschehen, hätte Hillary Bill Clinton nicht geheiratet?Jung, politisch erfolgreich und leidenschaftlich verliebt – Hillary Rodham und Bill Clinton sind das romantische Tra...

  • The Frangipani Tree Mystery synopsis, comments

    The Frangipani Tree Mystery

    Ovidia Yu

    First in a delightfully charming crime series set in 1930s Singapore, introducing amateur sleuth Su Lin, a local girl stepping in as governess for the Acting Governor of Singapore...

  • A Great Deliverance synopsis, comments

    A Great Deliverance

    Elizabeth George

    To this day, the low, thin wail of an infant can be heard in Keldale's lush green valleys. Three hundred years ago, as legend goes, the frightened Yorkshire villagers smothered a ...

  • Downfall synopsis, comments


    Robert Rotenberg

    INSTANT NATIONAL BESTSELLERDetectives dig into the dark side of Toronto when a serial killer targets homeless people camped out near one of the city’s most exclusive enclaves in th...

  • The Betel Nut Tree Mystery synopsis, comments

    The Betel Nut Tree Mystery

    Ovidia Yu

    'Great protagonist, great setting this is a delightful book' Morning Star The second novel in Ovidia Yu's delightfully charming crime series set in 1930s Singapore, featuring amat...

  • Full Disclosure synopsis, comments

    Full Disclosure

    Beverley McLachlin

    #1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER SHORTLISTED FOR THE ARTHUR ELLIS AWARDSFrom the former Chief Justice of Canada comes a riveting thriller starring Jilly Truitt, a rising, young defense attor...

  • State of Terror synopsis, comments

    State of Terror

    Louise Penny & Hillary Clinton

    AN INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER​Named one of the most anticipated novels of the season by People, Associated Press, Time, Los Angeles Times, Parade, St. Louis PostDispatch,...

  • The Death of Colonel Mann synopsis, comments

    The Death of Colonel Mann

    Cynthia Peale

    Behind the curtained windows of Victorian Boston is a world of passion, scandal ... and murder.In life, he was the most despised man in Boston, publisher of the town's scurrilous g...

  • Notorious synopsis, comments


    Olivia Hayfield

    'New Zealand's Queen of Royal Romance' Women's DayLoosely based on one of history's greatest unsolved mysteries the Princes in the Tower and the royal enigma that was Richard III...

  • The Last Passenger synopsis, comments

    The Last Passenger

    Charles Finch

    "Bravo, Mr. Finch, and keep them coming! More Lenox, please." Louise Penny, bestselling author of A Better ManFrom bestselling author Charles Finch comes the third and final in a p...

  • Broken Light synopsis, comments

    Broken Light

    Joanne Harris

    A bold and timely novel that explores how women can feel invisible as they grow olderand what happens when they decide to take back control.Bernie Moon's ambitions and dreams have ...

  • What We Buried synopsis, comments

    What We Buried

    Robert Rotenberg

    A Toronto homicide detective is attacked at his doorstep when his investigation into possible links between the Nazi occupation of Italy and the murder of his brother decades later...

  • The Button Man synopsis, comments

    The Button Man

    Mark Pryor

    In this prequel to The Bookseller, former FBI profiler Hugo Marston has just become head of security at the US Embassy in London. He’s asked to protect a famous moviestar couple, D...

  • Dead Big Dawg synopsis, comments

    Dead Big Dawg

    Victoria Houston

    Murder, She Wrote meets Fargo in the Northwoods of Wisconsin in the nineteenth “gripping, atmospheric, and smart” (T. Jefferson Parker, New York Times bestselling author) installme...

  • Await Your Reply synopsis, comments

    Await Your Reply

    Dan Chaon

    BONUS: This edition contains an Await Your Reply discussion guide. The lives of three strangers interconnect in unforeseen ways–and with unexpected consequences–in acclaimed autho...

  • The Mimosa Tree Mystery synopsis, comments

    The Mimosa Tree Mystery

    Ovidia Yu

    LONGLISTED FOR THE CWA HISTORICAL DAGGER'Simply glorious. Every nook and cranny of 1930s Singapore is brought richly to life' CATRIONA MCPHERSON 'Charming' RHYS BOWEN'One of the mo...

  • The White Crow synopsis, comments

    The White Crow

    Cynthia Peale

    When the lights come on after a séance in the parlor of Victorian Boston’s most celebrated spiritualist, a pillar of the community lies dead. The world of restless and vengeful spi...

  • Black Diamond synopsis, comments

    Black Diamond

    Martin Walker

    The third installment in thed elightful, internationally acclaimed series featuring Chief of Police Bruno.Something dangerous is afoot in St. Denis. In the space of a few weeks, th...

  • Class synopsis, comments


    Jilly Cooper OBE

    CLASS IS DEAD!Or so everyone claims. Who better to refute this than Jilly Cooper!Describing herself as 'upper middle class', Jilly claims that snobbery is very much alive and thriv...

  • Playing it cool synopsis, comments

    Playing it cool

    Amy Andrews & Sabine Neumann

    Für sie bricht er alle Regeln.Harper Nugent ist von einer Size Zero mehr als nur ein paar Pfunde entfernt, und ihr Stiefbruder nutzt jede Gelegenheit, sie deswegen bloßzustellen. A...

  • The Girls Left Behind synopsis, comments

    The Girls Left Behind

    Emily Gunnis

    NO ONE WANTED TO END UP AT MORGATE HOUSE. BUT THE GIRLS HAD NOWHERE ELSE TO GO . . . 'The thrilling, heartbreaking, and shocking story of dark secrets, twisted lives, lies, and man...

  • Louise Penny Books Quiz - 50 Questions synopsis, comments

    Louise Penny Books Quiz - 50 Questions

    Mobile Library

    Probably, like us, you: are a great fan of the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels and think you already know all there is to know about the Louise Penny Inspector Gamache series...

  • The Girl in the Letter synopsis, comments

    The Girl in the Letter

    Emily Gunnis

    'A great book, truly hard to put down. Fast paced, brilliantly plotted and desperately sad at times all hallmarks of a bestseller' Lesley Pearse on The Girl in the Letter 'I was g...