Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
A Trick of the Light

A Trick of the Light

A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel

Chief Inspector Gamache Novel (Volume 7)

Louise Penny

Minotaur Books



Trade Paperback

A New York Times Notable Crime Book for 2011

"Hearts are broken," Lillian Dyson carefully underlined in a book. "Sweet relationships are dead."

But now Lillian herself is dead. Found among the bleeding hearts and lilacs of Clara Morrow's garden in Three Pines, shattering the celebrations of Clara's solo show at the famed Musée in Montreal. Chief Inspector Gamache, the head of homicide at the Sûreté du Québec, is called to the tiny Quebec village and there he finds the art world gathered, and with it a world of shading and nuance, a world of shadow and light. Where nothing is as it seems. Behind every smile there lurks a sneer. Inside every sweet relationship there hides a broken heart. And even when facts are slowly exposed, it is no longer clear to Gamache and his team if what they've found is the truth, or simply a trick of the light.

Macavity Award - Nominee, Agatha Awards - Nominee, Anthony Awards - Winner



Oh, no, no, no, thought Clara Morrow as she walked toward the closed doors.

She could see shadows, shapes, like wraiths moving back and forth, back and forth across the frosted glass. Appearing and disappearing....


Praise for A Trick of the Light

Marilyn Stasio's Notable Crime Books of 2011, New York Times Book Review

Seattle Times Best Mysteries of 2011

The Globe and Mail Best of 2011 Mystery/Thriller List

Publishers Weekly Top Ten Mystery of 2011

“Stellar… with her smart plotting and fascinating, nuanced characters, Penny proves again that she is one of our finest writers.”
People Magazine

“[A] deceptively charming whodunit… delivering acute insights into the complicated motives of complex characters.”
—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review

“Penny writes mysteries that cover a lot more than the actual crime, dealing as well with the emotions, thoughts and internal struggles that people go through… Penny's subplots are always as interesting as her main story, and A Trick Of The Light is no exception. Penny captures readers in many ways, including with her characters and settings. And of course, a gripping mystery.”
—Mary Foster, Associated Press

“Louise Penny elevates the small-town murder mystery to new heights in this seventh installment of her psychologically piercing series featuring Chief Inspector Gamache.”

“The twist of beauty into death and back again is the heart of LouisePenny's seventh and best mystery… This is a beautiful book, gorgeously written and carefully constructed. Penny's fans will adore it and those who haven't already discovered her
should begin here.”
—Margaret Cannon, The Globe and Mail

“The traditional mystery, when steeped in intelligence, sympathy, rich characters and lucid prose, has a stalwart champion in Louise Penny… The interplay of opposites light and dark, friendship and bitterness is an insistent and powerful motif in this heartbreaker.”
—Adam Woog, Seattle Times

“Penny's writing shimmers—with subtle humor, a deep understanding of human dynamics, and a knack for creating memorable images in just a few words. She artfully constructs a warm, multidimensional world.”
—Diana Pinckley, Times-Picayune

“Superb… Penny continues to amaze with each novel. Wrapped in exciting plots and domestic details, her characters are people we want to follow through their very real joys and sorrows.”
—Michele Ross, Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Penny’s characters are, to a one, rich and multifaceted, her plotting is intricately laced with backstory and her depiction of modern-day Quebec is spot on. A Trick Of The Light, like all the Gamache novels that precede it, is simply not to be missed.”
—Bruce Tierney, BookPage

“Penny, elevating herself to the pantheon that houses P.D. James, Ruth Rendell and Minette Walters, demonstrates an exquisite touch with characterization, plotting and artistic sensitivity. And there could be no better explanation of A.A.
than you will find here.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Outstanding….With her usual subtle touch and timely injections of humor, Penny effectively employs the recurring motif of the chiaroscuro, the interplay of light and dark, which distinguishes Morrow's artwork and which resonates symbolically in the souls of the author's characters.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Like P. D. James, Penny shows how the tight structure of the classical mystery story can accommodate a wealth of deeply felt emotions and interpersonal drama.”

“Penny’s characters are sharply drawn, realistically complicated and heartbreakingly real. Wonderful, complex characters and sophisticated plotting makes this a perfect book. Do not miss it.”
—RT Book Reviews

“The superbly gifted Louise Penny is on my secret shortlist of must-read authors, and A TRICK OF THE LIGHT proves why. Artist Clara Morrow is about to have a prestigious show of her paintings when her childhood friend is found murdered, and the finger of suspicion points to Clara. Chief Inspector Gamache is called to investigate, and using his trademark powers of deduction and his intuitive knack for the right question at the right time, he exposes the darkness that underlies the bright stars of Montreal's art world, where competition between friends, and even between husband and wife, can turn lethal. Ultimately, of course, it's Louise Penny who steals the show, and A TRICK OF THE LIGHT will not only keep you engrossed from start to finish, it will teach you something new about love, truth, and the human heart.”
—Lisa Scottoline

In the Press

Read the Kirkus Review of A TRICK OF THE LIGHT . Schadenfreude descends on the Quebecois village of Three Pines. - Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Louise Penny

LOUISE PENNY is the author of the #1 New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling series of Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels. She has won numerous awards, including a CWA Dagger and the Agatha Award (five times), and was a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Novel. In 2017, she received the Order of Canada “for her contribution to Canadian culture.” Louise lives in a small village south of Montréal. Visit her on Facebook or at

Louise Penny




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    From the Publisher

    Minotaur Books

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