Review of the Chief Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny

The things that are getting us through.

Since December, I have been caught up in the Chief Inspector Gamache series by Canadian author Louise Penny. Of the sixteen titles in the series, I have completed ten so far. In the spirit of full disclosure, my reading order was dictated solely by their availability at my public library, whether in audiobook, hardcover, or e-book form. Surprisingly, Penny has very few spoilers for those who read out of sequence.

Inspector Gamache specializes in homicide, but he is a kind, attentive family man unjaded by the human brutality he is forced to plumb. A cast of recurring characters in the Quebec town of Three Pines form a memorable group of adults: eccentric artists, a foul-mouthed poet, a retired psychologist, a same-sex couple, and assorted shop owners. Amid the clues and solving of mysteries, Penny weaves in esoteric details from Canadian history and various subcultures to form a tapestry of appreciation for the possibilities of everyday life.

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