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Glass Houses by Louise Penny
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Glass Houses

by Louise Penny

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Chief Inspector Armand Gamache (13)

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9227614,225 (4.19)113

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» See also 113 mentions

English (74)  French (1)  German (1)  All languages (76)
Showing 1-5 of 74 (next | show all)
I have heard so much about this series, but this is the first one I have read. I now know what all the other fans have been going on about. Inspector Gamache and the rest of the Quebec police have not been arresting as many people as the government and the detractors think, but he has set something in motion that will make everyone happy in the end, at least that is what he hopes. When there is a murder in the small town of Three Pines, the mystery man in the black hood and cape are investigated and the story of the Cobrador emerges. The characters are wonderful. They are typical small town residents who all seem to know each other's business, but are also there to help anyone who needs it. There is a complex plot line and Penny's writing style is unique. There is some going back and forth in time, which was a bit confusing at first, but I caught on pretty quick. I had no idea who the guilty party were until right near the end when it was revealed. There are several things happening, so it is important to pay attention to detail as there are a lot of questions along the way. I really enjoyed this story and will definitely go back and read the series from the start. Thanks to Minotaur books for providing me with a copy of this book via Netgalley. All opinions expressed are my own. ( )
  Carlathelibrarian | Feb 5, 2019 |
Outstanding, as usual. In the past (and still a little today) I had a bias against long series, thinking the books in it couldn't be that great if they're churned out for such an extended time. However, Louise Penny's series about Three Pines and Inspector Gamache is an exception if ever there was one. Each book stands alone in excellence. I can see Three Pines and the characters who live there clearly in my mind. I care about these people. The story lines are intricate and smart with heart and tenderness. I could read (and listen to--this series on audio is out of this world) these books forever. This particular story had some darkness to it, and Gamache is a complicated character--admirable and worthy of respect, to be sure, but fully flawed and human, as well. ( )
  destareads | Feb 1, 2019 |
I always like the series, and this one is no exception. I like the fact that the author changed the way she is telling the story and this one is a bit on the unconventional way by mixing the current and past events together. ( )
  Baochuan | Jan 17, 2019 |
Armand Gamache, now the Chief Superintendent of the Surete, seeks cooperation from a prosecutor he dislikes. The case involves a murder in Three Pines in which a woman staying in the Bistro died, apparently at the hands of a cobrador whose presence disquieted the village. The murder occurred at a time when Gamache's lack of big arrests in the war on drugs drew sharp criticism on all fronts. As Inspector LaCoste, now head of suicide investigates the murder discovered by Gamache's own wife Reine-Marie, a random remark by the poet Ruth Zardo causes Gamache to stumble upon an even more serious crime. Gamache needs the Crown's Chief man to assist in making the Surete look incompetent for the plan of attack on the war on drugs to work. I cannot say that I liked the potential impact of this installment on the series' future. I am uncomfortable with drug trafficking in murder mysteries. They become a bit too "noir" for my tastes. Still, this was a series I loved so I put up with it. I'm a bit nervous about reading the next installment. ( )
  thornton37814 | Jan 4, 2019 |
Armand Gamache, who was the Commander of the Surete Police Academy last we saw, is now the Chief Superintendent of the Surete police of Quebec. The book opens with him giving testimony at a trial and goes back and forth in time to tell the stories of a murder of a young woman and how the Surete plan on battling the drug problem in Quebec.

One day a cobrador del frac, a person dressed all in black, a black robe with a hood and in a black mask appears at the Three Pines Halloween party and then goes and stands outside on the square facing the shops. It looks like Death personified. But a cobrador del frac in modern times hunts down people who owe a debt and shames them into paying it. But the cobrador is older than that. There is a moral one that shames those have committed a moral debt into making it right and this cobrador seems to be this of this kind. He has spooked the entire town and they are looking to Gamache to do something about it. He talks to him and tries to convince him to move on but to no avail.

Four friends are staying there that weekend as they do every year. Katie, Lea, Mateo, and Patrick. Mateo is a journalist who told Gamache about the cobrador as he did an article about them. Lea is a politician and is married to Mateo and tried to get legislation passed for a drug bill named in honor of a friend of theirs who walked off of a top of a building while high. They blame the drug dealer who they were never able to find. Katie had been dating him but just broke up with him to begin dating Patrick. Katie and Patrick own a successful architect firm.

But they're not the only ones who know what the cobrador is. Jaqueline who works at the bakery and Anton the busboy and sometimes cook at the bistro both know what it is. Both of them used to work at the same house together. She was the nanny and he was the chef for a shady character named Antonio Ruiz who has gone back to Spain and has faced charges there that didn't stick but has also faced his own cobrador there.

Katie Evans is the victim which leads you to wonder was the cobrador there for her? What did she do in her past that was so horrible that she deserved to die over? Or was it something else? She was found with the cobrador's costume on when she died. Was someone trying to say something with that? And what happened to the cobrador?

Also, Gamache is trying to fight the war on drugs, which he knows is lost, but he believes he can strike a devasting blow but it means acting incompetent for the better part of a year and lulling the criminal world into believing that the Surete are idiots and that they can do whatever they want before the Surete finds a way to strike back in one fell swoop. It comes at a heavy cost, though and not just that they and those involved in the scheme may lose their jobs, but that some may lose their lives.

This novel won the 2017 Agatha for Best Mystery and was a finalist for the 2018 Anthony best series/novel, as well as a finalist for the 2018 Lefist and McCavity. It really keeps you guessing. You don't even know who is on trial at the beginning of the novel and don't figure it out until the very end. Penny uses some very good sleight of hand to keep you from figuring out this book. I figured out pieces but never the whole picture. It also takes a cold hard look at the drug problem, especially the pharmaceuticals and the damage they do and how hard it is to prosecute them when drug dealers change the formula by a few degrees making it a different drug altogether and one that isn't illegal and trying to keep up with the latest designer drugs. Quebec is on the border of the U.S. and with it harder to get drugs across the Mexico border, some see it as easier to get them across the Canadian border. This is an excellent book and one really worth reading. I give it five out of five stars.

Quotes

And Lacoste remembered the advice given to Mossad agents. Advice Lacoste had found abhorrent, wrong on ever level. Until it had been explained. The instruction given the Israeli agents, if they met resistance during an assault, was kill the women first. Because if a woman was ever driven so far as to pick up a weapon, she would be the most committed , the least likely to ever give up. Kill the women first. Lacoste still hated the advice. The simplicity of it. The baldness of it. But she also hated that the philosophy behind it was almost certainly true.

-Louise Penny (Glass Houses p 290) ( )
  nicolewbrown | Nov 19, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 74 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Louise Pennyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bathurst, RobertNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burke, D.Cover photo of icesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goody, MargoPackage designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
King, LoreleiProducer & directorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
lobsterCover photo of watersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rotstein, David BaldeosinghCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, LauraProducersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Audio contains an author's note, read by Louise Penny (7.01 minutes), and a bonus conversation with Louise Penny and Robert Bathurst (28.26 minutes).
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Book description
When a mysterious figure appears in Three Pines one cold November day, Armand Gamache and the rest of the villagers are at first curious. Then wary. Through rain and sleet, the figure stands unmoving, staring ahead.

From the moment its shadow falls over the village, Gamache, now Chief Superintendent of the Sûreté du Québec, suspects the creature has deep roots and a dark purpose. Yet he does nothing. What can he do? Only watch and wait. And hope his mounting fears are not realized.

But when the figure vanishes overnight and a body is discovered, it falls to Gamache to discover if a debt has been paid or levied.

Months later, on a steamy July day as the trial for the accused begins in Montréal, Chief Superintendent Gamache continues to struggle with actions he set in motion that bitter November, from which there is no going back. More than the accused is on trial. Gamache’s own conscience is standing in judgment. Amazon
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When a mysterious figure appears in Three Pines one cold November day, Armand Gamache and the rest of the villagers are at first curious. Then wary. Through rain and sleet, the figure stands unmoving, staring ahead. From the moment its shadow falls over the village, Gamache, now Chief Superintendent of the Surete du Quebec, suspects the creature has deep roots and a dark purpose. Yet he does nothing. What can he do? Only watch and wait. And hope his mounting fears are not realized. But when the figure vanishes overnight and a body is discovered, it falls to Gamache to discover if a debt has been paid or levied. Months later, on a steamy July day as the trial for the accused begins in Montreal, Chief Superintendent Gamache continues to struggle with actions he set in motion that bitter November, from which there is no going back. More than the accused is on trial. Gamache's own conscience is standing in judgment.… (more)

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