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The Madness of Crowds (2021)

by Louise Penny

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Chief Inspector Armand Gamache (17)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,4657812,587 (3.99)93
Fiction. Mystery. HTML:

Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller
AARP The Magazine ?? Recommended Summer Reading
CNN ?? A Most Anticipated Book of August
Bustle ?? A Most Anticipated Book of August


Chief Inspector Armand Gamache returns to Three Pines in #1 New York Times bestseller Louise Penny's latest spellbinding novel

You're a coward.
Time and again, as the New Year approaches, that charge is leveled against Armand Gamache.
It starts innocently enough.
While the residents of the Québec village of Three Pines take advantage of the deep snow to ski and toboggan, to drink hot chocolate in the bistro and share meals together, the Chief Inspector finds his holiday with his family interrupted by a simple request.
He's asked to provide security for what promises to be a non-event. A visiting Professor of Statistics will be giving a lecture at the nearby university.
While he is perplexed as to why the head of homicide for the Sûreté du Québec would be assigned this task, it sounds easy enough. That is until Gamache starts looking into Professor Abigail Robinson and discovers an agenda so repulsive he begs the university to cancel the lecture.
They refuse, citing academic freedom, and accuse Gamache of censorship and intellectual cowardice. Before long, Professor Robinson's views start seeping into conversations. Spreading and infecting. So that truth and fact, reality and delusion are so confused it's near impossible to tell them apart.
Discussions become debates, debates become arguments, which turn into fights. As sides are declared, a madness takes hold.
Abigail Robinson promises that, if they follow her, ça va bien aller. All will be well. But not, Gamache and his team know, for everyone.
When a murder is committed it falls to Armand Gamache, his second-in-command Jean-Guy Beauvoir, and their team to investigate the crime as well as this extraordinary popular delusion.
And the madn
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» See also 93 mentions

English (77)  French (1)  All languages (78)
Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
Another convoluted but fun mystery in the wilds of Quebec. ( )
  charlie68 | Apr 19, 2024 |
Inspiring Post pandemic mystery!

Of course, anyone who has read all the previous installments of the 3 pines series is emotionally invested in the characters that exist in this fictional world. In this latest novel, the past, present and unknown future collide. ( )
  Chrissylou62 | Apr 11, 2024 |
Hard to put down, as always. Penny has become adept at handling complex plots and many characters. I had a little trouble with the basic premise, that someone could propose such an idea so successfully . . . but that premise did weave in very well with the 'true' piece of the story. One of Penny's strengths is that at the core of every book is something that really did happen or, at the least, is hard-core lore. Anyway, a good read. ***1/2 ( )
  sibylline | Mar 25, 2024 |
Another amazing mystery. The main story is about a woman statistician that supports the theory that in order for the nation to recover and thrive after the pandemic, the government should mandate the euthanizing of the weak. This would relieve the nation from having to subsidize nursing homes, invalids, anyone with defects that require extra care, etc. Goodreads: You're a coward.Time and again, as the New Year approaches, that charge is leveled against Armand Gamache.It starts innocently enough.While the residents of the Qu?bec village of Three Pines take advantage of the deep snow to ski and toboggan, to drink hot chocolate in the bistro and share meals together, the Chief Inspector finds his holiday with his family interrupted by a simple request.He's asked to provide security for what promises to be a non-event. A visiting professor of statistics will be giving a lecture at the nearby university.While he is perplexed as to why the head of homicide for the S?ret? du Qu?bec would be assigned this task, it sounds easy enough. That is, until Gamache starts looking into Professor Abigail Robinson and discovers an agenda so repulsive he begs the university to cancel the lecture.They refuse, citing academic freedom, and accuse Gamache of censorship and intellectual cowardice. Before long, Professor Robinson's views start seeping into conversations. Spreading and infecting. So that truth and fact, reality and delusion, are so confused it's near impossible to tell them apart.Discussions become debates, debates become arguments, which turn into fights. As sides are declared, a madness takes hold.Abigail Robinson promises that if they follow her, a va bien aller. All will be well. But not, Gamache and his team know, for everyone.When a murder is committed, it falls to Armand Gamache, his second-in-command Jean-Guy Beauvoir, and their team to investigate the crime as well as this extraordinary popular delusion.And the madness of crowds.
  bentstoker | Jan 26, 2024 |
(2021)Very good book.KIRKUS: Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and the village of Three Pines, Qu?bec, emerge from the pandemic to confront something in its way even more monstrous.It's not clear entirely how the invitation was extended, but Colette Roberge, Chancellor of the Universit? de l'Estrie, is hosting her old friend professor Abigail Robinson, of the University of Western Canada, for a talk on statistics. That sounds dry until Gamache realizes that the numbers Robinson is crunching concern the benefits that would accrue around the world if the powers that be launched a wholesale campaign of mercy killing that targeted the old, the sick, and the helpless. The subject is guaranteed to polarize audiences violently even as the endorsements Robinson is seeking from politicians and other influencers approach a tipping point at which her radical ideas might seem reasonable, even tenable. The capacity crowd crammed into an old gym to hear the talk is already rowdy when someone sets off a string of firecrackers and someone fires a gun, narrowly missing the speaker. The inevitable murder that follows on the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve strikes painful chords in everyone from young Sudanese activist Haniya Daoud, whose sufferings have left her filled with rage and disdain for the human race, to Gamache's sidekick and son-in-law, Inspector Jean-Guy Beauvoir, who's coping with his complicated feelings toward his baby daughter, Idola, who was born with Down sSyndrome, to thoracic surgeon Vincent Gilbert, the Asshole Saint hiding a dark secret that portends all the other secrets Gamache must toil to uncover and determine which of them is responsible for this post-pandemic nightmare.No one balances tight plotting, compassion for her flawed characters, and a broader vision of humanity like Penny.Pub Date: Aug. 24, 2021ISBN: 978-1-2501-4526-0Page Count: 448Publisher: MinotaurSt. Louis Post Dispatch:A charismatic speaker with an appalling idea for setting society on a new course stirs passions pro and con in ?The Madness of Crowds,? Louise Penny's latest mystery starring top Quebec cop Armand Gamache. Timely and thrilling, this 17th entry is one of the series' most rewarding.?The Madness of Crowds? is satisfying both as an intricate crime-solving procedural and as an opportunity to revisit Three Pines, the community Penny has built, story upon story, since ?Still Life? in 2005.An hour or so and a million miles from Montreal, Three Pines is a place where neighbors are friends, the Bistro and bookstore are always welcoming, and refuge from the world's woes can be as close as the village green. Despite the frigid winter weather, and the occasional murder, most of Penny's followers would love to live there.But in last year's ?All the Devils Are Here,? the ?here? was not Three Pines but Paris, as Gamache took a vacation (ha!) and wound up solving a very personal crime. Some readers were disappointed to see so little of the regulars, but Penny said at the time that the break was necessary for the future health of the series.Not surprisingly, she was right. Back home, ?The Madness of Crowds? is a near-perfect, beautifully balanced blend of everything readers love about the series.What has happened since ?Madness? wrapped up with Gamache returning from Paris? We find out, a little right away and more later on, fleshing out the many personal stories. Regulars are abundant.But no one who has read this series will expect Gamache to spend a quiet day ice skating with his granddaughters. Right away, he is called on to ensure the safety of the controversial Abigail Robinson, invited to speak at a nearby college. Some in the audience will be true believers, while others are sure to consider her modern ideas about eugenics a danger, with potentially explosive results.Louise Penny's latest leaves Three Pines for ParisBefore COVID-19 shut down much world travel, author Louise Penny (here wearing a Three Pines mask) spent time in Paris researching her latest Inspector Gamache mystery, ?All the Devils Are Here.?Lise Desrosiers WU professor writes about the 'church' of humanist Thomas Paine 'St. Louis Commune of 1877' details dramatic year Percival Everett tells dark, witty satire of lynching Judge and justice are suspect in John Grisham's new thriller Four fellows meet saints and scoundrels on Towles' intriguing 'Lincoln Highway'A mass event? Without distancing? Yes, the pandemic is over in ?The Madness of Crowds,? although not everything has returned to normal, if it ever will. In her author's notes, Penny says she considered simply ignoring the COVID crisis ?I thought the last thing anyone would want to read about, or relive,? was the pandemic ¥ but realized she couldn't.Instead, she projected ahead to the time after, when life would struggle to return to normal in a world forever changed. ?Normal ... but the bruising remained,? Penny says. ?The sorrows, the tragedies, but also the oddly rich blessings.?Writing largely while in isolation, Penny (who like Gamache is fascinated by how people make ethical and moral decisions) thought a lot about contagion, about how opinions spoken at a shout can influence masses of people, who latch onto ideas that touch some buried anger or prejudice in them. About ?how extraordinary delusions become popular.?On that note, Penny introduces an 1841 work that gave her book its title. ?Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds,? by Charles Mackay, looks at many unlikely things that by that time had become a collective obsession, from witch hunts to the tulip craze. The Mackay book ¥ ?it's about what happens when gullibility and fear meet greed and power,? Gamache is told ¥ gives him a lot to think about, and us, too.But neither the big themes nor the whodunit overshadows what, for the most fervent of the Three Pines faithful, is the reason to anticipate a new book: the characters.?The Madness of Crowds? has a huge cast, including the whole Gamache family and almost all our old friends in the village, some of whom we haven't heard about lately. Gamache's team from Homicide is on the case, and we see Three Pines through new and very skeptical eyes of Haniya Daoud, a young wartime heroine from Sudan.(?It's so white. And cold,? Haniya complains of Three Pines. ?Everything looks dead. I don't know why anyone lives here.? This is before she tastes hot chocolate.)Someone who reads the Gamache books purely as whodunits could find the protracted crime solving in ?The Madness of Crowds? too full of red herrings, and even tedious.But faithful readers know that one of Penny's books is less a single-serving crime tale than a full spread of fiction. The mystery may be the main course, but the side dishes ¥ the food for thought, and the food at the Bistro; the people and their lives and, yes, loves; and certainly the setting itself ¥ combine to create a full banquet for readers, one liberally seasoned with dry humor. ?The Madness of Crowds? is one of the richest and most satisfying banquets yet.
  derailer | Jan 25, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Louise Pennyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bathurst, RobertNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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This book is dedicated to all those on the front line
of the pandemic who have worked so hard, in often
impossible conditions, to keep the rest of us safe.
If
ca va bien aller, it's thanks to you.
Louise Penny, 2021
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"This doesn't feel right, patron."
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Fiction. Mystery. HTML:

Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller
AARP The Magazine ?? Recommended Summer Reading
CNN ?? A Most Anticipated Book of August
Bustle ?? A Most Anticipated Book of August


Chief Inspector Armand Gamache returns to Three Pines in #1 New York Times bestseller Louise Penny's latest spellbinding novel

You're a coward.
Time and again, as the New Year approaches, that charge is leveled against Armand Gamache.
It starts innocently enough.
While the residents of the Québec village of Three Pines take advantage of the deep snow to ski and toboggan, to drink hot chocolate in the bistro and share meals together, the Chief Inspector finds his holiday with his family interrupted by a simple request.
He's asked to provide security for what promises to be a non-event. A visiting Professor of Statistics will be giving a lecture at the nearby university.
While he is perplexed as to why the head of homicide for the Sûreté du Québec would be assigned this task, it sounds easy enough. That is until Gamache starts looking into Professor Abigail Robinson and discovers an agenda so repulsive he begs the university to cancel the lecture.
They refuse, citing academic freedom, and accuse Gamache of censorship and intellectual cowardice. Before long, Professor Robinson's views start seeping into conversations. Spreading and infecting. So that truth and fact, reality and delusion are so confused it's near impossible to tell them apart.
Discussions become debates, debates become arguments, which turn into fights. As sides are declared, a madness takes hold.
Abigail Robinson promises that, if they follow her, ça va bien aller. All will be well. But not, Gamache and his team know, for everyone.
When a murder is committed it falls to Armand Gamache, his second-in-command Jean-Guy Beauvoir, and their team to investigate the crime as well as this extraordinary popular delusion.
And the madn

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Book description
You’re a coward.

Time and again, as the New Year approaches, that charge is leveled against Armand Gamache.

It starts innocently enough.

While the residents of the Québec village of Three Pines take advantage of the deep snow to ski and toboggan, to drink hot chocolate in the bistro and share meals together, the Chief Inspector finds his holiday with his family interrupted by a simple request.

He’s asked to provide security for what promises to be a non-event. A visiting Professor of Statistics will be giving a lecture at the nearby university.

While he is perplexed as to why the head of homicide for the Sûreté du Québec would be assigned this task, it sounds easy enough. That is until Gamache starts looking into Professor Abigail Robinson and discovers an agenda so repulsive he begs the university to cancel the lecture.

They refuse, citing academic freedom, and accuse Gamache of censorship and intellectual cowardice. Before long, Professor Robinson’s views start seeping into conversations. Spreading and infecting. So that truth and fact, reality and delusion are so confused it’s near impossible to tell them apart.

Discussions become debates, debates become arguments, which turn into fights. As sides are declared, a madness takes hold.

Abigail Robinson promises that, if they follow her, ça va bien aller. All will be well. But not, Gamache and his team know, for everyone.

When a murder is committed it falls to Armand Gamache, his second-in-command Jean-Guy Beauvoir, and their team to investigate the crime as well as this extraordinary popular delusion.
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