Title: A Trick of the Light
Author: Louise Penny
Genre: Crime Fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5
What is it About?
Clara is an artist. After years of waiting, she is finally lucky enough to have a show at Montreal’s Musee d’Art Contemporain. To celebrate, she hosts a party at her home in the small village of Three Pines. The next morning she wakes up to find the body of a woman in her garden.
It probably goes without saying that the woman was murdered and that the fact the murder took place at a party means there are plenty of suspects (and opportunities for red herrings). These include Clara and her husband when it turns out they have a connection to the victim. Enter Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, veteran Detective. And a friend of the family.
What did I think?
I’ve been meaning to read Louise Penny for a while now, a couple of years in fact. Every review of her books I’ve seen has been positive and I am always on the look out for a good murder mystery. I must have added at the least her last three books to my “to read” list but never getting any further. A Trick of the Light was so prominently displayed at my local library that, not only could I miss it, I had no excuse for not picking it up and taking it home. I am really glad I did because I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Penny’s main character, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, is also the main character in her six other books, all written before this one. He is a skilled detective, with a skilled team. Older and wiser than many detectives I have come across he also has a solid home life and no major hang-ups. He is one of the main reasons I enjoyed the story. So many other “police procedurals” have damaged detectives. Gamache is not. As this is the seventh book he appears in, he also felt well-rounded and real, as did his second-in-command, Jean Guy – though he does have his demons.
Something else I liked was that Penny allowed her characters to do more than investigate. They spent times with their families and stopped to eat (some rather delicious sounding food). I also liked that, again unlike a lot of other books, this didn’t end with the murderer being almost indestructible and the police involved in some type of peril. Instead it was very old-school Agatha Christie with the cast of characters together in a room on a stormy night while Gamache reveals “who dunit”.
Definitely worth a read!