How the Light Gets In (Book 9)

Book Summary

“There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” —Leonard Cohen

Christmas is approaching, and in Québec it’s a time of dazzling snowfalls, bright lights, and gatherings with friends in front of blazing hearths. But shadows are falling on the usually festive season for Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. Most of his best agents have left the Homicide Department, his old friend and lieutenant Jean-Guy Beauvoir hasn’t spoken to him in months, and hostile forces are lining up against him. When Gamache receives a message from Myrna Landers that a longtime friend has failed to arrive for Christmas in the village of Three Pines, he welcomes the chance to get away from the city. Mystified by Myrna’s reluctance to reveal her friend’s name, Gamache soon discovers the missing woman was once one of the most famous people not just in North America, but in the world, and now goes unrecognized by virtually everyone except the mad, brilliant poet Ruth Zardo. As events come to a head, Gamache is drawn ever deeper into the world of Three Pines. Increasingly, he is not only investigating the disappearance of Myrna’s friend but also seeking a safe place for himself and his still-loyal colleagues. Is there peace to be found even in Three Pines, and at what cost to Gamache and the people he holds dear?

Cultural Reference Discussion

Join us in a discussion around a creative work of cultural significance from this book.

Chocolate and Raspberry Mousse

Armand Gamache looked down at his plate. Empty. All the wonderful food gone. He was sure it must have been delicious, but he couldn’t remember eating a single bite.

After a dessert of raspberry and chocolate mousse they went home.

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Trifle

Everyone, except Ruth, cleared the table while Gabri took Olivier’s trifle out of the fridge, with its layers of ladyfingers, custard, fresh whipped cream, and brandy-infused jam.

“The love that dares not speak its name,” Gabri whispered as he cradled it in his arms.

“How many calories, do you think?” asked Clara.

“Don’t ask,” said Olivier.

“Don’t tell,” said Myrna.

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The Real Place Archive

In 2015, we (virtually) visited some of the real places that inspired Louise Penny in writing the Inspector Gamache series. Every two weeks we posted a new essay, photos, and opened a discussion about a real place that is the inspiration behind a fictional place in each of the books. The archive of the place and discussion for HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN can be found in The Real Place Archive page.

The Re-Read Archive

In 2014, we hosted a re-read of the Inspector Gamache series, books 1–10, guided by questions from longtime Gamache fans and guest bloggers. We have an ongoing discussion currently underway in The Bistro, and you can find the archive of the re-read for HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN in The Re-Read Archive pages, which includes a video from Louise.