LOUISE PENNY’S

A Trick of The Light

(Book 7)

Book Summary

With A Trick of the Light, Louise Penny takes us back to the deceptively peaceful village of Three Pines in this brilliant novel in her award-winning, New York Times bestselling series featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache.

“Hearts are broken,” Lillian Dyson carefully underlined in a book. “Sweet relationships are dead.”

But now Lillian herself is dead. Found among the bleeding hearts and lilacs of Clara Morrow’s garden in Three Pines, shattering the celebrations of Clara’s solo show at the famed Musée in Montreal. Chief Inspector Gamache, the head of homicide at the Sûreté du Québec, is called to the tiny Quebec village and there he finds the art world gathered, and with it a world of shading and nuance, a world of shadow and light. Where nothing is as it seems. Behind every smile there lurks a sneer. Inside every sweet relationship there hides a broken heart.
And even when facts are slowly exposed, it is no longer clear to Gamache and his team if what they’ve found is the truth, or simply a trick of the light.

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Excerpt


Oh, no, no, no, thought Clara Morrow as she walked toward the closed doors.

She could see shadows, shapes, like wraiths moving back and forth, back and forth across the frosted glass. Appearing and disappearing. Distorted, but still human.

Still the dead one lay moaning.

The words had been going through her head all day, appearing and disappearing. A poem, half remembered. Words floating to the surface, then going under. The body of the poem beyond her grasp. What was the rest of it? It seemed important.

Oh, no no no.

The blurred figures at the far end of the long corridor seemed almost liquid, or smoke. There, but insubstantial. Fleeting. Fleeing.

As she wished she could.

This was it. The end of the journey. Not just that day’s journey as she and her husband, Peter, had driven from their little Québec village into the Musée d’Art Contemporain in Montréal, a place they knew well. Intimately. How often had they come to the MAC to marvel at some new exhibition? To support a friend, a fellow artist? Or to just sit quietly in the middle of the sleek gallery, in the middle of a weekday, when the rest of the city was at work?

Audio Excerpt


Reading Group Guide


  • Clara is simultaneously elated and terrified by the long-awaited celebration of her art, while other artists throughout the novel struggle with varying degrees of success and recognition. How do you see both the rewards and the hardships of life as an artist?
  • “I was much too far out all my life / And not waving but drowning.” How do Stevie Smith’s lines apply to various characters in the story? Who seems to be drowning? Do you think they can be saved?
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