Kingdom of the Blind

(Book 14)

Book Summary

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Blockbuster bestselling author Louise Penny keeps readers eyes’ glued to the page in Kingdom of the Blind, an “intriguing…and satisfying” (Publishers Weekly) novel about everyday life and ever-curious death in the village of Three Pines.

Why would a complete stranger name Detective Chief Armand Gamache one of the executors of her will? The will is so bizarre and includes such wildly unlikely bequests that Gamache suspects the woman was downright delusional. But what if, Gamache begins to ask himself, she was perfectly sane? When a dead body turns up in town, the terms of the will suddenly seem far more menacing.

Meanwhile, the investigation into the events that led to Gamache’s suspension keeps deepening. Most of the opioids Gamache let slip though his hands—in order to bring down the big-city cartels—have been retrieved, but there is one devastating exception. Soon, he enters a race against time to locate the deadly missing drug. As he uses increasingly audacious, even desperate, measures to retrieve it, Gamache begins to see his own blind spots…and the terrible truth that may be hiding in plain sight.

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Armand Gamache slowed his car to a crawl, then stopped on the snow-covered secondary road.

This was it, he supposed. Pulling in, he drove between the tall pine trees until he reached the clearing.

There he parked the car and sat in the warm vehicle looking out at the cold day. Snow flurries were hitting the windshield and dissolving. They were coming down with more force now, slightly obscuring what he saw outside. Turning away, he stared at the letter he’d received the day before, lying open on the passenger seat.

Audio Excerpt

Reading Group Guide

  • Snow is a virtual character in this book, “both beautiful and alarming.” In Chapter 4, we are told, “In the countryside, winter was a gorgeous, glorious, luminous killer.” What other passages about snow are particularly striking, and how does the weather affect the story?
  • There are different kinds of families in the novel, from the Baumgartners to the Gamaches to the bonds between Benedict and Katie (“Benedict wondered if he tried, really, really tried, he could build a relationship that solid”), to the team of Armand, Jean-Guy, and Isabelle: “Her husband stayed behind in the living room, watching the three of them go. Recognizing that while he and the children would always be the most important parts of Isabelle’s lives, these three also formed a family.” There is even the drug dealer who names the new opioid “David” after his father. What are the strengths and weaknesses of these families?
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