Louise Penny’s Chief Inspector Gamache Series: Your Reading Map to Explore Three Pines in Order

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The Inspector Gamache series is a series of mystery novels usually set in the village of Three Pines written by Canadian author Louise Penny.

Reading the Inspector Gamache Series in Order

The chronological order for the Inspector Gamache series is the same as the publication order.

Still Life (2005)
A Fatal Grace (2006) aka Dead Cold
The Cruelest Month (2007) aka The Cruellest Month
A Rule Against Murder (2008) aka The Murder Stone
The Brutal Telling (2009)
Bury Your Dead (2010)
The Hangman (2010, short story)
A Trick of the Light (2011)
The Beautiful Mystery (2012)
How the Light Gets In (2013)
The Long Way Home (2014)
The Nature of the Beast (2015)
A Great Reckoning (2016)
Glass Houses (2017)
Kingdom of the Blind (2018)
A Better Man (2019)
All the Devils Are Here (2020)
The Madness of Crowds (2021)
A World of Curiosities (2022)

The Story of Inspector Gamache

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is based on Louise Penny’s late husband, Michael. She described him on her website as “kindly, thoughtful, generous, a man of courage and integrity, who both loved and accepted love”.

All those traits can be found in Armand Gamache, an inspector who has risked his career more than once to do the right thing.

In the first book, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surêté du Québec and his team of investigators are called in to the scene of a suspicious death in a rural village south of Montreal. Jane Neal, a local fixture in the tiny hamlet of Three Pines, just north of the U.S. border, has been found dead in the woods. The locals are certain it’s a tragic hunting accident and nothing more, but Gamache smells something foul in these remote woods, and is soon certain that Jane Neal died at the hands of someone much more sinister than a careless bowhunter.

More about the Inspector Gamache series

Does the Inspector Gamache series need to be read in order?

This is not an obligation, as each book can be read as a stand-alone. Of course, you will have references to past books, though it is never an obstacle to new readers.

How many books are there in the Inspector Gamache series?

Armand Gamache made his debut in 2005 in the book Still Life. The mystery series now consists of 18 novels and is still ongoing.

Where can I find Inspector Gamache’s short story?

Louise Penny only wrote one short story featuring Inspector Gamache. The Hangman was published in 2010 and was written as part of a program aimed at emerging adult readers. In that particular case, the short story is written at a grade 3 level, for adults.

It is available on Amazon.

Is there an adaptation of the Inspector Gamache books series?

The Canadian channel CBC Television adapted Still Life, the first book in the series, as a TV film in 2013. Inspector Gamache was played by Nathaniel Parker.

Amazon Prime also aired Three Pines, a television series featuring Alfred Molina in the role of Armand Gamache. As the show was not renewed, it consists of one season of eight episodes.

Alfred Molina is Inspector Armand Gamache in the TV series ‘Tree Pines’.

About the author of the Inspector Gamache series

Who is Louise Penny?

Born in 1958 in Toronto, Louise Penny grew up reading mystery writers such as Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, George Simenon, and more.

But writing full-time was not her first career, as Louise Penny worked as a radio host and journalist with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) for 18 years before leaving her position in order to take up writing.

She first tried to write historical fiction, but had difficulty finishing the book. She turned her attention to mystery novels and find immediate success with the first Inspector Gamache, Still Life.

Her books have been New York Time bestsellers, and she has won multiple awards, including the Anthony Awards and the Agatha Awards 5 times each.

What has Louise Penny written beyond the Inspector Gamache series?

Louise Penny only wrote one book outside the Inspector Gamache series: State of Terror.

Co-written with Hillary Clinton, State of Terror is political-mystery novel centered on the newly appointed U.S. Secretary of State Ellen Adams, which finds herself having to deal with a series of terrorist attacks and a deadly conspiracy.