How to Read All Louise Penny Inspector Gamache Books In Order (Chronological)

By Klein Felt Posted:
Louise Penny Armand Gamache Book covers

With 20 books in the series, reading Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache book series in chronological order can be challenging. 

Penny's beloved mystery series has been running since 2005. It follows a French-Canadian detective named Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. 

The most recent book was released earlier this year. In 2022, a television adaptation of Penny's more wholesome take on crime fiction will be released, starring Spider-Man 2 actor Alfred Molina in the leading role. 

How To Read Every Louise Penny Inspector Gamache Book in Chronological Order

The first ten Inspector Gamache books by Louise Penny
Inspector Gamache

Still Life (2005)

Starting things off, Still Life introduces readers to Inspector Armand Gamache, a member of the Sûreté du Québec, the provincial police force for Québec, Canada. Living in the sleepy town of Three Pines, Gamache is thrust into action after a woman mysteriously dies. While local authorities deem the fatality as an accident, Gamache believes something more sinister may be afoot. 

A Fatal Grace/Dead Cold (2006)

A Fatal Grace (Dead Cold in Canada) came to bookstores in 2006. This Still Life sequel sees Inspector Gamache investigating an electrocution at a Boxing Day curling match. This is also the first of Penny's books to lay the groundwork for future novels, as it introduces some foes for the series' titular detective to spar with at the Sûreté du Québec.

The Cruellest Month (2007)

After a cold winter, The Cruellest Month centers on Three Pines as the melt has begun. It is springtime in the sleepy Québec township, and Inspector Gamache is faced with a mysterious death after a group of 20-somethings visits a local haunted house to rid it of spirits. Gamache is forced to face past demons as he investigates someone being 'scared to death.'

A Rule Against Murder/The Murder Stone (2008)

Even when Gamache leaves Three Pines, mystery tends to follow. That was first displayed in Penny's fourth book in the Gamache series, A Rule Against Murder/The Murder Stone. The novel sees the titular detective on an anniversary vacation with his librarian wife, Reine-Marie, in remote Eastern Québec. While visiting the book's stunning lakeside manor, the fellow hotel guests staying alongside Gamache prove to have some sinister secrets. 

The Brutal Telling (2009)

Telling a tangled spider's web of mystery is 2009's The Brutal Telling. Back in Three Pines, Gamache looks into the town's bistro owner, Olivier, after a body appears one morning on the restaurant floor. After spending so many years serving the town comfort food and conversation, Olivier and his wife are suspects in a killing that could shake Three Pines to its core. 

Bury Your Dead (2010)

After the brutal events of The Brutal Telling and a shootout with a dangerous terrorist group hiding in Québec, Inspector Gamache heads to Québec City to take in the city's historic winter carnival. However, he has to put aside Bonhomme and maple taffy when a local archeologist turns up dead.

The Hangman (2010)

Serving as an in-between-quel (aka book 6.5 in the series), The Hangman is a secondary adventure for Inspector Gamache, who is looking into the death of a traveler visiting Three Pine found dead hanging from a tree. After his death is ruled a suicide, Gamache steps in, believing the hanging man was murdered. 

A Trick of the Light (2011)

A Trick of the Light sees Gamache looking into the death of an artist, Lillian Dyson. The plot thickens as Lillian's childhood best friend, Clara Morrow, an artist who has lived in Lillian's shadow for years, is ruled the prime suspect in the killing of the Three Pines painter.

The Beautiful Mystery (2012)

2012's The Beautiful Mystery sees Gamache venture into the world of faith for the first time on the page. The ninth novel in Louise Penny's series centers on the death of a French-Canadian monk who is said to be a member of the long-thought-dead Gilbertine Order. This sends the series' titular Inspector on a cross-province investigation as he heads to the forests of Northern Québec to unravel the mystery.

How the Light Gets In (2013)

After some time away from Three Pines, How the Light Gets In sees Gamache return to the quaint Québec town. This time, after some struggles at the Sûreté du Québec, Inspector Gamache brings along two of his friends to the small Québec community after an undercover mission gone awry. 

The Long Way Home (2014)

After sparring with his supervisor in How the Light Gets In, Gamache finally retires from the force in The Long Way Home. However, just because he is no longer a badged member of the Sûreté du Québec does not mean he has put his sleuthing days behind him. The series' titular inspector is pulled back when tasked with finding a woman's missing husband.

The Nature of the Beast (2015)

Following Inspector Gamache, who is even deeper into retirement, The Nature of the Beast sees the French-Canadian detective settled back down in Three Pines and living life to the fullest. However, he goes into action when a nine-year-old boy in town goes missing who was best known around the small Québec community for crying wolf on multiple occasions. 

A Great Reckoning (2016)

After several years from the Sûreté du Québec, Gamache is drawn back into the provincial police force when a professor turns up dead. Gamache looks into the potential killing alongside four cadets on the force, becoming the mentor he so dearly wished he had while coming up. 

Glass Houses (2017)

Glass Houses sees Gamache in a new role at the Sûreté du Québec as he assumes the chair of Chief Superintendent. He returns to Three Pines when a mysterious figure begins appearing in town. What starts as a curiosity quickly turns to conspiracy as the town becomes wary of what the figure could spell for the small Québec community. 

Kingdom of the Blind (2018)

Bookstore owner Myrna Landers plays yet again in Kingdom of the Blind, bringing back one of the primary characters of How the Light Goes In. Landers and Gamache have been named the executors of a will in Three Pines. The only twist is that neither of them is familiar with the deceased. This sends the pair on a quest to figure out who the person is amid a crisis at the Sûreté.

A Better Man (2019)

A Better Man focuses on Gamache, who was recently demoted due to the controversy and social media drama in Kingdom of the Blind. With Gamache back as an inspector, he and another Sûreté agent named Beauvoir investigate a suspected homicide while Three Pines is threatened by what could be a devastating flood. 

All the Devils Are Here (2020)

After spending the entire series up to this point working in Québec, All the Devils are Here follows Gamache on a trip to Paris. What starts as an international journey to visit his godfather, billionaire Stephen Horowitz, becomes much more as a mystery begins to play out involving the entire Gamache family, 

The Madness of Crowds (2021)

The Madness of Crowds was released in 2021. Back in Three Pines, Inspector Gamache gathers his extended family for a snow-kissed rural Québec holiday gathering. However, Gamache gets involved with a publicly disgraced professor who is also spending his holiday season in Three Pines. 

A World of Curiosities (2022)

As the snows of a cold winter begin to melt Three Pines, A World of Curiosities focuses on reemerging one's past. Like the grass on the ground and the leaves on the trees, Gamache is forced to grapple with a pair of siblings who come back into his life after he failed to crack the case of their mother's murder years ago.

The Grey Wolf (2024)

Lousie Penny's latest novel, The Grey Wolf, will be released on October 24. This new mystery story follows the Head of Homicide at the Sûreté du Québec, Armand Gamache, as his quaint summertime life in Three Pines is interrupted by a phone call that could change his fate forever. 

The entire Inspector Gamache series of novels is available online at bookstores worldwide.

- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.