Tag: Louise Penny

Ellie’s Book Review – All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny

Ellie’s Book Review – All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny

Missing Three Pines (4/5 stars)

I have been a long-time fan of Louise Penny’s. Her writing is so descriptive that it feels like I can roll around in her descriptions of people, places and food (OMG – the food descriptions!) like a northern dog rolls in snow. The depth, clarity, uniqueness and believability of her characters is compelling. I love Chief Inspector Gamache with all my heart, and feel close to the same affection for the quirky group of residents that inhabit the hard-to-find village of Three Pines.​

All the Devils Are Are Here is not set in Three Pines. It unfolds in Paris. The Parisian setting may be the reason I gave All the Devils are Here four stars, as opposed to the five I would have awarded to every other of Penny’s preceding Inspector Gamache novels, all of which were set in Three Pines, Quebec. It may simply be that I miss the places and faces I’ve grown to love. Of course, Penny has brought her legendary descriptive prowess to Paris. But as a creature of habit — that didn’t displace the degree to which I missed Three Pines.​

I also found the plot didn’t unfold with the same sense of natural inevitablity I’ve experienced in her previous books. It felt like I had to accept some of the premises that moved the plot forward as a matter of faith, rather than seeing for myself why and how Gamache and crew considered them to be benchmarks leading to solutions. I acknowledge that this may simply be a reading failure on my part. I have long believed that Louise Penny is smarter than I am. But usually her books do not make me feel inadequate, and in places here — I did.​

Which is not to say that I didn’t enjoy the book. I did, and I consider four-stars to reflect my feeling that this is a very good read, and one well-worth undertaking. However, I would recommend that anyone who hasn’t already read any of the preceding Inspector Gamache novels, start with one of her Three Pines settings, rather than leaping immediately to Paris.