Friday 22 November 2013

A Penny for your Thoughts

Best-selling and Multiple Award-Winning Canadian Mystery Writer Louise Penny made a special visit to Heffers Bookstore in Cambridge to talk about her writing. This was the only UK event she is appearing at this year, due to deadline pressures on her current work in progress.

The event was organised by one of the most knowledgeable booksellers we know, Richard Reynolds, who is also the Chair of The Crime Writers Association [CWA] Gold Dagger Award.  Though the historic Heffers Bookstore is now part of the Blackwell Books Chain, but retains its independent feel, with Richard maintaining one of the best selections of Crime, Mystery and Thrillers in the UK. Richard Reynolds also runs some very interesting events for the crime, mystery reader, click here for a listing of future events

I was delighted to meet Louise Penny again. Joining me were Chris Simmons of Crimesquad and The Talented Mr Ripley, critic, crime writer and raconteur at Shots and Deadly Pleasures Magazine - Getting Away With Murder column, and many others.

I recall Louise Penny being a runner-up for the CWA Debut Dagger Award in 2004. Her entry ‘Still Life’ was highly commended and missed taking the Debut Dagger ‘by only a whisker.' This resulted in her getting ‘Still Life’ into print. I first met Louise at the launch of Still Life at the Canadian Embassy in London on the 7th February 2005. Her generous nature is well known as in 2009 she personally sponsored the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger. The Crime Writers' Association Chair [at that time], Margaret Murphy, said: "We are delighted that Louise has agreed to sponsor this award. I know that she valued the help that the award gave to her writing career. It is a tremendous gesture and one that is deeply appreciated by the CWA."

We highly recommend the work of Louise Penny, if you like your mystery fiction with compassion and dark insight into the psychological – then Penny’s work will enthrall, and her latest ‘How The Light Gets In’ is no exception

 “There is a crack in everything. 
    That’s how the light gets in.” 
Leonard Cohen from his Poem / Song Anthem

Christmas is approaching, and in Qu├ębec it’s a time of dazzling snowfalls, bright lights, and gatherings with friends in front of blazing hearths. But shadows are falling on the usually festive season for Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. Most of his best agents have left the Homicide Department, his old friend and lieutenant Jean-Guy Beauvoir hasn’t spoken to him in months, and hostile forces are lining up against him.

When Gamache receives a message from Myrna Landers that a longtime friend has failed to arrive for Christmas in the village of Three Pines, he welcomes the chance to get away from the city. Mystified by Myrna's reluctance to reveal her friend's name, Gamache soon discovers the missing woman was once one of the most famous people not just in North America, but in the world, and now goes unrecognized by virtually everyone except the mad, brilliant poet Ruth Zardo.

As events come to a head, Gamache is drawn ever deeper into the world of Three Pines. Increasingly, he is not only investigating the disappearance of Myrna’s friend but also seeking a safe place for himself and his still-loyal colleagues. Is there peace to be found even in Three Pines, and at what cost to Gamache and the people he holds dear?

How the Light Gets In is the ninth Chief Inspector Gamache Novel from Louise Penny.

One of Publishers Weekly's Best Mystery/Thriller Books of 2013 and a  #1 New York Times Best Seller

For Shots Readers, we have some video footage from the Heffers’ event for those who have not explored the mysterious world of Louise Penny -

Bibliography –  all of Louise Penny’s work is available from the Shots Online Bookstore, with discounts HERE

Time to start saving your pennies, because if you’ve not experienced Louise Penny’s Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, it’s time you did.

Still Life [2005].
Winner of the New Blood Dagger award in the United Kingdom, the Arthur Ellis Award in Canada for best first crime novel, the Dilys Award, the 2007 Anthony Award and the Barry Award for best first novel in the United States.

A Fatal Grace [2007] Alternate title: "Dead Cold" 
Winner of the Agatha Award for best novel of 2007

Winner of the Agatha Award for best novel of 2008, Nominated for the 2009 Anthony, the Macavity and the Barry awards for best novel of 2008.

The Murder Stone [2009] Alternative title “A Rule Against Murder”
A New York Times bestseller and nominated for an Arthur Ellis Award in the category of best novel

The Brutal Telling [2009]
Winner of the Agatha Award for best novel of 2009, as well as the 2010 Anthony Award for best crime novel in the U.S.

Bury your Dead [2010]
Winner of the Agatha Award for best novel of 2010, the 2011 Anthony and Macavity Award for best crime novel in the U.S., the 2011 Arthur Ellis Award best crime novel in Canada, and the 2011 Nero Award.

A Trick of the Light [2011]
Named one of the best crime novels of 2011 by The Globe & Mail and The New York Times

The Beautiful Mystery [2012]
Macavity and Anthony Award for best crime novel in the U.S

How the Light Gets In [2013]
New York Times #1 bestseller.

More Information on the work of Louise Penny is available here

As a long-time follower of the Canadian Poet Leonard Cohen, I was very impressed that when Louise Penny approached Mr Cohen about the use of the famous existential lyric [from his song / poem ANTHEM] for her latest novel, Leonard graciously agreed, and refused any payment for its use -

Photos (c) 2010-2013 Ali Karim
Cover Photos (c) Headline Publishing and (C) Little Brown UK


J F Norris said...

It's a shame that this event was not miked. I have turned up the speakers on my computer to 100% and I can barely hear anything she has to say. Something about the intimacy of a bookstore leads people to talk as if they are in a public library, I guess.

Ali Karim said...

...that's a pity as on my PC Laptop internal speakers it comes across load and clear?