Books·Canadian

The Madness of Crowds

A novel by Louise Penny.

Louise Penny

You're a coward.

Time and again, as the New Year approaches, that charge is leveled against Armand Gamache.

It starts innocently enough.

While the residents of the Québec village of Three Pines take advantage of the deep snow to ski and toboggan, to drink hot chocolate in the bistro and share meals together, the Chief Inspector finds his holiday with his family interrupted by a simple request.

He's asked to provide security for what promises to be a non-event. A visiting Professor of Statistics will be giving a lecture at the nearby university.

While he is perplexed as to why the head of homicide for the Sûreté du Québec would be assigned this task, it sounds easy enough. That is until Gamache starts looking into Professor Abigail Robinson and discovers an agenda so repulsive he begs the university to cancel the lecture.

They refuse, citing academic freedom, and accuse Gamache of censorship and intellectual cowardice. Before long, Professor Robinson's views start seeping into conversations. Spreading and infecting. So that truth and fact, reality and delusion are so confused it's near impossible to tell them apart.

Discussions become debates, debates become arguments, which turn into fights. As sides are declared, a madness takes hold.

Abigail Robinson promises that, if they follow her, ça va bien aller. All will be well. But not, Gamache and his team know, for everyone.

When a murder is committed it falls to Armand Gamache, his second-in-command Jean-Guy Beauvoir, and their team to investigate the crime as well as this extraordinary popular delusion.

And the madness of crowds. (From Minotaur Books)

Interviews with Louise Penny

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Louise Penny on their political thriller, State of Terror

1 year ago
Duration 2:44
Good friends Hillary Rodham Clinton and Louise Penny talk about their first novel together, State of Terror, which follows newly appointed U.S. secretary of state Ellen Adams and her race to stop a series of international terrorist attacks.
Louise Penny talks to Shelagh Rogers about her latest book, The Madness of Crowds.
Louise Penny talks to Shelagh Rogers about her latest book, The Madness of Crowds.
It has been 10 years since Louise Penny published her first novel, introducing the world to Chief Inspector Gamache and Three Pines. The CBC's Rachelle Solomon spoke with Penny about this special anniversary.

Louise Penny on her unexpected road to success

6 years ago
Duration 9:14
The Canadian mystery author talks to Wendy Mesley about the twists and turns in her personal story.

Other books by Louise Penny

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