The Next Chapter

Louise Penny's mystery novel, All the Devils Are Here, looks at the impact of family secrets and lies

The bestselling Canadian novelist spoke with Shelagh Rogers about the latest book in the Inspector Armand Gamache series.
All the Devils Are Here is a novel by Louise Penny (Minotaur Books, Jean-Francois Berube)

Louise Penny is a former CBC broadcaster and journalist. Now, she's an award-winning author who has sold more than four million books and has won armloads of prizes, thanks to her Inspector Armand Gamache mysteries. Her bestselling mysteries include Still LifeBury Your DeadA Trick of the Light and Glass Houses

The latest in the series is All the Devils Are Here. Gamache is in Paris, enjoying a family trip, when his elderly godfather is attacked on the street — and Gamache is convinced it's not a random attack. It turns out that his godfather knows many secrets and Gamache must figure out the web of deceit and lies before it's too late.

Penny spoke with Shelagh Rogers about why she wrote All the Devils Are Here at a virtual event organized by the Book Passage, a bookstore based in San Francisco.

Hell is empty

"I spent a lot of time thinking that I was pretty darn perfect. It was both shocking, humbling and very humanizing to realize that I have devils inside me as well — and probably always will. 

Part of what Armand is tracking down is the devilry inside the people who he has been trusting.

"The key is to recognize them, to throw light on them, to name them and get them out of the driver's seat.

"That's why I think the book's title, All the Devils Are Here, isn't necessarily a geographic place. It's inside ourselves. 

"Part of what Armand is tracking down is the devilry inside the people who he has been trusting."

Secrets and lies

"The novel, like most books, is about many things — least of all, the crime itself. Although it is proudly a murder mystery, it's really about perceptions. It's about memory. It's about how we remember different things — not just what we remember, but how we remember them and how that then informs our path forward. 

The novel, like most books, is about many things — least of all, the crime itself.

"Every choice we make is informed by how we perceive the world — and how we perceive the world is based on our memory of how we've been treated.

"Family secrets certainly come up in the book."

Louise Penny's comments have been edited for length and clarity.

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