THE MADNESS OF CROWDS . . . Louise Penny

This is not a book review.

This morning I finished reading THE MADNESS OF CROWDS. Louise Penny’s seventeenth book. Her finest, most honest and bravest of books. I began it with reluctance The subject post pandemic. I did not want to read about it. I was living it and wanted to escape. To be in the village of Three Pines. Sipping cafe au lait in the Bistro. Browsing the bookstore. Sitting on a bench in the village green. But I could not stop turning the pages. I read THE MADNESS OF CROWDS through the night. I read words of unspeakable horror. Of history repeating itself. Of ignorance driven by fear.

And when I turned the last page and read “ca va bien aller” (everything will be alright) I knew I had truly escaped to Three Pines. I drank hot chocolate lavished with whipped cream and watched snow falling outside the bistro windows. Unafraid I hugged friends and family and shared meals together. I wasn’t afraid.


Regretfully I turn the last page in my book,  A TRICK OF THE LIGHT.  Once again Louise Penny has taken me to  the fictional Quebec Village of Three Pines.   For too  brief a while I was living in Three Pines.  Buying books from Myrna,  enjoying beef Bourgogne in the Bistro,   listening to Ruth the poet.

Louise Penny’s writes  mystery novels.  But the mystery becomes part of the background.  What captivates you is her exquisite touch with the characters who inhabit her novels.  We want to follow them.  We want to know them better.  And this is what she delivers.

I think a lot about Three Pines.  Regardless of the murders I want to live in Three Pines.   There can  be no higher praise.


How can you read on a beautiful summer day? “  She replied. “The sun is my light and the wind turns the pages.” –  Anonymous

Who are your favorite mystery/detective authors?   I would love to hear from you and post your lists.  We avid readers are ALWAYS looking for a another  writer to add to our list.

The day was hot and humid.   Tall glass of lemonade at my side I escape once again to Iceland.

I’ve been in Reykjavik with the gloomy Detective Erlindur.   I so love a good detective series.  One that is well written.  A page turner.    Arnaldur Indridason series of crime fiction novels takes me to the biting cold of Iceland.   I’ve read  Jar City, Hypothermia, Silence of the Grave, The Draining Lake, Voices and Arctic Chill.     I just finished Operation Napoleon (a crime thriller).  Everyone a great read.  Now I am waiting for the latest  Erlendur book,  Outrage.

All of Arnaldur Indridason’s books,  beautiful translated into English,  are a joy to read.    Escape the summer heat.  Join me in Iceland.

I’ve rediscovered a mystery writer thanks to my sister Heather.    About ten years ago I read an excellent book  River Of Darkness by Rennie Airth.  Last week I reread River of Darkness and enjoyed it even more.  Then I read his next book The Blood-Dimmed Time.  Again, a winner.  I like a well-written detective novel and Rennie Airth is brilliant.   The protagonist is John Madden, a Scotland Yard Inspector.   If you can’t find these books in a bookstore I know the Fraser Valley Regional Library has them.

My other discovery writer is Louise Penny.  She is a Canadian  and her novels are set in a fictional village in Quebec, Three Pines.   She’s a good writer, and she tells a good story.  As usual in books like this it is a good idea to read the books consecutively..  The characters become old friends.  You will adore these books.

A  well written detective novel is my cup of tea.    I have a handful of favorites and eagerly await publication of their next books.  A few years ago Beautiful and Courageous Daughter introduced me to an amazing writer Stieg Larsson.  He was a political activist and well-known reporter in Sweden.  He wrote The Millenium-Series, a trilogy of books that were published posthumously.   I’ve read the first two (and I read them as slowly as I could to make them last) and just recently the third book was translated into English.   I have that book to look forward to.  Stieg Larsson delivered these three books to his publisher and died shortly there after.   So my friends there really is only these three books.




I do have a lot of books.  Every room in the house there’s books.  You can never be too rich, too thin, or have too many books.   In my village our library is part of the Fraser Valley Regional Library System.  I literally have millions of book at my fingertips.  I order them on line and  just pick them up.   We have a warm and welcoming  library.  There’s big, comfortable chairs and sofas,  a fire-place that beckons on a gloomy day,  and staff that have become  my  friends.  I was embarrassed by the amount of books I was taking out of the Library until the Head Librarian said “in a perfect world there would be no books  on the library shelves, they would be checked out”.

These are the authors that are a joy to read:

Ian Rankin and his scotch drinking  protagonist Rebus

P.D. James with poetry writer Supt. Adam Dalgliesh

Peter Robinson, a  Canadian writer with his novels featuring Inspector Banks

John Lawton’s titled man about London Troy series

Michael Connelly and his L.A. Detective  Harry Bosch

Minette Walters

Elizabeth George and her (sir) Inspector Thomas Lynley

I love books. And I love a good detective novel.  If you haven’t read some of these authors there’s a treat in store for you.