The Madness of Crowds: A Novel (Chief Inspector Gamache Novel, 17)

by Louise Penny

Hardcover, 2021

Call number





Minotaur Books (2021), 448 pages


Fiction. Mystery. HTML: Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller AARP The Magazine �?? Recommended Summer Reading CNN �?? A Most Anticipated Book of August Bustle �?? A Most Anticipated Book of August Chief Inspector Armand Gamache returns to Three Pines in #1 New York Times bestseller Louise Penny's latest spellbinding novel 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 madn… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member delphimo
The Madness of Crowds by Louise Penny illustrates that frightening herd mentality that Hitler followed. In this story, Canada teeters on the brink of the aftermath of the coronavirus. A statistics professor, Abigail Robinson, enters the media frenzy with her belief in euthanasia. Armand Gamache
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must provide security for Ms. Robinson when she delivers a speech at a local university. A small venue with only capacity for 500 guests swells with people on both sides of the issue. Firecrackers and gunshots disrupt the speech, but luckily, no deaths. Professor Robinson theory and beliefs shake up Armand and Jean-Guy. Armand witnessed the depravity of Covid when he inspected nursing homes and the neglect of the inhabitants by the authorities. The old and sick are dispensable commodities, exactly what Professor states. Armand and Jean-Guy must protect Abigail Robinson, even though her views are opposite their views. What right does one individual have to play God? Louise Penny throws several individuals in our face in order to present this theory of survival of the fittest. Medical studies or inhumane torture of humans and animals show the lasting effect of these experiments. Cruelty hides everywhere when compassion enters through the cracks. Louise Penny also shows the horrors in Sudan to push the knife further into the wound. Compassion and love do blink a weary eye to show that hope has not been lost.
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LibraryThing member unclebob53703
I found this endlessly grim and depressing, with the characters and background more upsetting than any mere murder ever could be, and it contains the most absolutely preposterous denouement I've ever encountered, in which the detectives seem to accuse nearly everyone in turn before settling on the
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obvious choice. The author writes very well, but I feel the strain of trying to make everything topical with characters taken from current events is more than the book can bear. It was certainly more than I could bear. And it begs the question sitting there in plain sight, why would anyone live in this little village that seems to be a cesspool of murder and assorted awfulness. I forgive books all sorts of sins when they grab me, but this one left me wanting to just forget everything about it. I've only read a couple others in the series, and they did not have this effect on me.
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LibraryThing member thewanderingjew
Madness of Crowds, Louise Penny, author; Robert Bathurst, narrator
When a scientist is booked to speak at a nearby college, at the last moment, right before the New Year, Inspector Gamache is assigned to protect the venue and the attendees. He is at a loss as to why he has been called up to do this,
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and he is confused about the unusual last-minute booking during the holiday season, especially since the lockdowns of the pandemic have just ended. When he learns how controversial the speaker is, he is even more shocked. He attempts to have the lecture canceled, but both the President of the school and the Chancellor dismiss his concern and refuse his request.
The speaker is a scientist who uses statistics to ignite interest, positive and negative, on the subject of Euthanasia. Her lectures are increasingly followed by anger, demonstrations and violence. The novel takes you to the lecture as the statistician attempts to prove that there is a moral obligation to care for the well, over the needs of the disabled, sick and aged who are draining the system of finances and resources, she believes unfairly. She says there is simply not enough to go around. The morality and ethical sides of the argument are explored but without really reaching a conclusion.
Euthanasia has been a controversial subject for my entire lifetime, and I expect will continue to be for many more lifetimes. Mercy killing for animals has long been an accepted practice, but not for human beings. The fact that assisted suicide has become acceptable, when once thought heinous, is spurring the conversation along. As the book explores the value of life and death, it explores the idea of who is truly valuable and who can be discarded. Who deserves life, and who deserves death? The discussion of Euthanasia grows emotional and intense. The issue of abortion rears its head as well as mercy killing. As the moral obligation of caring for the disabled, sick and aged is explored, so are the ethical concerns about having enough services to go around.
During the lecture, there appears to be an attempt on the scientist’s life, followed by audience panic which Gamache quells. An investigation follows which results in an immediate arrest, but shortly after, there is another victim. The scientist’s assistant and best friend is murdered. Are the two incidents related? Inspector Gamache will find out. He is still the calm and very considerate “lawman” .
Louise Penny seems to have gotten a bit lost in the weeds here. As she tries to be politically correct, presenting the issues from all sides, for and against, it grows confusing and tedious. As the Secrets are uncovered, an abundance of misdirection leads the reader in circles trying to figure out if the murder victim was killed because of mistaken identity or intentionally. Why would anyone want to murder the assistant of the statistician who was advocating euthanasia? The scientist’s past yields secrets that uncover possible suspects until they are actively investigating several.….the school chancellor, the asshole saint, Abigail, the speaker, Ruth, the poet, Steven, The Sudanese heroine nominated for a Nobel Prize, and even Jean Guy Beauvois, the inspector’s son-in-law and the Inspector himself. Each appears to have a possible motive. Everyone appears to be a suspect since everyone appears to have some involvement. It gets a bit silly. There are just too many tangents.
As this is all taking place, Reine Marie is investigating the drawings of monkeys which leads to an explanation of the theory of one hundred monkeys. It is the idea that eventually a tipping point is reached which brings about a certain reaction. Somehow, it involves a rogue scientist, an actual Canadian researcher, who had tortured his patients in order to study them, rather than cure them. He seems to have connections to “Three Pines”. Many of the characters were also strange bedfellows. All of them had secrets.
The problem with this book is that it went too far as it tried to gently cover controversial and/or progressive issues, without taking an actual stand one way or another. Jean Guy has a child with Down’s Syndrome bringing up abortion. The school chancellor’s husband has Alzheimer’s bringing up mercy killing. The scientist had a disabled sister, again bringing up euthanasia. The rogue scientist developed America’s black ops methods that are considered torture by some. The Sudanese immigrant loves her country in spite of its flaws and doesn’t wish to stay. Immigration issues are brought to mind. Regardless of how the reader stands on any issue, the book will not provide satisfaction or a decision.
I wondered if Penny was setting up the forthcoming novel with the polarizing Hillary Clinton, that is being heavily promoted at this time because this book definitely veered from her other books that did not waste words or leave the reader wanting. Whatever it was that caused this book to be “overcooked” and overly political, even if presented subtly, it should be avoided in the future if she wants to maintain her readers. Adding the name of a celebrity that the author supports, doesn’t make for a good novel.
The voice of the narrator, Robert Bathurst, brings all of the characters to life. From book to book in the series, he remembers the tone and personality of each one, so much so, that any reader who follows the series will recognize them immediately when he speaks. With that said, this book was not one of my favorites because the plot had too many tangents and the book rambled on unnecessarily, often with redundancies.
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LibraryThing member fromthecomfychair
One of her best.

And Donald Ewen Cameron (1901-1967) did indeed carry out experiments akin to torture on depressed and anxious patients who thought they were coming to him for help. More monsters among us...
LibraryThing member bookappeal
In the 17th installment, Gamache and family have survived the coronavirus pandemic, thanks to widespread vaccination, and celebrated Christmas together (Louise Penny probably didn't realize she was writing a fantasy), but a new virus threatens Canada - a viral idea born out of fear as COVID-19
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ravaged the elderly and frail, as well as healthcare and economic resources.

The presentation of a visiting statistician at a local university seems an unlikely event needing the protection of the Sûreté, until Gamache learns about the speaker and her research. And another visitor is causing a stir in Three Pines as well. Nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, a 23-year-old woman who survived torture, escaped, and saved others in Sudan is not the heroic saint the admiring women of the village expected.

Of course, there's a murder (it wouldn't be Three Pines without one) and in her usual graceful style filled with red herrings and equally plausible suspects, Penny weaves seemingly disparate elements, some with historical basis, into a compelling tapestry. The intricate plot launches from the emotional roller coaster of the pandemic but evolves into an exploration of the power and threat of a horrific idea made reasonable by manipulating the fears of a vulnerable public. Even Gamache and his team must dig deep to ensure their secret fears do not interfere in finding the killer among them.

All of Penny's books have shades of light and dark and The Madness of Crowds is on the darker end. The humor of Three Pines' regulars is more subdued and the narrative touches on several sobering topics. While not my favorite of the series, Penny proves that her storytelling skills were only sharpened by months of shutdown.
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LibraryThing member brenzi
It doesn't seem quite right that we get to visit Three Pines so seldom when it's right where I want to be. It's just so comfortable there, such a homey feeling. I mean I feel like I can finish Reine Marie's sentences, like Beauvoir is stalking me, like Lacoste is questioning me, and Olivier and
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Gabri are serving me up some muffins straight out of the oven. And since the book ended I can't get it out of my mind. Of course that also happened with the last sixteen volumes so what the heck is this spell that Penny casts over me with most of her books? Setting aside the bad grammar and lousy sentence structure, I can see why the general population laps up the books like a cat finishing off a bowl of milk, but I consider myself to be a step above the minions, as a reader anyway. There are plenty of books that I love with a passion unknown to others but what makes this series stick with me like nothing else? I don't know but I really wish Penny would write faster. Once a year isn't enough.

As far as the mystery goes, this is one of her best, as far as I'm concerned, but much darker than normal. And timely. Ever since that time during the pandemic when the lieutenant governor of Texas was quoted as saying that the elderly people susceptible to COVID shouldn't be treated but just allowed to, well, die I've thought that's the scariest thing I've ever heard. Penny takes that idea one step further and sets Gamace in motion to try to protect the woman espousing this theory. And even though it goes against everything he stands for he's forced to carry out his job. Everyone gets involved, as usual, and Penny introduces a real life character whose history reveals he is one horrific Canadian. I didn't think there were any. I've only heard of really nice Canadians. Heh.
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LibraryThing member Doondeck
Always enjoy Gamache. Thought the ending was a little convoluted. Trouble figuring out where the murder weapon came from. Too much Gamache backing away from his theory in the final pages.
LibraryThing member sleahey
Louise Penny's latest is certainly one of her best, thanks to her ability to create complex characters immersed in a suspenseful plot, with another improbably murder in bucolic Three Pines. If only there weren't so many sentence fragments that could easily be tied together into sentences. This plot
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is especially timely, given the political and social divisions introduced by the pandemic--a virus on top of a virus!
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LibraryThing member bookworm12
This was one of my most anticipated releases of the year. I fell in love with this series last year and I’m thrilled every time a new book comes out. We are back in Three Pines this time after visiting Paris in the last book. It’s a post-pandemic world and a woman named Abigail Robinson is
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touring the country lecturing on a controversial and morally-bankrupt idea. Jean-Guy Beauvoir struggles not to take the proposal personally.

I loved that Penny embraced writing in a world where a pandemic is part of the conversation. I thought it might be exhausting to read that, but it was oddly cathartic and comforting to see the way we were all united in the shared experience.

With every book new we learn more about the lives of our beloved characters. The plot meandered a bit in the end, but I didn’t for one second wish the philosophical murder mystery had ended sooner. I read it as slowly as I could because I never get tired of Armand Gamache and his crew.

“The trick wasn’t necessarily having less fear it was having more courage.”
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LibraryThing member diana.hauser
THE MADNESS OF CROWDS is Louise Penny’s latest book (#17) featuring Armand Gamache, Chief Inspector of Homicide for the Surete du Quebec.
“ Louise Penny delivers with a perplexing murder mystery set in Three Pines that is also a nuanced look at conviction, delusion and the tipping point between
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the two.”
“ All shall be well. And all shall be well. And all manner of things shall be well.” A quote from one of Gamache’s favorite writers, the Christian mystic Julian of Norwich - who’d offered hope in a time of great suffering. But, unlike Julian of Norwich, Professor Robinson’s ‘brand’ had a dark core. When Robinson said “All will be well”, she did not, in fact, mean everything. Or everyone.
THE MADNESS OF CROWDS is a stunning introspection into one of society’s most controversial and urgent issues. The subject matter lends itself to the very deepest and often most uncomfortable and unsettling thoughts on ethics and morality.
The painting/picture at the beginning of the book is beautiful and captures the spirit of a Quebec winter.
A must read. *****
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LibraryThing member Scrabblenut
An extraordinary, thought-provoking, humane book, and a very puzzling murder mystery besides!
LibraryThing member brangwinn
Louise Penny tackles a lot in this latest Chief Inspector Armand Gamache mystery. Gamache, the head of homicide in Quebec is asked to provide security for a controversial professor who has proposed that the socioeconomic problems can be solved by eugenics and euthanasia. The elderly and the
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disabled are a burden to the economy. Her theory is gaining popularity and hatred as well. At her talk, firecrackers are set off and a gunman fires at her. And there’s an entire cast of characters who could have done it including Gamache’s son-in-law, an officer under the command of Gamache who has an infant daughter with Downs Syndrome. Then the controversial professor’s personal assistant is found dead, and it’s a challenge to unravel the cause of her death. As usual, Gamache is up to the task and the village of Three Pines and its inhabitants are involved in the solution.
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LibraryThing member BraveKelso
This was my first Gamache/Surete/Three Pines novel. The local library has the full line but most are in circulation. The October 2021 release on a novel outside the series co-authored with a US political figure has raised interest. The author has been publishing these novels, set in modern rural
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Quebec since 2005. The author writes about believable core adult characters, and achieves or exceeds expectations for work in the tradition of 20th century British village mysteries. Some of the locals in Three Pines must have history in earlier novels - at points the author assumes that the reader is not interested in these characters, except for what they may say about the core mystery. This novel was written as the pandemic started. The author assumed or projected that vaccines would end the pandemic, but does refer to some of the history of the pandemic in Quebec. Avoiding spoilers, the story also mentions a real, scandelous,and tragic CIA funded psychiatric research project at McGill University during the Cold War. The author also writes movingly about community and life in winter in rural Quebec.
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LibraryThing member bblum
Three Pines certainly sees a lot of murders but the series only gets better. Likesble and eccentric characters and Armand Garmache is stable and reliable as chief. This title referenced the pandemic as if it were over, if only that were true. Also, this book dealt with the issue of our divided
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population and those who follow the path of hurtful ideas that lend themselves to hatered and distrust of the other side. Thoughtfully written for our times.
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LibraryThing member KittyCunningham
Interesting seeing the pandemic in the story.

I enjoy this series because only half of the story is the mystery. The other half is the lives of people I am fond of. So, it's kind of a twofer.
LibraryThing member cyderry
This highly anticipated addition to the Three Pines series in many ways does not disappoint but in a few it does. The novel centers around the topic of socioeconomic problems which could be solved by eugenics and euthanasia. The main "guest stars" Abigail Robinson, a statistician, her BFF and
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manager, Debbie Schneider, her surrogate mother, Chancellor Colette Roberge who has approved her coming to the local university to give a lecture on her study concerning eugenics, and Gilbert Vincent, a psychiatrist who lives in a cabin in the woods near Three Pines. Abigail Robinson believes that her data shows that the economic issues following the pandemic would be solved if the world no longer had to deal with "injured" humans - for example cripples, children born with genetic disorders i.e. Down Syndrome, Alzheimer patients, cancer patients. When Armand Gamache is ordered to provide security for the lecture given that the topic is controversial, he is torn between his duty and his dislike of the topic and suggestions of Professor Robinson.

Unable to prevent the lecture, Gamache does his duty, even throwing himself in the path of bullets aimed at Prof. Robinson. During the investigation of the uprising at the lecture, Armand and Jean Guy have issues. Figuring out the ensuing murder, motive and perpetrator is classic Gamache. However, the story seemed to swing back and forth between the mystery and the political angst of many of the regular characters. It didn't flow smoothly at all times. But it was still great to see and visit Three Pines again.
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LibraryThing member Nancyjcbs
The Madness of Crowds is set in post-pandemic Three Pines. In this fictionalized account all are vaccinated and the world is back to normal (no lingering Covid, no masks, no lockdowns or social distancing, no travel restrictions and large groups are allowed. Although that is not the focus of this
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novel it did feel like the most fictionalized aspect. Sadly.

In every place those who did not survive Covid were overwhelmingly the elderly or less healthy. That premise leads a charismatic statistician to present a plan for the future. The plan is seen as either necessary or immoral and unethical. As a result the statistician is threatened and Chief Inspector Ganache and his team are brought in. Their investigation expands. As always I appreciate the process of the team working together to resolve a case.
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LibraryThing member Bookish59
I enjoyed reading The Madness of Crowds.

But...that it fell short of my expectations, and wasn't as well written as her previous books. At times it felt disjointed, scattered and didn't flow naturally. Its possible that choosing the current and continuing pandemic as the background restricted her
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creative options.

But as always her messaging on humanity, kindness and love was right on target.

It will be interesting to see how other writers use the pandemic in their books.
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LibraryThing member VaniceD
I won an ARC of The Madness of Crowds in a Goods Reads giveaway.

This episode is set post-pandemic back in Three Pines. It’s so interesting to read about the world after when we’re still not out of the woods quite yet.

It’s also wonderful to be back in the Village with Clara, Myrna, Ruth and
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Rosa and the boys at the Bistro. Back with Henri, Fred and Gracie. It feels like a post-pandemic meetup.

Gamache is at home with his family and extended family when he gets a call to work security for a statistics professor scheduled to give a talk at a local college during the week between Christmas and New Years. The professor studies pandemic statistics and proposes an immoral solution for a path forward. “Professor Robinson was revealing, not creating the anger.” Her appearance brings trouble and eventually another murder to Three Pines.

Once again Gamache proves “It isn’t what you look at but what you see.” Gamache, Beauvoir and Lacoste connect past crimes and shames to reveal present truth.

The Madness of Crowds warmly celebrates community, holidays, family, the snow and the Canadian cold. Hot chocolate is a recurring theme.

It’s good to spend time in the company of friends again.
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LibraryThing member gypsysmom
Louise Penny continues to amaze me. This is #17 of her Inspector Gamache series and it is as strong a plot as all the rest of them. As much as I enjoyed the last book which took place in Paris I was happy that this one is back in Three Pines.

It's the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve. All
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of the Gamache family convened in the Gamache home in Three Pines for the holidays. (Just how big is this place--I always pictured a cottage with a couple of bedrooms on the second floor--but even with the kids sharing a bedroom there would have to be 4 more for adults.) Inspector Gamache has been requested to provide security for a talk given by a visiting statistics professor at the nearby university. Doesn't seem like something that would be a big draw especially at this time of year. Then Gamache looks up Professor Abigail Robinson and he realises there is a potential for demonstrations and even violence. Dr. Robinson has a controversial proposal for how the country can recover from the pandemic something she was asked to analyze for the government enquiry looking into the post-pandemic economy. Dr. Robinson says the country can recover if they just agree to forcibly euthanize all the infirm and elderly and terminate the pregnancy of any disabled fetus. When she presented her findings to the enquiry they refused to accept her recommendation so she decided to publicize it herself. The Chancellor of the university is an old family friend and offered to set up this lecture. Gamache is appalled and tries to talk both the Chancellor and the President of the university into cancelling the talk. However, the lecture proceeds and, just as Gamache feared, someone took a shot at Dr. Robinson. Gamache reacted quickly and shoved the professor to the floor and the shot missed. The Surete continues to provide security for her as she and her assistant stay with the Chancellor. Despite Gamache's instructions on New Year's Eve the Chancellor, Professor Robinson and her assistant turn up at the party at the Three Pines Inn and Spa.Then, shortly after midnight the body of a woman is found bludgeoned near the Inn. As she is face down initially Gamache cannot tell who it is and assumes it is the professor. When the coroner arrives and turns the body over everyone is surprised to see it is the assistant, Debbie Schneider. Was she mistaken for the professor or was she the intended victim?

So the body doesn't show up until page 165 which is rather unusual in a mystery. But then, Louise Penny is a rather unusual mystery writer. Although she covers the investigation and the eventual zeroing in on the culprit there is so much more going on in this book. One of the subplots involves a Somali woman who is probably going to be the next Nobel Peace Prize winner. She is in Three Pines at the invitaion of Myrna Landers who had helped support her crusade for social justice in her country. Her experience of torture and rape while a young girl cause her to be doubtful about almost any other human being. Meanwhile, Inspector Gamache's wife, Reine-Marie, has turned her archival skills to combing through the papers of a recently deceased woman at the request of the woman's children. She finds that the woman seemed obsessed with monkeys, drawing them on unconnected pieces of paper throughout her life. As Reine-Marie discovers this woman was one of the victims of Dr. Ewan Cameron at the McGill University's infamous Allan Memorial Institute. Dr. Cameron carried out experiments on people suffering from mental health problems such as post-partum depression using sleep deprivation, shock treatment, and drugs such as LSD at the request of the CIA. Since writers don't usually throw in unrelated people and events it doesn't take a genius to figure out that torture will figure in the motive for the murder. But it does take a dedicated team of detectives to find the murderer so keep reading to follow all the twists and turns.
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LibraryThing member Cecilturtle
Penny taps into themes of a troubled era where pain, fear and quick fixes all storm together to create shocking solutions. The cast of well-loved characters is reassembled for a thrilling ride where ideology, passion and emotions collide.
Her craft pulls the novel through but it could definitely
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have been shortened. Also, her politically correct comments thrown throughout position Penny clearly in a certain political camp... while it didn't bother me, it didn't really help the story along either. This is definitely a book of its time.
Nonetheless, I enjoyed it and read it in a few days, engrossed by the plot and the well defined characters.
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LibraryThing member lamour
Getting ready to celebrate Christmas in Three Pines with his family, Gamache's holiday is interrupted by a request to provide security for a lecture by Professor Abigail Robinson who is promoting euthanasia for incapacitated elderly and children born with major medical issues. Gamache's infant
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grandson is mentally challenged and would fall into this professor's net.

The lecture draws angry folk from across Canada and is disrupted by what appears to be an attempted assassination of the professor Robinson. This followed a day later by the murder of Robinson's friend and assistant, Deborah. So many suspects that Gamache and his team spends a lot of time analyzing suspects which made this book seem much longer than it had to be.

Written during the Covid Pandemic, the story takes place after the Pandemic is over but its repercussions still influence the characters. The least satisfying novel in the series for this reader.
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LibraryThing member Bruyere_C
Annoyed by the imagined end of the pandemic—the “discovery” of a singular vaccine that was accepted across the globe and conquered the virus for good.
LibraryThing member bereanna
I’m a big fan of Louise’s books. I love the comfort, the colorful characters, the setting, and the mysteries. Sometimes They seem to drag in when Gamache is fitting together puzzle pieces to solve the crime. I’m glad to be let in on the thought process, but I’d like the solution sooner.
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novel’s theme deals with the elderly, disabled, and Down’s syndrome people. A statistics professor claims and with a huge following that eugenics is the answer to the nation’s economic problems.
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LibraryThing member pomo58
The Madness of Crowds by Louise Penny is the 17th and, for me, the best of the Gamache series. Unless you like living with your head in the sand, this novel will both satisfy your hunger for a good novel as well as give you food for thought about the world we are currently navigating. If you like
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hiding from reality, well, no, he did not win the election!

I did not consider the take in this novel on our current world to be particularly left or right leaning, mostly just a (one of many possible) views on how we are or might respond to our changing normal. Yet it seems that some people I know who lean right were bothered by this book. Not sure why, other than what I already think of their tenuous relationship with reality.

I have not read all of the books in the series, but have read most, and by far this is my favorite. Admittedly I do enjoy novels that make me think beyond just the events in the story. I like to think about what I would do, what I think others would do, and what I think is "right" or "wrong" to do. Even children's picture books demand from the reader, though certainly much younger, some engagement beyond mindless word after word after word reading. It really doesn't hurt to engage the brain beyond the basic events in a novel.

Okay, I'm finished. Some of the asinine reviews I saw irked me so I got a bit off track. But if you like good detective stories that have the usual twists and turns you will find a lot to enjoy here. I think this could be read as a standalone if you aren't familiar with the series.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via Goodreads.
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Audie Award (Finalist — Best Male Narrator — 2022)
Agatha Award (Nominee — Contemporary Novel — 2021)


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