I finally am able to delve into another juicy tale by Louise Penny, from the Gamache series, that was released last year with her sixteenth book, All the Devils Are Here. Wow! I could not put this book down. There was a day when I had read at least a hundred pages. The many twists and turns of this story had me on my toes, particularly towards the end. I kid you not, I was on the edge of my seat when I was reading the last one hundred pages of the story. Aside from the story, when I was reading the accomplishments, the research of Paris, Louise Penny put through to make a reader feel as though that they were transformed into another city, outside of Three Pines, Paris. I love it all!
The other thing I liked about All the Devils Are Here, is that the story begins immediately. I couldn’t put it down, like all of Louise Penny’s books. It’s fast-paced.
Have you read All the Devils are Here by Louise Penny?
The 16th novel by #1 bestselling author Louise Penny finds Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Quebec investigating a sinister plot in the City of Light
On their first night in Paris, the Gamaches gather as a family for a bistro dinner with Armand’s godfather, the billionaire Stephen Horowitz. Walking home together after the meal, they watch in horror as Stephen is knocked down and critically injured in what Gamache knows is no accident, but a deliberate attempt on the elderly man’s life.
When a strange key is found in Stephen’s possession it sends Armand, his wife Reine-Marie, and his former second-in-command at the Sûreté, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, from the top of the Tour d’Eiffel, to the bowels of the Paris Archives, from luxury hotels to odd, coded, works of art.
It sends them deep into the secrets Armand’s godfather has kept for decades.
A gruesome discovery in Stephen’s Paris apartment makes it clear the secrets are more rancid, the danger far greater and more imminent, than they realized.
Soon the whole family is caught up in a web of lies and deceit. In order to find the truth, Gamache will have to decide whether he can trust his friends, his colleagues, his instincts, his own past. His own family.
For even the City of Light casts long shadows. And in that darkness devils hide.
Book Club Questions
- All the Devils Are Here takes place in Paris, far away from Three Pines. How did
you feel about the Gamaches’ life in Paris? Given the choice, where would you
- Early in the novel, Armand recalls the first time Stephen told him the story of
the Burghers of Calais, a group of prominent citizens who agreed to sacrifice
themselves in order to save the people of their town. Why is this story so
important to Armand, and to Stephen? How does it relate to the events that
unfold in the novel?
- All the Devils Are Here explores three different types of father-son relationships:
the relationship between Stephen and Armand, between Armand and Daniel,
and between Armand and Jean-Guy. How did all of these relationships grow
and evolve over the course of the novel?
- During a tense conversation, Daniel accuses Armand of having two sides: one
as a father, the other as a cop. Armand replies: “You seem to think the two are
separate. They aren’t.” Do you agree?
- In Paris, Jean-Guy Beauvoir takes a job as an executive in the Quality Control
department at GHS Engineering, a global corporation. What do you think
about Jean-Guy’s decision to take the job and his role in the company? What
do you think about his career decision at the end of the novel?
- Among the belongings of the man found dead in Stephen’s apartment, a
business card is found with the letters JSPS (“Just Some Poor Schmuck”) written
after Stephen’s name—a card that allows the carrier access to all of Stephen’s
properties and accounts all over the world. If you had your own version of the
JSPS card, who would you give it to and why?
- As Armand spends time with his granddaughters, he teaches them the meanings
of their names: Zora means “dawn,” Florence, “to blossom,” and Idola, “inner
truth.” Later on, what do we learn about the meaning of Armand’s name? What
do we learn about its origin?
8. In order to solve the mystery at the heart of the novel, Chief Inspector Gamache
must work closely with his Parisian counterpart, Prefect Claude Dussault. What
are some of the similarities you found between the two men? What are some of
the differences? How did your perception of Dussault change over the course
of the book?
- Louise describes Paris as “a city of façades.” She mentions the secret gardens
and courtyards hidden behind doors in the city, but also the “beauty. . .
heroism . . . and dreadful deeds, both obvious and obscure.” What do you think
she meant by this? What are some other examples of façades in the novel?
- As curator Professor de la Coutu appraises Stephen’s art collection, he makes
an observation: “All the works are either pastoral or domestic. Peaceful. No
torture, no death. Not even any hunting scenes.” Based on what we learn about
Stephen’s past, why do you think that is?
- Although the regular cast of Three Pines characters—Myrna, Clara, Ruth, Gabri,
Olivier—are not in Paris with the Gamache family, their presence is still felt
throughout the novel. Both directly and indirectly, how do the Gamaches’
friends, neighbors, and colleagues from back home help influence their actions
in All the Devils Are Here?
- “Hell is empty and all the devils are here” is a line from Shakespeare’s The
Tempest, Stephen’s favorite saying, and, of course, the source of the book’s
title. Why do you think this quote resonates so much with Stephen? Why do you
think Louise chose this saying as the inspiration for her title?
Book Club Questions – Louise Penny